The Definitive Guide to Programming the FCB1010 for Live

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clarity
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The Definitive Guide to Programming the FCB1010 for Live

Post by clarity » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:51 am

I always knew that Live was awesome tool for real-time performance and composition, but it wasn’t until I saw Realtablists’ Albeton Live 5.2 set [Whoah!] and DJ Enferno’s videos [O-M-G!] that I decided that I should stop procrastinating and buy an FCB1010.

I work as a HiTech specialist in a music chain here in Melbourne so following my own advice, I RTFM. And then I RTFM again…had another cup of coffee…and RTFM again…Yes, it’s true. The FCB1010 is a pain to program and the manual doesn’t explain programming it clearly or effectively. What’s with that family tree diagram…anyway…

After searching these forums I managed to piece together all the pertinent information required to program the FCB1010 to send MIDI Control Command messages (commonly known as CC messages, sometimes called CC numbers).
The advantage of using CC’s rather than MIDI notes is that the FCB1010 won’t advertently play notes…unless of course you’re trying to recreate a Moog Taurus pedal…(hmmm….). For an excellent explanation of MIDI CC’s visit http://www.tweakheadz.com/midi_controllers.htm

So much thanks goes out to everyone who has previously posted their tips to this forum. This is just a distillation of those posts and links - it is from those articles I’ve put together this step-by-step guide. And considering I spent six-or-so hours trying to figure out how to program the damn thing, I thought it would only be fair to share these steps so that anyone else thinking of buying an FCB1010 won’t spend six-or-so hours trying to program it.

Firstly, this guide assumes that your FCB1010 is fresh out of the box. If it isn’t just do a factory reset (…fortunately this is something that IS accurately explained in the FCB1010 manual).
It also assumes that you’ve connected the FCB1010 to you computer via a MIDI interface and have already set this up in Live’s MIDI preferences. Oh, and that the FCB1010 is powered on. ;p

A quick note, in the instructions PUSH refers to a quick push of the pedal, HOLD means hold the pedal down for about 2.5 seconds. Now, onto programming.


1. Select the bank to program by tapping the UP/ENTER or DOWN/ESCAPE pedals. In this example, let’s use Bank 05. Ensure that 05 appears in the numeric display

2. Select the pedal to assign a MIDI CC message to. Let’s use pedal #1. Pedal #1’s red LED should light up

3. Push the DOWN/ESCAPE pedal until the green LED for SWITCH 2 starts flashing

4. Push UP/ENTER to confirm that you want to edit pedal #1

5. Now, you’ll notice that pedals #1, #8, and #9 all have their LED’s activated. This means that pedal #1 has these MIDI functions already assigned to it. It is necessary to disable these MIDI functions before programming the FCB1010 to work properly with Live. So, to turn them off you must HOLD THE PEDAL DOWN UNTIL THE RED LED TURNS OFF. Do this for pedals #1, #8, and #9. Pedal #1 – which you’re editing – now has NO CC#’s or MIDI notes assigned to it.

6. Next, you have to assign a MIDI CC to pedal #1. Do this by holding down pedal #6 labelled CNT 1. Pedal #6’s LED should light up and stay on.

7. Push down pedal #6 so that its LED starts flashing.

8. Push UP/ENTER to confirm that you want to change the value for CNT 1.

9. A number should start flashing in the numeric display above the UP/ENTER pedal. This shows the current CC# number that pedal #1 is assigned to. For use with Live, this needs to be assigned to an undefined CC# which are CC#’s 22-31, and 84-90. For this example, let’s use CC#22, so enter this either by pressing the #2 pedal twice, or by using the Expression Controller A.

10. The numeric display should now read 22 and it should not be flashing. Press UP/ENTER to confirm this selection

11. Next, the numeric display should be flashing with a value. This is the velocity setting, which for our purposes you should set to 127 in the same manner described in step 9

12. The numeric display should now read 127 and it should not be flashing. Press UP/ENTER to confirm this selection. The LED for pedal #6 should stop flashing and remain lit.

13. The next step is to save the new settings. To do this, hold the DOWN/ESCAPE pedal until the Bank number appears in the numeric display, which in this case, should be 05. The LED for pedal #1 should remain lit.

14. The quickest way to confirm that the setting has been saved is to assign pedal #1 to a parameter in Live. So, assuming that you’ve already got Live open and your FCB1010 is connected, click on Live’s MIDI button in the top right hand corner.

15. Select a parameter to which you’d like to assign Pedal #1. In this example, let’s assign it to the record arm button of audio channel #1.

16. Press down on pedal #1. The number x/22 should appear on the record arm button where x represents the MIDI channel the data on which the FCB is transmitting on, most likely it’ll be channel 1, 2, or 3. Of main concern is that the number 22 – this is the CC number you’ve just programmed into pedal #1 on the FCB1010.

To assign the rest of the pedals, all you have to do is repeat steps 2 to 13. This is a bit time consuming but having been through it myself, it’s definitely worth the effort.
I haven’t yet explored assigning MIDI CC#’s to the expression pedals, although I’m sure that opportunity will present itself in the near future. And I’m 99.9% sure it’ll be done the same way as I’ve described above.

Currently I have pedals 1-4 to record-arm four audio-tracks whilst pedals 6-8 are used to trigger clip recording. Pedals 9 & 10 are used to navigate up and down scenes. Unfortunately this leaves nothing left to launch scenes. I could have used pedal 4 but that would mean losing a channel…so…I looked for another solution…

Extra Credit!

As part of my real-time looping setup, I’ve also got a Korg Microkontrol for playing synth plugins & recording them as MIDI loops, and playing/looping drums via Impulse. Then I remembered - the Microkontrol can also accept a pedal, normally used for sustain.
After consulting the manual, I found that you can edit the settings so that the footswitch can send out a MIDI CC# message! Yup, at the moment I’m using a Boss FS5L to trigger scene changes. The only hitch is that I have to push the footswitch twice for the scene to change…I’ll have to try other pedals to see if they work any better…any suggestions would be welcome. Although having to press it twice isnt’ that much of a hassle, actually I think of it like a failsafe…

I’m not sure if this will work on other MIDI keyboards, but provided that you can configure incoming pedal/footswitch messages to send a MIDI CC message to Live, it should work. The M-Audio & Evolution controllers should allow you to do this as they also have the Enigma Librarian, and I imagine that the Novation controllers should be able to do this as well.

Peace

clarity

polemans
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Post by polemans » Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:55 am

wow, great, thanks... any chance you could post a sysex file so we could dump it straight to the behringer?
ableton, computer, old drums, newfangled drums, loadsa bits n bobs. - http://www.myspace.com/polemans

clarity
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Location: Australia

Post by clarity » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:05 am

polemans wrote:wow, great, thanks... any chance you could post a sysex file so we could dump it straight to the behringer?
No probs. As for the sysex thing, i'll see what I can arrange.

fatrabbit
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Post by fatrabbit » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:56 pm

Excellent thread! Do you know about the software editors you can get?

polemans
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Post by polemans » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:32 pm

i think the yahoo FCB1010 user group has a link to a pc editor, not used it. no mac editor that i can find.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/fcb1010/
ableton, computer, old drums, newfangled drums, loadsa bits n bobs. - http://www.myspace.com/polemans

billy1
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Re: The Definitive Guide to Programming the FCB1010 for Live

Post by billy1 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:27 pm

clarity wrote: The advantage of using CC’s rather than MIDI notes is that the FCB1010 won’t advertently play notes…

clarity
First of all thanx for the effort...I'm sure it's been apreciated a lot...But I don't get exactly why U prefer midi CC instead of midi notes...I personally learned to program the FCB1010 to the fullest untill I discovered the all I needed was right there...the midi notes!:)...I got the FCB in a dedicated midi in n' I simply disable in every preset all messages but the notes(button 10) assigning a different note for every button of course...n' that's it...works great with me...in live n' anything else..but I guess I'm missing something 'cause as I said I'm courious to understand what are the advantages for U using CC's rather than notes
take care
...billy1

fatrabbit
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Post by fatrabbit » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:55 pm

I'm pretty sure that Live stops a note that is MIDI mapped from playing a VST softsynth in a regular fashion, in order to avoid confusing situations.

billy1
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Post by billy1 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:50 pm

fatrabbit wrote:I'm pretty sure that Live stops a note that is MIDI mapped from playing a VST softsynth in a regular fashion, in order to avoid confusing situations.
That's very true...but in case U were answering to my previews post U didn't get it right...I said that I use a dedicated midi in for the fcb1010...the keybpard is on another midi port...n' anyway I guess that even with only one midi in it'd be possible n' enough to send the fcb on a different channel than the keyboard..my suggestion is still two different midi ins enableing one in "track" n' one in "remote" thou to avoid confusion as U correctly said

take care

clarity
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Location: Australia

Post by clarity » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:56 pm

billy1 wrote:
fatrabbit wrote:I'm pretty sure that Live stops a note that is MIDI mapped from playing a VST softsynth in a regular fashion, in order to avoid confusing situations.
That's very true...but in case U were answering to my previews post U didn't get it right...I said that I use a dedicated midi in for the fcb1010...the keybpard is on another midi port...n' anyway I guess that even with only one midi in it'd be possible n' enough to send the fcb on a different channel than the keyboard..my suggestion is still two different midi ins enableing one in "track" n' one in "remote" thou to avoid confusion as U correctly said

take care
For me it's just personal preference. And for troubleshooting it makes it easier to know that if the FCB1010 is sending out MIDI CC's on a particular channel. I've also had it ingrained into me that MIDI notes should play notes, and that MIDI CC messages should be used to control parameters. I've just applied that to programming the FCB1010.

Peace,

clarity

billy1
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Post by billy1 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:56 am

clarity wrote:
billy1 wrote:
fatrabbit wrote:I'm pretty sure that Live stops a note that is MIDI mapped from playing a VST softsynth in a regular fashion, in order to avoid confusing situations.
That's very true...but in case U were answering to my previews post U didn't get it right...I said that I use a dedicated midi in for the fcb1010...the keybpard is on another midi port...n' anyway I guess that even with only one midi in it'd be possible n' enough to send the fcb on a different channel than the keyboard..my suggestion is still two different midi ins enableing one in "track" n' one in "remote" thou to avoid confusion as U correctly said

take care
For me it's just personal preference. And for troubleshooting it makes it easier to know that if the FCB1010 is sending out MIDI CC's on a particular channel. I've also had it ingrained into me that MIDI notes should play notes, and that MIDI CC messages should be used to control parameters. I've just applied that to programming the FCB1010.

Peace,

clarity
Of course...personal preferences and habits are fair enough...I was simply courious to know if I was missing a specific advantage using midi CC instead of midi notes 'cause I still don't get why midi CC's make it easyer to U...Personally I think the opposite because once U have an enabled "track" midi in for keyboard n' a different enabled "remote" midi in for the FCB I like to program the FCB assigning only midi note 1 to pedal 1,2 to 2,3 to 3 n' so on...so no troubles with "undefined midi CC's" n' that makes it very comfortable also to remind me the midi learn assignings I made when I need it...but again everyone has his own setup n' as long as it works it's all good

peace
...billy1

dizz1
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Post by dizz1 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:39 am

Kuyizzle to the rescue!
(I could have told you all this me ol mucker!!)
:wink:

dizz1
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Post by dizz1 » Mon Jan 08, 2007 9:51 am

Try keep all the tracks rec armed and just program the pedals to trigger the clips.
Mucha easia!

mousetrapreplica
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Post by mousetrapreplica » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:50 pm

I use the FCB1010 purely for record arming so I can play .operator and simpler patches through my MIDI equipped guitar. I have just figured out how to use the fcb for live looping into Ableton, and it is mindblowing what you can do without your hands!

I have to say that I have never found a use for the MIDI CC commands that the FCB has. How do you guys use MIDI CC?(and I am not referring to the MIDI CC on the expression pedals; I know how to use those)

laurentius
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Post by laurentius » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:37 pm

i dont know how it is with the behringer but in my case (nobles mf2) it just makes more sense to use midi notes because i have more usable buttons then. in programm change mode or cc-mode i couldn't use the up and down buttons to send data. in the midinote mode i have those two extrabuttons and this rules over any other argument i guess ;-)
lars.

stringtapper
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Post by stringtapper » Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:45 pm

polemans wrote:i think the yahoo FCB1010 user group has a link to a pc editor, not used it. no mac editor that i can find.

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/fcb1010/
It's called iFCB. Works like a charm and makes the tapdance routine obsolete.
Unsound Designer

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