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Controlling other MIDI gear with MFC-101

Adam_Dawson

New here
Hi,
I've been trying to control my TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 alongside my AXE FX II with my MFC for a while now and can't seem to make it work.

I'm running the latest FW on everything and using the ethernet cable to control the AXE, with a midi lead going from AXE to VL2.

I run the MFC in Set mode (with 5 preset switches and the rest are IAs) and would like to set IA switch 17 to toggle the Harmony switch on the VL2 (which is cc110 according to the manual).

I've tried all the obvious things, but can't even get a response from the VL.

I'd also like to be able to send Program Changes from the MFC to change the preset on the VL when I change preset on the AXE (i.e. when I hit the preset for a chorus in a song with a crunchy guitar sound, I'd like to call up a new vocal preset on the VL2 too.)

I'd really like to know if anyone else has tried this, or anything similar and had any success!

Many thanks
 

rodzimguitar68

Fractal Fanatic
Hi,
I've been trying to control my TC Helicon VoiceLive 2 alongside my AXE FX II with my MFC for a while now and can't seem to make it work.

I'm running the latest FW on everything and using the ethernet cable to control the AXE, with a midi lead going from AXE to VL2.

I run the MFC in Set mode (with 5 preset switches and the rest are IAs) and would like to set IA switch 17 to toggle the Harmony switch on the VL2 (which is cc110 according to the manual).

I've tried all the obvious things, but can't even get a response from the VL.

I'd also like to be able to send Program Changes from the MFC to change the preset on the VL when I change preset on the AXE (i.e. when I hit the preset for a chorus in a song with a crunchy guitar sound, I'd like to call up a new vocal preset on the VL2 too.)

I'd really like to know if anyone else has tried this, or anything similar and had any success!

Many thanks
I don't know if the MFC can transmit more than one midi channel. To do the things you want with CC messages would require you to leave your AXE on MIDI channel 1, and the TC on another MIDI channel of your choice 2 thru 16, logic dictates you'd choose MIDI channel 2. Then program the IA button to send the correct CC message on midi channel 1 to your AXE, and the correct CC message to your TC on midi channel 2.

If the MFC will not send messages on separate midi channels, then instead of engaging effects via CC messages, you are going to need to create programs on the TC and midi map the TC so it changes to a patch with no effect and then it changes to another patch that has the effect, when you program change the Axe. In this scenario, you would just have both devices on MIDI channel 1. I believe you can also override the CC commands the AXE responds to, so you could map the CC's to achieve similar results. Let's say you have a desire to engage an overdrive on the AXE AND a harmony on the TC, and the MFC does not send on two midi channels. You could try to map the AXE overdrive and the TC harmony CC to be the same number. Just for fun, let's say CC 90. But the problem is, now if in another song, you want chorus on the Axe and the same harmony on the TC to come on with another IA button, what do you? If you make the chorus also CC90, it's going to come on when you push the first IA button too!
 

Hugomack

Veteran
THe MFC transmits over all 16 midi channels.

If you use song mode, I'd think you could tx the TC changes along with the patch changes for each section of the song. You could also tx lighting changes too I guess. BUt could the same message be used to mean different things to each unit? I've never tried this, and am keen to understand - so we can control Ableton drum and bass loops, which might also work using the song method...?

Is anybody doing this?
 

vibechild

Regular
I have been trying to do this for a few years now. (Both the voicelive thing, and the ableton thing). There are a few different things that keep this from working. I've submitted several bugs in both the MFC and AxeFx bugs sections that you may want to search for. That might give you a better idea of what the obstacles are. If you find more to add to those threads, I'm sure it would help get the bugs fixed.
 

chris

Legend!
The MIDI cable has to go from the Axe to the Voicelive.

Also make sure the Voicelive is set for MIDI mode and not USB.
 

Adam_Dawson

New here
Just had a reply from Sean from the support team:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hi Adam, yes you should be able to use the MIDI out from the Axe-fx to the voice live and control it.
You need to turn on MIDI thru on the Axe-fx II. It is in IO-MIDI menu.

Section 5.2 of the manual describes how to program the IA switches for other devices. If you have specific questions, I would be glad to try and answer them.

Thanks,

--
Sean
Fractal Audio Support

---------------------------------------------

I hadn't even considered that the AXE-FX might not be letting MIDI thru the output, but I suppose that would certainly explain why the Voicelive was completely unresponsive! I'll give that a try and see if I can get anywhere.

The next thing is trying to control preset changes on the VoiceLive as well as the AXE-FX II on my 1-5 preset switches on MFC. Better dig back into the manual again for that I think!

Thanks for your suggestions!
 

Bodde

Fractal Fanatic

chris

Legend!
If you turn on the MIDI Thru (or use the thru jack on the ultra), also long as the Voicelive is setup for MIDI and not USB, when you change presets on the MFC, both the axe and the VL should change to the same preset.

I've setup my axe 2 with Voicelive rack and my iPad with a Presonus interface to all work together via MIDI. I can change presets from the MFC or my iPad Lyric app - the correct voice and guitar presets come up and the correct song lyrics appear as well.
 

Hugomack

Veteran
I have made the same topic here a week ago with no replies http://forum.fractalaudio.com/mfc-discussion/73137-controlling-multiple-devices-mcf-101-a.html

Seems like many people are asking this question. The manual can do much better at explaining this. Thinking of buying another separate Midi board for controlling Mobius and guitar synth and keeping the MCF-101 only for my Axe Fx. Seems too complicated and not very practical to control everything from the MCF.
I've come to the same conclusion.

Maybe if I reprogramme into song mode, it might make sense to have changes sent to other units when going from Intro to verse to Chorus etc eg: lighting, VL and Ableton. BUt using one thing to do everything usually involves too many complications and work-arounds... not to mention nightmares at gigs when something inexplicably decides not to work... Redundancy and carrying more gear, is definitely better than the whole system just not working on the night.

But I am trying to work out the best way to use live and recorded looping: putting it all through Ableton, using Mobius as a vst, or having a separate hardware unit (Rang III looks good) all time code sync'd to the Axe.
 
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Adam_Dawson

New here
If you turn on the MIDI Thru (or use the thru jack on the ultra), also long as the Voicelive is setup for MIDI and not USB, when you change presets on the MFC, both the axe and the VL should change to the same preset.

I've setup my axe 2 with Voicelive rack and my iPad with a Presonus interface to all work together via MIDI. I can change presets from the MFC or my iPad Lyric app - the correct voice and guitar presets come up and the correct song lyrics appear as well.
That sounds really good and very similar to what I'm trying to do! What mode do you run the MFC in? Song or Preset? Does it make a difference?

Maybe you could make another excellent video tutorial ;-)
 

favance

Veteran
So, I too am trying to control an External Motif Rack ES connected from the Axe-II Midi Out/Thru. I have a couple of external switches setup on the MFC. It does not work until I turn on the "Midi Thru" on the Axe-II. However, when I switch to a different patch using the MFC, the MFC flashes rapidly and I have disconnect it in order to turn off the "Midi Thru"... BTW, I'm using the Cat5 Cable to connect from the MFC to the Axe II. Any ideas how to get around this?
 

vibechild

Regular
I've been trying to do this stuff for a while. In theory, it should all work fine. Unfortunately, in practice you have to work around things not working right. This thread has a few different bugs described which make doing these things much more difficult than they should be.

http://forum.fractalaudio.com/axe-fx-ii-bugs/63253-midi-mfc-sent-corrupted-over-usb.html

This one also makes it a pain to time sync external devices:

http://forum.fractalaudio.com/axe-fx-ii-bugs/66387-mfc-axefx-external-device-tap-tempo-issue.html
 

favance

Veteran
So, I was finally able to determine what was happening. Once I turned on the "Midi Thru" switch on the Axe-FX, it appears it was sending midi messages out not only to the Axe-FX Midi Out/Thru port, but also to the MFC. In order to disable this, I had to turn OFF both the "Midi RX Channel" and the "Midi RxProgramChange" on the MFC. This cleared up the flashing issue.
 

plyall

Forum Addict
So then I have a related question:

If I am manipulating the MFC-101 (IA's, patch changes, foot controller, and such) while recording a song, can I record the MIDI into my DAW so I can replicate my adjustments with MIDI? Yes - I realize that the audio will have the resultant effects printed, but let's assume I want to REAMP. I'd need the MIDI-recorded track to be able to change patches/switches/controllers for the dry-track replay right? Can this be done? FWIW - I am operating on a Mac, and have never seen the appropriate MIDI commands 'appearing' at the Mac using a MIDI Monitor program.
 

vibechild

Regular
See the above bug regarding corrupted MIDI over USB on macs. I believe you could only record MFC and expression pedal changes using windows, or possibly with the midi out jacks, but not the obvious way using the USB connection.
 

favance

Veteran
So then I have a related question:

If I am manipulating the MFC-101 (IA's, patch changes, foot controller, and such) while recording a song, can I record the MIDI into my DAW so I can replicate my adjustments with MIDI? Yes - I realize that the audio will have the resultant effects printed, but let's assume I want to REAMP. I'd need the MIDI-recorded track to be able to change patches/switches/controllers for the dry-track replay right? Can this be done? FWIW - I am operating on a Mac, and have never seen the appropriate MIDI commands 'appearing' at the Mac using a MIDI Monitor program.
I would think that once you enable Midi thru on the USB (another setting on the Axe-FX Midi Menu), you could actually record the MFC midi signals. I haven't tried it though.
 

plyall

Forum Addict
According to other folks in the know, this doesn't work through USB - there's apparently a Mac USB driver issue that does something odd with the data stream.

I haven't tried this yet with traditional MIDI though, which is worth thinking about. I am hoping that the driver in the latest Mac OSX family - Mavericks - will straighten this out.

Are any of you Mac Developers out there reading this, and can you comment as to whether the new USB handling straightens this out?

Thanks!
 

plyall

Forum Addict
Favance -

Can you tell me how you are setup? I tried running a MIDI cable out of the AXE-FX II's MIDI-OUT today and into a spare MIDI input on my interface. I was using the Mac MIDI Monitor to watch it. Nada. I did have some activity on the USB port of course, but nothing eminently usable.

Just for completeness, I also tried straight out of the MFC-101. Nada - (except for Name Timeout, likely because the MFC-101 was expecting a full bidirectional MIDI connection with the AF2.

Thanks
 

favance

Veteran
I use to external switches on the MFC, I have Midi CCs setup for these. Turn OFF both the "Midi RX Channel" and the "Midi RxProgramChange" on the MFC. I am connected to the Axe-FX using the ethernet cable.

On the Axe-FX, I am setup w/the default settings, except you need to turn on the "Midi Thru/Out" setting. I have a 5-pin midi cable connected from the Axe-II Midi Out/Thru connector to the Midi In on the Motif ES Rack box. Everything is set to Receive/Transmit on Midi channel 1.

All I can say is this works for controlling external gear from the MFC/Axe.
 
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