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Using a MIDI-linked expression pedal for discrete settings changes


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I used to use a Digitech XP100 Whammy/Wah as a harmonizer. My favorite setting is one in which the harmonized note is a minor third above the normal pitch when the expression pedal is fully relaxed and a major third above when the pedal is fully depressed. There are no "in-between" settings: when the pedal is more than 50% depressed it plays the major third, and when the pedal is at 50% or less it plays the minor third.

 

I recently switched to a rack system centered around a Boss GX-700 multieffects unit. I set up a pitch-shifter patch on the GX-700 that does the same thing as the aforementioned patch on my XP100, with switching between the minor third and major third up done by an expression pedal listening on CC17. I have CC17 set to go from 300 cents up to 400 cents up. The problem is that when I depress the pedal to go from minor to major third, it will play pitches in between the b3 and 3. As much as I respect the music of Elliot Sharp, I have no interest in playing microtones. :p

 

Is there a way to set up the GX-700 so that CC values between 1 and 64 are all treated as 1 (=300 cents up on the pitch shifter), and those 65-128 are all treated as 128 (=400 cents up)?

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I'm using a Rocktron MIDIXchange controller, which has two expression pedal outs that can only be used on CC7 and CC17. It's a very simple controller, akin to the Tech 21 MIDI Mouse, and doesn't allow me to set on/off ranges.

 

I have a Boss FS-6 dual footswitch hooked up to the Control 1/2 jack on my GX-700; maybe I can reprogram my pitch shifter patch to use the right side of the FS-6 to switch between 300 and 400 cents up, with 300 as the default and 400 only enabled when the switch is depressed. The only drawback with that is that I would lose footswitch control of reverb on/off, but I suppose that if I'm using a harmonizer I'm playing leads anyway and would want reverb on.

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Well, you can only assign up to 4 control functions on any given patch (maybe 5 if you include the wah in pedal mode). I never need more than that, though.

 

The GX-700's pitch shifter is a little glitchier than my old XP-100 but it's pretty much fine for harmonies; I wouldn't use it for simulating a 12-string, though, as it sounds really fake in that mode. The digital preamps aren't all that great, at least for the "in between" mild-breakup type of sound, which is why I have a Boss GL-100 in the effects loop. (The GL-100 does a pretty convincing Fender-y clean.) The overdrive and distortion circuits are analog, though, which is really nice. I make pretty extensive use of "Blues" (= BD-2) and "Distortion" (= DS-1).

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Is sounds like you're using the wrong kind of pitch shifter, and it has nothing to do with your expression pedal.

 

If you're using a "whammy" mode of a pitch shifter, you'll get the inbetween sweep.

 

You need to use a fixed pitch shifter instead so that it will skip over all the microtones.

 

I'm not familiar with the GX stuff, but I know that's how it would work on something like a g-major or other non-intelligent harmony device.

 

-W

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