Are MTSers afraid of MIDI and switchers?

Discussion for both Egnater & Randall modular amps

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MarcoR
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Are MTSers afraid of MIDI and switchers?

Post by MarcoR » Fri May 24, 2013 12:36 pm

Just an observation. I often see posts on "how can I run an RM4/M4 with my RM* and use every module" or "how can I use effect X with my RM*" etc.

Many times when I see these posts I may respond with a suggestion of switchers, mixers, midi implementation or all of the above. But I get the sense that many MTS users don't want to deal with the extra gear or hassle. Is that right?

It just seems that being a users of a Modular Tube Pre-amp System you are already thinking beyond the norm and basic configurations. Still, I see many post about using some sort of all-in-one multi-effect processor.

This seems counter intuitive to me if you've decided on an amp system that allows you to swap out the core part of your tone but limited yourself to effects that are a compromise at best albeit convenient.

Any thoughts? I know some of you have or have had elaborate rigs but what about the rest?
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Post by Mattfig » Fri May 24, 2013 1:30 pm

I think a lot of MTS users don't want any further hassle from extra gear and hookups...I get what you are saying and personally have a rig where I use a GCX/GCP and a bunch of FX and such via MIDI...But my others are kept simple as changing mods and tubes is enough...I don't want to worry about if someone switched MIDI channels on a device or if something goes wrong there...Too many variables for most circumstances methinks...
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audiomidijace
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Post by audiomidijace » Fri May 24, 2013 1:32 pm

In my experience "most" guitar players don't speak MIDI or understand signal flow.
I managed one guitar store and owned another guitar store and I've been in the industry since '92.
I would say that about 10% of guitar players have any experience with MIDI or any kind of expanded amp system.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to look down on the 90%! There is NOTHING wrong with a guy that plugs a Les Paul straight in to a Marshall and rocks the house!
When I was an MTS dealer, I sold 65% heads, 25% combos and 10% rack. Just because someone finds the idea of modular preamps to be attractive, doesn't mean that they desire a more technical and elaborate amp system.
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Post by eyeball987 » Fri May 24, 2013 3:43 pm

"Hi. My name is Eyeball and I am a midiot."

I have never fooled with midi in my 20+ years of playing and gigging and don't think I will jump in now.
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Post by warlok » Fri May 24, 2013 4:26 pm

I'm also very much a midiot.. This was the first time I even looked into what it is. And only because my pedals didn't work right in the loops. Honestly, I got it figured out with my RM100, Intellifex, and FCB1010 so I can hit one button, have my tone, and play and I really don't want more complexity than that. I think I'm pretty much in the majority of how far I'm getting into it.. Actually, soon as I get my amps back together (waiting on foglifters) I'm gonna take the midi out of the equation and go back to the 3 button switch. As every time I turn on my RM100 rig, the routine is:
RM100 power>Intellifex power>Tuner power>FCB power>Intellifex bypass switch.. lol
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Post by Jaded Faith » Fri May 24, 2013 8:37 pm

I could go into serious detail about this topic based on customer interaction and personal experience, but I'd write a novel. We can discuss over beers next time we cross paths again (which was a great last time).

In short, very few want to deal with it and fewer more in depth.
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audiomidijace
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Post by audiomidijace » Fri May 24, 2013 11:58 pm

Tonights bar room conversation topics include:
Program changes
Controller values
Channels
MIDI Beat Clock
MTC ( MIDI Time Code)
MMC (MIDI Machine Control)
MIDI Command String Data
5 & 7 pin MIDI cables
MIDI over USB
MIDI over Ethernet
In, Out and Thru
And finally, why Monster MIDI cables are 5X more expensive!
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Post by guitarzan » Sat May 25, 2013 4:23 am

MIDI is one of the reasons I got into MTS> I hate tap dancing. Just plug in my midi pedal and give me some presets.
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MIDI To The Rescue

Post by Graham Pearson » Sat May 25, 2013 8:50 am

I know a lot of RM4 owners couple their rigs with a GSP-1101 and a Control 2 foot pedal. I have an older GSP-2101 with a Control One. In any case, you can patch a MIDI cable from the MIDI Out of the effects unit to the MIDI In of the RM4.

If you bother to read a couple of paragraphs in the effects user manual, you'll find it's easy to use MIDI to select any of the 4 modules in your RM4 while loading an effects program, all with the press of a single foot pedal.

You can house your RM4 and your effects unit in the same rack case together with a power strip and now you have a very quick setup. The point here is that a single MIDI link can simplify your whole rig.

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Post by Hamner1 » Sat May 25, 2013 11:51 am

I don't mind midi, but at the same time I don't use it to its full potential. But I have always loved that I could put a preamp, MFX unit, & a poweramp & with one button I can have a different preamp tone & effects setting.
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Post by Nightdare » Sun May 26, 2013 2:36 pm

audiomidijace wrote:Tonights bar room conversation topics include:
MIDI Beat Clock
MTC ( MIDI Time Code)
MMC (MIDI Machine Control)
MIDI Command String Data
And finally, why Monster MIDI cables are 5X more expensive!
These are the things I'm not familiar with
But then again most isn't needed in a guitar setup
normally program changes is all you need, perhaps here and there some continuous controller value for on/off/swells/slides within a program, and you're done

And hooking up is a lot easier than thought, I'll take a complex midi-setup over wiring a 5-way superswitch any day

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Post by MarcoR » Tue May 28, 2013 5:58 am

Great responses guys! I'm glad to see there are a few that see midi as a way to simplify your rig rather than make it more complex.

I must confess that in 25 years of using midi, it wasn't until until recently that I started using Control Change commands and having everything on its own midi channel. By limiting myself to program changes I ended up having a lot of presets that were very similar and then I would have to map everything. Now that I'm using more CC commands, I find that I'm only dealing with a handful of presets and I can just change parameters when needed. This works great for the Eventide effects for example that don't have instantaneous preset changes.

Fun stuff...
Synergy: SYN2, Friedman DS, HBE
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Post by m0jo » Tue May 28, 2013 11:53 am

I've used midi for a long time. My setup time went from 20 minutes to just a few and chancing to completely different sounds takes .. one tap.

The Gordius Little Giant is my secret weapon. If you're serious about having a powerfull rig you guys should really check it out.

One thing I have noticed is that while it hugely simplifies a "constant" setup for gigging, it is a bit restricting when jamming. But that is also down to how much current multi effects suck compared to the potential. I'm a tech junkie, so looking at the progress we've made in tech I think it's ridiculous that we're still using a cabled standard from the 80s instead of wifi or such ... think about it, your rig should connect to the internet, be auto updating with new coolness, allowing open source development of new effects, easy control from any other device you own (being an Apple or Android junky or a regular PC) ... this stuff isn't hard, every other field is doing it, and what do we have? A few apps and the Digitech IBP10, which is nothing but a step in the right general direction.

I'm waiting for the Android of guitar rigs to rise, if it doesn't come soon my hobby of drawing up new gear might need to get serious. ;)

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Post by Nightdare » Tue May 28, 2013 6:30 pm

m0jo wrote: I'm a tech junkie, so looking at the progress we've made in tech I think it's ridiculous that we're still using a cabled standard from the 80s instead of wifi or such ... think about it, your rig should connect to the internet, be auto updating with new coolness, allowing open source development of new effects, easy control from any other device you own (being an Apple or Android junky or a regular PC) ... this stuff isn't hard
Now now, give the MIDI-protocol a little more credit
it's actually very elaborate and still very efficient today
It's fully customizable, has less bandwith issues and doesn't need a course in computer software

I don't know about you but when I look at the synth market (and some FX proccessors are going that direction as well) that USB port basically becomes an anchor attached to a computer
where they're actually decreasing any possibilities on the front panel and have to resort to 'deep-editting' with either a PC, laptop or PDA
MI-FI i slowly showing up, but still very error-prone

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Post by drewiv » Tue May 28, 2013 7:10 pm

I used it and appreciated it. I find guitar -> amp -> cab to be the simplest. Even a small pedal board consisting of boost up front and delay and/or chorus in the loop to be easier than dragging a rack around. Sure, a hellavu lot more you can do with MIDI, but I find I'm so crappy it doesn't help my cause.
I've been known to have a module or two.

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