Laptop using midi to change Axe FX II/Kemper patches - how?

Discussion in 'Live Performance & Stage Sound' started by lewis, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. lewis

    lewis Regular

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    Aug 16, 2011
    Norfolk, UK
    ok so our setup is Macbook/Logic with an Focusrite 18i20 connected via USB.

    now we dont want pedalboards bogging our floor space down so wanted to synch our guitar tone switching to our backing track via midi.

    BUT the macbook has 2 usb ports and thats it so how/what can we do to set this all up so we can have an USB interface connected and at the same time our session be midi controlling 2 additional units? Kemper/Axe II

    Thanks guys
  2. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Dec 2, 2014
    You can always add a USB hub for additional ports...

    Nevertheless, to make it MIDI, you'll have to program your DAW to send MIDI Control Change messages in time with the song's tone changes. You may also need an additional MIDI duplicator of some kind. This way, all tone change orders travel via MIDI cables, so you'll only need one USB port for the audio interface. Both AXE and Kemper will be linked to the audio interface via MIDI cables. You can use the MIDI THROUGH connection of one to have the other receive the same MIDI messages. Lots of programming to do either in the DAW and modelers...

    I have no experience with the AXE nor Kemper, so I do not know if it is possible to do the same via USB connections. Also, I do not know how they'll behave sharing a USB port through a hub.
    TNihil and lewis like this.
  3. TNihil

    TNihil Regular

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    Jan 22, 2018
    It´s actually pretty easy once you get behind it. You´d connect a MIDI cable from the MIDI OUT of your USB interface directly to your effect unit or effect board MIDI IN. You can connect multiple devices in a row using their MIDI OUT (or THRU) going into the next IN etc. In this case you need to set up the MIDI channel recieve/send on each device to a different channel.
    (A MIDI cable is capable of transporting data on 16 separate channels iirc).
    For example unit A could recieve MIDI signals on channel 1 and unit B on channel 2 etc.
    This way you should be able to send different numbers to your units simultaniously and trigger the desired effects, even if their corresponding numbers for the patches are different from the other unit.

    If you´re only looking for changing the patches on your units, you´re dealing with Program Change Messages which you have to prepare (type in and save) in your DAW´s MIDI tracks on the Macbook. You´ll find the corresponding numbers in your manuals.
    But: this means you´ll have to play to a click track/backing track in order for everything to be in-sync because the moment MIDI triggers a patch is of course fixed and pre-programmed so to speak.

    There´s dozens of solid tutorial videos about it on YT. Probably even for the effect units and DAW you plan to work with.
    I love to work with MIDI live and even the cables are pretty cheap.
    odibrom likes this.

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