MS Footswitch Layout

Today was a successful start! For the sake of future navigation, I’ll be splitting up today’s discoveries into multiple posts, some of which won’t be posted for a while as I plan to videotape the process on the MalletKAT.Today’s MS/MK session was an attempt to begin my layout for an upcoming production. I’ll be playing mallets (marimba, and kalimba), hand percussion (shakers, cowbells, etc..) and hand drums (djembé, conga, and bongos). The MS/MK set-up will be providing the mallet percussion sounds.My needs in this instance are as follows:-Concert with marimba and kalimba-Footswitch control over patch change (also changes octave control within MK)Although the above list is short, it was relatively complicated. More so on the MK end but we’ll be addressing MS for now.

First is creating a new concert for us to edit. I started with the “Keyboard Minimalist” under the “Keyboard” option.

Next, I selected the “Edit” menu in the top left hand corner. I changed the default patch to the Marimba in the patch library located in the center bottom of the screen. I then added a second patch by pressing the “+” symbol in the left hand column and selected the African Kalimba patch.

Once my instruments were selected, I went to the “Layout” menu. When here, I added a foot switch. I pressed the foot switch on the MK I intended to use for patch changes (foot controller 2) and saw the MIDI channel displayed was “22”. I changed the Number in the left-hand column to “22” and assured that MS recognized it. It did. *NOTE* One thing to be careful of, depending on the foot switch you use (BOSS FS-5U in my case) is to be careful of polarity. When I originally set my pedal up, it was shifting through patches when not depressed, then would stop when depressed. When the pedal is plugged in but NOT depressed, the value at the top of the page should read “0”. When depressed, it should read “127”.

Once the pedal was in the layout, I returned to the “Edit” menu to set the action of the foot switch. This is done by highlighting the foot switch in the diagram. In the below menu, select “Actions” and scroll until you find “Next Patch”. *NOTE* In the below image, marimba is highlighted in the left-hand column. To apply the pedal action to the entire concert, you must highlight the concert title at the top of the patch list.

In terms of MS, this is all that needs to be done! As I said at the beginning, there was slightly more involved with the MK set up. Once I have my camera or a video camera set up to take images/video of the screen on the MK, I will be linking to that blog post. A short summary is as follows though:-Set up user kits within the octave range of each instrument that you want to play-Put user kits within a chain-Set up the same pedal that operates patch changes in MS to also progress through the chain.This MS/MK layout enables me to use a pedal to change the sounds AND the range of an instrument with the press of a single pedal.

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