Using a generic MIDI foot pedal to control an amplifier

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Using a generic MIDI foot pedal to control an amplifier

Post by nonsequitarian »

I've used mididings to power a script that acts as a proxy, accepting simple MIDI PC & CC commands from a couple of ActitioN foot pedal MIDI controllers and translating them into the complex SysEx messages needed to control the virtual effects in my Boss Katana MkII guitar amp. I can select any of the 8 amp presets, and within each preset I can toggle on and off any of the 6 virtual pedals (boost/overdrive, two effects, reverb, and two delays) as well as cycle through the three different options for each pedal. I can also toggle an expression pedal wah on and off and even tap to set the tempo of each delay. And the script sends messages to the controller to update the LEDs when switching presets to match the on/off states of all of the pedals.

I also have a Libre Computer Le Potato SBC (a Raspberry Pi alternative) on which I've installed my script and a tool called amidiminder that notices when MIDI devices are connected and disconnected and automatically connects them as specified in a config file, allowing me to bring the whole setup with me when I play out.

I've made all of my code and Raspbian config files available just in case someone else finds it useful. It won't work as is unless you happen to have a Katana MkII and a couple of 12 button ActitioN foot pedals configured like mine to control it, but it would be a useful starting point for doing something similar to use a generic MIDI controller of any type to control any device that accepts MIDI commands.

And if you're ever on the market for MIDI foot controllers, I'd definitely recommend ActitioN. Not only do they have a solid product, well built and very flexible, but Thomas Kis, the owner and builder, was extremely helpful to me by providing a firmware update to support turning the controller LEDs on and off from outside the unit via MIDI commands.

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