What MIDI controllable effects / amps / apps are people using? Controller maker advice.

Discussion in 'Gear' started by polyexpressive, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Chu

    Chu Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome!

    I'm aware of plenty of guitarists that manipulate effects on the fly as part of their style, I think that's why you can buy those big knobs (settle down at the back, yes, you @bad alice ) to allow you to use your foot to adjust the settings, right? There's plenty of space in the market for stuff like this, even if it isn't for me.

    I'm a Kemper user and I also use a FAMC Liquid Tracks Mp3/Midi player to trigger samples. The Liquid Tracks has the ability to record and send Midi to the Kemper so I've started to automate my expression pedals. For me, the simplicity of pressing a footswitch to trigger a number of sequential changes, CC values and such is a god send; mostly because I'm rubbish at multi-tasking! In fact, if my drummer was prepared to play to a click track, I'd happily automate everything by Midi, expression pedals, patch changes, you name it just so I'd never have to press a button for the whole set. However, I get why that is something that horrifies some!

    Not sure what I would be able to help but feel free to ask if you can!
     
  2. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Agree with this - I've always thought of MIDI as a black art practised by keyboardists. Even when I bought a midi pedal (to control pc based amp sim stuff) I didn't take it onboard as the controller was as horrific to program. Once you make the setting up easy and the controls fit with what the user wants (ie switch this on/off, change this parameter/ Control Chu's entire set and make a cup of tea) its a pretty cool tool.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  3. Chu

    Chu Well-Known Member

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    Indeed. Part of the leap forward for me recently has been opening my mind to what the technology can do for me; to do things that I would consider to be too complicated to investigate. My mind was firmly in the 'footswitches are to change channels and turn effects on or off'. If my band actually gigged a bit more, I'd even consider using my controller to trigger lighting changes.
     
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  4. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus” Staff Member

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    :hug:
     
  5. polyexpressive

    polyexpressive New Member

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    I'm really focused on making the setup really clear and easy. I'm going through all the manuals for pedals and making it so you don't have to look at them to setup your pedal, just click that you want to that button to change the type to of the gain to fuzz in the case of the Chase Bliss Brothers and it's all nice little drop downs and a modern / usable app interface. MIDI does have a scary reputation.

    Thanks for mentioning the Liquid Tracks too, I had a request for recording MIDI into Poly for use as a loop / macro that could be triggered or looped so I've been looking into it. I think I'll be able to do it but still need to look a bit more.

    A related question:

    Does anyone know of anything that converts from MIDI to expression pedal type outputs? I know there are MIDI to CV boxes but lots of gear that works with an expression pedal can't handle CV on the same inputs, though for many CV with variable output range would work too. I'm mostly thinking about how to add control for things like the Strymon BlueSky vs the BigSky.
     
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  6. Robstafarian

    Robstafarian The Good and Wise Call Me “Rufus” Staff Member

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    That would a significant undertaking, as explained by Mission Engineering's Understanding Expression Pedals. Your last sentence confuses me, as the Strymon blueSky does not support expression pedals.
     
  7. polyexpressive

    polyexpressive New Member

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    Opps, sorry, the Timeline vs the El Capistan for example. Forgot which ones of the littler ones has expression.

    I understand the technical issues of doing a MIDI to expression pedal out. The Expressionator by Mission Engineering does the same technical thing given that it output "expression" style control but doesn't have a MIDI in. It's not a hard circuit to design though.
     
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  8. polyexpressive

    polyexpressive New Member

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    I've now added a MIDI looping / macro recording option to Poly Expressive that I mentioned, so you can record your movements and then play them back. I'm really enjoying it for wah and tremolo. You can record multiple macros / loops.



    @robstafarian I've now made the MIDI to expression circuit too. The box does 2 expression outs, LFOs and macros on each and Bluetooth / WiFi to MIDI as well as MIDI clock to tap tempo, though that needs to be tested with more pedals. Now to start hunting for some interesting expression controlled pedals that aren't MIDI capable.
     
  9. DrHankWanfordSnr

    DrHankWanfordSnr That's not new, its always been there.

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    Bonus points for the Bigsby style vib !
     
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  10. Chu

    Chu Well-Known Member

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    Good work!

    It's a function that I think people will not automatically see the benefits of though. People will likely think 'I'd rather control my wah thank you' without thinking beyond that. With the Kemper for instance, if you set a profile to move from low gain to lead (with different gain, eq, volume and effects levels) it's great to hit one button as you hold the last chord of the verse for that boosted tone and then hear all the changes move gradually into your lead tone for the solo. You can even then fade out effects etc without needing to focus on your feet!

    It's not that useful for just noodling around but in a structured setting of a band, it's stunningly brilliant. Unless you press the wrong button and then it's catastrophic!!
     
  11. polyexpressive

    polyexpressive New Member

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    Oh yes, It's a TV Jones guitar and I love it. Second favourite after my jazzmaster.

    I'm enjoying it for noodling too, because when you're controlling some things and layering macro/loops/automation on the others I can be quite fun and inspiring. I started playing with a really fun backwards delay thing with the Echolution and changing it while playing was really rhythmic and I tested that for a long time when I should have been getting back to filming some demos of the setup app... :)
     
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  12. ThePriseInferno

    ThePriseInferno Well... does it?

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    My kinda-sorta-not-really-convoluted setup is to use a Laney IRT Studio, a Pod HD Pro X (with shortboard mkII), a Joyo PXL Live as basically a glorified MIDI controller (though it can also be a loop switcher if I want it to be), and a Voodoo Labs Control Switcher to both receive MIDI signals to switch channels on the amp, and also to forward a second channel of MIDI signals to switch patches on the HD Pro X.

    It's actually fairly simple, even though it looks a bit daunting.

    It would be nice to find an inexpensive switcher that can switch all capabilities on my amp (channel 1/2/3 selection, reverb on/off, and built-in boost on/off) without needing the VL control switcher, but again my primary concern is price - I'm not gigging with this setup, so the more inexpensively I can get the features I want, the happier I'll be.
     
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