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Author Topic: MIDI Foot control question  (Read 15408 times)

Stephane Desormeaux

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MIDI Foot control question
« on: November 28, 2008, 11:29:21 am »

So I've given up on a DMX controller with decent foot control operation (page up-down, scene up-down, etc...), but, most controllers can be controlled by MIDI, so a MIDI foot controller might be the answer.

Some controllers have a MIDI chart with exactly what I need (page up-down, etc....), but many only have MIDI notes assigned to individual scenes and chases. Like note 5 is scene 5, note 12 is scene 12, etc....

If the foot controller has the page up-down control, and I'm at MIDI note 6, then press UP on the foot controller, will the foot controller send MIDI note 7 to the DMX controller. Thus going up even though the DMX controller's MIDI chart has not a MIDI note assigned to UP function?

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Duane Massey

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 07:42:18 pm »

Most MIDI footcontrollers do not send MIDI note data, but send MIDI commands.

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Duane Massey
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Gregory Lawrence

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2008, 02:12:41 am »

Most pedals only transmit Program Changes and not Note Numbers - Here's how to get around that:
I just got the MIDI Solutions "Event Processor" box. ($119 US)
It works like a charm! John, the designer at Midi Solutions (midisolutions.com) was very helpful and really fast replying to my several emails.

Here's how it works:
You first program it using your PC with a MIDI OUT port with a really simple easy programming tool (free) you download from their site. (You can do it now and test it out - I did.)
(NOTE: If your PC doesn't have a MIDI OUT port, then you can get a MIDI IN/OUT cable that you can plug into the game port (Joystick connector) on your soundcard for $20)

Using the software, you "tell" the box to convert MIDI PROGRAM Change messages to MIDI NOTE NUMBER messages. It will do numbers 0-127 or 1-128.
(It can also do many other functions.)

You insert the box into the midi chain (in between your pedalboard and DMX controller) and it intercepts the MIDI transmissions and like any good hacker, changes them to something you need it to do, in this case, converting the Program Changes to Note Numbers.

I had 2 questions about the Software and how to make it do what I needed. John walked me through it via email, and in less than five minutes after the box arrived, it was up and running!

I am using my PODXT Live pedal MIDI OUT to transmit Program Changes (0-127)to the DMX Light Controller...and the "box" converts them to Note Numbers (0-127). How easy is that?

The "box" is approx. 5 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches thick. Your typical Radio Shack P-Box and weighs less than a pound.
You can find them at any major outlet online and by all means go to the website: www.midisolutions.com - don't let the techno-capabilites scare you away from this easy to use "box."

...And to think I almost bought one of those big honkin' pedal boards!

DISCLOSURE: I told John that if his "box" works, I would tout testimony to the user groups looking for a solution. It works well. Thank you John.<BR><BR>index.php/fa/19339/0/
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Stephane Desormeaux

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 01:38:23 pm »

Thanks. Very nice indeed.

For now, since the MIDI implementation chart of most basic Controllers only have MIDI Notes to cue scenes and chases, I am going to try the Tech 21 MIDI Mouse that sends continuous, or recalled, MIDI Notes of 0 to 127. Might just do the trick if I program scenes in order.

But that does look like a great tool.


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Matt Harris

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 05:40:03 am »

Man, get the Behringer FCB1010. It is fully programable for midi notes and midi program changes. I know for a fact it works well the the ADJ DMX operator as well as the Show Designer 1 and Martin Freekie.


To answer your page up/down question, the FCB has its own bank up/down. All this does is switch between the banks on the midi board itself, not the DMX controller. To trigger a scene/show on a different bank on the DMX board, just trigger it with the proper midi note and it will jump straight to it. You could have several scenes from different banks on your DMX controller programed to one bank of the midi pedal. This enables you to jump to scenes much faster than if you were just working straight off of your standard sub $1000 dmx controller.
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Gregory Lawrence

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 07:47:59 am »

I saw the Behringer pedalboard, it is almost the only affordable 'thing' out there that does what we need! Here was the problem and situation most guitarists find:

I use a PODXT Live pedal, a Blackstar HT Dual unit, a Cry Baby Wah-Wah and Amp Channel Switch all on the floor...the last thing I needed was another big honkin' 28 inch long pedalboard! (that's large!) I am already crammed up against the PA rack and Mixer.

If you have the space, or in my case, don't mind looking like a man inside a machine, the Behringer would be a good choice, and one of only a few at this time.

I wrote to John at Midi Solutions telling him that if he made a small pedal that transmits Note Numbers he would have a winner on his hands. He wrote back explaining the "Event Processor" would work for me. I still feel that anyone who makes a small affordable pedal will win big time, but this even worked out better than user an additional pedal to control the DMX. I can use my existing rig and save precious real estate.

Thanks for the reply. I came within two mouse clicks of getting the very pedal board you suggested! I did like the feature of being able to "program the pedal board" individually to assign any Note Number to any one or more presets. My situation is working well, but I have all "note Numbers" from left to right (so to speak) in sets of four...in other words, I have the Numbers 0-127, all in order, in 32 banks of four. Not an "ideal" setup, but it works out well, saves space, and eventually enables me to do more playing and less jumping around.

Now I am off to ask Santa for a DMX controlled dimmer pack!

Happy Holidays!index.php/fa/19423/0/
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Bob Charest

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2008, 11:02:00 pm »

I control our DMX lighting setup with an FCB1010 that I modified by cutting off the pedals and providing power to the unit via the 2 unused MIDI leads. The DMX controller I'm using the the LanBox LCM (made in the Netherlands). I'm a keyboard player with sustain, sostenuto, and 2 continuous controller  pedals, so the "footspace" is important to me as well. The programming for the LanBox is involved, but the ability to control fade rates separately for each fixture if I want to along with versatility was worth the effort for me. I had also looked at the ADA and MidiMate pedals, but the way that the FCB1010 was physically set up was just right for me.

The physical modification to the FCB1010
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/fcb1010/files/Hardware Mods/ Then the PDF is FCB1010 Radical Mod.pdf

The LanBox programming and details:
http://www.djchat.com/boards/showthread.php?t=68691&high light=lanbox

Post on PSW in the Lighting forum about my FCB1010/LanBox setup:
http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/m/178769/17194/?sr ch=lanbox#msg_178769

I hope you find this stuff useful - I would have loved to find this when I was making my way through the various details, so hopefully someone else will get some benefit from the material.

Best Regards,
Bob Charest

PS: The midisolutions event processor box is a good idea, I'm going to check it out more in depth - Thanks!
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Stephane Desormeaux

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 09:53:45 am »

Thanks friend,

I downloaded the software from their website, and the MIDI to DMX seems to be really good. However, they seem to have a very limited fixture library, even with the added fixtures updates on their website, they may have a few hundred fixtures in total. Am I right to think this?

Well, for now, I was able to rent a DMX operator for 1 month for 30$. Tried it a bit yesterday, and aside from the way you have to exagerate fader movement to get DMX control back, its a very nice machine, and the MIDI implementation chart is pretty easy (note numbers correspond to scenes or chases).

Going to try this one for a few weeks and decide if its what I need.
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Bob Charest

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Re: MIDI Foot control question & my LanBox experience
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 10:26:42 am »

Hi Stephanie,

You are right, LCedit's fixture library, although useful, is not comprehensive. When I was new to the product, I was assisted in creating fixture definitions by tech support. I have since learned to define fixtures, and it now seems straightforward. I had described my LED fixture (which was not in the library) to LanBox in an email at 7:12PM two days after Christmas, trying to get ready for an upcoming New Year's Eve gig. At 7:45PM that same night I received an email from Foko van Duin with the fixture definition attached! The support and the way in which it is offered is really outstanding from LanBox.

One thing that really sold me on the LanBox was that I wanted the row of uplights in back of the band to be able to fade color to color very slowly while more active color shifts were happening in the lighting trees on stage left and stage right. That completely independent control I only found in the LanBox when I was looking. I'm sure there are other means to achieve this, but I wanted very specific things in terms of what I brought on the gig. Now, I've got the modified FCB, a short MIDI cable and a project box that houses the LanBox and the power supply from/for the FCB. The project box has an IEC plug for electricity, a MIDI plug for input to the LanBox from the FCB, and a DMX out to the lights. Compact, simple to set up and rugged.

Running lights with my feet can make the gig a bit busy, as I'm also using the pedals for my keyboard!

Best Regards,
Bob Charest
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Gregory Lawrence

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Re: MIDI Foot control question
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2008, 10:31:21 pm »

This sounds very similar to the controller I am using. The Elation DMX Operator. What controller are you using?
I know what you mean about the faders not responding (or lights).
It also seems as though I can't have a fast smooth fade. Either it doesn't go lower than "14" (of 255) or there is something broken. I would like to achieve a fast smooth fade transition, but the lowest setting I can get it to "respond" to is still kind of slow. Anybody else experiencing this?
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