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Re: Ground Control

At 11:45 AM 12/9/96, Ed Drake wrote:
>Kim said:
>>Another thing you should know if you own or are planning to get an
>>Echoplex, is that the Ground Control cannot control an echoplex. At least
>>not with the plexes current software. This is because the plex doesn't 
>>Program Change to control its functions, and that is all the Ground 
>>sends. (I talked with the President of Digital Music about this, with the
>>idea that maybe we could work out some deal where he adds some more
>>functionality to his pedal and we recommend it as the preferred pedal for
>>our products. That's when I decided the guy was a jerk, because he had 
>>"guitar players are too dumb to understand anything like that, so there's
>>no point in changing" attitude.)
>Kim , you may be right about the Pres. of Digital Music being a jerk, I
>don't know, I've never spoken to him, but he may have listened to you and
>Fripp just a little bit because with the version 2 software the Ground
>Control can be set up to send Control change on/off messages as well as 
>program change and continuous controller messages. There is a mode which
>allows you to set up your banks of 10 in a configuration where 
>1-4 are presets (Program changes) and Switches 5-0 are control change
>messages. Whether this will allow people to use The Plex with the GC now ,
>I don't know. What do you think? There is another pedal called the Ground
>( List $160) which can be linked with the GC and it can be configured to
>have all 8 of its' footswitches be used as Control Changes .

If you can set up the switches so that they have a momentary action, where
pressing it sends one midi command and releasing it sends a different
command, then it will probably work. You would set it up like this:

On the Echoplex, set the ControlSource parameter to "cnt" for continous
controller messages. Set the midi channel to 1 (or whatever) and the
Source# to 36 (or whatever).

On the pedal, say you want to use one of the switches to start and stop
recording loops. You need to program this switch to have a mometary action,
so that it sends controller 38, value 64, channel 1 when it is pressed, and
controller 38, value 0, channel 1 when released.

If your pedal can't do momentary action, and only sends the one midi
command when pressed, you can still do it. Its just a bit less elegant, and
requires two switches for the record function. For this you also have to
set the RecordMode parameter on the Echoplex to "sus" for sustain. (this
causes the echoplex to record for as long as the frontpanel button is
pressed)  On your pedal, program one switch to send controller 38, value
64, channel 1. This will start record. Program another footswitch to send
controller 38, value 0, channel 1. This one will then end record. You won't
have any way to reset loops, so to shut it up just record a short loop of

>>There are a few reasons for the Echoplex being that way. One is just
>>adhering to the midi spec. Midi program change messages are intended for
>>changing programs, not executing functions like Start Record.
>I don't understand a lot of the technical business of MIDI but I wonder 
>Lexicon got the Jam Man to use Program Change messages to control 
>, Layering, Cueing Loops, etc.

Easy. The jamman interface is fairly simple, so they can use a simple midi
command like program change. Also, violating a published specification
simply requires that you write software that violates it. There is no midi
police that will do anything about it, and it happens all the time. That's
one of the reasons why midi is so screwed up. That's also why every time
Microsoft or Apple change their system software, half the applications out
there stop working. Its not Apple or Microsoft's fault, but the fault of
programmers who are to lazy or whatever to follow the guidelines both
companies publish for writing applications.

>Kim, it sounds like the Digitech isn't perfect in your mind either so why
>don't you design a MIDI controller with everything we'd need ? :-)
>Also, I think it would be a great idea for you to put a tutorial together
>on footpedals and the Plex.
>Keep up the good work ,  Ed

We almost did such a midi foot controller project at g-wiz, since several
of us were dissatisfied with all the products on the market. It was too far
down the priority list to happen though. The place collapsed before we ever
got near doing it.

I'll work on the pedal tutorial, maybe over the christmas holiday....


Kim Flint                   | Looper's Delight
kflint@annihilist.com       | http://www.annihilist.com/loop/loop.html
http://www.annihilist.com/  | Loopers-Delight-request@annihilist.com