GP original MIDI controller, possible or just a dream?

Hello everyone! :hugs:

As the title says, I am wondering If GP could (or better, would) ever consider to produce their own MIDI controller.

I am not satisfied with my old FCB1010, no matter what kind of firmware and/or software I use… even if it’s a mighty tank I just can’t get used to it (never been, actually, but with my Brunetti Star-T-rack was way easier than now that I switched to all digital stuff).

I know there are plenty of third party controllers, footswitch and so on, but they just don’t get the real feel of GP, IMHO. Don’t get me wrong, they certainly are wonderful, but still they always miss something, which is totally understandable since they have to be as “universal” as possible.
As a guitarist I would definitely consider a pedal board with at least one expression pedal, classic buttons for boost, drive, OD/DIST, FX1/2/whatever, Tap tempo… and maybe a nice display. All integrated with GP software… I don’t know, to me it would be wonderful! :heart_eyes:

What do you guys think? Am I just dreaming or we could find a way to kickstart this thing?
Would you consider to buy it? What features should it have in order to get your attention?

Thank you all in advance for your time! :slight_smile:

Ciao!
Max :it:

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While we did create a prototype once, going from there to a fully developed and mass producible device requires major investment.

In the meantime, I use the GT Mastermind, which, along with GP Script, is able to do much of what you want already

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If you know a little - or are happy to learn - coding then it’s relatively straight forward to make your own controller with an Arduino as the controller. There are various of us on here who have down it precisely for the reasons you’ve outline and would be happy to chat through a design I am sure (to be clear, a design for a pedalboard you can make, not a commercial idea - although I suppose never say never…)

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This is the key point. Nobody is going to mass produce an Arduino based device. I have developed many one off controllers using Arduino libraries, but that is just not how you “mass produce” a product as David is saying. But even if you base it on “whatever” micro-processor all the other components add up (especially in today’s environment) so to mass produce a minimum quantity and price reasonably is a major investment to “hope you can recover”. In other words, usually best to stay in your lane. :slight_smile:

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Hi, I’ve been casually following this forum and watching GP with interest as a possible alternative to my current software rig. One thing I’ve wondered on a number of occasions is whether or not the kind of functionality the RJM products offer would be possible with the somewhat defunct and largely undocumented FAMC Liquid Foot controllers. If anybody has any experience with this particular range of controllers and GP I’d be really interested in hearing about it. Thanks :slight_smile:

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Agreed. I also think that it’s a somewhat unachievable goal - GP is SO flexible, how do you design a controller for mass market appeal that fits how everyone uses GP? OK, things like mapping a widget name to a screen next to a witch automatically might be cool, but what happens if the widgets are grouped or radioed? (As an example).

This for me was why I built and programmed my own controller for GP as I could design the controller to work with GP exactly how I wanted it to work and not how someone else though it should work. And it’s great!

If one is happy to invest a little time it’s not that complicated (mostly due to the flexibility GP has itself which means the majority of complex control stays in GP and the controller just sends and receives simple stuff) and likely cheaper than most of the commercial controllers (especially if you can be creative with the housing, which is almost always the most expensive part)

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Just to see what this is, i searched the net for it… but what i found doesn’t seem to be what i’d call a “serious” business.
So the main web site looks quite nice on the title screen, but any product i clicked on, only shows a page filled with character-garbage… maybe (probably) the site has been hacked and the owner haven’t noticed yet:
https://www.famcmusic.com/

I also found an entry in another forum from someone who was complaining a lot about that company…

IMHO no good signs, but the controller looks nice though.

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Yes, I’ve had one for years and it is insanely flexible….Almost too flexible. But customizing software-to-controller feedback is not something I know anything about. With an Axe-Fx II, for example, the preset names populate the controller’s display as do looper, tuner and tempo data. I’m mostly wondering if that kind of thing might be possible as it appears to be with the RJM devices via GP scripting.

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There is actually a sublime upgrade/modification that you can make to your FCB1010 - far beyond the UnO or UnO2 - although I should note that TinyBox also makes the UnO (UnO = UnOfficial) firmware. It’s made by TinyBox/Gordius. When I checked back on the TinyBox website today I was also pleasantly surprised to see that they have continued to expand on their UnO2 firmware and modifications, including a pending hardware release that adds wireless functionality to the FCB1010 and has an embedded setup editor and status webserver. No more MIDI-USB interface needed. They also make Uno for Kemper and UnO 505 - a dedicated firmware version for the RC-505 that makes the FCB1010 a “zero programming” RC-505 foot controller.

The “TinyBox” is a very small footprint MIDI-USB interface, a MIDI merge box, a smart MIDI filter and router, and much more. This smart little box you can turn your Behringer FCB1010 into an extremely advanced MIDI controller. It is literally fully 100% programable by typing plain text into the controller editor. The editor has auto-completion help from the smart text editor. You can create the most complex setup in no time, and make libraries of your setups that can be gig-specific rather than having some massive conglomeration on the controller itself, although that is also possible.

No more staring at your feet either: use can use your PC, iPad or other tablet as wireless status display for your FCB1010. A clear overview screen shows the names of all presets in the current FCB1010 bank, the type of switches (preset, effect, trigger), the effect states and so on… Keyboard players can even use the iPad touch screen to control their rig, instead of having a real FCB1010 at their feet. I often use my emulation display on my PC when I don’t feel like dragging out my FCB1010.

The TinyBox software has a setlist manager built in too. You can scroll through the setlist with the FCB1010 up/down switches, while your iPad scrolls through song lyrics, tabs or scores, and the TinyBox sends all corresponding MIDI messages for each song. It has gotten to the point that I use my TinyBox setup in lieu of my KMI SoftStep2, 12Step, Korg PK-5a, various other foot controllers and external switches. TinyBox also has a fantastic user group that is actively monitored and contributed to by the developers as well as users, like you get here in the GP community.

The limit to TinyBox seems to be more up to what the performer/user can think of rather than hardware or software. However, you have to be a tiny bit handy with being able to do some hardware modifications like replacing the EEPROM in the FCB1010 and a wiring job that allows the FCB1010 to be powered by a 7 pin MIDI cable (available from TinyBox) from the TinyBox. This setup has become my primary go-to midi-controller and, best of all, works seamlessly with Gig Performer for everything I’ve tried. I have included several links below for your convenience.

TinyBox

FCB1010 add-on shop

FCB1010 add-ons
Has links to for the original UnO, UnO2, Uno for Kemper, and Uno 505 - and the FAQs, where they cover all aspects of making the mods, upgrades, and full Help Manuals on everything they produce.

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Actually, before I used GigPerformer, I had a Kronos, and more or less the FCB1010 could only assign a single function to a pedal or switch.

Now with Gig Performer, for every local rackspace, I can assign the pedals and switches whatever I want. So in a sense, Gig Performer made my FCB1010 much more versatile.

Also for my keyboards (MIDI controlled only), they don’t need to have advanced features, I just put all logic inside GigPerformer, making them advanced.

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For the exact same reason you are giving here, I am wondering why adding new functions to a basic device like the FC1010, while all additional functions can probably be achieved using GP?

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My point was that it already exists for the FCB1010, if you prefer a hardware device, but also as software only. I definitely need, and like using, a hardware device for my use case - most of the time. There is a lot of intriguing hardware for sale, but most vendors don’t let you write your own software for what happens you press that button, or switch, or pedal. Everyone thinks of their own instruments and devices, but there are so many instruments and different ways of performing that I doubt there is a solution for all use cases. If anyone could do it though, it would be GP.

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First of all I want to thank you everyone that participated to this thread! Seriously, thank you, guys! It’s always interesting, beautiful and useful to learn someone else’s habits and solutions for what concerns gear, setup and stuff like that; especially nowadays with all the digital and analog+digital choices we can make. Cheers! :beers:

Now for what is about my needs, this is what I’ve been thinking about the last few weeks:

Trying to understand what would fit better for me as a electric+acoustic guitarist mainly involved into duo covers, rock cover band, some studio and some random gig as a substitute, I think I might consider building a minimal pedalboard with a MIDI controller like Morningstar MC6 Pro, 2 Expression pedals (ideally an Ampero Press II and the Tuner Press which can be a tuner/exp/vol) and maybe another single stomp box, if needed.

This would give me tons of options in order to work with GP and all the Neural DSP plugins I use (these are by far my first choice) and a vast amount of choices in case I need something else to add.

Let me know what do you guys think :hugs:

That’s totally true!

I might be wrong, but I guess the Morningstar would do the same, but on a smaller scale compared to the Mastermind.

I must admit I know NOTHING about coding, so it would be really hard for me to learn all I’d need. But still, the idea is intriguing, you could make a video about what you did and share your experience for those who are able to understand how to use your expertise

I considered those solutions, but as I said in a post up here :point_up_2: I am a disaster when it comes to customize, program, stuff like that… let alone opening a piece of hardware without ending up with random spare parts :sweat_smile:

Plus, I might need a display in order to check not only the bank, but more info and FCB doesn’t allow that kind of stuff. Anyways, it really is outstanding that an old tank like that is still “home-brewed” that much!
:no_mouth:

Gig performer seems so open ended, it probably would be difficult to design something that would fit everyone’s needs vs something like Ableton which has a fairly standard workflow.

That said with the right templates and such, it probably is possible.

This is sort of in the works once I get round to it (@npudar keeps poking me to do it :wink: ), but as a starter there is a post here which details the hardware and electronics aspect:

STJØRN - Custom MIDI controller for Gig Performer based rig - Hardware - Gig Performer Community

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I must think of some means to speed up things – bribe or something :laughing:

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LoL. I get the feeling that a lot of people don’t understand just what this is. It’s the Tinybox that is the midi controller, and it is tiny - like 100mm x 75mm x 50mm - that connects (one of several possibilities) to a PC via USB.

As a number of other people have commented, the “big problem” is the hardware. What TB did is co-op the FCB1010 as “the hardware input device” and made it just a slave device by replacing the EEPROM and installing a new switch so the FCB can be phantom powered by the midi cable connection to the Tinybox.

However, the Tinybox can be displayed and operated virtually from your PC and/or an iPAD, and/or… - or you can even write your own code to operate it from your PC keyboard - or your synthesizer keyboard.

As for a display, I have included some screenshots of the programming interface with web server info, the virtual display and operating interface from the webserver - which in my case is 675mm (the size of my PC display!). You can literally create any size display that you’d like to see (and use in conjunction with the foot hardware) so you don’t have to see what’s on the floor. To me that beats all the other new devices which, even though cool looking are still relatively small and still on the floor.

As for the upgrade, no soldering required. It’s pretty much plug (unplug?), swap and play. I included a screenshot from the installation PDF on that topic. I will concede that there are a lot of people who do not want to get involved in writing any type of code no matter how “easy” (or not!) that is, and if one of the many midi-controllers available today fits your needs this won’t be a solution for you.




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