VL3X Midi sync with external pedalboard

  1. #1 by Simone Coccato on 02-22-2018
    Simone Coccato's Avatar
    Posts: 5

    VL3X Midi sync with external pedalboard

    Hi all,

    I would like to sync the tempo of the backing tracks stored in the VL3X to my external Strymon pedalboard connected to the VL3X in order to have the delays and reverbs in sync with the delays and tempo of the backing track/loops playing in the VL3X.

    Moreover, I would like to map the preset up/down button of the VL3X to change presets on my Strymon pedals but I can't find a solution to it. How those buttons could be mapped? I also don't want all the switches of the VL3X to send midi info, but I would like only the buttons "preset up/down" to send Midi infos..

    Many thanks,

  2. #2 by Spencer Larsen on 02-27-2018
    Spencer Larsen's Avatar
    Posts: 526
    Hey Simone,
    Not everything you're hoping for is possible in VL3X, but hopefully I can help you with some of this...

    "To enable MIDI Tempo, navigate to the SETUP – MIDI menu and turn MIDI Tempo ON. VL3X can act as a MIDI Tempo slave only. It cannot generate or send MIDI Tempo."

    This means that if you want your pedals in sync with each other, you'll need to use one of your Strymon pedals as the tempo host, which you can then slave your VL3X to.

    One thing to be aware of is that backing tracks do not have a tempo associated with them, VL3X doesn't do any analysis of the backing track for tempo info. So what you'll likely end up doing is having a preset for each song, each with a backing track associated with it, and the VL3X will be receiving tempo from your other pedal(s) which should match the current backing track.

    I guess that leads into why you want preset changes on VL3X to also change presets on your other pedals. This is going to depend on how configurable your Styrmon pedals are. VL3X is pretty set in its ways, and you cannot customize what CC's are sent with certain actions, meaning the CC's it sends on preset changes are hardcoded so you'll have to get your other pedals responding to these CC's.
    When you change presets in VL3X, it actually sends out a few MIDI messages. It'll output the bank, preset in that bank, and all the effect footswitch differences between the previous and current preset. For example when I'm changing from preset 1 to preset 2, it outputs:

    B0 20 00 <- Bank "00"
    C0 01 -- <- Preset "01" (which is preset 2 since we start from 0)
    B0 73 00 <- CC 115 resetting the Step function
    B0 68 00 <- CC 104 turning Choir off
    B0 15 00 <- CC 21 turning Guitar uMod off
    B0 11 40 <- CC 17 turning Guitar Delay on
    B0 2E 40 <- CC 46 turning Guitar Reverb on

    All that from just one action! Fyi I'm using MIDI-OX (a free application) to monitor the VL3X output. The second column there (DATA 1) is the CC, except they're in hex so I've translated them to decimal. The third column (DATA 2) is turning things on and off (00 is 0 which is off, and hex 46 equates to 64 decimal which is on). Notice it's not worrying about the effect styles, it just toggles them on or off as needed.

    What I'm getting at, is that VL3X outputs a lot of data on preset changes, so it may freak out your pedals as-is. Or you might be able to tell your pedals to only pay attention to part of the VL3X output so they can change presets along with it. If not, a workaround would be a computer middleman to translate these outputs to something your other pedals know what to do with.

    In the same vein of filtering the MIDI messages, it is not possible to be selective about what VL3X outputs. These are hardcoded as well, so you won't be able to tell it to output just the preset changes and not other button presses. This also falls under possibly needing a computer to play middleman.

    So while it's certainly not a solution yet, hopefully this info will get in on track to getting your rig set up the way you're hoping to use it

    Spencer Larsen
    Engineer, Testing
    TC Helicon,
    MUSIC Tribe
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