Nektar Pacer Discussion

I just picked up one of these and I’m finding it extremely flexible, with lots of possibilities to control GP. Finding a few quirks as well, but I seem to be able to work around those.

Syncing footswitch LEDs with GP widgets
I got this working for the Pacer footswitch LEDs, but strangely it doesn’t change/sync the CC value in the Pacer. For example, the widget and footswitch are set as a toggle, and so the Pacer will alternately send values 0 and 127. However if you change the widget state in GP, it will update the LED on the Pacer, but it won’t update the CC value in the Pacer, so you still need to press the Pacer footswitch twice to get things back in sync. Seems a bizarre choice to sync the LED but not the stored CC value (I will contact them about this).
Solution though is to change the Pacer to send value 127 only and activate the widget setting ‘Momentary to Latching’. Now it all works correctly.

Using multiple Pacer Presets for different GP functions
I want to maximise the use of the Pacer and plan to use multiple of its ‘Presets’ e.g. some for PC messages to move rackspaces/variations, others for CC messages to control widgets/plugin settings - possibly using them for specific plugins e.g. one for looper duties, one for amp/fx switches.
One nice thing with the Pacer Presets is that you can send midi messages when you change to a particular preset. This can be used to do things like open a plugin window with GPScript when you go to a particular preset e.g. open the looper plugin when you switch to your ‘Looper’ preset. It’s nice that you can name the presets - that appear in the Pacer LED display (5 character limit).

Keeping Pacer LEDs in sync with GP for non-active Presets
My first test was to use one Pacer preset for PC messages to change rackspaces/variations, and a second Pacer preset for CC messages to control a few common fx on/bypass widgets. But I quickly noticed that the CC ‘sync’ between GP and the Pacer only works for the active Pacer preset. So if I change to the PC message preset and change to a different rackspace/variation, and then go back to the CC message preset, the footswitches did not correctly reflect their state in GP.
Solution to this was to use the same Preset midi messages that you can send out when you switch to a particular Preset. That way, when I switch back to the CC Preset, GPScript can detect that I’ve changed to this preset and ‘touch’ the widgets, which syncs them up with the Pacer. I’ve only done a quick test, but it seems to work well.

Using a footswitch to cycle through different expression pedal CC’s
Although each Pacer ‘Preset’ can have a different CC mapped to the expression pedal, there are some other nice options within a single preset. For example, you can set a footswitch to step through different CC mappings for the expression pedal, and assign them different colours. So press 1 (green) would be CC to control volume, press 2 (blue) would be CC for the wah, press 3 (purple) would be the CC for an effect gain etc.

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Interesting unit. Its footprint is identical to the footswitch portion of a Behringer FCB1010 (without the 2 pedals). They added USB MIDI out, and 2 more amp switch ports than the FCB1010, so its far more useful in that realm. Nektar made a mistake in not copying the footswitch layout though. The FCB1010 staggers the top and bottom rows, which lessens the chance that your foot accidentally steps on a switch in the wrong row. The Nektar unit has the top and bottom row aligned, so for people with big feet like me, it pretty much rules this unit out. Too many accidental presses.

It’s a cool looking unit though, and I like the size of it. I’ve considered making the modification on one of my FCB1010’s to remove the 2 pedals to reduce the overall footprint of the unit to the size of this Nektar unit. It’s a pain since, in addition to cutting off the end with the 2 pedals, you have to move and drill new holes for the power.

I had the same issue with my Icon Platform M+ control surface, but Icon fixed this on my request. Perhaps your could ask Nektar to modify this.

Can you define/modify the pedal labels and icons dynamically from GP using a SysEx ?

No, they’re not displays but just an LED under a fixed template image/label.

Too bad, in the picture they looked like OLED displays…

You can choose to only use the LED strips if you want, and customise colours. OLED would have been nice, but probably a whole other price bracket.

The vertical height difference between the buttons on the top and bottom rows is pretty comparable between the two units. But I agree that the horizontal offset on the FCB1010 would reduce missteps.

Look at the RJM Mastermind GT pedalboards.

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