Home › Forums › Products › Stompboxes › New to MIDI – controlling a Pitchfactor and L6 M5 › Reply To: New to MIDI – controlling a Pitchfactor and L6 M5
A single MIDI cable is the simplest, most cost-effective way to introduce yourself to MIDI.
First, you have to get your head around the 'master-slave' relationship. One pedal is designated as the 'master'. It generates and sends program changes (presets), control messages (MIDI CC messages), timing (MIDI Clock), and other parameters. The 'slave' is controlled by and receives program changes, MIDI CC messages, timing and others from the 'master'.
Usually there is one 'master', which determines what all of the 'slaves' that follow will do. Not unlike working in an office. Or in a band named after the lead vocalist.
The Line 6 M5 Pilot's Handbook is a little light on MIDI Implementation. It seems to imply that all you have to do is match MIDI Channels (see below), and hook up the cables. The Pitchfactor manual is a whole lot more detailed and helpful. Explore the MIDI and System sections thoroughly.
Pick either device as a 'master'. Either way, you'll have to match 24 presets (of 100) in the Pitchfactor to the 24 available presets in the M5. The M5 sets that limit. (There are ways to 'map' any PF preset to the 24 M5 presets, but that's getting a little advanced for now.)
Yes, but again, either device could be the 'master' here. Always hook up the 'master's' MIDI Out jack to the 'slave's' MIDI In jack. Here's a general idea of how you need to set this up; once the cable is plugged in:Show More...
- Master MIDI Out to Slave MIDI In
- Master MIDI Channel matches Slave MIDI Channel (pick any one in a simple system)
- Master set to transmit [XMT] messages out. Slave set to receive [RCV] messages in.
- Master changes and/or remaps preset numbers. Slave follows those same presets (or re-mapping).
- Master generates / transmits timing [CLK] out. Slave receives & syncs to Master timing.
- Master sends controller [CC] messages. Slave parameters react to Master control messages.
MIDI is highly configurable. Once you get the two devices 'talking' together, there's not much that you can do wrong. Master pitch could control Slave distortion, Or Master delay time could control Slave delay depth. An expression pedal or aux switches in the Master can act on both Master and Slave. Or, you can just match one Master preset to a complimentary one in the Slave. It depends on how far you want to take it, or how much time you're willing to invest to get THE exact sound and control.
That might be a good start, but you don't need it yet to explore what MIDI control can do for you. Dive in, figure out how you want MIDI to work for you, and then research a device purchase that will help you get there. Remember, if you bring in a new Master, the other devices (usually) have to become Slaves. MIDI is a serial protocol, and it likes to travel from Point A through Point B to Point C.
Let me know how this works out for you, or if you run into any snags. If it's on the M5 side, I'll need a pretty detailed description (never used one).