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Logic Studio apps Controller - expression pedal

Discussion in 'MainStage' started by ozfrog, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. ozfrog

    ozfrog New Member

    Hi - my rig consists of a FATAR VMK-88 master keyboard, a Presonus Firebox sound card/Audio interface and a Macbook running Mainstage.
    I started out using an old Ensoniq "control voltage" pedal with the FATAR to adjust volume controls in Mainstage. This is just a rotary 10KOhm variable resistance with a stereo tip at the end of the lead. The FATAR "learns" the pedal's presence and the user assigns the MIDI controller number, Midi range ( 000 - 127 ) and the polarity of the pedal. This works pretty well except for the very last few millimentres of pedal travel - just when I have finished a rather tasteful decrescendo, I suddenly get FULL volume unexpectedly. I thought this might be a "hot" spot on the resistance so swapped that out for a new one - same result. Went for a Roland EV5 NEW pedal - same result except that the Roland has a minimum volume level so I can set that and avoid the hot spike. I don't get zero volume when I back off, but I can live with that in a live environment and do a software decrescendo when recording, but I was wondering if anybody else had experienced this rather exotic facet of Mainstage.

    Thanks for your comments

  3. rogerk

    rogerk New Member

    I have a VMK-176. Same issue (also with EV5s, but also with other pedals). The problem is with the keyboard, not Mainstage. The VMK's handling of external controllers is problematic, to say the least - I ended up buying a Doepfer thingy to connect sustain and expression pedals to my live rig.


  4. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Gee you're polite in referring to it as "exotic".

    But seriously I use a very similar live playing rig - MacBook Pro, Mainstage, Presonus FireBox and CME UF8 controller.

    I use a very sturdy and (so far) reliable Alesis F2 CC pedal. It does CV out as well as being able to handle a mono analog audio in/ out signal. I just use the CV part. I have never had the issue you speak of.

    Without checking the VMK88's spec, I assume it can connect it's MIDI via USB or 5 pin din? I know with my UF8 that the USB MIDI driver sucks big time so I actually connect it's MIDI via 5 pin using the MIDI in on the FireBox - and this works very well.

    If all my assumptions are correct and you have choice of connecting the VMK via USB or 5 pin, try using the 5 pin instead of USB. It may help you to isolate who is causing the problem. Also try using another pedal.

    While watching the MIDI input monitor in MS, when you get the problem does the monitor display the issue in numbers? - like CC 11: 5, 4, 3, 127, 1, 0

    Finally, in Mainstage's Layout mode, check the settings for the CC pedal to see if there's any odd settings happening.

    Good luck.
  5. rogerk

    rogerk New Member

    A midi monitor will reveal exactly the kind of cc values you suggest, Paul. Monitoring a footswitch will reveal similar oddities (ie spurious values other than the expected 0 and 127). I'm on my second VMK - it's marginally better than the first one, in this respect, but still unusable for stage use.
  6. Peter Ostry

    Peter Ostry Administrator Staff Member

    If a new pedal is in question, I recommend the Yamaha FC7 which is more or less a classic, is reliable and has a reasonable price. I see this pedal very often and have two of them myself.

  7. peterlemer

    peterlemer Senior member

    I agree, and also recommend the Behringer FCV100 - I use 2 and they're delicious :)

  8. ozfrog

    ozfrog New Member

    Thanks ALL for your replies. I have invested in a Roland EV5 - it has MAX and MIN volume settings so I can now avoid the "bump" near the MIN end of the pedal travel.
    I will go back to the dealer and try to get a better model of the VMK-88 - I have other latency issues with this board too - If they can't sort the thing out I will look for a more reliable, responsive board.
  9. rogerk

    rogerk New Member

    I doubt that Fatar will fix these issues - nothing changed from my original VMK to the present one. So the controller handling is still buggy and the program changing unusable in a live context. And still no adjustment of key sensitivity (AT or vel) and no zoning. But I like the keyboard feel and nothing else fits the bill so I bought a Doepfer Wheel Electronics to handle Expression and sustain - program changes have to come from elsewhere too.
  10. ozfrog

    ozfrog New Member

    Hmm -on a positive side - Apple Mainstage will handle all the issues noted above except the latency of program changes - I will go back to the factory soon and have a look at the rest of their Fatar VMK-88s in stock - the model is discontinued here so they are being very accommodating :) - As Rogerk says - nothing else fits the bill as of writing.
    For Paul - there is no USB capability on the VMK-88, Midi only.
    So - if any of us find the "dream" lightweight master midi board - let's spread the news.

    JACOBSUR New Member

    Hello everybody!!! Sorry my english!!

    I wanted to ask a question about the expression pedal for the Mainstage 2.A see if you can fix me.

    I looked in forums but not resolved.

    I am setting the mainstage 2, the expression pedal. I've tried it with 2, which I like most is the FC7 Yamaha and Korg EXP-2.

    I have also tried it on two keyborads controllers that I have the Axion 61 - Maudio and UF8 of CME.

    In all combinations never have the full range of 0 to 127.

    It is always 64 to 127.
    I've gotten from 0 to 64 with other configurations, but never from 0 to 127.

    You know what the problem?
  12. ozfrog

    ozfrog New Member

    Ozfrog again - the Numa Nano comes out here jan. 16th 2010 ^
    Looks a better deal than the VMK-88 - Thomann in Germany already have it on their site with specs and reviews - COME ON FRANCE!!

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