Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
Idiotbox88
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Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by Idiotbox88 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:00 pm

Hello, I am new to the forum.

I have just acquired a Voodoo Labs PX8 Loop Switcher. I also have a Boss ES-5. Is there a way to use the Boss as a MIDI controller to activate presets on the PX8? I am very new to MIDI, picked up these devices pretty cheap and figured since I have a lot of effect pedals, they might help me with the "tapdancing" problem. I am a total beginner with MIDI and not so young anymore so I don't learn as quickly as I used to. I get how the Boss works, how it sends pc and cc messages to pedals like Source Audio Nemesis, but I don't really see how I can integrate the two switchers. If I can, it'd be great because then I would have basically 13 loops plus the PX8's insert.
I have two MIDI pedals, the Nemesis and a TC Vintage delay, which only has MIDI in so it goes last.

Hope that makes sense and may I ask that the answers contain not too much jargon and acronyms because I won't understand them. A beginner's level.

Thank you very much.

JohnClark
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by JohnClark » Fri Mar 09, 2018 11:48 am

The PX-8 can be set to respond to MIDI Program Changes. This allows you to press one button on your controller and recall a combination of PX-8 Loops.

I can help you get it set up to respond to Program Changes but I first need to know do you have the PX-8 or do you have the PX-8 Plus?

Idiotbox88
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by Idiotbox88 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:12 am

It's the PX8. It's not a "plus" model.

Idiotbox88
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by Idiotbox88 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:24 am

Boss can't send SysEx. So it won't work. Idk which one I should get, the Ground Controller from Voodoo Labs is awesome but way too large.

JohnClark
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by JohnClark » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:37 am

SysEx? No need for that anyway ;)

Here are instructions for enabling MIDI Program Change messages on the PX-8 and setting the Receive MIDI Channel.

Enabling Program Change
1. Power up the PX-8 while holding Button 1 down.
2. The LEDs will flash to show you are in a program mode, release Button 1.
3. To enable Program Change messages make sure LED 1 is lit up by pressing Button 1.
4. Power Down the PX-8 to exit the program mode and save the changes.

Setting the MIDI Receive Channel.
1. Power up the PX-8 while holding Button 2 down.
2. The LEDs will flash to show you are in a program mode, release Button 2.
3. Set LEDs 1 - 4 to Off for MIDI Channel 1. (Look to the PX-8 user manual for the chart for any other MIDI Channel.)
4. Power Down the PX-8 to exit the program mode and save the changes.


That is it, the PX-8 will now be ready to accept MIDI Program Changes.

Will you be using the PX-8 set to be eight individual Loop buttons?

Idiotbox88
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by Idiotbox88 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:51 pm

Do you mean will I have 8 pedals,.one in esch loop? I'm not sure what you mean, sir. My apologies, I'm a total newbie.

Idiotbox88
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by Idiotbox88 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:02 pm

I think SysEx is required for MIDI CC

JohnClark
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Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: The Lab

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by JohnClark » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:43 am

In this setup so far the only MIDI Messages we are dealing with are Program Changes (PC).
You do not need Control Change Messages (CC), or have to deal with any System Exclusive Messages (SysEx).
Your ES-5 presets will send a MIDI Program Change that the PX-8 will respond to and set the appropriate combination PX-8 Loops on or off.

My question about how you will set up the PX-8 has to do with how you want to use its buttons. Since you want to use your ES-5 as a controller, I assume that you will want to have the PX-8 buttons be "Instant Access" type buttons where they directly control the numbered loops on the PX-8.

No worries if anything doesn't make sense right now. ;) You are in the right place to ask questions and get help!

Idiotbox88
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by Idiotbox88 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:42 am

Yes I think I understand. So far all I have done is manual or preset mode for the 3 presets.

Sysex is needed for MIDI CC, I think. But we are only dealing with PC, right?

Some of my MIDI pedals need CC for certain functions (I think) and I know the Boss can do that. But I'd like to try and make the PX8 work for me. So I would have my pedals in the loops, and then I would want to have "instant access" to a number of combinations (presets). I believe this is where the MIDI controller comes in. I read the manual and it said "any MIDI pedal/controller". So I have the Boss. I also have a NUX Cerberus that I use for grab 'n go and DIing if I can't use an amp. That has full MIDI functionality. So I guess I could use that or the Boss as a master MIDI controller for the PX8

Sorry for the long reply and thank you for your assistance.

Idiotbox88
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 pm

Re: Boss ES-5 as MIDI controller for PX8?

Post by Idiotbox88 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:38 pm

The lack of CC capability means I cannot get some of my pedals to respond to commands, I believe. If I had a MIDI controller that could be configured to send a certain string of SysEx (the info was provided here, as I recall, but I can't find it, maybe I accidentally deleted it) then I could get my TC, Line 6, & Source Audio pedals to respond to CC. Which is a big part of what makes them so powerful.

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