Pedal switching with MIDI control...

kidofthecorn

Member
Messages
27
So here´s the thing. I just had mi Musicomlab EFXIII+ fail on me and I have to send it in (OMG!) for repair.. but in the end I lost the confidence in this product to gig with.. I have been running around the options according budget limitations and I wanted some feedback...

So there is the Decibel11 SwitchDR, which is nice and can send PM and CC over MIDI, besides the 4 loops. This would work, but I really would like more loops... the option would be a loop expander which would deliver 4 more loops. This should perfect-o for what I need, but it's not that cheap (300+190=490) and it would take some serious pedalboard real state.

The other option I think I have - and this is the one I need more feedback on - going for the Rocktron Patchmate floor (I now it got really bad rep online) plus a small Midi controller (like Midi Mouse or similar). With this arrangement, I could control via MIDI the patchmate plus mi MIDI pedals (namely a TimeFactor and a H9), plus I could still have all 8 loops on instant access. It sounds great if the midi controller is able to sen both PM and CC, but I'm not sure is any smaller than the previous arrangement. Pricewise is very similar (360+100=460)

​So... what say you?
 

GuitarToma

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,334
Here's some things I discovered when researching midi switchers. I emailed Decibel 11 about the Pedal Palette and the Switch Dr:

Guitartoma said:
I am very interested in either the Pedal Palette or the Switch Dr. Here are my concerns. I have the all the big Strymon pedals, timeline, mobius, and bigsky. I want my presets to be able to change programs on all three or bypass them depending on the preset. I like to have my tuner on all the time with an option to mute, but don't want to tie up one of the pedal loops for the tuner. My intention would be to have a compressor in loop 1, A Micro POG in loop 2, my drives in loop 3, and a volume pedal in loop 4; leaving the strymon pedals on the output of the switcher. I don't necessarily see the need to switch the pedal order like the palette does but I see that the Switch Dr. doesn't have a dedicated tuner out. I could sure use some advice as to which direction to go.​
Decibel 11 said:
There are some trade-off that you face with whichever switcher you use. Since you have the Strymon pedals and would like to use MIDI with them, then the best option is the Switch Dr. The Pedal Palette has only very limited MIDI. It only sends a single program change for each of it's presets.

The Switch Dr. can send up to three program changes per preset, but one of them is fixed per preset. In other words, preset 1 on the Switch Dr. will send program change 1, preset 2 will send program change 2, etc. If you want to be able to send separate commands to each pedal, then they should be on different MIDI channels. You can configure each program change in the Switch Dr. to send on a different channel. That way each pedal will only obey the command on it's set channel. But since you cannot change the number it sends on one of those program changes, you will have to arrange your presets in your pedal accordingly.

The other thing about the Strymon pedals is that the bypass MIDI command is a control change. It's the same control change on all of their pedals. The Switch Dr. can only send control changes on up to two channels. So, the third Strymon pedal will need another method to bypass. You could use a loop on the Switch Dr. Or, you can save a preset on the Strymon pedal where the MIX knob is 100%. This would be used as a bypass preset.

Do you need the volume pedal in a loop? Or would you want that available all the time? I think I would consider putting the Mobius in loop 4 and then keeping the volume between the Switch Dr. and timeline/bigsky.

The only way to get a mute with tuner is to use a loop. Or, to get one of the Korg or TC tuners that are true bypass and have a button mute to tune. Of course, with any of those methods, the tuner will not always be available. Another option is to add a simple A/B/Y for the tuner. That way you can have it on all the time, but also mute to tune when you want.
For me, there were far too many trade offs in going with the less expensive switcher. I researched all the major ones in this price range and they all had similar answers, the big one being that I had to program patches in sequential order on my Strymons, and I had to create "zero mix" presets in order to bypass them.

I know everyone's needs are different, and if you're only using one midi device then it might be just fine.

I ended up with the MusicomLab EFX MKIV. I couldn't be happier. I'm sorry to hear your MKiii failed. That sounds unusual, I've not heard of them having issues before. How did it fail?
 

kidofthecorn

Member
Messages
27
GuitarToma, my situation is very similar to yours. Actually I was using MIDI to switch the Eventides to bypass and thus saving two loops. Also using the dedicated tuner out is a plus... all in all I loved the Musicomlab, but the failing part just got me going in a different direction...

The failure was a random freeze change of presets... just like in this video. They told me that it was a foot switch problem and even send me two replacement. I change the supposedly faulty foot switch, but nothing changed. I am considering sending it in for repair, but at $200 round trip to South Korea, I'm evaluating all options.

I have heard of another unit, same model, with footswitch failure, and to be honest, the parts are far from top quality (also mounted directly on the board which is a PITA to desolder). Hopefully they solved this on the new release.

Thanks for the feedback BTW
 

tucsonsound

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
763
I use the Patchmate Loop 8 Floor with a MIDI program change pedal. I needed the MIDI pedal for channel selection on a Randall RM4 MTS preamp, so getting a simple looper with external preset control made sense. Programming is identical for both the preamp and loop switcher, send a program number from the MIDI pedal, select a channel and hold store on the preamp, activate desired loops and hold store on the Patchmate, done.
I also use the Patchmate with a Jet City combo where the MIDI control isn't necessary, so it's nice to have the first 8 presets selectable as it's handling the channel switching along with drives in front and effects in the loop.
I did just purchase a Nova Drive on yesterday's stupid deal, so my MIDI simplicity may be coming to an end if I want to map it's 13 presets across the 128 locations shared by the preamp and looper, time will tell...
 

RockinRob

Member
Messages
1,026
U probably checked this, but I assume your foot switch cable isn't the problem. My midimate acted like this and it was just a bad cable.
 

longi

Member
Messages
416
Joyo pxl-live does what you want and it's dirt cheap. It has 8 loops - 4 front and 4 rear ( fx loop) it spirits midi too, albeit sends only, pm and cc.
 

kidofthecorn

Member
Messages
27
U probably checked this, but I assume your foot switch cable isn't the problem. My midimate acted like this and it was just a bad cable.
I did check for problems in cables, power supply and even open it up to check if there was something loose or a cold solder. No luck :(

Have you checked out Disaster Area's stuff?
Lately I have been brunching out on the search... I ended up including not only Disaster Area, but also Buzzelectronics (from UK) and Peak2005.. all great stuff on a similar pricepoint.

It seems to be the end of the quest, but timing and budget are not met.

Thanks everyone for the feedback... still looking for a solution... will be updating this thread when necessary. For the time being, I'm back to tap dancing. :cry:
 

StepAudio

Member
Messages
307
For the time being, I'm back to tap dancing. :cry:
It's 2014 - time to hang up your tap shoes!

There are tons of great new choices for MIDI PedalBoard gear - mostly because manufacturers are finally making MIDI-enabled devices (it only took them 30 years).

Keep looking and you'll find the combination that's right for you.

.:. Bill
 

kidofthecorn

Member
Messages
27
Joyo pxl-live does what you want and it's dirt cheap. It has 8 loops - 4 front and 4 rear ( fx loop) it spirits midi too, albeit sends only, pm and cc.
WOW.. this little fellah is amazing for the money.... I'm really tempted to test it...

Anyway, I'm sending my Musicomlab to South Corea for repair... really miss it.

Thanks everyone for the feedback.
 

prodrigu

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
505
I was about to buy 2 Strymon big units last night when I realized syncing / patch changing the units would require an external controller. That was a deal breaker for me, now I am analyzing what I am going to do.
 






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