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MIDI setup - questions

year2525

Inspired
Hi, I'm currently trying to figure out how to control the Axe 2 and the Voodoo Lab GCX Audio Switcher with the MFC 101.

I'd like to change the preset on the Axe 2 as well as activate a loop of the GCX in the same time (with the same switch).

1. The Axe needs MIDI program change messages to change the preset and the GCX responds to MIDI control change messages,
ís it possible to send both message types with the same switch in the same time with the MFC 101?
I need to send control change messages 80-87 on MIDI channel 16 for the eight loops of the GCX.

2. Since the GCX responds to MIDI channel 16 is it possible to send messages with the same button to different MIDI channels.

3. I'll only be using presets (about 5 per song, very different sounds, I'll only use the first row of switches) so I won't be using IAs (if possible).
Which MFC mode would be best for me in this case? Song mode?

I'm stuying the manual of all units but it's my first MIDI attempt so it's not easy for me to understand certain information.

Thanks very much for your help!
 

Bakerman

Axe-Master
1, 2. Yes, see chapter 6 of MFC manual: Internal CCs. You can set 8 of them to those CCs on channel 16 and select on/off per MFC preset.

3. Probably song or set.
 

year2525

Inspired
Awesome, thanks Bakerman!

I've had a look at the chapter you mentioned and I guess I have to use both the internal CC MIDI commands (to set the number of CC and the MIDI channel) and the preset internal CC state (to set the default position for each GCX audio loop to on or off) for each preset.

I'll try that ASAP.

Thanks!!
 

year2525

Inspired
It seems I can't get it to work.

The GCX manual says:

"The GCX responds to MIDI Control Change messages sent on channel 16 only. A data
value of 0 turns the loop off, a data value of 127 turns the loop on. Controller numbers
are as follows:

Loop #1 = controller #80
Loop #2 = controller #81
Loop #3 = controller #82
Loop #4 = controller #83
Loop #5 = controller #84
Loop #6 = controller #85
Loop #7 = controller #86
Loop #8 = controller #87
"

I'm going with a CAT5-cable from the MFC to the Axe. Then from Axe MIDI out/thru to GCX Pedal In.

The GCX Active LED blinks constantly so the GCX seems to receive some kind of MIDI information by default in this configuration.

I took Preset 000 "Bassguy" to give it a try.

Following Chapter 6 in the MFC manual I did the following:

In the MFC MIDI menu I set the parameters to: IntCC 01 CC#080 Ch16
in the MFC Preset menu: IntCC 01 ON

The GCX doesn't react to this setup.

The GCX manual indicates that I have to set parameters to (MIDI channel) 16, ("data value" >does this correspond to CC# in the MFC Menu?) 127 and ("controller #") 80 (for loop 1).

What am I doint wrong?
Can't figure this out.
 

Bakerman

Axe-Master
Did you enable MIDI THRU on the Axe-FX? (I/O: MIDI page) The blinking you're seeing now is likely from tempo sysex data, might not cause problems but can be disabled.

CC# = controller #

Data value = The other number that's part of a CC command, what represents position of something or state of a switch. The MFC should have off = 0 and on = 127 by default, you can view these on some page of the internal CC setup menu.
 

year2525

Inspired
Man you're a lifesaver.

MIDI thru was deactivated.

It works now!! Thanks so much!

However, there is some kind of weird behaviour as the GCX sometimes won't response properly to the commands.

I've made a short video where I switch between the default presets 000 and 001.
The 1st preset should activate the 1st loop (and deactivate the 2nd), the 2nd activates the 2nd loop (and deactivates the 1st), and the 3rd preset has no loop activated.

So the Internal CCs are: Preset 1 Int CC01 on, Int CC02 off and Preset 2 vice versa.

Sometimes the GCX won't activate the loop, sometimes it does but leaves the other one activated

GCX + MFC strange behaviour - YouTube

May this be related to the Sysex data it seems to be receiving?
Where can I deactivate that?

(EDIT: I turned it off at "send realtime sysex" in the MIDI tab. Constant blinking stopped. Is there any disadvantage in turning this off?
It didn't solve the weird switching behaviour though. Also, when assigning 2 loops to activate simultaneously it gets even worse.)

Thanks again for your kind help Bakerman!
 
Last edited:

Bakerman

Axe-Master
Realtime sysex = needed for displaying tuner info or synced tempo LED on the MFC.

I'm not sure what would cause what you're seeing. Since you don't need program changes on non-Axe channels you could disable all of those to reduce the data sent out. If you have another piece of MIDI gear (with some CC control ability) to try in place of the GCX you could check if the same thing happens. If it doesn't then you'd be more sure it's the GCX not being able to deal with the amount/rate of data, since the other gear responded fine. Either way maybe something about this could still be improved on the MFC or Axe.
 

year2525

Inspired
Unfortunately I don't have the possibility to test this with another gear.

I posted on the Voodoo Labs forum aswell.

Maybe I'm gonna PM Cliff, since the GCX is a common piece of gear integrated into MIDI setups.

However, Bakerman you've been a great help for me, best wishes from Germany!
 

MikeDV

Inspired
Reading your problem with interest, in the process of setting up a similar rig. I've read some other pitfalls you might check. It may also be some settings on the MFC, it has so many capabilities, sometimes it's a simple change, as you've already done just to get the GCX to respond. First, I'd swap/change MIDI cables, simple start - any cable can go bad. Also, I've read that as MIDI messages pass through various units, they can occasionally be "corrupted" and give unexpected results. Some suggest some kind of MIDI distributor gadget - great, another piece! I''d check that by hooking the GCX directly to the MFC, and see if it took the MIDI commands correctly without random results. Seems it should, doesn't really need any functions from the Axe to react to MIDI messages - those should be passing directly through, right? Good luck, thanks for having my potential problems in advance, and working through them.
 

year2525

Inspired
Good to know I'm not the only one!

Going to try the M13 with MFC later on today.

I tried connecting the MFC and GCX now. Powered the MFC with the power supply and went with a MIDI cable (3 pins wired) to the Pedal In of the GCX.
Couldn't get them to communicate yet. On which pins does the MFC send information? 4 and 5 I guess?
Which mode should I choose on the MFC?

I tried 2 brand new MIDI cables, they seem to be fine.

Currently I'm fighting awesome ground loops when introducing the pedals in the GCX loops to the Axe FX effects loop.
 

year2525

Inspired
Ok, I had another go with the GCX and the M13.

MFC > GCX: Works perfectly fine now. I simply forgot to set MIDI out to "MIDI" instead of "expansion" (Which serves for CAT5).

The switching was much faster than with the Axe 2 in between, pretty much no delay.
Also more complex setups like multiple loops on/off at a time worked fine.

So MFC into GCX is fine.


MFC > M13: Works also fine, even though I didn't manage to let the MFC send only CCs. Didn't find the menu to turn off program changes when hitting the preset buttons on the MFC. The CCs I advised the MFC to send to the M13 were all dealt with perfectly though.


It seems at this point, the Axe 2 in between the MFC and GCX not only delays the signal significantly, it also confuses the MIDI information to cause random switching errors.

Next thing I'll try is the M13 behind the Axe 2.


If you've got any insight on this please let me know.
Does anyone use the Axe 2 MIDI thru to another device?
 

year2525

Inspired
Sorry for the monologue.

M13 fed by Axe 2 MIDI thru: experiencing the same error as with the GCX behind the Axe 2. Random errors, slight delay.

The other way round MFC > GCX > Axe 2 seem to be fine though!
Downside: Have to power the MFC with the power supply and have to use 3 pin-MIDI-cable to GCX.
Also: Why go with MIDI through GCX to Axe 2 when I need the GCX loops only in some presets?

This seems to be an Axe 2 MIDI thru problem and that's why I'm gonna take it to the Axe 2 discussion.
 

strw2hvn

New Member
I seems to have same problems with switching AxeFx Ultra and Triaxis... But if I put Axe after Triaxis I experiencing huge delay on switching AxeFx programs. And absolutely random switching Triaxis programs if its behind Axe... Any solutions or workarounds?
 
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year2525

Inspired
Hi, the random errors of the MIDI thru have been fixed with firmware 5.00 for the Axe 2.

I see you're using the Ultra where no firmware updates are expected anymore.

I've made a thread in the Axe 2 discussion forum of this board where 2 other Ultra users reported the same issue.
Maybe you contact them?

It's hard to believe but I have the feeling this problem existed for long time with the Ultra without anyone noticing or complaning.

Good luck!
 

StudioCat

New Member
I'm working on the same set up, except I have an Ultra. The GCX will open or close the loop while I am programming the internal CC's on the MFC, but as soon as I SAVE the preset, loops 2,3,4,5 go out. For instance, if I program all 8 loops on at the MFC, the GCX will light up and you can hear the relay click. But as soon as soon as I hit EXIT/SAVE on the MFC loops 2,3,4,5 close. To me it seems like something with the MFC but who knows is could be the GCX. Has anyone had success using the Amp Gizmo with an Ultra and an MFC?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

StudioCat

New Member
Got It! After a good nights sleep and a fresh start I solved this in 2 minutes. Before I tried programming the internal CC's (6.2) I had set 4 IA's (5.2.1) to control midi 81,82,83,84 which = loops 2,3,4,& 5. They were set to off. When I recalled a preset the GCX was receiving these IA "Off" messages. When I step on one of the 4 programmed IA's switches the loop on the GCX opens. This is working PERFECTLY now. I can save a preset on the MFC with the IA states already set (12.1.4) but still have control to turn them on and off. Yay! Now into getting my amp the change channels with the GCX and then wiring this whole thing up.
 

orbantracs

Inspired
Old thread but really interested in how this is working out for you guys now that we're on FW13. Are the response time and weirdness issues from MFC->AXE->GCX all resolved now? I am currently looking into integrating a MIDI loop selector into my rig as well... are you guys still using this set up or have you found a better device to switch loops over MIDI through the axe?

Another slightly off topic question, can you configure the reveal (not the looper reveal) on the MFC to have a button for each loop on the GCX? Meaning you can hold reveal, switch a few loops on, then go back your main MFC configuration and those loops you turned on will be retained? I'm assuming they will be reverted between scene changes and definitely when changing presets but if you stay in the same scene/preset will it stay? One other question, can you turn on a few loops, save the preset, and then whenever you switch to that scene or preset will it remember which loops you had active?

Thanks!
 

MikeDV

Inspired
Thanks for the "like", as I looked back on this thread I read your query. Still use the MFC, but I was without the GCX. As I understand it, when hitting "reveal", what you reveal are buttons that are underneath those normally assigned to patch changes on the Axe. So, whatever functions you program to those revealed buttons are what you get until you - change patches or scenes as you suggest. What I do: I hit reveal and have programmed 1 through 4 to change MIDI programs on a different MIDI channel on my amp head (clean, crunch etc. on the amp). When I "un-reveal", I go back to changing patches on the Axe - those don't affect my amp head when I manipulate the Axe, so I can stay on the crunch channel, and change effects. Not exactly an answer to your question, but an example of what's possible. Hope it helps. Other folks - if I mis-stated, please chime in...
 

orbantracs

Inspired
Thanks for the "like", as I looked back on this thread I read your query. Still use the MFC, but I was without the GCX. As I understand it, when hitting "reveal", what you reveal are buttons that are underneath those normally assigned to patch changes on the Axe. So, whatever functions you program to those revealed buttons are what you get until you - change patches or scenes as you suggest. What I do: I hit reveal and have programmed 1 through 4 to change MIDI programs on a different MIDI channel on my amp head (clean, crunch etc. on the amp). When I "un-reveal", I go back to changing patches on the Axe - those don't affect my amp head when I manipulate the Axe, so I can stay on the crunch channel, and change effects. Not exactly an answer to your question, but an example of what's possible. Hope it helps. Other folks - if I mis-stated, please chime in...


Thanks for the reply Mike! So you say you switch your amp channel over MIDI from your MFC (or Axe)... Can you switch scenes and in each scene change whether you are clean or distortion channel, save the preset, and from then on when you switch to those scenes will it automatically switch the amps channel as well? I guess my real question is if what you are switching on the MFC is remembered upon a preset save if what you are changing is not actually in an Axe preset (bypassing effects etc.)
 
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