Mod Duo and midi


#21

Different strokes I guess. :slight_smile: I moved to rack effect units and preamps just to forget those cabled monstrousities in your picture. :smile:

I know there will be a moment of silence when switching patch or pedalboard or whatever. All multieffect racks do that. It’s usually in the order of 1/10 of a second and thus acceptable.

I assumed the MOD would work like any other multieffect with the added benefits of the higher versatility of rigging the individual effects in ANY number and order you want (limited to hardware constraints of course). I didn’t think there was a trade off in not being able to switch from patch to patch in live usage situations.

That would be a serious letdown.


#22

You kind of sum it up quite nicely Tarrasque73. That’s exactly what I think. Normal multifx pedals do it with ease. I just thought that it would almost be given that a device like Mod Duo would change from patch to patch and as you say…with the added benefit of the higher versatility and better interface.
I bought it instantly on that assumption.
Here’s hoping the good guys at Mod Duo listen to our requests :slight_smile:


#23

Alright I’ll stop talking about how it is now since I’m not even 100% sure.
lets talk a bit about how it could/should be.

how would you call up different pedaboards?
MIDI doesn’t have visual feedback, so how would you know which is pedalboard 1, 2, 3, etc?

If MOD had a “MIDI preset mode” then it could simply display the title of the current pedalboard. It would definitely depend on the mod to show what it’s actually doing. However, that may not even be that necessary because at least on my controller, it has an LED to show which button was last pressed (and therefore which program change message), so once you have it set up, you can know what is on or off just looking at the midi controller. @CasioFatso and @Tarrasque73 can hopefully comment too on what visual feedback they’d need on the DUO.

this seems rather something that a controlchain device can do.
if prev/next buttons are considered limited, would a list work?

@falkTX I assume you are familiar with banks and presets in midi. This is a pretty common workflow for a lot of musicians, so I think its really a valuable addition. I can envision a few different approaches. One easy one would be to load the different pedalboards into a list representing program changes. Then you can easily choose which PC message selects which pedalboard.

Another approach that might be more powerful would be to have each bank be a pedalboard, and each PC select different effect loops or configurations. Then each board would basically have a list of states that correspond to the program numbers. The workflow would be turn on that effect, change that parameter, tweak tweak, click “save as program #” or similar and you assign a number 0-127. Tweak, tweak, save as a different number, then you can easily recall both settings of that pedal board using a midi controller, and then you can also change to a different pedalboard using the banks. That way program changes are fast and bank changes could be a bit longer. In addition to this you could have specific program change that moves to next program, another for previous, and another two for next/previous pedalboard so its easy if you just want a simpler set up.

I think whatever is done though, there is a lot of confusion caused by different useage of terms like patch, effect, program, pedalboard, etc. especially between people coming from different backgrounds so it would be a great idea to pick some terms, make a list of definitions how MOD uses them and then explain how to use them.

@CasioFatso, @Tarrasque73 what do you folks think? Would that sort of workflow be good? I think the developers are interested in more specific feedback from midi gurus like you to plan useful features like this.


#24

Changing pedalboards using MIDI could certainly be done.
The thing is, we should not limit ourselves to MIDI.
MIDI is very limited, it doesn’t provide visual feedback which I believe is essential to this situation.

Consider this.
You’ve setup a bunch of pedalboards to be loadable via MIDI program messages.
You write them down or put the list somewhere so you can rememeber which program matches to which pedalboard.
If some time later you want to reorder or add new pedalboards you’ll have to get used to the ordering of them again.

The Duo has displays which allow you to browse (and load) pedalboards.
Visual feedback here makes things a lot easier.
There’s an option you can toogle so that the left footswitch automatically loads the previously pedalboard, and the right footswitch loads the next one.
(this would be like a midi keyboard with - and + program buttons)
the key difference here is that you can actually see the pedalboard list.

MOD has something called “control-chain”, which is used for getting external devices connected to it.
(MIDI works too of course, but again it has its limits)
These devices can be pretty much anything you want, as you can make your own using an arduino board.


#25

You’ve setup a bunch of pedalboards to be loadable via MIDI program messages.
You write them down or put the list somewhere so you can rememeber which program matches to which pedalboard.
If some time later you want to reorder or add new pedalboards you’ll have to get used to the ordering of them again.

These guys are already doing that though and it seems they want to be able to continue working that way. Sometimes rackmount gear is kept offstage completely out of sight. I agree there are other ways of working, but I think the midi control implementation should be a useable for this workflow. We already have midi controllers. We’d rather not have to buy a control chain device to work this way.
The nice thing about midi is with a good controller you can set up one button to jump directly to a patch no matter how far you are from it rather than only next or previous.

The Duo has displays which allow you to browse (and load) pedalboards.

keep in mind part of their point is that if it takes more than 1 click, its too many when you are trying to sing and play and change patches at the same time. Browsing is completely useless in that context.

Really, if this sort of patch loading functionality works well there would probably be some interest in a rackmount version of the mod.


#26

Well said @ssj71

Visual feedback: For me it’s almost zero important but I guess it may be different for other people. I mark my midi controller with tape and write on it what each button calls up. So I make up my own personal mark to remember which button does what on my Midi controller. The Mod Duo wouldn’t even be near me, it will most likely be at the back of the stage and my controller the only thing in front of me. So…visually I don´t need the Mod Duo to do anything other than to obey the midi messages.

@falkTX you seem to put a lot of emphasis on the visual vs midi. We will certainly love the interface and its visual approach when we construct new sounds and stuff at home with our Mod Duo. But when we perform…the external midi controller will be our main focus. That device will either have the visual you need or as in my case heavily marked buttons to remember what is what. Rendering the importance of visuals useless on the Mod Duo device itself.

Remembering what button does what on your midi controller is always the thing one needs to practice. Its just one of those things musicians prepare for. Changing sounds and what button does what is nothing to be feared. Its just business as usual…for everybody…wheather you use midi, simple pedal setup or loopers.

What it all boils down to is:

Enable us to send a midi message to the Mod Duo so that we can turn a “pedalboard” on.

That would solve the issue we are trying to explain.

Let us worry about the visual information our controllers display. We only need the pedalboards to be somehow organized so a midi message can tell it to go on. I do not have the knowledge of how one would do that but I trust you guys do :slight_smile:


#27

That is exactly what I wanted to say but couldn’t find the words for. Thank you.


#28

I completely agree with CasioFatso and ssj71.

I know that every musician is different, and I can’t speak for every one, but in my use case, and I can assure that it matches the majority of people I know, visual feedback is almost irrelevant.

Playing live in the most varied situations, I know that the only thing you can rely on is the old fashioned set list taped to the ground or the microphone, with the patch number(s) written next to each song.

Rack units are usually behind me sitting on the loudspeaker. Floor units are too far anyway to effectively read labels for the various menus.

There’s good reason if all pedalboards have big, red flashy line digit displays on them! :slight_smile: In most cases it’s the only thing you’re able to see at a glance. Sometimes not even that! I’ve played in brightly sunlit outdoor stages where all displays were unreadable and I had to rely on audio feedback (the classical little strumming before the song) to check if I had engaged the right patch! :slight_smile:

So, visual feedback is the last of the concerns IMHO. Besides, browsing with the knobs is totally out of question. I don’t know you, but most of the people I know consider crouching and fiddling with the effect units sort of a newbie thing, symptom of a bad done soundcheck and overall distracting from the show.

So, like tuning or taking the lead note is something you try to do the least and in the least noticeable way.

Another thing. FalkTX, you say that MIDI is limited. Actually, I think that for live playing guitarists is overkill. All we need are program change events to change our patches, and control change events sometimes for the volume and wah-wah. We really have no use for note events and most of the other things at all :slight_smile:

So I don’t think it would be unfeasible to have a way to save the pedalboards with a matching program change number and having the MOD load that pedalboard in reaction to that signal.

Really, that’s basic functionality of every multieffect unit I ever had since the Zoom in the '80s. I can’t speak for everyone, as I already said, but I’m pretty sure it’s crucial for a large number of potential buyers.


#29

Hi everyone

Just a quick sum up here and also some expositions on our future features and possible developments:

This topic of changing scenes needs some clarification prior to any discussion. Normally when we refer to MIDI or even existing multi-effects it has a small difference in the meaning.

In the MOD we have two important words: Pedalboards and Presets.

Pedalboard is probably what most people understand as a scene or patch. We consider it to be the selection and arrangement of the plugins + the connections between them + the addressings to the hardware. Note that addressing, in this context, refers only to plugins parameters. Pedalboard change is out of the internal pedalboard scope and needs to be viewed from a different angle.

Preset is a saved combination of plugins parameters values. We can refer to presets both for plugins as for entire pedalboards. The preset can also be referred as a state.

Then we have the necessities of the musicians. The bottom line is “changing the sound with a click” and we provide different ways of doing that. Each of them has advantages/disadvantages. Some change the states of a pedalboard and others change the pedalboard itself.

Things that are implemented and working:

1 - Utility plugins for routing

We have the A/B Switch box, the 4 channel Trigger Switch and the 4 channel Toggle Switch. These are plugins that split the signal in multiple paths that can be selected by a single click. Depending on where you position them you can literally change the entire effect chain when clicking

These are all “intra pedalboard” controls, meaning the same pedalboard is loaded all the time. In this case there is no lag between sound changes. Ideally, only the path where the audio flows should consume CPU but that is not the current case. This can generate some CPU overloading and there are optimizations in the software development roadmap.

2 - Bank system and MOD Duo Controller

Banks are simple Pedalboard containers. You can access and navigate the bank list and select a pedalboard using the right-side knob.

Each bank has an internal property of using the two footswitches for navigation. When this is enabled, both footswitches are “stolen” from the plugins and used for previous/next navigation

Different than the tool plugins, this option requires the loading of a new set of plugins and this generates the audio lag - I’d say about 0,25 seconds - and that will be optimzed soon by plugin pre-loading.

Things to be developed:

Preset Widget - both for plugins as for pedalboards

The widget will enable the creation of presets for plugins or even entire pedalboards.

the presets will be addressed in two different ways:

a - as a enumeration list to a knob. In this case you address the entire list and using the knob you can navigate the list to select one particular preset (similar to the navigation that we have with the Cabinets and other lists)

Although possible, this solution is not very friendly with MIDI due too the lack of monitoring.

b - as a pre-defined state to a footswitch. In this case you load the preset by pressing the switch. Simple and effective. I believe that this would sort out a great amount of requirements from musicians in general.

MIDI Bindings

By reading this tread it gets quite clear that more MIDI integration would be highly valuable. Two ideas that pop-up right away are:

1 - navigate a bank in the same way as we do with the foot-switches. This could even be hardcoded to some pre-defined MIDI message so that it would not be dependable on the configuration of the Bank itself, enabling the bank navigation whilst still foreign the footswitches to the plugins.

2 - bind a pedalboard to a particular switch, similar to what we want to do with the preset states. This could totally bypass the Bank system and maybe could even be a pedalboard property.

@falkTX could help us on the feasibility of that :wink:


#30

In terms of implementation, mapping midi program messages to pedalboards is the easiest and fastest to do.
I think it’s the easier to understand too.

In fact, we could map midi banks&programs directly to the system we have now.
We’ll be limited to 127 banks and 127 programs (pedalboards) per bank, but that should be enough, right?

EDIT: we’d have to disable pedalboard navigation through footswitches, as they conflict.


#31

That would be plenty :slight_smile:


#32

" we’d have to disable pedalboard navigation through footswitches, as they conflict."

That might be a problem to people who don’t have MIDI controllers. Could it be the other way round? MIDI navigation being deactivated when activating footswitch navigation?


#33

First tings first, let me thank the devs for listening to suggestions and criticisms in such a constructive way.

Having program change mapping to pedalboards would be exactly the solution I am looking for. Combined with the other ways of controlling the mod… Well let me just say the options of customization are huge.

I can think for example of creating a pedalboard for each song in the set, and setting up different switchable intra-pedalboard sound flows for the various effects I need during the song. All of them controlled by program changes or control changes.

This way, the silence between pedalboard changes would be moot, and I’d be able to switch to rhythm sound to solo sound without any interruption!

This is just the thing that’s impossible with the gear I’m using now!

Anyways I can’t stress enough how much midi integration is vital. Midi is the de facto ubiquitous control metod in the live (and studio) scenarios.

Please consider that people buying the mod will probably use it in combination with other gear that is controlled by midi. I don’t think everyone will ditch all their devices just because they get a mod.

I myself would not surely abandon my midi controlled tube preamp rack. At the moment it’s chained to my effect racks, so that a click on my controller switches the preset in all of them, setting up my sound. The mod will replace or be used together my existing gear, and the only feasible way to control all of them at once is midi.


#34

Hi everyone.

Sorry to be a bit too much demanding, but since MIDI integration or lack thereof is the biggest motivation why I’m sitting on the fence on ordering the Duo, could I maybe have some anticipations on when (or if) the proposed midi program change pedalboard switching will be implemented?

Thank you very much


#35

We’ll certainly implement changing pedalboards using MIDI messages, we just need a little more discussion on how to do it right.
So it will come in a future update, but can’t say exactly when…


#36

Rest assured that if you get a Duo you’ll get what you’re looking for. MIDI integration is definitely in our roadmap. The more users we have requesting it the quicker we’ll be able to capture the real case scenarios and provide a proper solution. This post here has already started an internal discussion on this matter but as @falkTX said at this point we can’t say exactly when this will be available.


#37

Thank you very much, your answers are very reassuring. Of course I don’t expect the new feature to be implemented overnight. :slight_smile: Even if a beta version of the system comes out before the end of the year, that would be nice enough I guess, and we could help with testing.

In the meantime, can I ask some more questions regarding what is possible at the moment with the Duo, regarding real time live scenario controlling?

Would it be possible right now to plug in my MIDI control pedalboard, that has a couple of expression pedals that send CC messages and use them to control a plugin on the Duo? Let’s say master volume and a wah-wah?


#38

Yes, we have midi learn working right now which does that.
You can control any plugin parameter with any MIDI CC, there’s no limits to that.


#39

Very nice. :slight_smile:

And can the midi out port of the Duo also work as a midi-thru?

i.e. can it just output every midi signal it receives without modification after processing it, so that the Duo can be connected in series with other midi devices and operated with just a midi controller?


#40

If you connect the “hardware” midi input to the output via GUI, it will act as midi-through.
You can also connect a MIDI keyboard to the midi serial output this way too, in case you don’t have a converter. :wink:

There’s a small delay when doing this though, I believe a bit less than 8ms.