All Instant Access - recommendations

Q & A for building and interfacing your rack gear with Ground Control Pro and GCX-based systems.
Post Reply
iamtheari
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:48 am

All Instant Access - recommendations

Post by iamtheari » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:40 pm

Howdy! I'm new here and have a question that I hope someone can help me answer. I want to switch to a rack effects switching rig to save on floor space (my SKB PS-15 pedal board is not only crammed full but also borders on too big for some venues I play). But I don't want to use the preset method of loop selection. I want instant access.

Presets cannot do what I want, unless they can be set up to leave certain loops alone (as in leave them on if they were already on or leave them off if they were already off) - basically, I at least need a system that exempts certain loops from control by presets. For that reason, the GCX/Ground Control Pro won't do the trick. The GCX is basically perfect for my needs other than this caveat. (And the fact that I would like 12 loops, but that can be solved by getting a second GCX.)

Is there any way to rig up an all-instant-access controller for one or more GCX units? Or am I the only person who's ever had this need?

n00b
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:59 am

Re: All Instant Access - recommendations

Post by n00b » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:15 am

sounds pretty easy if i get you right....

1 set it up for instant access
2 plug in your effects to the gcx that you're going to have on all the time in one loop (loopA)
3 program the ground controller so that one of the buttons switches on loop A
4 plug in your other effects, and assign them to whatever other instant access buttons u want (say loops B and C for eg))
5 you can program the ground controller to always have loop A ON whenever you press an instant access button for loop B and C.
6 or you can just set loop A on and leave it there while you switch whatever you want on B and C

the added bonus is that you can switch off loop A anytime you want, like it you want to troubleshoot. and you may be able to connect 12 effects to the gcx depending on how you're going to use them, or if you a/b them

iamtheari
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:48 am

Re: All Instant Access - recommendations

Post by iamtheari » Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:40 am

The reason I am turned off by the Ground Control Pro is that the front row is always going to be preset selection, so I have to step over a whole row of buttons I'm not using to get to the ones I am. I'm also not sure I follow you. I don't want to leave effects on all the time. What I want is for them to stay on or to stay off when I switch to different setups. If the presets could be set to ignore particular loops completely, that would be great. So far, the closest I've found is to use two GCX's (expensive) and have one of them be instant access only and the other one presets only. I think the GCP can do that. But I know it can't do what I want with only one GCX, which is leave some loops completely out of the preset selection system.

Perhaps I misunderstood you, though. Let me know if I did. :)

n00b
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:59 am

Re: All Instant Access - recommendations

Post by n00b » Fri Oct 16, 2009 7:49 am

now that you mention it, having the instant buttons on the top IS a little more awkward, but it's not much of an issue for me, as the board is big, and well spaced, so there's much reduced risk of stepping on another button if that's what u mean....

'What I want is for them to stay on or to stay off when I switch to different setups'

ok i know it can keep them staying on or off as a separate loop, but what u mean by different setups? different audio paths? amps? guitars? if i get what u mean, u want to have a certain set of effects either staying on or staying off, decided by you, then have some presets switched while having those effects in the position they were originally...if that's what u mean, u can do that, you'll just have to program it in, but it's pretty easy to do

iamtheari
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:48 am

Re: All Instant Access - recommendations

Post by iamtheari » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:10 am

Different paths. I run two amps, one for cleans and one for dirt. I have some effects that go in front of both paths and some that are only in one or the other. I'll simplify a bit to make it easier to discuss, and put it into GCX terms:

Loop 1: Compressor
Loop 2: Send goes to Input of Loop 4, output goes to Loop 3
Loop 3: Chorus, output goes to clean amp
Loop 4: Delay, output goes to dirty amp

In a pedal board, I'd go Guitar -> Tube screamer -> A/B
A -> Chorus -> clean amp
B -> Delay -> dirty amp

Say I am playing a song where I need a clean sound with chorus on the verses and a dirty sound with no delay on the refrain. I kick the chorus on, delay off, and just hit the A/B to switch between the two.

I want it to work like that. Just like a pedal board, except the pedals are in a rack and not taking up space on the floor. The whole point of the GCP/GCX is to eliminate tap dancing, but in my case they actually require more tap dancing. The reason for this is that, in the song I just mentioned, I'd have to either have a lot of presets or do this:

Preset 1: clean
Preset 2: dirty

To switch from clean+chorus to dirty, you just hit preset 2. But to switch BACK to clean+chorus, you have to hit preset 1 and then the instant access switch for the chorus loop. The A/B box only needed one stomp to do what the GCP requires two for.

I could do multiple presets, but even with the simplified setup I described above, I would need:

1. Clean
2. Clean+compressor
3. Clean+chorus
4. Clean+compressor+chorus
5. Dirty
6. Dirty+compressor
7. Dirty+delay
8. Dirty+compressor+delay

And to be honest, even that isn't perfect since going from dirty+delay to the clean presets would kill the delay and cut off the trailing repeats from the dirty amp. If the delay loop could be left alone when you change presets, then those trails would come through.

But anyhow, that's at least 8 presets. And my actual situation is not as simple as that, but you can do the math this way: For every additional pre-A/B pedal (say I throw in a Micro Vibe in that spot), double the total number of presets. For every additional clean-only or dirty-only pedal, double the number of clean or dirty presets, respectively. If I do it like this:

Loop 1: Compressor
Loop 2: Tube screamer
Loop 3: Micro Vibe
Loop 4: A/B use to choose Loop 7 or Loop 5
Loop 5: Delay
Loop 6: Chorus, out to clean amp
Loop 7: Tube driver
Loop 8: Delay, out to dirty amp

The preset count goes up to 64 if I did the math right. And scrolling through pages of presets just to go from a clean+chorus sound to a dirty+delay+tube driver+compressor sound is a *lot* of tap-dancing, where with an A/B box like I do it now it's one stomp.

Does my problem make sense? Am I missing something? Everyone I've spoken with long enough for me to state the problem in understandable, clear terms (something I apparently have difficulty with in this area, since not one person has understood me before the third time I re-state the problem) has said that there's nothing on the market that does what I want. But they could all be wrong, and that's why I'm here - hoping they are! 8-)

n00b
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:59 am

Re: All Instant Access - recommendations

Post by n00b » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:29 am

ok i got ya now....i have a similar type setup, except that i have 4-7 midi devices (i'm trying to keep it to 4 for simplicity, but there are times i'll need to others :S) to control, as well as have some pedals connected to the series effect loop, and others in the parallel effect loop (on both amps), so like you, i have a lot of variables to control. you have more pedals than i do, so you might need another audio switcher....but it looks like you should be able to make it with one.

I totally get u with regard to the going from dirty+delay to the clean presets killing the delay and cut off the trailing repeats from the dirty amp, but i don't think it should if you use the parallel effect loop on the amp.....i could be wrong about that tho. I can tell u that anything you can do with the a/b box u can certainly do with the gcx. Do your amps have series or parallel effect loops tho? That might be the deciding factor in whether you get exactly what u want or not.....i can tell you that cuz my amps have both, it saved me a lot of issues like what you seem to be facing now....

I'm now going to try out this program i got from a link from mibu in another thread:
http://www.sense-electronics.nl/?p=gcpe

it's a handy looking editor that looks like it will save a lot of time for guys like you and I who want it ALL lol :lol:

iamtheari
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:48 am

Re: All Instant Access - recommendations

Post by iamtheari » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:36 am

I'll check that software out. My amps don't have effects loops at all. I am running into a Plexi clone and a Vibroverb clone. And I am pretty sure that the GCX can do what I want, I just don't think that the GCP can. It can't, in fact, do everything you can do with an A/B box, because it won't let you just switch from A to B and leave all other selections alone. For most people, it is way better than an A/B box, but I am the exception to the rule it seems. I'm used to it. :)

Post Reply