Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Using a Musicom Labs EFX to switch presets on a TimeFactor

Using a Musicom Labs EFX to switch presets on a TimeFactor is a beautiful thing, especially if you use a lot of delays. Being able to call up any combination of pedals, and call up a delay preset makes changing songs so fast. But, if you're like me, you got a Musicom and a Time Factor (TF) and stared blankly at the two manuals wondering how the heck they work together. I've received enough messages on the gear page to realize I wasn't alone in this. There's good news though! It's way, way easier than you think and the two pedals will work together right out of the box. The hardest thing is understanding what's going on and both manuals assume you understand MIDI already. I'll help explain what's going on with the MIDI and give you the basics on how to use the two together to call up presets on the TF for any preset on the Musicom. I won't get into the anything advanced, just the very basics to get you rolling. Here goes.

The first thing is understanding what's going on. For now, ignore anything in the manuals about control changes (CC) and program change channels (choosing a channel 1-16... both products use channel 1 by default and you don't need to change anything). All you need to know about is program changes (PCs). When you want the TF to change banks based on the Musicom, there needs to be some communication between the two, that communication is a PC. A PC is actually just a number, 1-128. When you change banks on the Musicom you can tell it to send a PC to the TF. The TF receives that PC number and knows to change presets.

The TF needs to know what preset to switch to based on the PC number it receives. If you read the TF manual you'll find there's a table in the TF where is PC number is mapped to a preset in the TF. By default the TF's table is set up like this:

PC number - TF bank
================
1 - 1:1
2 - 1:2
3 - 2:1
4 - 2:2
5 - 3:1
6 - 3:2
... etc ...
39 - 20:1
40 - 20:2

Since there's only 40 presets in the TF, PC number 41 through 128 won't do anything. You won't need to change that table and actually, you won't need to do anything to the TF at all, it's all set up the way you need it out of the box.

In fact, the only thing you need to do is plug a MIDI cable from the Musicom to the TF and tell the Musicom which PC number to send on any of it's presets. It's worth mentioning that the Musicom can send a PC number of 1-128, or you can set the musicom to send "NoN" (or "---" on the older musicom) which means it won't send a PC number and the TF will stay on whatever bank it was already on.

There are two versions of the Musicom EFX out there, so I'll give instructions for each. Hope this helps! If you have more questions write it in the comments. Good luck!!

EFX MKII (the wider shorter new one):

1) Select the preset you want to be in. Make sure you're in preset mode (not edit mode)
2) Hold down the MODE button until the screen displays PC1
3) Press the PS3 button to chose a PC number - the screen will display NoN or whatever number you had previously chosen for this preset.
4) Use the bank up/down buttons to chose NoN or a number 1-40 (whichever TF preset you want)
5) Press the PS3 button again to save the number
6) Press the mode button again to be done.

Original EFX (the more square older one):

1) Select the preset you want to be in. Make sure you're in preset mode (not edit mode)
2) Hold down the MODE button until the screen displays PC1
3) Press the PS4 button to chose a PC number - the screen will display "---" or whatever number you had previously chosen for this preset.
4) Use the bank up/down buttons to chose "---" or a number 1-40 (whichever TF preset you want)
5) Press the PS4 button again to save the number
6) Press the mode button again to be done.

3 comments:

rafae said...

Please !!! Help me !!! Im thinking buy the EFX MK II !!! But I have some doubts !!! Could you email me ??? rafaelsodre@hotmail.com !!!
Thanks !!!
Rafael.

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