Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
pdxpaul
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by pdxpaul » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:56 pm

Hi, anyone have a recommendation for a simple, small, & relatively cheap 8-button midi controller to operate a PX8+ remotely? Ground Control is more than I need or want - also expensive, and floorspace is a constraint. Currently I just use the PX8+ in Loop Strip mode, would love to keep it that way although I imagine using midi I will probably have to create 8 single-loop presets (or will IA mode work from a controller?) The idea is to keep my board (Dingbat PX) set up how it is, but have the option to operate it from a small secondary, linked controller.

I don't suppose I could accomplish this with another PX8+ could I? I understand it is not a controller, but the manual does say this:

"MIDI OUT: Sends MIDI program change command with each preset. Also echoes commands received from MIDI IN."

Does that mean that if I select a preset manually (pedially...) it will send a PC message? And would another PX8+ connected on midi in hear that & mirror the change? Or is that wishful thinking. . .

Thanks

JohnClark
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Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by JohnClark » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:34 pm

PX-8 Plus will Send and Respond to MIDI Program Changes which will work to recall Preset loop combinations but will not work to control individual loops.
Your suggestion of eight single-loop presets would technically work, however it would literally be Single-Loop presets in that you would only have one active loop at a time... A Preset tells all eight loops what to do, so as an example, if you create a preset that has only Loop 1 Active you are also saying that Loops 2-8 are Bypassed whenever this preset is recalled.

PX-8 Plus will respond to Control Change messages for the individual loops, but it does not generate these messages. I have to admit, I don't think I know of a simple eight button MIDI controller that will just send MIDI Control Change messages.

We can look into what it would take to add this in a future PX-8 Plus update, but I couldn't say how long that might take.

I hope that helps!
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pdxpaul
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by pdxpaul » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:59 am

Ah, I hadn't considered that this would be the case with individual midi presets. . . but the Ground Control is not subject to this limitation when controlling a PX8+? The manual says you have to turn OFF both PC and CC messages to use it - and you can use it in Loop Strip as well as Preset/IA modes, so it must have another method to "mirror" the two devices. Is this not accomplished through standard midi?

I at least would find it very handy to have that capability from one PX8+ to another - or even from a reduced version without all the actual 1/4" plumbing. . . sounds like a GCP is the only thing currently out there that would do it, but with nearly the footprint of the Dingbat board anyway (and 50% more buttons do navigate & a whole row to step over - unfortunately not really practical since I am mostly on Pedal Steel with the board off to my right. . .) Ideally I'd like to just have a compact 8-button controller on the floor next to me and the board itself elsewhere or on a case where I can twiddle with knobs. I did use an 8-channel snake with a PX-4 for a while, but that will get a little unwieldy with PX8 & also lose the option to just have the board be usable on its own.

Maybe I can talk you out of a gutted PX-8 with a GCP Brain??

Thanks for the help, if any other clever ideas pop up let me know!

pdxpaul
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by pdxpaul » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:32 am

Hey, to circle back on this, I found this simple controller that does CC & seems like it would do the trick - is there anything I need to know about it to be sure it will work with the PX8+ (like, what particular CC messages it needs to send to turn individual loops on & off?)

https://reverb.com/item/5157920-actitio ... footswitch

Thanks!

pdxpaul
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by pdxpaul » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:51 am

Sounds like he can build me one (with 5-pin ports) to send CC's to controllers 80-87 as described in the manual - my only question is what exact command or value is the PX8+ expecting - is it an on/off toggle or a value threshold that flips the switch,etc? Sorry, I'm clearly not a midi expert, just want to make sure I get it right!

JohnClark
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Location: The Lab

Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by JohnClark » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:26 pm

When setting the PX-8+ to use Control Change messages for the loops it is typical to use Data Value of 0 for OFF and Data Value 127 for ON.

I hope that helps!
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pdxpaul
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by pdxpaul » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:08 pm

Thanks! That's what he said too. . . I'll let you know how it works out in case anyone else is looking for something like this. It's a great price (especially with the custom options. . .)

InsaneJewelery
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Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by InsaneJewelery » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:52 pm

I need my PX-8 (not the plus model) to be able to receive and pass thru CC20 & 21. I'd probably be using a Disaster Area DMC-3 XL or DMC-4 XL, gen3. I don't see anything in my manual about CC messages lower than 80.

I don't know much about MIDI but am slowly learning. Hope the comment makes sense.

The DMC series goes up to 6 or maybe even 8. It might suit the OP.

pdxpaul
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:22 pm

Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by pdxpaul » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:39 am

I just got my "Action" 8-button footswitch controller from Thomas Kis in Hungary (found him via Reverb. . .) He made a couple of custom options for me, basically it's the USB model but with a 5-pin connector & mode 2 sends CC on & off to controllers 80-87. Works great! And for $129. . . built well, came fast. Only thing I didn't think about is changes made at the PX8+ aren't sent back to the controller, so it's not quite a bi-directional solution, but that's not how I'm going to be using it. (I don't think the PX8 sends CC so there's really no way to do that.)

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

Re: Simple midi controller for PX8+ (or link two?)

Post by JohnClark » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:10 pm

InsaneJewelery wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:52 pm
I need my PX-8 (not the plus model) to be able to receive and pass thru CC20 & 21. I'd probably be using a Disaster Area DMC-3 XL or DMC-4 XL, gen3. I don't see anything in my manual about CC messages lower than 80.

I don't know much about MIDI but am slowly learning. Hope the comment makes sense.

The DMC series goes up to 6 or maybe even 8. It might suit the OP.
Sorry to have missed this in here!

Are you saying you need the PX-8 to respond to CC 20 and 21, or simply to pass this data thru to the next device?
PX-8 accepted Control Changes are fixed into the groups listed in the manual, so no it cannot be made to respond to CC 20 and 21.
It will however pass any incoming MIDI CC Data out to the next device, so if you just need these messages to control some other device later in the chain all should be OK.

I hope that helps!
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