Author Topic: Built - Zoom MS-50/70 Foot Controller  (Read 294 times)

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sirastatine

Built - Zoom MS-50/70 Foot Controller
« on: September 22, 2017, 09:03:19 AM »
I've had the Zoom MS-50G and MS-70CDR for a few years now - they've replaced a lot of pedals for me, especially in the delay and modulation department, especially since the new firmware came out with the full reverbs etc for the MS-50G. However, the major drawback of these units is the lack of ability to do any switching - you can build up a chain of 6 effects units, but can only turn one on/off at once using the switch.

I'd seen a few people have built patch switchers based on the fact that the unit will accept MIDI CC messages over USB. There was also a discussion on TGP that showed that the unit also works with sysex information that allows full access to the patch structure for changing parameters, and turning on-off of individual units. This piqued my interest - and I set out to try and build a controller that would allow me to switch patches, but also turn on/off individual effects within a patch.

I started the project with a raspberry pi to prove the concept before switching to an arduino board with a separate usb host controller. The controller has six momentary switches and six bicolour red-green LEDs to show the status of the individual effect banks - green is on, red means the effect is present but off and not lit means that bank is empty. This meant using a shift-register as there were not enough pins on the arduino for this many LEDs and the required communications to the USB controller.

Holding down some of the switches activates alternative functions - holding down the first switch bypasses all the effects. If you're familiar with these pedals, this is sort of like having the line-selector effect at the front, but without having to use a block or the DSP usage. Holding down the third switch changes into a 'bank mode' where the four switches select different patches.

The guts are a bit of mess as I kept to using a discrete USB controller and a arduino nano clone board - I definitely could improve this! The usb board is a bit of hack involving cutting up a panel mount USB port and taping the housing to the board - not the most, but robust for this version it will do!



Here's the final thing - the current MS-50G patch has three units (fuzz->delay->reverb) which are currently all off. This is my current practice setup. My next thing to do is to label the switches properly, I thought I'd buy a letter punch set and keep the bare aluminium finish.