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  #1  
Old 03-20-2013, 08:33 PM
Chris Chris is offline
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Default MD24 or MSA

I'm looking at building a do all switching rig for guitar. It will involve relay switched effects loops, and a couple of tip to ground switches for amp channel switching etc. I would like to build a bit of redundancy into the system to possibly allow for switching between a couple of amplifiers as well once I figure out transformer isolation as a side project.

The relay modules I plan to use have their own transistor driver, so I should be able to use any of the highly liquid decoders to manage the switching side of things.

My controller is a voodoo lab ground control pro, which as I understand it can send 8 commands per preset, so if things get really out of hand, I may be better served with presets stored on the switcher, rather than the controller.

My question is: Assuming I end up with more than 8 loops, am I better served by the MD24 which could handle all the loop switching as a single unit, or two MSA type units. Am I correct in the assumption that only the MSA units can store presets?

If I run two MSA units together, would they be best controlled on separate MIDI channels, or could I run them on the same channel but program them to respond to differing CC or preset MIDI messages. I figure programming may require the removal of an IC on one or other MSA to achieve this.

Thanks for your advice. I obviously don't entirely know what I'm doing here!
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:13 PM
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Hi Chris, welcome to the forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
I'm looking at building a do all switching rig for guitar. It will involve relay switched effects loops, and a couple of tip to ground switches for amp channel switching etc. I would like to build a bit of redundancy into the system to possibly allow for switching between a couple of amplifiers as well once I figure out transformer isolation as a side project.

The relay modules I plan to use have their own transistor driver, so I should be able to use any of the highly liquid decoders to manage the switching side of things.

My controller is a voodoo lab ground control pro, which as I understand it can send 8 commands per preset, so if things get really out of hand, I may be better served with presets stored on the switcher, rather than the controller.

My question is: Assuming I end up with more than 8 loops, am I better served by the MD24 which could handle all the loop switching as a single unit, or two MSA type units. Am I correct in the assumption that only the MSA units can store presets?
Yes. The MSA can store up to 128 presets. You can set up the MSA so that anywhere between 0 and 8 of its outputs fall under preset control. (You can also control each of the outputs individually, on top of that.)

With the recent firmware update, you can store a preset during normal operation using this procedure:

1. Recall any preset. (probably using a PC message, but there are other options)

2. Set each output to the desired state. (probably by CC messages, but there are other options)

3. Send the MIDI "store preset" command, which is a specific CC command (this is configurable too). The MSA stores the current output states to the preset selected in step 1.

Alternatively, you can set the preset states in bulk using a sysex command or configuration utility ("Sqwerl").

Quote:
If I run two MSA units together, would they be best controlled on separate MIDI channels, or could I run them on the same channel but program them to respond to differing CC or preset MIDI messages. I figure programming may require the removal of an IC on one or other MSA to achieve this.
The MSA is designed for this purpose. You can use multiple units together and they will function as a single unit. No modification is necessary.

The MIDI signal routing would look like this:

Foot controller MIDI Out -> MSA1 MIDI In
MSA1 MIDI Thru -> MSA2 MIDI In

Then, simply assign different messages to each of the 16 MSA outputs. It's probably easiest to keep them on the same channel (but you could use a different channel for each).

This setup will give you 128 presets. You can set up the MSAs so that each preset controls all 16 outputs, or just 15, or 14, etc. On top of that, each of the 16 outputs could also be individually controlled at any time.

The MSAs will act in tandem as a single unit with 16 outputs.

The same is true for 3 MSA units, 4 units, or more.

I strongly recommend one or more MSAs for this project, since the firmware is already set up to support this exact application. In theory, the MD24 will support it eventually, but I'm not sure when it will be ready to do so (there is a MD24 firmware rewrite in progress).

Please let me know if I can provide more information. I'd be happy to continue the discussion. I think you will find that setting up the MSA for this project is very fast and straightforward.

If you would like another opinion, you might consider contacting Mel ("wabbitguy") who created the iPatch project using the MSA. He is extremely knowledgeable. More in this thread:

http://forum.highlyliquid.com/showthread.php?t=428
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2013, 10:52 PM
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By the way, for information on the new MSA firmware that would be useful for this project, see the firmware manual here:

http://forum.highlyliquid.com/showthread.php?t=999

And the discussion here:

http://forum.highlyliquid.com/showthread.php?t=452
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2013, 03:44 AM
Chris Chris is offline
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Thanks John,

I figured the MSA would be the way to go but it's good to know that multiple units can be chained as a single MIDI device, and that preset and continous control are both available.

I'll place an order once I get my brain around what I'm actually trying to achieve.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2013, 07:04 PM
Alex Alex is offline
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Default Setting the Outputs

This is a similar project that I am looking to undertake, but I have a newbie question

I have read in the firmware guide and this post that the MSA can recall presets, using the 'learn' method, in which you set the output required. For my project I would like to do this on the fly with buttons on the front of the unit. How would I go about doing this? Would the MSA be able to be configured in this way i.e monitor the status of the buttons to determine the required output when learning a preset? Or would I have to use a separate midi CPU to monitor the buttons and create output for the MSA?

Many thanks in advance,

Alex
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2013, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex View Post
This is a similar project that I am looking to undertake, but I have a newbie question

I have read in the firmware guide and this post that the MSA can recall presets, using the 'learn' method, in which you set the output required. For my project I would like to do this on the fly with buttons on the front of the unit. How would I go about doing this? Would the MSA be able to be configured in this way i.e monitor the status of the buttons to determine the required output when learning a preset? Or would I have to use a separate midi CPU to monitor the buttons and create output for the MSA?
Alex, as of firmware 3.2, you can do the following:

1. Recall a preset that you'd like to change (typically using MIDI program change from a foot controller).

2. Set the individual MSA output states using MIDI messages (like CC output from a MIDI foot controller).

3. Send a "store command" to the MSA using either A) another MIDI message form the foot controller (like a special CC command), or B) by pressing a switch connected to the MSA.

So you can store presets "on the fly", but you must use MIDI to set up the output states how you want. Does that make sense?
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:55 AM
Alex Alex is offline
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Yes, I think it actually does!

Many thanks for the reply.... project start date is looming!
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2013, 04:26 PM
bigtim bigtim is offline
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Hi John, if I were to chain two MSA's together to build a 16 way looper, then in terms of selecting one of the 128 presets from MSA#1 and then one of the presets from MSA#2 would I need to use two different CC numbers one for each MSA to do this, or can it be done using the device ID?

I am guessing that the different cc numbers is the way to do this as, as far as I can tell, standard midi implementation does not support device ID as part of a PC or CC messages is that correct? (This is a guess based only on the fact that neither my DAW (reaper), my GLAB midi controller or the MIDI CPU seem to have the option of including a device ID along with a PC or CC message.)

I am thinking of chaining my midi cpu to two MSA's (so that I can have local footswitch as well as midi in controll of the looper), would it be correct to assume that if I sent sysex messages destined for the MSA's via the midi cpu, then the midi cpu would ignore them or would I have to 'programme' each unit individually via its own midi in port?
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:48 PM
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Hi Tim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtim View Post
Hi John, if I were to chain two MSA's together to build a 16 way looper, then in terms of selecting one of the 128 presets from MSA#1 and then one of the presets from MSA#2 would I need to use two different CC numbers one for each MSA to do this, or can it be done using the device ID?
If you want the two MSAs to respond in tandem (in other words, if you want your system to have 128 presets, each with 16 outputs): simply set up each MSA unit to respond to the same recall message on the same MIDI channel. (For example, PC.) When a PC message is received, each MSA will recall its own preset state.

If you want to mix & match presets 0-127 on MSA1 with presets 0-127 on MSA2, then you can set each MSA for a different MIDI channel. Then, set up your MIDI controller to send PC messages, on, say, channel 1 to control MSA1 and channel 2 to control MSA2. Does that make sense?

Quote:
I am thinking of chaining my midi cpu to two MSA's (so that I can have local footswitch as well as midi in controll of the looper), would it be correct to assume that if I sent sysex messages destined for the MSA's via the midi cpu, then the midi cpu would ignore them or would I have to 'programme' each unit individually via its own midi in port?
The MIDI CPU does not pass sysex messages from its input, sorry. So you will have to connect directly to at least one MSA to program it. (From there, you can also program the downstream MSA because the MSA does pass sysex to its thru port.)

I hope this helps. If not, please let me know.
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  #10  
Old 05-16-2013, 12:09 AM
bigtim bigtim is offline
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Thx John, that all makes sense. thinking about it 128 presets (as you say the two msa working in tandem) would be the best option I think
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
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Thx John, that all makes sense. thinking about it 128 presets (as you say the two msa working in tandem) would be the best option I think
Ok, great. I hope you'll create a project thread.
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  #12  
Old 05-16-2013, 07:34 PM
bigtim bigtim is offline
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Will do What I am planning is to extend my midi footcontroller project to combine the midi footswitch and exp pedal control with an 8 way (to start with at least) looper.

While I have been developing the midi controller project I have built/aquired a few new pedals and my rig needs more than the 6 loops I currently have. This will be a combination of the two midi cpus I have and 1/2 msa, so for now is it ok to keep everything under my midi controller thread? (and stop hijacking this thread (sorry!!))
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  #13  
Old 05-16-2013, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtim View Post
While I have been developing the midi controller project I have built/aquired a few new pedals and my rig needs more than the 6 loops I currently have. This will be a combination of the two midi cpus I have and 1/2 msa, so for now is it ok to keep everything under my midi controller thread? (and stop hijacking this thread (sorry!!))
It's fine to keep it in the MIDI CPU thread. Sometimes it's not possible to get a perfect fit for projects that span multiple products. Posts can always be moved around after the fact if it ends up making sense to do so. Thanks for your concern.
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