Highly Liquid Forum facebook twitter google plus rss feed
  #21  
Old 05-17-2011, 08:28 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhair View Post
Thanks for the advice.

I am using a G Lab Line Midi Switcher for the amp switching. They won't send the whole schematic so hopefully they can send me just the switching part so I don't have to open it up and void the warranty right away

I already tried finding a pre-built system and the closet thing that I found was the Voodoo Labs GCX Switcher - which looks like either a clone or improved Rocktron Patchmate. Just working the routing out on paper to make the rack effect float between 2 amps would have taken up half of the In/Out Send/Receive with a 4:1 Y Cable.

Since I don't know what I am doing - learning as I go - I am trying to make everything as simple as possible. Even if it doesn't work out, at least I would have tried
Oh heck, it's a LOT more fun to rip stuff apart sometimes...

Since G-Line is advertising "passive", "ground lift" and "noiseless switching" I'd be assuming that they are using isolation transformers for output. That's about the only way I think it can be done with that criteria. The high end switchers, like the Radials, use those boutique Jensen transformers for that "pure" tone transfer. Unfortunately that makes things very expensive, not to mention adding in all the components to support the transformers.

I owned the GCX and Pedal Switcher (sold the GCX, still have the Pedal Switcher in the closet) and rented a Rocktron Patchmate Loop 8 (rack unit). The GCX is more like the MSA individual mode, the Rocktron is more like the "scene" mode MSA. I was going to get a Loop 8 and then just decided to make my own. Not that it worked out much cheaper, but I had the fun of building and programming it..

So if you want individual pedal control, GCX, you want to switch a bunch of things at the same time, Rocktron. Course with an MSA you can do it either way..

Sound wise, I didn't notice any difference between either unit. Except when I was using some eBay sleeze bucket cables for my pedals and they were attenuating the high frequencies. Worse on some of my guitars than others. I found some low capacitance cable and made all my own patch cables.

It would be nice if companies made quality fx pedals, so I wouldn't have had to make my own switching setup. But they don't, so I did.

These loop switchers are usually built and used by guys who have too many pedals on the floor, too many amps or some exotic setup of effects. You get them all into a rack, run them from a MIDI floor board like an FCB1010 (that's what I use). Easier to lug around, less floor space used up. And with pedals in a rack, you don't look like Quasimodo every time you want to adjust one...

If I built another one, I'd make some improvements like parallel effects but for my dual amps, I'd still use the Twin City for amp switching. Try to keep it simple, less to fix that way...

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-17-2011, 09:16 PM
Longhair Longhair is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
Default

It is a compact design. 8 x 2.5 1.25 inches. I probably will end up opening it up before the week is out

I'm also using the FCB1010 but that is being controlled by the Gordius Little Giant Module 2 (LGM2) and it allows me to do a lot more than the FCB1010 did. I just got it a couple of weeks ago so I haven't fully set it up yet.

Hopefully I can stuff everything I want in a MIDI switcher into a single 1 space rack unit and get rid of some of the clutter.

What exactly does the buffer do?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-17-2011, 10:32 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhair View Post
It is a compact design. 8 x 2.5 1.25 inches. I probably will end up opening it up before the week is out

I'm also using the FCB1010 but that is being controlled by the Gordius Little Giant Module 2 (LGM2) and it allows me to do a lot more than the FCB1010 did. I just got it a couple of weeks ago so I haven't fully set it up yet.

Hopefully I can stuff everything I want in a MIDI switcher into a single 1 space rack unit and get rid of some of the clutter.

What exactly does the buffer do?
I found the Lil Gordius interesting. I checked it out as well at one point, just couldn't find anything it did that I needed. Even for the alternate CC's, I ended up writing some software to do the same thing since at that time I was using Amplitube, TH2 and GR (all of which I've abandoned and gone back to my physical gear)..

My FCB1010 does everything I need and more. If there was anything to "fix" on the FCB1010, it'd be those junky pedals. Absolute garbage in my opinion. Lucky for me I never have a use for them (and I've debated about cutting them off and shortening the FCB1010)...One of the ideas I toyed around with was replacing the greyscale strips in them with a decent pot and then using the HL MIDI CPU to generate decent MIDI CC's.

If the FCB1010 ever craps out, I'll replace it with a HL MIDI CPU board.

For the buffer, it's a unity gain preamp circuit. It's job is to make sure that any signal you lose through long cables or less than stellar pedal "bypass" is brought back to life (frequency and impedance) properly. Some pedals work better when you feed them a good signal from a buffer, while others benefit from having a buffer after them to bring the levels back up. One of those things you almost have to try out to see what works and what doesn't because of the wicked number of pedals out there.

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-18-2011, 07:22 AM
Longhair Longhair is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
Default

I saw on one of the FBC1010 Yahoo Groups that someone cut the expression pedals off, added some more switches and what ever else they needed. Another person took a single multi-wire cable and wired everything up on the board side. For the other end of the cable, they put the corresponding plugs on it as normal. I would have never thought that there was a big need for modifying the FCB1010 so many different way before joining that group.

I was very close to running out of the 100 memory slots after making a template for Ableton. Then of course the drum machine wouldn't do what I wanted it to do as far as MIDI changes were concerned. Add in the need to future proof everything and *poof* I was looking into the Gordius.

It is kind of sad to see music gear move away from the physical realm and into the virtual realm. Kind of dumbs everything down for future generations. I mean, look at how many products came out to recreate the EVH sound from the first Van Halen album. People that bought it couldn't get that exact sound, bought more gear and ended up creating their own sound in the end. With amp simulators it is becoming a "here's my clip and here's the patch to sound exactly like me" world...

Thanks for the explanation on buffers. I think it would be a safe bet to add them along with an on/off switch to the master plan. It is better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it...

Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-18-2011, 03:29 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhair View Post
I was very close to running out of the 100 memory slots after making a template for Ableton. Then of course the drum machine wouldn't do what I wanted it to do as far as MIDI changes were concerned. Add in the need to future proof everything and *poof* I was looking into the Gordius.

It is kind of sad to see music gear move away from the physical realm and into the virtual realm. Kind of dumbs everything down for future generations. I mean, look at how many products came out to recreate the EVH sound from the first Van Halen album. People that bought it couldn't get that exact sound, bought more gear and ended up creating their own sound in the end. With amp simulators it is becoming a "here's my clip and here's the patch to sound exactly like me" world...

Thanks for the explanation on buffers. I think it would be a safe bet to add them along with an on/off switch to the master plan. It is better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it...
Ah yes, I always forget about Abletons Live. Never had a need for a looper in a performance because the bandmates are already "loopy" enough.. Although I did work with another person to setup the FCB1010 to emulate a Mackie MCU to control Live. And yep, we used all 100 patches.

I predate EVH's musical entry by a long time, but I'm only four years older. My kids were listening to him and I was getting migraines from it... I did performances through the 60's and 70's and then I'd had enough. About five years ago, I reconnected with some of the guys I played with in those "early" years. Did one gig about three years ago and it was too much work, so we got into recording instead, more or less an excuse to get together and poke fun at each other (we're all retired)...

There's a lot of things about the "new" musicians I don't get. The virtual realm is merely one of them. Sitting in a room with headphones on, playing covers, trying to perfect someones style is some others. Unless you're a tribute band, then it makes perfect sense. Therein lies the dilemma. If you gig, you need to play music people recognize (covers) but you need to work in your own material because you don't make it big playing something that's already been done. Nope, don't envy the new musician at all and I'm glad I don't have to make a living from it.

I was using the FCB1010 to control the DAW, but found the iPad did a better job for what was needed so now the FCB1010 runs my iPatch, my amp patches (V-AMP Pro) and some of the MIDI controlled rack gear (Lexicon, etc)...

I have a MIDI CPU and if I ever come across a fried FCB1010, I'll pick it up and put the MIDI CPU in it. Then I'll have to write some software to make programming it easier...but software is the easy part for me.

Wow...we sure got a lot of bunny trails going on this thread...

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-18-2011, 04:55 PM
Longhair Longhair is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
Default

Ableton was included with some hardware I bought and it just stuck. I'll never use it to the fullest potential but features vs price, it couldn't be beat.

I'll replace EVH with Jimi Hendrix in my previous example I saw that there is a "new" (to me at least because I don't keep up with it all) rack effect - Axe FX. It is suppose to be the greatest thing since bottled beer as far as actual gear is concerned. From what I read about it, the guy took the software out of the computer and put it in a rack effect. People even say that it sounds better with monitors than an actual cab....
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-18-2011, 05:17 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhair View Post
Ableton was included with some hardware I bought and it just stuck. I'll never use it to the fullest potential but features vs price, it couldn't be beat.

I'll replace EVH with Jimi Hendrix in my previous example I saw that there is a "new" (to me at least because I don't keep up with it all) rack effect - Axe FX. It is suppose to be the greatest thing since bottled beer as far as actual gear is concerned. From what I read about it, the guy took the software out of the computer and put it in a rack effect. People even say that it sounds better with monitors than an actual cab....
That's how I got the first Ableton too. Came bundled with something but since our studio was using Pro Tools at the time I think the CD is still in the packet someplace...now we're using Digital Performer. If I had my way we'd still be using a 24 track Studer...

I remember the "Jimi" era well just never got into the distortion enough to appreciate it.

Dunno what the AXE FX is like, but I used an Eleven Rack for two days. There's two days I won't get back. I still use a VG88 with my MIDI guitar, tried a VG99, came away wanting...trouble is I need squeaky clean. Most of these aren't built for that.

I've heard about "people" who say that the gear is the "bomb" and well, I've never actually met any of those "people" so unless I try the stuff myself, I take "reviews" like that with a mountain of salt. Sound is just way to personal and subjective to do otherwise. Ultimately for me, the best emulator/simulator in software is still just that. Some engineers idea of what the original should sound like. I've heard the modelling of my own amps, not even in the ballpark. I'll stick with the real deals...

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-18-2011, 09:53 PM
Longhair Longhair is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
Default

From what I have read, the Axe-FX is suppose to be like the Eleven Rack. The last multi-effect unit I played with was the Roland GP-16. It's fun for about 15 minutes going though all the different sounds but then it becomes "where was that good patch at now?" I plan on getting the TC Electronics G-Major 2 in the future - the reason for the "floating" input. Other than that, it will be just the 20w tube amp.

Ordered some parts for the midi switcher - MIDI CPU, MSA-R MIDI Decoder, a dual relay & buffer pcb - like in this post and I am going to experiement with multiplexers for the routing. Also grabbed some parts for a 2 stage power attenuator project. That should open the tone gates up without making the ears bleed
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-18-2011, 10:47 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhair View Post
From what I have read, the Axe-FX is suppose to be like the Eleven Rack. The last multi-effect unit I played with was the Roland GP-16. It's fun for about 15 minutes going though all the different sounds but then it becomes "where was that good patch at now?" I plan on getting the TC Electronics G-Major 2 in the future - the reason for the "floating" input. Other than that, it will be just the 20w tube amp.

Ordered some parts for the midi switcher - MIDI CPU, MSA-R MIDI Decoder, a dual relay & buffer pcb - like in this post and I am going to experiement with multiplexers for the routing. Also grabbed some parts for a 2 stage power attenuator project. That should open the tone gates up without making the ears bleed
Lets see, in the last few years I've tried, owned, sold all kinds of those "multi-effect" processors. I still have a Digitech RP1000, VG88, V-Amp Pro, and Bass V-Amp Pro. Tried out the Eleven Rack, VG99, G-Major, Vox ToneLab, Zoom, Axion and Boss GT's. Some I found quite usable, others were a solution looking for a problem. Or something.. But yea, I agree, wheres the patch that had that good sound. Takes a fair bit of time to tweak one I found.

For the audio router, the guy that did the VooDoo Labs stuff had posted a schematic on a matrix router he was working on. Don't know if he ever got it done and I can't find the link to it any more. Use one LSI chip and a few support chips. Looked like a great idea.

Looking forward to hearing how your project is progressing...

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-19-2011, 02:01 PM
Longhair Longhair is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
Default

Have you ever looked for one thing on the Internet only to find yourself somewhere completely different? So I am looking for more information about multiplexers / demultiplexers - how to create the (00, 01, 10, 11) commands to be able to switch inputs and outputs....

Hrmmm, maybe relays would be better? So I come back to this tread, find the relays that you have used and wonder "how exactly could I get it to work the way I want?"

More searching... True Bypass PC Board Oooh! This looks interesting. I do have a couple of questions, so I should email him. "What exactly do I want to say so I don't sound like a complete idiot?"

Even more searching... Programmable FX Switcher with Amp Controls This looks interesting, maybe I will skim through it. Half way down the page... Looks like someone figured out a way to do what I want to do - controlled manually but still...



I just have to figure out how to adapt it to be controlled by MIDI and I am half way done instead of not knowing where to begin, how much trial and error I am going to expect
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 01-06-2012, 04:20 PM
Luca Luca is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Hi wabbitguy!
I'm trying to do a switcher like you, but i don't understand something.
Help me please!

First of all: I use my midi footboard, a Ground Control Pro set on 8 CC / 4 PC mode.
According to Swqrel I program 8 CC on the MSA in "CC toggle", on midi CH1 from number 60 to 67. Same on the GCP. As far, all works fine! Every single rel่ do the on/off thing when I press corresonding footswitch on my GCP.

Now I don't understand how to save a patch with corresponing CC. Let me explain better. In Program Change "1" I decide to turn on CC 1, 4 an 6. Now i save this combination in my GCP, and press Program Change "2" (empty). Press again on PC "1" and the corresponding led's to CC 1, 4 and 6 on GCP are ON, but NO in the MSA, than loops 1, 4 and 6 are off

Can you tell me why?!

My idea at the moment is to replicate the GCX looper!

Thanks in advance
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 01-10-2012, 12:01 AM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Hi wabbitguy!
I'm trying to do a switcher like you, but i don't understand something.
Help me please!

First of all: I use my midi footboard, a Ground Control Pro set on 8 CC / 4 PC mode.
According to Swqrel I program 8 CC on the MSA in "CC toggle", on midi CH1 from number 60 to 67. Same on the GCP. As far, all works fine! Every single rel่ do the on/off thing when I press corresonding footswitch on my GCP.

Now I don't understand how to save a patch with corresponing CC. Let me explain better. In Program Change "1" I decide to turn on CC 1, 4 an 6. Now i save this combination in my GCP, and press Program Change "2" (empty). Press again on PC "1" and the corresponding led's to CC 1, 4 and 6 on GCP are ON, but NO in the MSA, than loops 1, 4 and 6 are off

Can you tell me why?!

My idea at the moment is to replicate the GCX looper!

Thanks in advance
Having never used a Ground Control Pro puts me at somewhat of a disadvantage..but... if I understand you correctly, you press a button on the Ground Control and it sends out a CC#1, 4, and 6. You want outputs 1,4 and 6 of the MSA to turn on?

If that's the case, there's some CC information missing. CC's require two things, a CC# and a CC Value (or threshold as it can be shown in SQWERL).

There's a few ways to do this, you have to pick one you like but I'll give you an example.

Using SQWERL, program the MSA outputs to CC ON/OFF. Set the CC values to 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67 (for MSA 0, MSA 1, MAS 2 etc). Set the threshold of each to 65 to make it an on off switch.

Click the SEND button in SQWERL to save all your programming on the MSA (which should have been connected long before now and found using the SCAN button).

In the Ground Control you'd then control the MSA like this:

CC#60, 0 (MSA 0 output OFF)
CC#60, 127 (MSA 0 output ON)

CC#61, 0 (MSA 1 output OFF)
CC#61, 127 (MSA 1 output ON)

CC#62, 0 (MSA 2 output OFF)
CC#62, 127 (MSA 2 output ON)

So if you wanted loops, 1,4 and 6 on, in the Ground Control it would be programmed to send:

CC#61, 127 (MSA 1 output ON)
CC#64, 127 (MSA 4 output ON)
CC#66, 127 (MSA 6 output ON)

To turn those off, use the same CC#, but send a 0 (zero).

Hope that helps.

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 01-10-2012, 08:28 PM
Luca Luca is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks for the support Mel!
Yes, exactly this, now CC on/off works!
I didn't know what it meant to control "threshold"!
But I have not totally solved my problem.

Now that I can put on/off via CC the 8 relays of MSA, I'm missing something about a recall for presets. Surely it is something that I do not know about the use.

If I send the corresponding CC all'MSA, the relay will turn on / off properly, and the LED "act" is lit properly. At a time when instead of sending a PC, nothing happens, the state does not change MSA, and the LED does not blink.

Of course, in addition to being called up on CC, I would relay that were stored for presets. How can I do? And most of all, you can do two things at once?
The CC of the GCP are off = 0 and on = 127, because even with other multi-effects (Roland rsp550, digitech2101, etc.) it works.

How exactly works the "i-Patch"?!

Thanks again Mel, you're a kind person!!!
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 01-10-2012, 09:20 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Thanks for the support Mel!
Yes, exactly this, now CC on/off works!
I didn't know what it meant to control "threshold"!
But I have not totally solved my problem.

Now that I can put on/off via CC the 8 relays of MSA, I'm missing something about a recall for presets. Surely it is something that I do not know about the use.

If I send the corresponding CC all'MSA, the relay will turn on / off properly, and the LED "act" is lit properly. At a time when instead of sending a PC, nothing happens, the state does not change MSA, and the LED does not blink.

Of course, in addition to being called up on CC, I would relay that were stored for presets. How can I do? And most of all, you can do two things at once?
The CC of the GCP are off = 0 and on = 127, because even with other multi-effects (Roland rsp550, digitech2101, etc.) it works.

How exactly works the "i-Patch"?!

Thanks again Mel, you're a kind person!!!
Control Threshold is the VALUE of the CC# as I wrote in the last post:

CC's require two things, a CC# and a CC Value (or threshold as it can be shown in SQWERL).

There are two MODES to an MSA, you either have INDIVIDUAL controls for each of the MSA outputs OR you have "PRESETS" where you can have any combination of outputs enabled or disabled at the same time (by one CC or PC message).

YOU CAN'T HAVE BOTH. One or the other.

My main MSA is set up for individual control and it's controlled by the output of a Behringer FCB1010. I turn any one of the eight loops on or off, but NEVER more than one at a time.

My secondary MSA is controlled by my DAW in the recording studio and it's setup to emulate a Mackie Control so it indicates if a recording is in session, or playback, stop, etc.

Sounds to me like you're confusing the way the MSA works and assuming it works for individual and preset mode at the same time. It doesn't. Currently. Who knows, maybe in future that might change.

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 01-11-2012, 10:44 AM
Luca Luca is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks Mel!

I supposed you could go in 2 ways simultaneously, in order to have recallable presets, while the selection "on the fly" each loop!

This could eventually be a great upgrade!
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 01-11-2012, 05:37 PM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
Thanks Mel!

I supposed you could go in 2 ways simultaneously, in order to have recallable presets, while the selection "on the fly" each loop!

This could eventually be a great upgrade!
I agree and made the suggestion quite some time ago...

We'll just have to wait and see...

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 02-05-2012, 05:23 PM
Longhair Longhair is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
Default

I decided to put aside some time blow the dust off of my MIDI Switcher Project

On the relay board (same one you have used Mel), there is the following:
  • VDD - 12v from power supply
  • GND - chassis ground
  • IN-A - MSA
  • IN-B - MSA

On the MSA there is the following:
  • 0 = A B
  • 1 = A B
  • ...
  • 6 = A B
  • 7 = A B

Do I wire A and B together from a single output and that goes into the relay board? For example Output 0 AB to IN-A.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 02-06-2012, 07:13 AM
wabbitguy wabbitguy is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 53
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhair View Post
I decided to put aside some time blow the dust off of my MIDI Switcher Project

On the relay board (same one you have used Mel), there is the following:
  • VDD - 12v from power supply
  • GND - chassis ground
  • IN-A - MSA
  • IN-B - MSA

On the MSA there is the following:
  • 0 = A B
  • 1 = A B
  • ...
  • 6 = A B
  • 7 = A B

Do I wire A and B together from a single output and that goes into the relay board? For example Output 0 AB to IN-A.
Wire A's all daisy chain together and I run them through a resistor to the 12VDC supply (white wire in the photo from the blue heat shrink).

Wire B goes to the IN A or IN B on the MSA (you can see my coloured wires in the photo). The enlargement of the photo should show you how.



The resistor is just a current limiter 470 ohm, and not even sure I needed it. I just sort of put it in and forgot about it. It's inside the heat shrink blue tubing.

Mel
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 02-06-2012, 10:33 AM
Longhair Longhair is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
Default

Thank you once again Mel for sharing your wealth of information
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 02-13-2012, 09:30 PM
Jeff242 Jeff242 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 15
Default Finally got round to it

Well. I finally got round to building my incarnation of Wabbitguy's switcher. I went without the buffers for now as most of my speaker load boxes have transformer coupled line outs. I left room in the case for them, just in case

I bought a 2U case as I also wanted to incorporate a MIDI thru board as a couple of my devices only have In/Out. I did build a board from the circuit that John publishes but wasn't particularly happy with the quality of the PCB and found this http://lowgain-audio.com/midithru.htm which was perfect if slightly over the top for the number of thru ports

I also had room for an internal PSU as I hate wall warts.
I had to make to with stealing my son's Dymo for labelling for now. I might look to doing the waterslide thing next time round

So far it's working pretty well and I'm one happy bunny.
I've 6 loops and two switch ports which use both relays so effectively four switch ports which work to change amp channels.

Cheers,

Jeff
Attached Images
     
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 08:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.