Anybody use a small midi foot controller with a big system?

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by m-gee, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. m-gee

    m-gee Member

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    I‘m currently using no midi foot controller at all as I wanted to wait until I know which units I really need in my rack. As my rack is more or less finished, I have a lot of stuff and want to be able to control most of it with the foot controller. However, several companies (like RJM or Morningstar) only make very small controllers that seem to be very powerful, but only offer a few buttons. But I would love to own one of their controllers for their simple operation.


    As of now, I need 10-15 IA and 4 or 5 preset buttons, and thats only if I do not incorporate any amp switching. I can buy a single or double expanded FX25 from MLC, but that will be not as simple to operate and I‘m wondering how other guys do it with smaller midi controllers? Do you only use it for certain units? I can‘t figure out how you would use a 10 button controller with an even slightly bigger rack...
     
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  2. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    There have been several threads on this midi fc bidness over the years here

    I don't have an answer and am interested to know what others are doing

    plus, what is managing user's midi? the fc? or are some of you using midi merge or similar midi controller hub to deal with midi daisychain challenges?
     
  3. jjjp

    jjjp Supporting Member

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    The Morningstar stuff is nice but my experience has been that I miss having more buttons for instant access to things. I like being able to push one button to get what I want whenever possible. Can’t do that with these small midi controllers without multiple presses and a lot of programming.
     
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  4. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    There's always something like the Voodoo Labs Ground Control.
     
  5. thiscalltoarms

    thiscalltoarms more gadgets than Batman. Gold Supporting Member

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    I tried using the Musicom stuff, ended up wanting more control and added a Morningstar mc6, eventually realizing I just wanted a single big controller (RJM GT16). The RJM monster has been great.
     
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  6. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    Damn, that thing is breathtakingly expensive for a foot controller.
     
  7. thiscalltoarms

    thiscalltoarms more gadgets than Batman. Gold Supporting Member

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    Lot of screens. Very powerful. Consider what a Musicom MkV costs ($750) or a RJM PBC 6x ($699)- and those only have 1 screen.

    I got mine used, and they do go on sale pretty often from RJM.
     
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  8. Ian

    Ian Member

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    What is the issue you are trying to solve for? The midi capabilities of one controller vs another?.....or is it the smaller size needed, and sacrificing IA switches?

    I have an Axess FX-1 that gives me full midi control over my FX, and 12 IA switches, but it's bigger, and I'm ok with that as IA switches are important to me.

    However, I also have an Axess MFC5 that will meet my midi needs for my FX......but it lacks the IA switches.....

    While I would love to have the MFC5 on my board, the FX-1 just makes way more sense.
     
  9. Coalface1971

    Coalface1971 Member

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    This is always an interesting conversation.

    100%. Modern footcontrollers are a whole different world. I've got both an expanded Axess FX1 (great) and RJM GT22 (the greatest), and they relegate the concepts of the old RS10s', All Access' and Ground Controls' back where they belong in the 90's, as solid and dependable as those are (had an AA, was an excellent controller).

    Having said that, the idea of the big footcontroller is more suited to a big stage for rock stars, or a studio environment for Landau/Luke/Huff. They are great for a tinkerer, where the IA switches are there for all to see. But the real estate required to have what really amounts to a large indication panel is kind of moot in a lot of musical situations. Like with the FX1, having 24 IA switches is sort of a waste, if the main presets only have the same 3-4 effects engaged.

    So I can see where the OP is coming from. Don't the newer Fractal controllers, though having less buttons, only pull up the IA buttons are required in a user-defined preset. That Morning Star MC6 mkii and MC8 (though listed as sold out for ages) offer a different type of functionality also.
     
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  10. m-gee

    m-gee Member

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    Well I guess I just wondered if maybe I´ve overlooked something. But it seems something like the Axess FX1 or the MLC FX25 is the way to go for a bigger setup. The FX25 is in production and you can expand it so I might just get that one. It can do what I want, but the RJM sure looks cool.
     
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  11. m-gee

    m-gee Member

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    You´re exactly right. My rack only gets used at home, so real estate is not a concern. I just want to be able to control and switch stuff on/off instantly on the fly, so many IA buttons are a must. Also the racks of the past are my main goal (as can be seen in that thread concerning Lukes CAE rig), so having one controller like that is almost mandatory :) I´d love to own one of the newer CAE RST controllers to add at least some CAE magic to my rack, but I´m not sure if Bob is still making and selling those.
     
  12. rustolium

    rustolium Member

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    If I read the OP right, the need is already at 20 switches. That is only satisfied with a full FC. I would go RJM, but I'm a user and want ultimate flexibility. On my smaller board I use a Morningstar MC6 and get creative with the programming. BTW, the RJM is worth every penny and is truly road worthy. I can't speak to any others and they may be great too.

    Now, to be creative, there is nothing stopping you from using multiple smaller controllers. Get 2 MC6 and have one run PCs and those PCs tell the second one what IAs to show. You can also page thru IAs via special foot presses. These things are super flexible.

    Philosophically speaking, I would go all in one for a big rig, but have no problem using a small one if there are other drivers.
     
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  13. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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  14. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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  15. rustolium

    rustolium Member

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    I use midi solutions Quadra thru boxes. No issues I am aware of.
     
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  16. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    I was thinking to go Midi Solutions T8...
    but what device is sending master MIDI info for you? Your RJM fcs?

    for example, I use Digitech GSP2101 which lets me send different MIDI Program Change messages to specifically labelled devices,
    that said, 2101 fc is the only fc I have...1995 tech is prolly a bit datedo_O
    plus, I want incorporate a few Yamaha BT-01
     
  17. rustolium

    rustolium Member

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    For me it is all FC or DAW. I use the 1X4 boxes as they are flexible for placement. You can go a few devices deep via midi Thru and it not be an issue. Now, I'm not doing midi to a bunch of outboard synths so that could be an entirely different latency issue with all that data on any serial buffer. The T8 is a solution for that type of use case.

    I'll have midi data come into the FC and it's forwarded from there or it causes things to happen.

    The BT-01 is an issue as it will have some higher latency. I use a similar device, but only to control my Kahayan amp switchers from my iPhone. I currently don't automate that switcher from the FC.
     
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  18. Coalface1971

    Coalface1971 Member

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    A warning about the MERGER's (not the thru's) - they apply MIDI "running status", a form of data reduction that is part of the MIDI spec. A lot of gear will not respond properly because of it. Go to the MIDI Solutions FAQ, it's in there and I've had it happen. Top of the line gear as well as cheap. Very frustrating!
     
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  19. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    Yes, the foot controller is the master for me.
     
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  20. m-gee

    m-gee Member

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    I just discovered those guys: https://www.voes.be/index.html

    They are a Belgian company and offer an 18 button controller for less than 500€. I have never heard of them before, does anybody know them?
     
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