Re: fcb1010 and ART SGX 2000


Hi.  I wrote all this before thinking that you may not have experience with English, especially American idioms.  So I'll apologize in advance and ask that, if you have any questions, please ask and I'll try to speak plainly.

Ha!  No, I don't own an SGX, as I don't play guitar - well, at least not seriously.  I've played rhythm guitar in my church, on and off, since I was 15.  I do more keyboards and electronic music now.  I am in my mid 50's, and have grown up with MIDI, so I've read more than a few of these incomprehensible manuals.

So, a quick MIDI primer.  At it's most basic, MIDI can send and receive four different message types.  Note messages, PC - Program Change messages, CC - Control Change messages, and SYSEX (System Exclusive) messages.  SYSEX is just a very generic way to send big blocks of information over MIDI.  It was actually grafted on to MIDI when manufacturers complained they had no way to give their devices initial settings in a fast, easy way.  But SYSEX also became the way for manufacturers to make their products proprietary - a.k.a make sure they'd only work with their own software.  That has gotten better in the last decade or so, but not much.

Note messages are very simple.  They send either a Note On or Note Off message, with an extra byte for Velocity - a number from 0-127 that says how loud a note should be, or how hard a key was pressed.  Yes, Note Off messages still include the Velocity byte.  It was a programmer thing, and made sense at the time.

Program Change messages are pretty much just what they say - a way to select programs or presets.  A lot of manufacturers, either through ignorance or intent, used it in different ways, but it was made for simple selection of presets on a device like your SGX.

Control Change messages were meant to, obviously, control.  They change parameters - volume, balance, filter frequency, etc.  Oddly, early manufacturers left CC's alone, and didn't use them as much for proprietary controls.  They either ignored it entirely or used it as intended, which was great for people like us.  CC messages send an extra byte whose lower seven bits are used as the value of the setting.  This gives values of 0-127, or 128 total 'steps', which was seen as more than enough at the time, and is still very useful.

The zero based numbering is another confusing issue.  I've been a programmer as long as I've been a musician, so I understood it.  But people not exposed to the idea have a problem with the 'zero position' having a meaning.  MIDI channels were most of the problem.  Product developers would say, "People won't understand zero based numbers", so they wrote the manuals saying channels were 1-16, and controls were 1-128.  The software guys didn't agree, and when they wrote their 'appendix' for MIDI, it would be 0-15 and 0-127.  This made for a whole lot of infighting and 'general hate and discontent'.  It ended up having a large effect on the adoption of MIDI.  The internal feud between programmers and product specialists made MIDI seem arcane and the companies seem inept.  Not to mention that getting a programmer to write a comprehensible manual is like getting a chimpanzee to speak English.  Or Greek.  :-)

Ok.. back to the important stuff.  The FCB1010 can only send PC, CC, and Note messages.  For each Preset (every time you press a foot switch), it can send five different PC messages, two different CC messages, and one Note message.  Each preset also sets the CC message number for the two pedals.  A lot of FCB1010 owners have trouble understanding that:  You must select a preset to get the pedals to work.  If you never change the pedal settings, they default to CC 07, Channel Volume, and CC 01, Expression Pedal.  Channel Volume is usually Master Volume or Gain on pedals and amplifiers.

So, that's a little more than I intended to write, but I hope it has helped you in some way.  Keep us updated on the FCB1010 forum if you make any progress or need more help.

Best wishes,
Chris W.

On 5/22/2020 7:34 PM, fill cinefil wrote:

Chris as I see, you have read, comprehend, and focus at so many things. Or are you an owner of a SGX2000?:-)
If you have some time please take a look at the things written with a red down bellow, inside your text. Thank you in advance.
Sorry, I didn't introduce myself. Filimon Kaltsounis (65) from Greece.

Στις 22/5/2020 10:04 μ.μ., ο chrisw_63 έγραψε:
Like everything back then, the MIDI part of the manual is.. well, looks like it was written by someone who didn't know what they were writing about - which is probably true.  Sad thing is, it hasn't gotten much better with modern MIDI gear.
:-D  I agree and declare that I have a much more ignorance.

Have you tried the PC messages?  At the top of Appendix C it says:
Program change:
Cxh ddh
x = channel number 0h to Fh for channels 1 to 16
dd = program number 0h to 7Fh or 0 to 127
This is a regular PC (program change) message.  The FCB takes care of the channel (and if the SGX is set to OMNI, channel won't matter).  So a PC 00-127 will recall the first 128 (of 200) presets from the SGX.  The number you see on the SGX will be one more than the number you send via MIDI to recall it.  So if you want to recall preset 94, you use PC 93.
All this thing was explained in the FCB manual and it works just fine

For CC messages (what is the CC messages?), did you set Performance MIDI mode for the preset? (that's something I have to check first thing tomorow morning (you are speaking with Greece now it's 2:30 AM)  It looks like you need to turn that on (page 49) for every preset you want to control with the two FCB pedals.  Jack has it right, when you turn Performance MIDI on you have the option to change the CC number from 04 (the default) to whatever you'd like.  The chart also says CC's are used to turn effects on and off.  The chart at the bottom of page 54 lists these:
EXCITER             70
COMPRESSOR          71
DISTORTION          72
EQUALIZER           73
REVERB              75
DELAY               76
BYPASS              84
So sending a CC 78 with a value of 0 would turn off the Flanger/Chorus. And a CC 78 with a value of 127 would turn it on.  The 0 and 127 are standard for off/on, but some devices reverse them, so swap them if you need to.
Another thing to try would be connecting it to a PC with a MIDI monitor like MIDI-OX.  The manual mentions it has a MIDI monitor built in, but I didn't read it closely.  Start up the monitor and move the pedals, and you should know which CC numbers to use. I have also to check on this

As far as SYSEX messages, there are two reasons to ignore them.  One, the manual is a bit cryptic about everything except switching OMNI mode.  The other reason is that the FCB can't send SYSEX messages.
Hope this helps.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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