Hit a Brick Wall with Assigning CCs on FCB1010

Hey, everybody. Query for the GPers who use the Behringer FCB1010 as their MIDI foot controller.

I play guitar and keys at my church, and I’ve recently made the switch to a fully digital live rig; my desire is to combine minimal hardware with maximum tonal flexibility. To that end, I just purchased the FCB with the intention of using it as an all-in-one foot controller for both instruments: the MIDI keyboard plugs directly into my laptop via USB, the guitar plugs into an audio interface that likewise connects to the laptop via USB, and both instrument signals are wired through the same output of my audio interface to front-of-house. Now the FCB’s been thrown into the mix by connecting directly to the laptop via a MIDI-to-USB cable.

The current layout in my head of how I’d like the FCB to function is for switches 1 and 2 to be my Next and Previous Variation changes, switch 3 to be my tap tempo for time-based effects, switch 4 to be my keyboard sustain, and the expression pedals to be for keyboard filter sweeps, guitar swells, etc.

Two problems currently stand in the way of actualizing my plan. First, GP doesn’t appear to recognize that the FCB is plugged in. I say “appear” because the Rig Manager recognizes when I plug and unplug a “Usb midi,” but when I, for example, map an expression pedal widget to my rackspace in Edit mode and then attempt to Learn one of the expression pedals to it, nothing happens; likewise, when I go into the Global MIDI Assignments and attempt to Learn the switches to various functions, nothing happens. Have I missed something? Is getting GP and the FCB to talk to each other a more complicated process than just plug-and-play?

The second problem is more centered in the FCB itself, not necessarily in how it interfaces with GP. I’m new to the world of MIDI, but as I understand it, foot controllers like the FCB can accomplish one of two broad tasks: program changes (PCs) and control changes (CCs). PCs are what I would use if I were assigning each switch to an individual patch. Using PCs, I would, for example, assign a basic distorted guitar patch to switch 1, that same patch plus delay and reverb to switch 2, a Hammond B3 sound on the keyboard to switch 3, and so on. CCs, on the other hand, have to do more with global MIDI functions like tap tempo, sustain, mute, and so forth, so in order to accomplish the tasks that I described above, I should probably prefer to use CCs.

Assuming that I got the previous paragraph more-or-less right–and my inexperience in this entire area might well be the cause of all my issues–the FCB’s infamous complexity has thrown me another curveball. Based on the instructions provided in the user’s manual, I hold the Down button while turning on the unit, press the Up button to assign MIDI function, press 1 to indicate that that’s the switch I want to edit, press up again to confirm, but then the snag hits: I had planned to assign switches 1 and 2 to the blank MIDI CC #s 21 and 22, but the MIDI Channel Selection in the FCB only allows me to select from channels 01-15; what happened to the other 112 #s above and beyond that? Am I going about this entirely the wrong way? (In case it’s relevant, I purchased my FCB used on eBay, and I think the chip it has is the official Behringer chip, though I’ve also purchased an UnO to install later, because I’ve heard it makes Learning certain functions like sustain easier.)

My apologies for the length of this post. As you can probably tell, I’m simultaneously excited by the possibilities that are nearly within my grasp, yet frustrated by the untimely appearance of Murphy’s Law. Any help or clarification on these issues would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

I think what you need to do is upgrade the FCB1010 main chip to the UnO chip ( https://www.fcb1010.eu/) and also use the UnOControlCenter app for programming. The Uno chip was the only way I could get Switches 4 or 5 to act as a continuous sustain peddle. Also, the UnOControlCenter software makes it a whole lot easier to program than the stock way.

3 Likes

I put a chip in my FCB1010 as well. I think it was the uno. Been a long time. Works much better that way.

1 Like

The UNO chip will definitely make everything a lot simpler as you can use the computer editor rather than the confusing on-pedal editing.

Having it appear as usb-midi is normal. The FCB1010 does not have a USB port, so what your computer is seeing is the cable/converter rather than the FCB1010. It would be the same if you plugged the FCB1010 into an audio interface Midi-In port.

By default, I expect all the buttons on the FC1010 are programmed to send Program Change messages. From what you wrote, it sounds like CC messages will be needed.

When I was using the FCB1010 I had worked out how to program it directly. The 0-15 you mention will be the midi channel number (starting at 0) not the CC number. I don’t recall the steps anymore, but it was possible to set it up. But again, if you can wait, the UNO will make it so much easier.

2 Likes

There is a visual editor for the FCB1010 without upgrading to UNO or Tiny Box - it’s made by Mountain Utilities and the link is:

There is a UNO2 chip too although it’s not really a successor to UNO, more of a slimmed down version of Tiny Box. A comparison chart is HERE..

I started down the path of using the FCB1010 and upgrading it with the Tiny Box since that seemed to have the most capabilities and flexibility, but never did much with it as it was getting into a significant amount of knowing how to “program” it, and I switched to a KMI Softstep and 12 Step for immediate gratification, but this is getting far off your original question.

The FCB has the standard 5 pin Midi In and Midi Out ports, it sounds like you are using it with a Midi to USB cable? I’m not sure if that will work but it might be important to confirm this for some of the other members who are familiar with the FCB1010 and mapping it to widgets in GP. I certainly hope one of them can shed some light on this (without having a mod chip in the unit) as I am also curious about this myself, especially with mapping the expression pedals on the FCB1010 to widgets in GP.

Thank you, jpt, that’s definitely a move in the right direction! I’ve run into a new problem, though. :roll_eyes:

I installed the UnO chip (version 1.0.4, if it’s relevant) and downloaded the UnO Control Center, but the software editor won’t connect to my hardware unit. As of right now, I’m thinking the issue, unfortunately, is that the Control Center won’t accept my connection cable (the Fore Midi-to-USB cable, if it’s relevant) for some reason.

I think this because, per the user’s manual available at fcb1010.uno, the software should recognize and connect to the hardware, even in the free demo version–I haven’t purchased a license yet. I followed all of the instructions in the quick start guide, closing down all other programs, plugging the FCB into my laptop, starting the software, selecting “Usb midi” in Setup>Select MIDI ports, selecting “use CC value toggling in regular presets” and “Use multiple smaller SysEx messages” in Setup>User preferences, and selecting “FCB+UnO” and “Stompbox mode>lower row” in the FCB logo menu; once I follow the next step by clicking on the MIDI connector icon in the far upper-left corner, however, the connection timer always run out–this in spite of me closing down and reopening the program several times.

I can only think that the culprit this time is the Fore connection cable itself. On the website, the editor states that the most frequent cause of timeouts, if all else checks out, is the interface (or in my case, MIDI-to-USB conversion cable): “When connection fails, the solution is almost always to try out a different MIDI-USB interface (after trying another set of MIDI cables of course).” What’s frustrating is that the Fore is a good-quality cable (it was $20 and was recommended as Amazon’s Choice), and page 11 of the user’s manual states that even as of UnO v.1.0.3, most such issues should have been resolved, such that even $5 Chinese knock-offs should work.

If anyone has any other explanations for this, please let me know. This isn’t the first time in my journey away from analog rigs that I’ve met with “surprise after-purchases,” and all this nickel-and-diming is killing me.

What is the interface you’re using for the guitar? Does it have any MIDI Ins & outs…or is it just 1/4” for the guitar?

Can you try connecting other MIDI DIN “device” to check it out? (say a keyboard or a sound module?)
Maybe its just defective and needs to be replaced…

1 Like

Thanks, keyman, great idea! I plugged the MIDI In and Out ends of the cable into my MIDI keyboard, and the software’s still timing out, despite restarting the computer and closing and opening the program several times. Seems like a defective cable is indeed the issue. I’ll have to see about getting a new one.

1 Like

Unfortunately, my interface only has TRS/XLR ins and outs, but it sounds like you have a similar idea to keyman’s. I can’t get a successful connection, regardless of what MIDI device I plug into. I think I will indeed have to replace the cable. Bummer, but I suppose duds make it through QC all the time; not much as can be done about it. Thanks for your help!

1 Like

I know it’s a little extra $, but a decent interface would be well worth it. Once you get it going and programmed, the FCB1010 is a smooth operator.:sunglasses:

3 Likes

Beware of cheap midi to usb if you go that way. They have issues. I have 3 and 2 of them do not work with yamaha p series keys… sustain pedal plays note 64!!!