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 Forum index » Clavia Nord Modular » NM Classic (NM1 or G1)
Integrating Micro Modular into guitar pedal board
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kslight



Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Posts: 38
Location: KC

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:57 pm    Post subject: Integrating Micro Modular into guitar pedal board Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey...I'm a long time Micro owner (and G2 Engine...though ironically I don't use it so much...), and I'm wanting to integrate my Micro into my pedal board. I've already figured out the issues of using a boost between my guitar and it, as well as rigging together a bypass switch so I can take it out my signal chain when I don't need it.

However, I also want some type of foot control...I know Behringer and some others make big ridiculous MIDI boards with switches and volume type pedals on them...that's not really practical for my setup, as its not like the Micro is the only effect in my setup. I really just want to be able to plug in an expression pedal and be done with it. I use a Moog expression pedal with my delay pedal, and would like to be able to plug something like that into the second audio input and route that within the software to whatever parameter I needed live control of. That's one idea.

Or is it reasonable to replace one of the potentiometers with a switch and a 1/4" jack and plug in an expression pedal to that...and use that to control whatever that knob is assigned to?

Regardless of whether or not I can get practical foot control...its still a pretty essential part of my setup, I've put together a lot of programs that emulate complete effect chains that simply wouldn't be practical for me to take with me, as well as programs that emulate some specialized effects pedals like the Moog MURF...
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Wout Blommers



Joined: Sep 07, 2003
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Location: The Hague - The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

First of all, beware the Micro isn't a stompbox, so don't step on it and realize it isn't the largest piece of gear in the world, so there isn't a lot of space to get something added to modify.

We (Rob, Jan and me) added joy-sticks to our Classic keys, which, in my case, replaced knob 1, 2, 16 and 17. There are buttons to make a change between knobs or joy-stick, so the idea should work.

Another option is to use a Midi pedal, which you can plug in the Midi In. More expensive, I know, and maybe somewhat more limited in range, but you don't have to experiment and maybe do some damage to the synth.

Beware the In and Outputs are on the circuit board, so very hard to modify. Just bad luck the Micro hasn't a Pedal Input like the full Modular.

Wout
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varice



Joined: Dec 29, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:03 am    Post subject: Wacky Suggestion Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Are you using both MM outputs? If you have one input and one output available - here is a wacky suggestion:

Use a Volume Pedal (instead of an expression pedal). Patch a steady audio signal to a MM output. Connect that to the volume pedal input. Connect the pedal out to the MM input. Patch an Envelope Follower module to that input. The output level of the envelope follower will track the volume level set by the volume pedal.

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Wout Blommers



Joined: Sep 07, 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:35 am    Post subject: Re: Wacky Suggestion Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

varice wrote:
... here is a wacky suggestion ...
A really nice one. No need to open the Micro at all! Very Happy

Wout
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varice



Joined: Dec 29, 2004
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Location: Northeastern shore of Toledo Bend
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Wacky Suggestion Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wout Blommers wrote:
varice wrote:
... here is a wacky suggestion ...
A really nice one. No need to open the Micro at all! Very Happy

Wout


Thanks Wout!

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Antimon



Joined: Jan 18, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm... I guess this could work if you have an unused volume pedal lying about, but aren't those things usually pretty expensive? There ought to be some small cheapo MIDI controller with an expression pedal input to be found...

/Stefan

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Wout Blommers



Joined: Sep 07, 2003
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Location: The Hague - The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I think you can have one around € 80 new.
I believe a Midi controller is more expensive?

Wout
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kslight



Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Posts: 38
Location: KC

PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for replying, I was afraid this was a dead forum...(surprised to find people still interested in the the old NM)...

Yes, I am fully aware that I cannot stomp on the Micro, I am putting together a boost+true bypass+tone control switch box so that I can remove the Micro from my signal path when I am not using it. As gentle of a stomper as I am though, I think the Micro would hold up to my foot technique...unfortunately there is simply not enough room to build the boost, true bypass, and tone control circuits in the same housing....and I'm not interested in potentially unrattling the ac adapter cord while doing so either. So the bypass box will receive all the stomping...

I saw your posts on the joystick, and thought it was both interesting and promising to my purposes. I don't think it would be any stretch at all for me to wire a switch and a 1/4" jack to replace one of the knobs. At some point I may want to go this route, as it would be very nice to be able to modify multiple parameters contained within a morph group, rather than be limited to only one at a time.

I wish someone just made a MIDI pedal with the same size and functionality of a traditional expression pedal. Unfortunately, I have done a bunch of research...and all I could find were big and ridiculous boards from Behringer and Rocktron---which have that, but then like 10 footswitches and all kinds of other stuff that I really don't need and would over complicate things live. If this was only for a studio application, I would pony up and just buy one. In fact, even if it were $150, I'd buy a self-contained MIDI expression pedal, IF THEY MADE ONE that only did that. The closest I have found is an expression pedal to MIDI box, which is about $200...not to mention an expression pedal...not worth the money.

For the same size and practicality reasons...that is why just buying a MIDI keyboard with control pedal inputs isn't a good solution for me either...in fact I probably already have MIDI keyboards with a control pedal input...its just lacking in convenience and aesthetics (wall warts and cables everywhere just to use an expression pedal...).

I think I'm going to have to go the volume pedal route. I had been thinking about generating a signal and running it into a volume pedal and then into the second input...however I was apparently thinking about it too hard, as I didn't think about using the Nord itself to generate the signal...I thought I'd have to rip apart a test tone generator or build my own into my switchbox or something...*smacks head*

I guess that is something useful to use the second output for, as I really haven't been using it for anything otherwise...

That sounds like a good temporary solution though, depending on how this works out I may have to modify the Micro or purchase a "G1" or G2 keyboard...I'd probably use my G2 engine for processing instead, if I didn't have to have a separate MIDI controller to do a simple patch change...ugh...
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jksuperstar



Joined: Aug 20, 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

If you want or can do a DIY project, you can get an old wah pedal for cheap, rip out the guts (save the pot in there!). Then, either:

1) Connect the pot as a replacement to a knob in the NM.
+Free? But hacked NM

2) Get an Arduino board, put it inside, attach the pot to it, and with a little software work, you have your own Pedal to MIDI converter.

+Arduino - starting ~$18 US
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=arduino&x=0&y=0&search_section=products

If you don't like programming, you can get an iCubeX module, which comes with everything you need to drop inside the wah pedal as your microcontroller. It also allows for 7 other inputs, so you could add a few more switches or other pedals at your will (program change, enables, soft bypass, etc)

+iCubeX - Currently $99 US
http://infusionsystems.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/91
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kslight



Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Posts: 38
Location: KC

PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The iCubex and Arduino seem really cool, but also pretty complicated for what I want to do...I think the volume pedal is the best solution for me for now. I am working on getting either a broken wah or volume pedal actually, so its funny you say that.


However, I'd like to check out the Arduino at some point, as I've heard so much about it...but programming and such makes it seem a bit restrictive. I'm familiar to an extent with computer programming...C++ and HTML (though not to a professional level, just from what I remember as a beginner several years ago...), I at least understand the syntax, but I am not familiar with how you program the Arduino system? Maybe if you could direct me to a prospective site so I could learn more about what you can do with it, and what kind of skill level is required to program...that would be helpful. I do some DIY projects, but I haven't really tinkered with digital interfaces so much, but I might want to if I knew more about them.
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reignbear



Joined: Feb 09, 2009
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Location: reno

PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

behringer sells a a volume/control pedal for $24 FCV100, I'm actually planning on picking one up next payday. they seem like pretty solid pedals, my last roommate had one that he used for scratching. they even sell them on amazon.com.

edit - the review on amazon mentions that it can suck some tone, i don't know much about that since i don't play guitar, but from what i understand that shouldn't matter with the above mentioned technique...
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kslight



Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Posts: 38
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life and durability


Hmmm...yeah something about that sentence (on the product information page) mixed with Behringer is fishy...

It looks pretty cheesy and cheap to me...though it would probably suffice for my purposes, I ended up buying a "broken" Crybaby wah pedal and I'm going to solder a switch in there that allows me to switch between wah and volume functionality (not that the wah effect will serve any purpose as long as I use the pedal to control the Micro Modular...but in case I for some reason wanted to use the pedal for its intended purpose). I say "broken" because the guy I bought it from apparently didn't realize that you have to actuate the switch at the toe of the pedal to make the wah effect turn on...

So for about the same price as the Behringer pedal, I got something that is a lot sturdier and doesn't look so cheesy.

And yeah, these types of pedals (most volume pedals and wah pedals) do suck tone...as they are not true bypass (even if you turn the effect off, you still end up going through the pedal's circuitry, which if you have a few/several pedals like this, eventually it results in high frequency loss/noise... Most people that are serious about their tone will have their pedals modified with a different type of switch so they can have true bypass..
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reignbear



Joined: Feb 09, 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yeah, behringer has a bad rep, but for what it's worth the pedal that my roommate had was pretty rugged and durable.

Good luck with the crybaby and post up your results when you're done. I've been looking for a cheap and compact way to add some hands free control to my MM as well.
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kslight



Joined: Feb 23, 2009
Posts: 38
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

FYI, I haven't decided to be a jerk and not tell anybody about my experiences, I'm just still probably a couple of weeks from getting around to doing this. I still need to build the bypass loop+boost switchbox that I also will need to do this in a practical manner, plus modify the wah pedal. I haven't sat down to really check my inventory, but I will probably need to order a few components.. Plus my primary amp (59 Bassman RI...for what its worth) that I will be using this with also requires some attention that takes priority...
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NTX9



Joined: Mar 10, 2009
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Location: Olympia WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, New to the board here. Good to see other MM users out there.

I think the volume pedal option set up as a loop is a really cool idea. I have considered doing that myself but it is not necessary with my MM guitar rig.

In my case I run the MM off a Roland Gi20 which has an expression pedal jack built in.
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