Dsl Midi

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by SkyMonkey, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Active Member

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    Has anyone out there had any success with MIDI control of either the DSL 40CR or DSL100HR?

    I have the 40CR and a BOSS GT-100 but have been discouraged by all the online feedback about getting the two to talk to each other. Apparently the GT cannot send the required Bank Change messages for channel changing the DSLs. Some have claimed that the GTs will change channels on the JVM line but the trail always go cold when I try to get details. The manuals for both are almost no help!

    My knowledge of how to actually program MIDI is piss poor and I need an expert to explain.

    Is there a multi effects out there that works with a DSL or will the BOSS GT work with the right programming.
     
  2. drraven

    drraven New Member

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    Hi SkyMonkey, I have a DLS40CR, and recently I was able to get the MIDI connection working with my Line6 Pod XT foot pedal unit. As per the documentation from the DSL40CR manual shown below, the DSL40CR is set to MIDI channel 1 from the factory. So I went into my POD XT settings and set it to MIDI channel 1 as well, so now the amp could receive MIDI messages from my Pod XT. If you'd rather use a different channel, you can follow the instructions below to change the amp's MIDI channel but unless you’re using any other MIDI gadgets in your guitar rig, probably simplest to leave it on MIDI channel 1. Take note, the MIDI switching function will not work if you have the 2-way foot switch plugged into the amp, so be sure to disconnect it.

    Once the MIDI channels are set the same, you'll need to understand what MIDI can do for you with the amp. If you take a look at page 7 of the DSL40CR's manual, it shows a chart for the MIDI Implementation and it lists “Program Change”. Program Change messages are simply messages to tell the receiving device to change it’s patch or preset. And in the Program Change section it says, "Amp channels mapped to every four PC values". This means that the amp has only 4 patches that can be accessed via MIDI. These 4 patches correspond to the amp’s 4 channels of 1) Classic Gain Clean, 2) Classic Gain Crunch, 3) Ultra Gain OD1 and 4) Ultra Gain OD2. My POD XT has 4 foot switches on it labelled A, B, C, and D, which works out perfectly to correspond with the 4 "patches" on the amp. If I press pedal A, it will switch the amp to Classic Gain Clean, if I press pedal B it switches the amp to Classic Gain Crunch, and so on for pedals C and D with the 2 Ultra Gain channels. If I were to press the bank up pedal to go to the next bank of 4 patches, they would still line up just the same to the 4 channels on the amp, and this 4 patch loop just keeps going and going if you change banks up or down.

    Your GT-100 has 4 pedals as well labelled 1 to 4. So, just like my POD XT, pedal # 1 would switch to Classic Gain Clean, pedal # 2 would switch to Classic Gain Crunch and so on. That's it, pretty basic, right?

    But if you take another look at the MIDI implementation chart, it shows under "MIDI Implementation Chart Control Number Information" that there are 2 other functions you can access. The first is CC message #13 for Loop On or Off, and the second is CC message # 14 for Master On or Off, which I believe means it will switch between the 2 Master volumes. These 2 functions are accessed by sending MIDI CC or “Control Change” messages to the amp. CC messages are just a message that is sent to the receiving device to turn a feature on or off, or increase or decrease something. They are most often used for external expression pedals to act as a Wah or Volume pedal, but they can do many different things depending on what the device can do. So how do you send a CC message to the amp? The CC messages are sent from your GT-100 by assigning a specific CC message value to a specific pedal. I did a little google search and found a forum discussion about using CC messages with their GT-100 and the consensus is that “you need to use external CTL switches because the internal Phrase Loop and ACCL/CTL switches only act as momentary when sending the CC#.”

    So, if you take a look at the back of the GT-100 you’ll see 2 jacks labelled AMP CTL and SUB CTL 1,2/SUB CTL. If you connect external foot switches to these jacks then you can go into the GT-100’s settings and assign CC messages to the 2 switches to turn the FX loop or or off, and also switch between the 2 Master volumes. To find out how to assign CC messages to the 2 switches take a look at Page 33 of the GT-100 manual, and the GT-100’s Parameter guide. Note that you must use specific types of foot switches for this function to work. Boss recommends the FS-5U or FS-6.

    This should get you most of the way. HTH!

    Andy

    -----------------------
    Manuals and Guides:
    https://www.boss.info/us/products/gt-100/support/

    Sending CC messages from the GT-100:
    https://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=14186.0

    Marshall DSL40CR Manual:
    27. MIDI IN
    Connect your external MIDI device to the MIDI IN socket.
    Note: The amplifier only accepts incoming data and it is not able to send any MIDI commands.
    You can set the channel, the state of the LOOP and MASTER volume via MIDI messages.
    MIDI commands allow the remote control of some front panel functions (refer to MIDI implementation chart at the end of this manual). The MIDI receive channel is factory-set to channel 1. In order to set a different channel, press and hold the Loop On/Off switch (Front Panel Function #23) while powering up the amplifier to activate MIDI waiting mode. The LED will flash until a valid MIDI command is received. The MIDI receive channel will be set to the channel of that command.
    To select MIDI OMNI receive, put the amplifier into MIDI waiting mode andthen press and hold the Master Select switch (Front Panel Function #18) until its LED flashes. Note: When the 2-way footswitch is connected the amplifier will not respond to any MIDI messages.
     
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  3. drraven

    drraven New Member

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    One more thing I forgot to add. The 4 channel preset "loop" thing may seem little restrictive. I know when I first started working with MIDI on a guitar amp, I thought I would be able to custom configure or map each of POD XT's 4 pedals to *control* the amp's features. As we've seen in my post above, it doesn't work that way. The amp just keeps looping through its 4 channels. But it doesn't mean you're stuck. Instead of trying to control the amp, you need to focus on planning ahead and crafting the patches you create in your GT-100 and lining them up with the 4 channels of the amp. For example, on my POD-XT, I have disabled the amp modelling function because the DSL40CR has all the gain I could possibly need. I just want to use the effects in the POD XT like delay, reverb, chorus etc. So, if I press Bank 1 pedal A, it switches the amp to the Classic Gain Clean sound. Great, we all need a good basic clean sound, so might as well be on pedal A! But I also program Bank 1 Patch A on the Pod to have a compressor, a little chorus and a little reverb. Nice. When I press Bank 1 pedal B on the POD XT, I get the Classic Gain Crunch channel on the amp. I play mostly hard rock or metal, and the Classic Gain Crunch channel doesn't have enough gain for me, so I don't care for this channel much, but you can set up the effects on Bank 1 Patch 2 on your GT-100 to whatever works with the Classic Gain Crunch sound. Moving on, if I press Bank 1 pedal C, the amp switches to Ultra Gain OD1. Now we're talking! This I use as my basic rhythm sound so it's dry with no effects. However, since there are 4 switches on the POD XT above the A B C D switches labelled AMP, STOMP, MOD and DELAY, I could kick those on or off if I wanted to. Again, it's about planning ahead. On to Bank 1 pedal D, which switches the amp to the Ultra Gain OD2, which I use for leads. On the POD XT, I'll enable a little delay, or I can leave the delay off and just kick in the DELAY pedal when I need delay.

    Now here's where it gets interesting. Say I'm playing the song Barracuda by Heart, and I need to get that flanger sound happening for the intro. Well, I know I want to use my rhythm sound for this, so I would want to use the Ultra Gain OD1 channel which means pedal C on my POD XT. Well, I could just use Bank 1 Pedal C and configure the MOD pedal to be a flanger that I can turn on and off, BUT If I hit the Bank Up pedal to go to Bank 2, and then press pedal C, the amp will switch to the Ultra Gain OD 1 channel, and I can custom tweak this preset on my POD XT to enable a flanger and have it on so I am ready to play that Barracuda intro. When I finish the intro, I can either press the MOD pedal to kill the flanger, or if I really feel like dancing, I can hit Bank Down and then hit pedal C again and I am back to my dry rhythm sound. So, it's really about planning ahead, remembering that the banks can have different effects enabled, and creating your patches on your GT-100 to suit the amp, not the other way around. Again, HTH!

    Andy
     
  4. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Active Member

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    That is amazing!!!

    I never expected such a complete answer. I will have to study what you posted. I've copied it to a Word doc for quick access on my desktop. What you said about the repeating 1,2,3,4, +Bank changes rings a bell from when I've tried to understand in the BOSS manual.
    At the moment I use the 4 cable method and have 2 main patches. One using the preamps from the DSL and an optional OD in the front, with a couple of time based effects in the loop. The other for an effected clean tone, with a heavy distortion (Metal Zone) option.
    I use the 6 button footswitch, so if this disables the MIDI function the same way the 2 button does I will have to weigh up the pros and cons of each option.
    Looks like time to take tap dancing lessons!

    Cheers Andy and welcome to the Marshall Forum. You will love it here.

    P.S. Have you tried the 4CM with your POD XTpro in stereo yet?
     
  5. drraven

    drraven New Member

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    You are most welcome SkyMonkey! Glad to help. Just because the amp has the 4 "patches" or channels, doesn't mean you have to use them all. If you have 2 basic patches, then just line them up with the amp channels that you need to use. From your description it sounds like you'd be using the Ultra Gain OD 1 for the first patch, so you would use the GT-100's pedal numbered 3. And for the clean patch you would likely use the Classic Gain Clean channel, so you'd use the GT-110's pedal numbered 1. The GT-100's pedals 2 and 4 can be set to a blank patch so they don't do anything, or you may find you have a use for them if you tweak the sounds a little. I'm just using the Pod XT for delay, reverb and mod effects, so I'm using the 3 cable method. Guitar plugs into the amp input . The amp's FX Send goes to the Pod XT input. Pod XT output then goes to the amp's FX Return. The Pod XT does suck tone a bit, so I am using it for now, but eventually I'll upgrade to something a little cleaner sounding. The DSL40CR manual says MIDI won't work with the 2 button foot switch, so I would think it would be the same with the 6-button switch too. But once you get your patches on the GT-100 lined up with the amp channels, and you get a foot switch or 2 connected to the CTL jacks for sending the CC messages then you should be able to tap dance like a pro ;)

    Andy
     
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  6. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Active Member

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    I am thinking I will make 2 patches. One for the Classics (1 & 2), and one for the Ultras (3 & 4), and copy these vertically. Then tweak them to make some different options. Will report back if the GT-100 works with the DSL.
     
  7. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Active Member

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    Hi Pavol.

    I am using the 4 cable method by the way. If you don’t know how to set this up follow this link.

    https://www.rolandcorp.com.au/blog/4-cable-method-4cm

    Then move the S/R (set to normal) in the effects chain to just before the divider (preamp split).

    Briefly:

    1. Remove the footswitch cable from the DSL. MIDI is blocked when a footswitch is connected!

    2. The DSL is setup for MIDI channel 1 by default, so you need to check the GT is set to channel 1 too (GT owners manual p. 45). Unless you have changed this, I think the GT default is channel 1 too.

    3. In any one bank on the GT there are 4 numbered patches 1,2,3,4 (i.e. the footswitches). These will correspond to the 4 channel options on the DSL. So when you choose user patch 1 from bank 1 (U01-1) the DSL will switch to the classic clean channel. U01-2 will select the classic crunch channel. And so on.

    4. These fixed channel selections are repeated for Bank 2, and so on. You cannot set U0-1 to select the ultra gain OD1 for example, it will always be classic clean.

    So I set up a user patch at U01-1 in 4CM for the clean channel with no effects in front of the amp and checked that it worked with all 4 DSL channels. Then copy that patch to the other 3 patches in the bank.

    You can then add effects as and where you want them for each level of channel gain. For extra flexibility I highly recommend getting a compatible 2 button footswitch for CTL pedal switching options (I have 2 FS-5U pedals with a Y-splitter cable).

    You could then repeat the patches in Bank 2 for different effects and OD for the different channels. This means, to change between 2 classic clean patches you press Bank up, then Patch 1 again.

    Keep adding Banks (in 4 patch sets) as you need them. Any problems, just post in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Pavol90 likes this.
  8. Pavol90

    Pavol90 New Member

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    Gents, thanks a lot for all the explanation.
    I have DSL40CR and I tried to control MIDI via GT100, but I could not make it work.
    My problem was the Omni mode, which I didnt switch on on the DSL40.
    Following your instructions, I finally managed to make them talk together, and it is amazing.
    Adding the 4CM and additional 2 button CTL pedal, it gives me all the options I ever wanted.
    I love the preamp of DSL40, and I can bring additional effects in the loop, and use A and B option, and call in effects either from manual mode or with the ALTCTL pedal. It is great.
    For giging, I will use mostly DSL preamp with few time effects.
    For jamming, practicing, writing new songs, I will be trying out different GT100 preamps and patches.

    Thanks again
    Pavol
     
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  9. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    :welcome: To the best forum of Marshall you will ever find! Cheers Mitch
     
  10. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Active Member

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    Nice one Pavol. Glad to be of help.
     

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