Ultimate m13 controller: a laptop!

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Soler, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. Soler

    Soler Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Ultimate setup: a laptop playing backing tracks (keys, strings, etc) and a midi file sending program changes to the m13 (and control changes, expression pedal positions, tuner mode at the end of the songs, looper, whatever.)

    I found this idea thanks to a great guy in this forum: Gabesdaman. I made a couple of gigs with this set-up and for me it is a game changer.

    The drummer of the bands needs to play to a click and everything must be in time, otherwise this won´t work.

    You need:
    - A laptop with a DAW (cubase, protools, etc)
    - A stereo .wav or .mp3 in the DAW. Right channel is the click (for the drummer via headphones) and the Left channel has got the backing sounds (keys, strings, backing vocals, whatever yoy want) to the PA.
    - Audio interface. You plug the MIDI OUT in the interface to the MIDI IN in the m13. I use M-Audio fastrack (it is powered via usb)
    - In the click track for the drummer, every song starts with a bar, another bar with a countdown (4,3,2,1), then the drummer plays four sticks and the band kicks in.

    I am the singer/lead guitar in a band. I was already pretty busy singing and playing solos, and a third task (doing tapdances) was just too much fo me. My music is quite complex guitar wise. So this way I just concentrate playing and the laptop controls your pedals.

    On the other hand there is some hard work to do at home, you´ve got to write down all your moves in a midi file (with cubase or any daw). But once it is done, playing live is real joy. It is like a guitar tech doing all your moves in the backstage for you perfectly in time.

    I´ve got only two tracks in the laptop. One big stereo .wav for all the backing tracks and one big midi file with every move in the show. This way very little RAM is required, and the risk of glitches during the show is very low.

    It is recommend to add a third track with markers. So you hit a number and the song you choose is played until the end (then stops.) At the end of the song you can put your m13 in tuner mode (CC 69-127), so you don´t even have to hit the tuner button.

    And before the first show with this set-up you should practice a couple times arranging all the gear together. It is pretty simple but in a live environment you could get nervous so a little of practice doesn´t hurt.

    Laptop> audio interface:

    R- minimixer for the drummer, headphones
    L- to the PA
    Midi Out-to the m13

    I wanted to share this. Thanks gabedaman! Im so happy... :)
  2. themachineisgod

    themachineisgod Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Why not get just get rid of the M13 and run everything off the laptop and a midi foot controller? I admire the ingenuity and enthusiasm, but you're already using the laptop pretty heavily. Why not go all out? With the proper configurations and a good sound card, glitching shouldn't be that big of a problem. I've always viewed the M13, M9, etc. as products for people who didn't want to use laptops yet wanted the versatility that modeling offers.

    Whatever works for you though. Rock on and make some great music! :aok
  3. sleepyone

    sleepyone Member

    Nov 11, 2009
    I just love these complex settings, it is so worth it to go through all the hassle of preparing everything when you're playing live and it works as a Swiss watch, congrats
  4. Soler

    Soler Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Because I want to use a real tube amp with real effects. What´s the alternative? Guitar Rig? Amplitube 2? No, please! I like the feel of real amps. I use a vintage Ac30. I´m not using the m13 as a modeler option. I use it as "lots of guitar effects without the cables and power supplies". Guitar effects in front of a real tube amp doesn´t sound the same as effects trough an impulse response or software.

    I just don´t want to spend 700$ on an expensive midi controller and still have to do tap dance. I rather spend 700$ on a laptop to do the midi controlling and the tap dance for me.

    Best regards.
  5. Stumpsout

    Stumpsout Member

    Oct 5, 2009
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanks for sharing those ideas...I can really use that info! And I also prefer my tube amp, so this is a great way to have my effects tap dancing "pre-choreographed" LOL :rockin

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