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 Post subject: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 8:33 am 
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Hey guys. I've been using my GCP to control scenes on my Axe-fx II through a Fryette Power Station for a bit now - seamless and awesome! I've been using this method to set it all up with VCA messages:

http://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/v ... nes.94071/

But just last night I pulled the trigger on an awesome deal for a factory prototype 5150 iii 50w that apparently voices it more like the 100w Stealth, and if I end up liking and keeping the amp I'm interested in a four-cable method solution for my live rig. Since the 5150 iii has MIDI, I want to take full advantage of the setup.

What I WANT to do is use the GCP to simultaneously control scenes (effects only) for the Axe-fx II while also switching channels on the amp. Now I know the GCP can control multiple devices simultaneously, but I'm a little unsure as to how I set this all up. I have a little knowledge here, and here's what I was thinking.

The Axe-fx II has MIDI through, and is set up on OMNI to receive and pass MIDI on any channel. The Axe-fx II receives Scene information on Channel 16 via VCA messages. The top six buttons are set up as instant access and send out MIDI changes on channel 01. The EVH manual says the amp can receive MIDI from any channel. So if I set up device 2 for MIDI channel 02, I should then be able to choose whichever program change message I want (as per the EVH manual) on a button by button basis. For example:

If I want a dry clean channel I have button one assigned to scene 1 with no effects engaged on device one (axe-fx II), and I set the clean channel to PC 1.

Then, if I want clean with effects for button 2, I change to scene 2 through VCA 07 controlling the Axe scenes, and I set up the amp to PC 1 again and the amp shouldn't switch channels.

I SHOULD be able to then utilize every scene in any way that I want per axe-fx II preset and 5150 setup in any way that I see fit.

Here's my one problem. The 5150 is automatically set up to receive MIDI on channel 1. The manual says you can change this by sending the amp a program change on any other channel during the learn function. Would it perhaps be best to set up the amp channel switching in a "dumb" way at first, by initializing the device completely, setting up the bottom button to send a program change via channel 2, set up the channel switches, and then go back and do a multi-device layering? Or is there some other way?


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:16 am 
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First you will want to take the AxeFX out of OMNI Mode and assign a single MIDI Channel for the AxeFX. You can add a second MIDI Device within the Ground Control Pro for the 5150 III and assign it its own unique MIDI Channel.

Programming the 5150 III can be a little tricky since it tries to learn both the Program Change message and the MIDI Channel at the same time when you use the amp's Learn function. When programming the amp it is important that you are sending MIDI data on only the one MIDI Channel you intend to use for the 5150 III. This can be done by creating a set of presets that have any other MIDI Device disabled.

Let us know if you run into any trouble.


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 10:53 am 
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JohnClark wrote:
First you will want to take the AxeFX out of OMNI Mode and assign a single MIDI Channel for the AxeFX. You can add a second MIDI Device within the Ground Control Pro for the 5150 III and assign it its own unique MIDI Channel.

Programming the 5150 III can be a little tricky since it tries to learn both the Program Change message and the MIDI Channel at the same time when you use the amp's Learn function. When programming the amp it is important that you are sending MIDI data on only the one MIDI Channel you intend to use for the 5150 III. This can be done by creating a set of presets that have any other MIDI Device disabled.

Let us know if you run into any trouble.


I see. So the Axe-fx II receives VCA messages on Ch. 16. I had set up my Instant Access buttons on Ch. 01 (because it was standard and that's how the tutorial the guy made had it set up). It looks like I can set all the IA buttons to channel 16 and it works just fine. So now it's just a matter of figuring out (when the amp gets here) if there is going to be any delay using the Axe-fx II MIDI through (it's a soft system) or if the Axe-fx II needs to be in OMNI mode to pass information. Thanks ahead of time!


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:21 am 
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Setting the MIDI Out to act as a Thru is what will allow the data to get to the 5150 III.

OMNI mode is just a way to make the AxeFX respond to messages on all channels. Since you will now be sending Program Changes intended only for the 5150 III, you certainly will not want the AxeFX intercepting and acting on these messages.


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:32 am 
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JohnClark wrote:
Setting the MIDI Out to act as a Thru is what will allow the data to get to the 5150 III.

OMNI mode is just a way to make the AxeFX respond to messages on all channels. Since you will now be sending Program Changes intended only for the 5150 III, you certainly will not want the AxeFX intercepting and acting on these messages.


Cheers! I'm very interested in getting this rig up and running and seeing how it all plays out. I will update this when I verify functionality!


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:24 pm 
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After giving this a bit more thought, this may not really work correctly since the VCA will not stay on MIDI Channel 16 once you set a Device in the Device Name / Channel list to be on MIDI Channel 16. I assume you will be sending Program Changes that are intended for the AxeFX? If so, then you would actually need the AxeFX to be in OMNI since that is what is making this "trick" work.
On the one hand, to do what you are currently doing likely requires the AxeFX to be in OMNI Mode. However, the AxeFX in OMNI Mode may prevent you from independently controlling the 5150 III.
A bit of a pickle for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:32 pm 
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JohnClark wrote:
After giving this a bit more thought, this may not really work correctly since the VCA will not stay on MIDI Channel 16 once you set a Device in the Device Name / Channel list to be on MIDI Channel 16. I assume you will be sending Program Changes that are intended for the AxeFX? If so, then you would actually need the AxeFX to be in OMNI since that is what is making this "trick" work.
On the one hand, to do what you are currently doing likely requires the AxeFX to be in OMNI Mode. However, the AxeFX in OMNI Mode may prevent you from independently controlling the 5150 III.
A bit of a pickle for sure.


Well it's working fine with just the Axe-fx II. I can send VCA to change scenes and use Ch. 16 on the IA switches and nothing jams up.

So my plan, like I said, is to initialize the GCP and program JUST the 5150 on whatever channel I need. Then it should just be a matter of setting up the device for everything on the Axe to be on ch. 16 and everything on the 5150 to be, heck, even on ch 01. Unless I'm missing something and you think the 5150 will get confused?


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:13 am 
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As long as you don't name the AxeFX in the Device Name / Channel list with MIDI Channel 16, then this trick will continue to work.
Have you set the AxeFX to respond to only MIDI Channel 16?
Do you not send MIDI Program Changes to the AxeFX?


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:14 pm 
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JohnClark wrote:
As long as you don't name the AxeFX in the Device Name / Channel list with MIDI Channel 16, then this trick will continue to work.
Have you set the AxeFX to respond to only MIDI Channel 16?
Do you not send MIDI Program Changes to the AxeFX?


Right now, I've got the axe listed as a device, sending IA messages on channel 16 and VCA messages are changing the scenes. Everything is functioning well this way, so I'm curious why adding a device with program changes on a different channel cause any issues? I mean I believe you, for sure. I just don't see what the issue would be. Can you elaborate any more?


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 Post subject: Re: 5150 iii 50w, GCP, Axe-fx II Scenes and Channel Switch?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:35 pm 
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Speculum Speculorum wrote:
Right now, I've got the axe listed as a device, sending IA messages on channel 16 and VCA messages are changing the scenes. Everything is functioning well this way, so I'm curious why adding a device with program changes on a different channel cause any issues? I mean I believe you, for sure. I just don't see what the issue would be. Can you elaborate any more?


That this setup is working currently would suggest to me that you still have the AxeFX set to receive in OMNI Mode. Is that the case?

Also, what channel have you assigned for the AxeFX in the Device Name / Channel list?
The VCA defaults to sending on MIDI Channel 16, but once you assign MIDI Channel 16 to a device within the Device Name / Channel list, the VCA will change itself to sending on another MIDI Channel. Basically the VCA auto configures itself to use the highest unused MIDI Channel number... this is part of why, as I was quoted in the Fractal thread you linked to in your original post, I suggest that the VCA is likely not very useful to users unless they are using our System Mix Plus. ;)

I could just be missing something about a cool way to set the AxeFX to respond on more than one MIDI Channel, but it looks to me like the VCA trick you are using only works if the AxeFX is in OMNI Mode... this means it is set to respond to all 16 MIDI Channels.
I think this can still all be made to work ultimately, it's just going to be a little bit of extra effort to train the 50Watt 5150 III. If the AxeFX is in OMNI Mode you cannot assign the amp to be on its own MIDI Channel since the AxeFX will take a Program Change on any MIDI channel and try to act on it.
Further complicating this is that the 50 Watt 5150 III is the only MIDI device I know of that tries to learn the MIDI Channel whenever you use its learn function, so when training the amp you will have to be sure you are not sending any MIDI data on any other MIDI channel or it gets confused.


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