Quick Guide To Using External MIDI Controllers with AmpliTube 3

The release of AmpliTube 3 added a host of new features for interactive control of effect settings via external controllers. Among the options for control via IK Multimedia’s StealthPedal and upcoming StealthBoard you’ll find an option for controlling AmpliTube 3 via MIDI. There are a few layers to the control options such as parameters and patches but in this post I’m going to focus on the quick-and-dirty “I have this pedal and want to make it work” approach. While this post focuses on the standalone implementation of AmpliTube 3, there isn’t much difference when using your DAW. For your DAW just setup a MIDI input and route the signal to the instance of AmpliTube 3 you wish to control.

So if you’ve never seen AmpliTube, crawl out from under your rock and take a peek.

Amplitube 3
Amplitube 3

Pop into the device setup (for standalone instances) and setup your interface and MIDI device parameters.

AmpliTube Settings Screen
AmpliTube Settings Screen

Now flip over to the STOMP A section of the signal chain and let’s drop a Wah 46 on the floor.

Wah 46 (my fav)
Wah 46 (my fav)

IK Multimedia couldn’t have made the MIDI setup for this any easier or more straightforward. Simply right mouse click the aspect of the effect you wish to alter to reveal the Assign Midi -> Learn function.

The Learn Function
The Learn Function

AmpliTube will now enter the Learn mode waiting for you to engage your physical pedal that you want to use to control the effect.

MIDI Learn Waiting For Your Input
MIDI Learn Waiting For Your Input

Now for the hard part… drag your lazy foot off the floor and push the pedal you want to use. The interface will dismiss the Learn message and you should be controlling the pedal. Good times!

Now let’s try a pushbutton because there are a few ways those little gizmos work within the interface.

Right mouse click the mode (off, on , auto) above the wah. You might notice there is no ‘bypass’ option. This is one thing I don’t completely understand about the way IK implemented the MIDI Learn functionality. I personally would like to also see the bypass option available for any pedal that has a multi-mode like this, but that’s just a personal tic. Not a huge deal because IK has given us more than one way to assign control. In the lower right area of AmpliTube click the MIDI button.

MIDI Button
MIDI Button

The MIDI settings screen will appear. In this area you will already see the Wah MIDI control we setup. Now we’re going to manually configure a controller.

MIDI Window
MIDI Window

Click the Add button at the bottom of the window and a menu will appear. Navigate into the Stomp A signal chain -> Wah 46 then select Bypass. A new row will be added to the parameters list.

Adding A Parameter To Control
Adding A Parameter To Control

Now with the new row selected, click the Learn button and AmpliTube will enter the MIDI Learn mode.

Waiting For Button Input
Waiting For Button Input

Press your ‘real world’ button and AmpliTube should change the CC# to match the message sent by your controller button.

There may be one more step depending on your physical pedal construction. If your pedal snaps/latches like an on/off switch then the Latch Mode off would be preferred (and is the default) however if your switch is momentary then pressing your button would enable the pedal while letting the switch go would disable it. To alter this behavior simply click the word OFF in the parameter row to change it to ON and all is well.

Altering Latch Mode
Altering Latch Mode

So there you have it… two ways to get immediate satisfaction in AmpliTube 3 with your external MIDI controller.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Pedalboard Functions

Here’s a quick breakdown of the pedalboard functionality:

Pedalboard Controls
Pedalboard Controls

Analog Functionality

  • 1/4 inch input
  • 1/4 inch TRS insert
  • 1/4 inch output
  • SPDT switch for selecting to enable the insert or not
  • SPDT switch for defeating the input
  • SPST momentary switch for temporarily stopping input until switch is released
  • Audio taper potentiometer for volume pedal

Issues – I don’t know alot about passive analog circuitry but now know there is a huge difference in the selection of the potentiometer rating for the volume control. It’s currently a 10K pot when it should be a 250K instead… which is closer to what’s actually inside a guitar to begin with. An incorrect selection here degrades the power of the signal.

Potential Fix – Just replace the pot but I also like the degraded effect and will find a way to mimic the circuit path even with the new pot in place.

 

MIDI Functionality

  • 2 SPST Momentary switches intended for patch changes
  • 6 SPST Momentary switches intended for bypass/defeat of the MIDI pedals
  • 6 10K linear potentiometers for the MIDI pedals
  • 1 Pitch bend/MOD wheel from a discarded Roland Keyboard controller
  • 1 SPST Momentary switch for MIDI Panic/Reset

Issues – The only issue is the pitch bend wheel. It doesn’t allow for a full throw (not a physical limitation) and as such won’t transmit the full 0-127 MIDI data range. I can only assume the wheel had accessory circuitry to translate this properly.

Potential Fix – At some point I’m going to have to pull apart the wheel assembly and see if I can replace the potentiometer to the proper spec.

 

Other

  • 5 Pin MIDI In/Out
  • 7-12V / 100mA DC Input
  • SPDT switch for power enable/defeat
  • LED for MIDI activity

Issues – None