Programming MIDI foot controller for multiple functions

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Barfnuts
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Programming MIDI foot controller for multiple functions

Post by Barfnuts » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:10 am

Hi everyone,

I've been a loyal (sometimes frustrated) Cubase user since SX, and I've got a pretty good grip on the software since I've been using it for so long. Up until now, I've only been using it solely for recording and mixing home recordings. However, I've recently joined a group where we'll be playing live, and my role is playing both keyboards and rhythm guitar.

I wanted to use Cubase & Instrument VST's for both the piano and for my guitar, and to be able to control both with my MIDI foot controller for changing instruments/presets/etc so that I don't have to continually turn to my computer between songs and do everything manually.

I've tried setting things up using the Cubase manual and watching some tutorials but I can't seem to wrap my head around the proper way to program the pedalboard and Cubase together to get to do what I want. I know that questions similar to this have been asked in the past on this forum but they don't cover the problems I'm having.

I'm not even sure if it's possible to accomplish what I need, so this is why I'm posting, hoping that some kind soul can point me in the right direction on how to properly achieve the results I need, or tell me that it's not possible at all.

Hardware:
  • Cubase Pro 10 running on Mac OSX (Whatever the latest version is, I can't remember)
  • Yamaha Digital Piano (connected to Mac via USB)
  • Fender Strat guitar (connected to Scarlett - Analog Input 1)
Software/VST's:
  • Halion Sonic (VST Instrument for piano)
  • Sonicprojects OP-X Pro-II (VST Instrument for piano)
  • Native Instruments B4 II (VST Instrument for piano)
  • Guitar Rig Pro 5 (VST insert for guitar amp modelling/effects)
What I need the foot controller to do:
This is the tricky part. Most of the tutorials I've seen regarding MIDI controllers involve interfaces for realtime automation and making adjustments like EQ'ing easier. I want to use my pedalboard more as a remote control.
  • For the piano/VST instruments, I want to be able to assign a button on the foot controller for each VST to simply turn them on and off. For example - Button #1 = Halion On/Off, Button #2 = OP-X Pro-II On/Off, etc. I don't need to control any of the functions inside the VST itself (modulation, reso, etc).
  • For Guitar Rig, I want to be able to assign a few buttons to a handful of presets. I don't need to control any of the effects inside the presets, I just need to be able to switch back and forth between them.
So, the FCB1010 controller has 10 buttons that I can use. This is what my planned layout would be:
- Button 1 - Halion On/Off
- Button 2 - OP-X Pro-II On/Off
- Button 3 - B4-II On/Off
- Button 4 - Reserved for other VST Inst On/Off
- Button 5 - Guitar Rig - Preset 1
- Button 6 - Guitar Rig - Preset 2
- Button 7 - Guitar Rig - Preset 3
- Button 8 - Guitar Rig - Preset 4

My Problem
I have no experience with MIDI controllers. Cubase detects the foot controller easily within the MIDI setup in the Studio Setup menu (thankfully). I'm confused on whether to use Track Quick Controls, VST Quick Controls and even what the difference between them are. Do I need to set up the midi pedalboard controller in MIDI Device Manager? Parameters? Subnodes? Huh-wha? Do I need to setup separate MIDI channels because the piano is using Channel 1? Do I have to physically keep Guitar Rig on top of everything to control changing its presets?

So confused.

If anybody has any experience in this area and has some pointers, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Cheers,
Travis

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