Home > Music Hardware and Software > Quick Guide To Using External MIDI Controllers with AmpliTube 3

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.

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  1. November 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm | #1

    Oh, damn! THAT’s what I was doing wrong! I use Cubase and I didn’t realise you should set up a MIDI track and you could route the output to Amplitube’s control. Thanks, this has just made my day a lot easier. Cool audio blog btw, I think I shall follow this :)

  2. June 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm | #3

    Thank you for your post. I recently just bought a FCB 1010 and i think it’s been a mistake. I know very little about MIDI and it is really hard to set for me. I have followed all the steps that you showed and when it comes to the learn button nothing. I have followed the set guide for this http://host.mtnsys.com:81/faq-fcb/IdiotsGuide.htm. I am using a MAudio fast track pro for my interface. I also bought UNO chip from here http://mysite.verizon.net/resoamqr/swellsoundelectronics/id55.html still waiting for it to come. I have also downloaded the MIDI OX and it see’s my interface. So I really need some help. Your post is the closest thing I have found really deals with setting up Amplitube 3 and FCB. So if you could take the time to help I would really appreciate it.

    • August 22, 2012 at 8:06 am | #4

      Hi Tim,

      Apologies for the super long delay in my response. Babies, job, etc, etc.

      I know little about the FCB1010 but recall seeing people over on the IK forums talking about it. That might be a good resource for you as I’m sure more than one of those folks have AT3 and FCB1010 working together. Normally the types of issues I have seen have to do with latching issues and the button. Basically the FCB1010 wants to send another message on release of the pedal or refires, etc. I forget the specifics.

      It sounds though like AT3 is just not even getting a signal from the FCB1010 when you trigger learn mode.

      If you were to narrow this down to one specific issue, what is not working? For instance, toss a stomp in the floor and try to put a learn toggle on the on/off for the stomp. What happens?

      Char;es

  3. October 7, 2012 at 1:30 am | #5

    I have a Midi Buddy and when I press the real world buttons the midi square lights up in Amplitube and my channel is set to 1 but it won’t learn for anything. Latch or Not, it just won’t learn.

    • October 7, 2012 at 6:30 am | #6

      Adrian,

      Not too familiar with the device but let’s give it a quick shot. Are you PC or Mac? If PC (sorry don’t know the Mac equiv of this at the moment) go snag MIDI-OX from here: http://www.midiox.com/

      Familiarize yourself with the app enough to use the MIDI Buddy as the input source then then go to View->MIDI Input to bring up the input window. Using only one of the buttons on the pedalboard, push and release a button. That will show you exactly what is coming in via MIDI and may immediately uncover your issue.

      If not, right mouse click the MIDI Input window and select ‘Copy All’ then paste the text here in a reply. If you can provide a snapshot of the MIDI setup in AT(3?) that would be helpful but at least confirm/list the MIDI input settings as well.

      Charles

      • Adrian David Payne
        October 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm | #7

        I didn’t know how to attach a pic to the reply on the forum so here goes. I’m on an iMac using a Midiman Uno early version. Here is screen capture of me pushing all 9 buttons on the Midibuddy. This is what comes up.

      • October 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm | #8

        Adrian,

        The screen capture didn’t come through. Feel free to send it to charles@charlesrthompson.com and I’ll report back here in case others need the same information.

        Charles

    • October 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm | #9

      I don’t give up easily… one last ditch effort to use the controller you have. I don’t have a Mac so can’t vouch for these solutions but may be worth looking into.

      What you might want to search for is “MIDI Mac Virtual Translator.” There are not alot of them. It appears MIDIPipe and Bome appear to be the most referenced but I cannot get their sites to load.

      If one of them can take 192 and bump it to sub 128 .. then can take the program number and do some other magic.. you might be able to use one of those virtual midi apps to translate the commands to what AT might expect. It’s a long shot but all I’ve got left.

      • October 8, 2012 at 1:34 pm | #10

        Thanks for the awesomely thorough info. I’ve got some experimenting to do. I have a hunch it might be time to visit Guitar Center :)

    • October 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm | #11

      Adrian,

      I meant to post this as a direct comment to the thread.. reorganizing.. the original post came before the virtual app discussion.

      Ok I gave it a once over.

      To others who may fall upon this post the screen capture essentially showed the Rolls MP128 generating program change messages on controller 192 and sending a sequential midi value somewhere between 0 and 127 with each push of a button.

      Don’t take mine as the final word but I think you may be out of luck here. The MP128 appears to be designed to strictly send program change messages over controller 192 and the manual doesn’t seem to mention any way to alter this… AT only goes up to 127 for Controller Change message and is expecting controller change messages in the 0-127 range.

      Even if you could change the controller change number on the MP128 to something in the lower range (and assuming it was only one number you could change it to) you would then be faced with the % range issue in AT. The way it works is this:

      Normally AT accepts a different control change message for each switch/pedal (unless you are doing far more complex manual setups). If the Rolls would only let you change to a single controller then you’d have to divvy up the program change values across a range to get switches to respond as expected.

      With a variable pedal there is a MIDI value sent to AT 0 = lowest point 127= highest throw of the pedal. AT3 looks at these as a percentage of the range to toggle things or set a rotary knob in the interface. When it comes to a button it’s the same thing except off = 0 and on = 127 or 0%,100%

      So… I noticed in the screen capture you sent that each push of a button sends a patch number. Even if you could change the controller from 192 to sub 128 then you’d have to figure out where each button would fall in the range of 0-127 in a 0-100% range and manually map each controller in AT to respond accordingly with latch mode off. So button one might be program 0 (0%-9%), two 13 (10%-19%), three 26 (20%-29%) and so on.

      I did look at the manual and believe you may be up against a wall on this. My only other recommendation other that another controller would be to try the IK forums to see if anyone else has dealt with this before.

      Charles

  4. October 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm | #12
  5. ginger geezer
    January 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm | #13

    friggin hell i just want to play my guitar rather than read all this crap but i cant get that sucker wah pedal to bypass as a plugin in Live 8. and it sounds shit when its on and its volume is 0%. I want the bloody thing off and auto. not on and Auto.
    If you can help id sure appreciate it!

    • January 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm | #14

      Yeah.. the configs can be a bit of a test of patience at times. I don’t use live so not sure exactly what you’re doing but at the end of the day you are needing to send one of two MIDI controller values to AT3 to get the switch to toggle.

      The tutorial shows how to do exactly what you are asking starting at “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. ”

      Here’s the skinny and why nobody can ever find the bypass… you can’t get to it through the right mouse method in the pedal screen. With your patch loaded do the following:

      1. Click MIDI in the lower right.to get the MIDI Control screen
      2. Click the Preset Button at the top of the screen
      3. Click the Add Button at the bottom and a menu pops up for the stomps, amps, cabs, and racks
      4. Move your mouse into the Stomp (a/b) -> Slot (x) Wah -> and from the final submenu select ‘Bypass’ instead of ‘Mode’ which is what the front end interface always gives you
      5. A Parameter will be laid down in the Preset grid. At this point you can click the lower left Learn button and press the controller you want to toggle the mode or manually set it rolling/clicking in the various parameter values to set your options.

      The only last thing to be aware of is the LATCH option. If you press your button and it switches from On to Off to On when you press and release the button then you have a non-latching switch and need to set the LATCH option to On.

      Also if for whatever reason when you press for off and thing it should be on and vice versa the controller might be sending the low/high values in reverse. With most footswitch buttons this isn’t an issue but I’m not 100% if you’re using something like a Live controller with multi-function buttons. In that case just set the Min to 100 and Max to 0 and you’re golden.

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