Studio One 3 Configuration for Amplitube Pedal Board Control

As I post about Studio one here or there, and use Amplitube quite heavily, I have gotten quite a few requests in regards to setting up Studio One with an external device to control the Plug-In. My most recent request was in a blog comment so I’ve decided to just create a post covering the bare minimum basics. The following example uses the latest version of Studio One (3), Amplitube 3, a Roland GR-55 guitar synth controller, and a MOTO Express interface. That said, the fundamentals will apply to any hardware as long as you have input/output capability within Studio One. So let’s dive in.

Step 1: Configure your Device



Launch into Studio One then navigate to the configure external devices. Here we will setup the GR-55/Controller to route from the MIDI interface into the Studio One environment.


The Options window will launch with External Devices selected. Click the Add button.


This is what throws most people. Studio One is a little different (at least in my experience) with past DAWs in that they make a clear distinction between devices in the form of Keyboards, Instruments, and Control Surfaces. While I’ve never really delved into the actual functional characteristics of these classifications, to me they are all still just MIDI based devices. In a nutshell, Studio One assumes Keyboards are for input … so a MIDI controller can fall under this category. Instruments are outboard gear, and control surfaces appear to be more for transport/mixer control. If your current device is in the list of manufacturer folders, select it. Otherwise select to Add a new keyboard then Enter the Man/Model and device name. In the lower panel select the MIDI input port where the device is connected then click OK.


This is the view of a device that was previously added. Note how the devices are grouped by manufacturer. Now close out of the Options/External Devices dialog.

Step 2: Setting Up Your Tracks

Things become very simple now.



Create an audio track for the guitar input then add AmpliTube to the insert route for the audio channel.


Now add an instrument track (this is the key part) and select the GR-55 input device we created. Next for Output you will want to select “Existing Instrument” followed by selecting the AmpliTube VST instance followed by the operating/intended channel for control. Click OK.


Now you can see both your audio channel, and the controller channel active in the interface. Within the controller channel you will note that the link to Amplitube3 and channel are visible.

Step 3: Map MIDI controllers to Amplitube

Launch into the Amplitube3 instance then drop a pedal on the floor. In this example I’ll use the staple Wah 46.


Right mouse click the element within the interface (switch, knob, pedal) and select Assign Midi -> Learn […]


The plug in is now awaiting input. Simply touch your external controller pedal and the dialog will close followed by the pedal responding to your external controller. Close the running Amplitube instance.

Step 4: Have Fun

That’s it! The only thing to point out is the record/monitor options in Studio One. You have two options here. You can either …


Leave both tracks Armed for record where the MIDI data will be laid down alongside the audio track (along with options for later editing). Or…


You can simply leave the controller in monitor mode while recording audio. This will allow you to go back and “draw” the control curves manually. Sometimes I have a very specific series of things I wish to accomplish that just aren’t practical with only two feet … this is an example of when I will just lay down the track then add the control data after the fact.

That’s it. Go forth and create.

MIDI Pedalboard Pedal Design

In response to a recent comment I have provided the following layout for my pedal design for anyone interested.

I’m cheating on the pedal a bit and have no forward stop other than the actual potentiometer throw distance so there is the chance I could really do damage if I laid into a pedal. I had planned on adding stops at some point but just left it as is for now.

Dimensions and basic stats for the pedals.
Dimensions and basic stats for the pedals.

Here are some stats on the pedal layout


  • Length: 11 5/8 inches
  • Width: 3 1/2 inches
  • Pivot Point: 3 3/4 inches from the heel of the pedal.

Rack/Gear Position

  • The pin that holds the rack gear to the underside of the pedal is exactly 3 1/2 inches back from the toe.
  • As far as placement of the mating gear to the potentiometer I basically placed it to meet the rack when the pedal was parallel with the deck. On my design this means the center point of the potentiometer is 1 1/4 inches from the underside of the pedal

Pedal throw

  • Back of pedal will rest on the deck in toe up position where the underside edge of the top is 2 1/8 inches above the deck
  • In the toe down position the underside edge of the top stops at about 3/8 of an inch above the deck. A simple rubber footer would probably be an effective stop there.

Once you have everything assembled I would recommend sending the midi signal out to something like MIDIOX and testing the throw to find the zero point in the heel position.

Constellation – MIDI Pedalboard Extension

One more quick post for the day. Awhile back I posted about a secondary pedalboard I had been working on. I completed it a few weeks ago and have been working out some kinks. Here’s a shot of ‘Constellation’ sitting in front of my original ‘BigFoot’ pedalboard. I’ll have a post about the construction and wiring of Constellation in the next few weeks and hopefully some audio samples showing off just exactly why I need all those blasted buttons.

MIDI Pedalboard Mechanical Upgrade

This is just a quick post today… lots of things going on. Awhile back I finally got around to upgrading one mechanical aspect of my MIDI pedalboard. Originally I had used a piece of flat aluminum and a wire grommet to obtain a friction/pressure point against the back of the pedal gear rail. This was the original design…

The overall problem with this design was that it was either spot on perfect where it needed to be, or off a little and caused the pedal to drift. Under the weight of the pedal when flipped upright I would find that the gear would continue to rotate. In other words, the friction point where the wire grommet met the back of the gear rack wasn’t firmly mounted and couldn’t be adjusted. So after a few long walks through the local hardware store I came up with this little gem:

The new design is much better. What I’ve done here is mounted a 90 degree steel plate on the board then mounted the wire grommet against a screw with a lock nut. Then the screw is mounted to the steel plate with a set of lock nuts. With this design I was able to adjust the pressure of the wire grommet against the rack simply by altering the back lock nuts to reposition the screw. The pedals now stay in a fixed position when I lift my foot.

Pedalboard Kick Test

I was asked if there were any videos of the pedalboard in use. At the moment all I have is this older video of me noodling around with the system. The sound is from a room mic on the camera so it’s not the best quality but the video shows interaction between the board and DAW/VST.

Global MIDI Controls and AmpliTube 3.5

So it’s been over a week since I posted about AmpliTube 3.5 and MIDI control. I had planned to post more sooner but my personal and professional to-do list just never stops. I wanted to do a little writeup on single-source multi-target control of AT3.5 (next post or so) but got a little distracted by all the other MIDI options within AT3.5 and the quick realization that I had no clue what half of this stuff was even for.

One aspect of my pedalboard are these two oddly placed switches kind of lower and between what would normally be bypass switches for the pedals.

Preset Browser Switches
Preset Browser Switches

My intention was to make these preset browsers but never tried to do so until this writeup. I have spent a lot of time in the MIDI Control Preset window where I never saw the option and obviously never really looked at the Global options. Getting to the Global options is simply a matter of clicking the MIDI button in AT3.5 then selecting the Global button in the top left corner.

Global MIDI Control Window
Global MIDI Control Window

I’m glad to see that AT3.5 has two specific pre-configured entires for preset changes. If you recall from my previous post “Quick Guide To Using External MIDI Controllers with AmpliTube 3” all I need to do is highlight the Preset Next entry, click Learn then tap the next button on my controller. Repeat for the previous button and we’re ready to change presets at the simple tap of a foot.

Other Fixed Options in Global MIDI Control
Other Fixed Options in Global MIDI Control

So next my eye is drawn to the Volume, Wah, and Wharmonator entries. Probably because I want to try and exploit them in unintended ways (it’s a personal tic). I can’t help but wonder what happens if I use two volume pedals in series? Ok sorta dumb I know, but what if I run a parallel config like signal chain 2 and have a pedal on each, what happens then? If I use two different Wahs, does it alter both? Let’s find out what’s going on here.

So after training the volume in signal chain one, anytime I drop a volume pedal, and regardless of which slot I move it to, the volume control just works. Pretty nifty. A huge time saver for a commonly used pedal. Dropping a second volume in-line defaults the control to the first volume in the series. That makes sense. Setting up a parallel config and placing a volume in stomp A and stomp B results in only the pedal in Stomp A responding to the controller. This makes a little less sense to me but I get it. Ok Wah time. I set the Wah row to learn in Global MIDI control and tap on a pedal. Good to go. Returning to the stomps I run the same tests as the volume and get the same results. I’m not terribly surprised to get the same results.

This all may sound like a bunch of overkill but I was just curious to learn the primary intent of the global ‘default’ controllers and now know it’s just for your first matching pedal in the chain (and behind the scenes AT3.5 scans Stomps A through B in slot order order making no distinctions between serial or parallel configs.) Obviously any deviations from this single pedal approach are best handled by MIDI Preset control setups as covered in the previous post but part of me wouldn’t mind a ‘cascading’ approach to control the first ‘non-bypassed’ Wah in the chain should I want to use two flavors in the same preset. Just a thought.

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.



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

Issues – None