Footswitch and preset strategies for gigs and jamming

Discussion - ID:Series amplifiers.
random
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:47 pm

Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:28 am

Out there in the real world, how are folks handling preset switching? With these amps having over a hundred presets, preset organization and switching is important to think about, and I'm wondering what people do.

Seems to me that there are two different kinds of situations, which you might handle differently. One is a rehearsed show, with specific presets for songs or sections of them, and the other is jamming, writing, or other more improvised occasions. (There's another, where you use the same sound all night, or change for whole songs using the front panel btns, but that's not my life, so I'm not talking about that.)
  1. Do you use the factory one, or some generic MIDI controller?
  2. If you're using the factory footswitch, what mode do you keep it in?
  3. If you're using a MIDI controller, which one?
  4. Roughly how many presets do you use in a night?
  5. Do you organize banks of presets in some specific way? For example:
    1. ch 1 in each bank clean, ch 2 crunch, ch 3 more crunch, ch 4 lead
    2. whole banks devoted to clean variations or crunch variations etc
    3. a bank per song
    4. something else?
  6. Does the way you do any of this change depending on whether it's a structured gig vs a more open jam?
Thanks for any thoughts.

(And btw list formatting here is weird. Unordered lists have no bullets, and i can't get rid of the extra space after the end of the second level list. Annoying.)

cadblaster
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:39 pm

Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:02 pm

There's a few of us here that have spent a great amount of time trying to figure out exactly what your asking. If you do a search for "Midi", you should find most of the post.
My overall strategies for setting up a midi for cover gigs has been refined to something like this:
1)Use a midi controller that has 10-15 buttons on it's layout bank.
2) Bank 1 is set up for generic presets, I.E. button 1 Clean, Button 2 crunch, button 3 OD, etc, etc.
3) Bank 2 is set up similar to bank 1, but set up for a different guitar.
4) Bank 3,4-10, etc. is set up for specific songs that are preset intensive/specific.

In actual use on a gig,, Bank 1 is for a Les Paul to cover a lot of classic rock. Bank 2 is for a tele or strat, for covering country or other fender sounds. Bank 1 and 2 are programmed in exactly the same button order/pattern to eliminate mis-steps and tap dancing. I.E. Button 3 is always Crunch regardless which bank.

The other banks for specific songs: the buttons/presets are saved in the order they are used during the song.

unknownlegend
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:26 pm

Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:21 pm

Interesting post. I fall victim to OCD when programming my banks/channels. Here is my general approach:

Bank 1 (green) - Tones for Cover Band: 70's Classic Rock to 80's Hair Metal
1 - Clean
2 - Light Crunch
3 - Heavy Crunch
4 - Hard Rock Solo with slight Boost

Bank 2 (yellow) -Ambient Tones for U2, Pink Floyd, etc.
1 - Clean with long Decay Reverb & slight Chorus (i.e. Big Log)
2 - Clean with Delay & Reverb (i.e. Run Like He'll, Streets have no Names)
3 - Smooth Overdrive with Moderate Reverb & Delay
4 - Heavy Overdrive with slight Flange, Delay and Reverb

Bank 3 (red) - Modern Rock and Metal
1 - Clean (Dream Theater Tones)
2 - Super Crunch with slight warm reverb
3 - OD2 6L6 with slight reverb and delawith
4 - OD2 6L6 with increased mids, very slight flange moderate delay

When songwriting I may get really crazy with exploring new tones. I save the settings in my songbook for later recall.

I have to say that having instant access to many different quality tones is very inspirational.

Actionman
Posts: 135
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:56 pm
Location: Campbellton, NB, Canada

Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:02 pm

cadblaster wrote:There's a few of us here that have spent a great amount of time trying to figure out exactly what your asking. If you do a search for "Midi", you should find most of the post.
My overall strategies for setting up a midi for cover gigs has been refined to something like this:
1)Use a midi controller that has 10-15 buttons on it's layout bank.
2) Bank 1 is set up for generic presets, I.E. button 1 Clean, Button 2 crunch, button 3 OD, etc, etc.
3) Bank 2 is set up similar to bank 1, but set up for a different guitar.
4) Bank 3,4-10, etc. is set up for specific songs that are preset intensive/specific.

In actual use on a gig,, Bank 1 is for a Les Paul to cover a lot of classic rock. Bank 2 is for a tele or strat, for covering country or other fender sounds. Bank 1 and 2 are programmed in exactly the same button order/pattern to eliminate mis-steps and tap dancing. I.E. Button 3 is always Crunch regardless which bank.

The other banks for specific songs: the buttons/presets are saved in the order they are used during the song.
Amazing!
Some great suggestions here but for me personally this works big time.
Slightly different approach using the Blackstar foot switch... same concept though.
Thanks so much !

random
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:47 pm

Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:24 pm

All good ideas folks, I've been thinking along the same lines. I'm not gigging at the moment, so I don't have a context for a gig setup, or an immediate need to optimize for it, but I'm definitely thinking about how an ID would work best there.

@cadblaster (mostly): So you go with a footswitch that has one button per preset you plan to use? Sounds like a Ground Control maybe? I gather you use the same setup for jamming, picking presets ad hoc from what you have? Do you mostly limit yourself to the first 4 banks, the ones you can save from the front panel?

Related: Seriously, I wish you could name presets directly from the amp, or at least see existing names there. I'm just not smart enough to keep track of this many sounds without a name to hang one or two of the remaining aging brain cells onto. Also, I really don't want to have to edit everything in the amp with a computer, just to name it.

cadblaster
Posts: 269
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:39 pm

Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:24 pm

random wrote:
@cadblaster (mostly): So you go with a footswitch that has one button per preset you plan to use? Sounds like a Ground Control maybe? I gather you use the same setup for jamming, picking presets ad hoc from what you have? Do you mostly limit yourself to the first 4 banks, the ones you can save from the front panel?
Good questions. Because of the issues with software bugs on the I.D. amp concerning CC commands (toggling on/off etc), I only use "presets/patches" with the midi controller as of late. Any of the common midi controllers will work, some of the ones I've programmed and used with the I.D. are the Rocktron Midi Mate, Behringer, Voodoo Ground Control, Rolls Midi Buddy, and Rocktron Raider.

If your going to set up for live performances, then yes try to use the 1st 12 presets available on the amp so that you can edit and save them on stage without a laptop attached. This doesn't mean you have to program your midi controller to the 1st 12 buttons available, as presets can be midi "mapped" to anywhere on the controller. My personal preference is a controller that has a screen that allows you to name and display your presets that can easily be seen on stage. The Voodoo ground control, and the Rocktron Midi Mate, and Raider all allow you to do that.

You want to think of how you want your midi controller layed out, in terms of which button you want where before you start doing anything else. If your using any of the above listed controllers, they have 2 or more rows of buttons. I always program my common presets on the bottom row, and in order of gain. I.E. Botton Row- button 1 clean, button 2 clean w/chorus, 3 crunch, 4 OD, etc etc. On the top row directly above each button, I program a lead button corresponding to the button below it. Usually wind up with lead 1, lead 2, lead 3, etc. Extra, volume, gain, delay, reverb, etc. is of course saved as needed in the preset. This layout will keep you from misstepping , as you always know where you are. I even label the buttons, as they will still be correct when programming the 2nd Bank as well.

Programming FX or preset intensive songs a little different. On a separate bank, use the top row of buttons for 1 song, then the bottom row for a second song. Program the button presets in order, and then you don't have to worry about what button to stomp in the middle of a song (ignore your labels).

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CuztardPi
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:04 am

Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:52 pm

I know I’m a bit late to the ‘party’ on this one but I’ve just been reprogramming my B* ID260 & my MIDI controller for a gig (last week) so it is all fresh in my mind. Anyway my 2d, for what it is worth:

1st off, I’m not really an ‘all presets’ player (I’m old fashioned that way .. no doubt due to my age); I prefer to have a (limited) range of dry amp sounds (from clean to high-gain) with the ability to mix & match effects on each sound/preset. Just like the good old days (?) with an amp with a couple of channels & a bunch of pedals.

I use the same set-up for all occasions (home/jams/live/etc) so that I know exactly where ‘that’ sound is when I want it. (my memory is not good enough to be able to instantly & accurately recall that one preset out of the 12 (or 128!!) available that is needed at all times when performing live .. without risking selecting a totally inappropriate sound & then looking like a plonker :oops: … i.e. I need a fool-proof, very simple system. Plus I find an ‘all presets’ approach limits the flexibility of the amp anyway. But obviously to each there own.

So with this as my goal ….

To answer Random’s questions:

1 & 3) I use a Behringer FCB1010 with UNO chip mod (the cheapest MIDI controller I could find; especially in the UK). I program it with Ed Dixon’s MIDI Editor which works great & is fairly intuitive to use (with a cheap Chinese MIDI-USB adapter from eBay)

2) I tried the B* footswitch (FS-10) when I bought the amp … it’s OK for home use, but much too fiddly to be practical in a live setting (IMO) due to its relatively complex switching strategy i.e. just 4 buttons to do EVERYTHING!! It’s just too clever for its own good :ugeek: (LOL)

4, 5 & 6) My latest set-up on the FCB1010, which is the simplest & probably the best, is as follows (so far that is; being a guitarist I’m always in search of the holy grail guitar/amp setup .. so I might well change it again at some point … & I’m sure I’m not alone in being like this, LOL).

I limit my selection to just 5 dry ‘amp’ sounds/presets plus the various effects available from the ID260 by means of just a single switch bank (= ‘00’) on the FCB1010, making use of all 10 footswitches & 2 pedals:

‘Amp’ Sounds (= 5 presets)(bottom row of 5 PC switches):
#1 (Green ) = Very Clean amp (Clean Warm + 6L6)
#2 (Green ) = Clean’ish with punchy drive (Clean Bright + 6V6)
#3 (Green ) = Light Crunch amp (Crunch + EL34)
#4 (Green ) = Heavy Crunch amp (Super Crunch + KT66)
#5 (Yellow) = High-Gain amp (OD2 + KT88)

It’s quite tricky to match the volumes between the 5 ‘amp’ sounds/presets (whilst at home) so that they also match in a louder gig situation; but with this set-up it is relatively easy to adjust (& save) the gain/channel volume on the amp on the fly during the gig, if necessary, without affecting the functioning of the FCB1010.

Note – I use 5 presets only because there are 5 PC switches available on the FCB1010 (front row); actually for my needs, I could probably get away with using only 3 (clean/light crunch/heavy crunch).

Effects: that can be turned on & off on each ‘amp’ via the ‘stompbox’ mode on the FCB1010 (top row of 5 Stompbox switches):
#6 = Modulation (Chorus) ON/OFF (I program the ID260 so that Chorus is the default MOD effect on all presets)
#7 = Alternate Modulation Select: Phaser (when ON) & Tremolo (when OFF) (this switch toggles the MOD effect between Phaser & Tremolo when it has been turned ON by switch #6)(I find a Flanger of limited use, so do not include it in my set-up)
#8 = Reverb ON/OFF
#9 = Delay ON/OFF
#10 = Tap Tempo for Delay

I just love being able to access all 3 modulation effects (Chorus as the default, Phaser & Tremolo as alternates) on each preset using the FCB1010. This works really well.

Pedals:
Expression Pedal #1 = Modulation rate adjust on all presets (on Chorus, Phaser, Tremolo when ON)
Expression Pedal #2 = Volume adjust on all presets

With this setup there are 16 effects combinations for each preset = 80 total amp/effect combinations (plus variation in MOD rate via EXP#1 which works very nice) … and all can be accessed from a single bank of the FCB1010 (10 footswitches & 2 pedals). That’s enough for my needs & I can just about remember 5 presets!! ;)

This set-up can obviously be expanded to include the remaining 7 presets available on the ID260 (yellow & red banks) by means of switch banks 2 & 3 on the FCB1010, but I find I really don’t need them.

Note:
I have tried out the option of having the 5 PC (front row) footswitches on the FCB1010 all having dual, toggling functionality, in order to facilitate a solo boost on each preset:
1st press = select preset on ID260 with normal volume
2nd press = boost gain &/or volume on the same ID260 preset (= solo boost)
3rd press = reset to normal volume (same as 1st)
4th press = same as 2nd
etc

This actually worked really well, but is a lot more fiddly to set-up, as the gain &/or volume levels on each preset have to be matched on both the amp & on the FCB1010. This makes adjusting the channel volume on the fly, to match the volume between presets, not possible; plus it is not quite as intuitive to use in a live gig as my current set-up as above.

For my current simpler set-up, as above, each PC switch function to only select the required preset on the ID260 … & I mainly use my guitar volume control for solo boost (although the Volume pedal, EXP#2, also can act as a volume boost, depending on the default preset preamp volume you have set up)

I hope this of some interest to you folks.... & Sorry for the epic post; I get carried away sometimes! Any questions, please feel free to fire away.

The more I use the ID260 & FCB1010 set-up, the more I love it – It’s rocket science in comparison to what I had when starting out all those years ago ( = single channel amp & a fuzz pedal !!). OK it has a few foibles as many have commented on here, but these pale into insignificance when you take the sound & practicality of the amp into consideration.

Cheers!
Last edited by CuztardPi on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

random
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:47 pm

Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:46 pm

Interesting, thanks for this, it's similar to the direction I'm most likely headed, possibly with a different footswitch. I do have an FCB, but without the mod, and as of now it's set up for my CyberTwin (random access to presets with two presses for two digits), so it'd be awkward to switch it back and forth for the two amps.

How much of your current setup requires the UNO mod?

I agree that the dedicated footswitch is awkwardly fiddly. It also sucks that changing banks immediately recalls the corresponding preset from that bank, without waiting for you to select one. Unless you happen to want to go from bank 1 slot 1 to bank 2 slot 1 etc, you can't avoid passing through an unintended intervening patch. It would be much better if you could switch banks as many times as you want, but nothing got recalled until you chose a patch from some bank. Same behavior happens from the ID front panel, and I don't like it there either.

You also taught me something I didn't know, which is that you can have multiple modulation effects on at once via midi. The front panel makes it look like there's one modulation engine that can be in one of four modes, apparently not the case.

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CuztardPi
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:04 am

Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:30 pm

random wrote: How much of your current setup requires the UNO mod?

You also taught me something I didn't know, which is that you can have multiple modulation effects on at once via midi. The front panel makes it look like there's one modulation engine that can be in one of four modes, apparently not the case.

The main impact on my set-up of the UNO mod is being able to have the board in stompbox mode.

The UNO mod (very easy & quite cheap to do) allows one of the rows of switches to act as global "stompboxes" acting on all banks of all presets. e.g. Switch #6 in my setup turns ON the Modulation effect contained in the preset that is currently selected, & the same for all channels on all banks (I set the default MOD effect as Chorus on switch #6 for all my presets, so that switch #7 lets me toggle between phaser or tremolo).

Without UNO you can still achieve this but the switches #6 to #10 in each bank would need to be programmed the same (thereby losing half your program capability) .. plus (& most importantly) the lights on those switches would not act like a stompbox (light on when effect is ON ; off when OFF) as the light would go out as soon as you pressed another switch; even though the effect might still be ON.

UNO also fixes some other aspects of the FCB1010 but stompbox mode is enough justification for me to go for it.

Clarification:
you can only have one modulation effect on at any time (e.g. you can't have both chorus & phaser on at the same time .. though who would want to, right?).
However the default modulation effect programmed on the ID260 for a particular preset can be changed using MIDI (something you can't do with the FS-10, AFAIK)

e.g. if the default effect on preset#1 (green) was chorus, by applying a 0 on CC#13 you can change it to a Phaser; a 3 on CC#13 gives you a Tremolo.
Using the 2nd CC available on the same switch you can also change one of the effect parameters as required, to fine tune the alternate effect's sound (e.g. applying a value to CC#14 changes the MOD mix or CC#15 the MOD level, etc).
This provides lots of flexibility to be able fine tune the various MOD effects that you programme on each preset (in my case 3 MOD effects for each of the 5 presets).

The same is true for Reverb & Delay if you would rather change those, though clearly the differences between REV & DLY types are not as evident than with MOD types.
Last edited by CuztardPi on Thu Feb 06, 2014 5:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

random
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:47 pm

Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:24 pm

Ah, so by "#7 = Alternate Modulation select: both Phaser & Tremolo" you meant that it toggles between those modes, while #6 turns modulation on and off? That makes more sense with how I thought the amp worked.

I probably should look into the UNO mod. You're right it's not a lot of money or effort, just never felt that much of a need, but I'm not gigging these days, and so far I've kept my footswitch needs very simple.

Software to save and load setups would also make it easier to have completely different setups for my two amps, should look into that too. I'm a bit resistant to *having* to have a computer to play though. I sometimes do the whole DAW thing, but lots of the time I just plug my guitar into an amp and go.

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