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Using Backing Tracks to Trigger Preset/Scene Changes w/ Bandhelper

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
I'm considering getting the RJM Mastermind LT. Is there a way to setup backing tracks so they can trigger preset/scene changes on the Axe-Fx with this controller or any MIDI controller? If so, does anyone do this? I would greatly appreciate some insight or if you could point me in the right direction to learn how to do this. Also, what do people use to play BT's, laptop, tablet, etc.?

I'm just a casual player and don't gig. Playing the guitar is enough of a challenge for me without having to remember when and which button to stomp on. lol Would be nice to be able to play a whole song with the proper affects while concentrating only on playing the song. :)

Thanks
 

philipacamaniac

Fractal Fanatic
If the backing tracks system is triggering presets and scenes, then the Mastermind LT isn't needed. You can use the Mastermind for manual foot control, of course.

You have to use software for tracks - one popular options are Ableton Live, Logic, ProTools, and Reason. A cheaper alternative is Reaper. The software needs to be able to:

1) play one or more audio tracks, and
2) send MIDI commands at predetermined times in sync with the audio tracks.

--

Here's how you'd set up Ableton Live to play backing tracks whilst automatically cueing your presets/scenes.

In Arrangement View, drop in your backing tracks. Then create a new MIDI Track. Set the Axe/AX8 as the MIDI Output destination for the track. Now in the MIDI Track, select (highlight) the time frame where you'd like a preset or scene change to occur. Press Shift+Cmd+M (Shift+Ctrl+M for PC) to create an empty MIDI clip. Double click the MIDI clip to open it, and select the MIDI PC (for preset change) or MIDI CC (for scene change) that you need, and draw it in.

Now you can duplicate that clip as often as needed, and also quickly change which PC or CC is being sent.

Takes a bit of setup for every song.
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
If the backing tracks system is triggering presets and scenes, then the Mastermind LT isn't needed.
Yes, of course...not sure what I was thinking. [Edit]...now I remember why I referred to the Mastermind. I was thinking of controlling it, so I can trigger preset changes to control devices other than the Axe-Fx.

Thanks for info., I will definitely look into the option you mentioned.
 
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chris

Legend!
Check out Setlist maker or its counterpart BandHelper. Put the track in your phone/tablet, set up MIDI messages, play the track and press the buttons at the right time (while recording automation) and you're done. Hit play the next time and all the commands go right when you recorded them.
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
Check out Setlist maker or its counterpart BandHelper. Put the track in your phone/tablet, set up MIDI messages, play the track and press the buttons at the right time (while recording automation) and you're done. Hit play the next time and all the commands go right when you recorded them.
That sounds really cool and simple!!
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
Check out Setlist maker or its counterpart BandHelper. Put the track in your phone/tablet, set up MIDI messages, play the track and press the buttons at the right time (while recording automation) and you're done. Hit play the next time and all the commands go right when you recorded them.
So if I want to use an iPad Mini/iPad, would I need the Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth Wireless MIDI Interface on the receiving device?
 

chris

Legend!
So if I want to use an iPad Mini/iPad, would I need the Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth Wireless MIDI Interface on the receiving device?
Or some sort of midi interface. In the past I've used the M audio Uno with a lightning to USB adaptor. I'd probably get that setup as a backup. I just got that Yamaha, but haven't tried it yet.
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
Or some sort of midi interface. In the past I've used the M audio Uno with a lightning to USB adaptor. I'd probably get that setup as a backup. I just got that Yamaha, but haven't tried it yet.
I'm new to the Apple world, ie. iPad, so I wasn't aware of the Lightning to USB cable/adapter. I already have the Uno, so I all I need is the Lightning to USB adapter and the Set List Maker app., which is $17.99?

Can I control the Axe-Fx via USB with this setup, like I can with Axe-Edit?
 

chris

Legend!
Can I control the Axe-Fx via USB with this setup, like I can with Axe-Edit?
iPads don't work directly with the Axe-Fx USB port unfortunately. the Axe needs a driver on your computer, and there's isn't one for an iPad. you can however use that bluetooth midi or hardwired midi setup with Al's FracPad iOS app. it's an "Axe-Edit for iPad".

I'm new to the Apple world, ie. iPad, so I wasn't aware of the Lightning to USB cable/adapter. I already have the Uno, so I all I need is the Lightning to USB adapter and the Set List Maker app., which is $17.99?
You'll have to learn and setup the MIDI Messages on the app, but yes, that's what you need to make it work together.

BandHelper is the same exact app, but it uses subscription pricing rather than buying the app with all the add-on features (like MIDI, which you'll of course need). But the main benefit is you can use a regular computer for most of the data entry, like lyrics, making set lists, etc. Some you still have to do from the App itself, but I'd much rather add my lyrics on a computer than on a phone or ipad.

I think it's like $1 a month for a solo user. WAY worth it and always good to support Arlo, the creator. He updates very regularly and is always there to help out if there is trouble.

If you have band members who want to share the same database, just pay a bit more per month and everyone can pull from the same songs. You can't do that with Set List Maker.
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
iPads don't work directly with the Axe-Fx USB port unfortunately. the Axe needs a driver on your computer, and there's isn't one for an iPad. you can however use that bluetooth midi or hardwired midi setup with Al's FracPad iOS app. it's an "Axe-Edit for iPad".
I can use the Set List app. though, with the Uno, correct?
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
Put the track in your phone/tablet, set up MIDI messages, play the track and press the buttons at the right time (while recording automation) and you're done. Hit play the next time and all the commands go right when you recorded them.
I've got most of it figured out, except for the record automation part. How do I that? What do I click?
 

chris

Legend!
I've got most of it figured out, except for the record automation part. How do I that? What do I click?
Check out the BandHelper help page or their YouTube. Pretty sure Arlo has a video showing it very detailed. You need to have a "automation" button added to your layout. I may not have time to help you through it, sorry.
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
Check out the BandHelper help page or their YouTube. Pretty sure Arlo has a video showing it very detailed. You need to have a "automation" button added to your layout. I may not have time to help you through it, sorry.
No problem. I've read through the tutorial section several times, but I didn't see anything about the automation button. It just says this;

"If you want to trigger MIDI presets while performing a song in a completely automated way, you can record an automation track for the song and trigger each preset from the screen interface at the desired times."


I'll checkout the videos.

Thanks!!
 

Toopy14

Fractal Fanatic
@chris, found it. The information is under the Performing tab and there's a video as well.

What an absolutely brilliant piece of software!!! This will be so helpful, even though I don't play in a band...thanks for recommending it!!!

So just once last point of clarification. I can't use my P.C. that has the Axe-Fx driver installed, ie, the one I use for Axe-Edit, to send the MIDI commands. I need a p.c. or iPad connected with the Uno cable to the MIDI IN and OUT of the Axe-Fx, correct? If so, is there anyway to set it up so I can also control a GCX switcher?

Thanks again!!
 

grammar

Regular
If the backing tracks system is triggering presets and scenes, then the Mastermind LT isn't needed. You can use the Mastermind for manual foot control, of course.

You have to use software for tracks - one popular options are Ableton Live, Logic, ProTools, and Reason. A cheaper alternative is Reaper. The software needs to be able to:

1) play one or more audio tracks, and
2) send MIDI commands at predetermined times in sync with the audio tracks.

--

Here's how you'd set up Ableton Live to play backing tracks whilst automatically cueing your presets/scenes.

In Arrangement View, drop in your backing tracks. Then create a new MIDI Track. Set the Axe/AX8 as the MIDI Output destination for the track. Now in the MIDI Track, select (highlight) the time frame where you'd like a preset or scene change to occur. Press Shift+Cmd+M (Shift+Ctrl+M for PC) to create an empty MIDI clip. Double click the MIDI clip to open it, and select the MIDI PC (for preset change) or MIDI CC (for scene change) that you need, and draw it in.

Now you can duplicate that clip as often as needed, and also quickly change which PC or CC is being sent.

Takes a bit of setup for every song.

Are there any obvious downsides to automating Scene/Preset changes via a playback/software rig?

I use ableton to program backing tracks but playback is via Cymatic or Qlab. Unfortunately apparently Ableton cannot export midi tracks with multiple program changes so each song will be limited to one program change at the start followed by CC's for everything else. Does that sound about right?

I'm thinking this may be a great way to go moving forward if it works nicely.
 

chris

Legend!
@chris, found it. The information is under the Performing tab and there's a video as well.

What an absolutely brilliant piece of software!!! This will be so helpful, even though I don't play in a band...thanks for recommending it!!!

So just once last point of clarification. I can't use my P.C. that has the Axe-Fx driver installed, ie, the one I use for Axe-Edit, to send the MIDI commands. I need a p.c. or iPad connected with the Uno cable to the MIDI IN and OUT of the Axe-Fx, correct? If so, is there anyway to set it up so I can also control a GCX switcher?

Thanks again!!
I'm pretty sure the Axe USB CAN be used for midi messages! It just has to be a computer (PC or Mac) with the driver installed.

You can probably send a midi cable from the Axe THRU port (make sure Thru is turned on in the MIDI menu) then to the GCX. Make sure each device has its own midi channel, and send the appropriate commands on the right channels.
 

philipacamaniac

Fractal Fanatic
Are there any obvious downsides to automating Scene/Preset changes via a playback/software rig?
It's a layer of complexity that adds risk to the show, but it isn't any different than automated show control for lighting or video playback. Just make sure you have some kind of backup. :)
 

grammar

Regular
It's a layer of complexity that adds risk to the show, but it isn't any different than automated show control for lighting or video playback. Just make sure you have some kind of backup. :)
What would the backup consist of? something to kill the incoming midi stream?
 

philipacamaniac

Fractal Fanatic
What would the backup consist of? something to kill the incoming midi stream?
What I had in mind was a foot controller that's out on stage and available in the case that the tracks blow. The scenario where you'd need to kill incoming MIDI stream is rare, because if there's an issue with the tracks, you generally need to kill playback entirely.

But, if you have an MFC or Mastermind on the floor, you could route the show control output to the MIDI In of the board (rather than directly to the back of the Axe). That way, you can kill the incoming stream by reaching down and unplugging a MIDI cable.
 
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