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Author Topic: What I have learned about the Behringer FCB1010  (Read 11836 times)

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MikeB

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What I have learned about the FCB1010

I first started looking for a midi controller when I got a TC G-Major 2 to go with my MP1.  I needed something that was going to be more powerful than just the program changes available with the MC1.  I did some googling and the only thing that came up that was within my price range was the FCB1010.  I does Program changes, Control Changes and has a couple of expression pedals.  Seemed perfect, so I picked one up.

I have had it for about 3 years now and feel like I'm in a position to provide a pros and cons list and some hints for newbies.

Pros:
Each patch can send 5 Program Changes and 2 Control Changes, each on potentially different midi channels.
It has a couple of relay switch outputs that can be programmed with each patch
It has a midi-in which is just passed through so it can be chained with other midi devices
Because it is a popular piece of kit, there are a lot of mods available to customise it to your needs
There is at least one really good PC editor available (they are all 3rd party)

Cons:
It is a complete bugger to program in its stock form
It is not very sturdy.  I've already had one of the buttons break because it is very plasticky and have had to have it reinforced in places.
No phantom power in its stock form (however, there is a mod)
Its quite bulky (which combined with its fragility is a constant worry for me)

Basically, I love the functionality of this thing.  i just wish that it was a bit more solid.  I guess that would have put it in the expensive price range that I wouldn't have been able to afford.  So, you can't have everything.

My most important tip for Newbies:
Get an editor.  The one that I use is the FCB/UNO CONTROL CENTER. 
It can be found at: http://www.lg-fcb.com/lgfcb_software.php
It can be used with a stock FCB1010 or with the UnO mod.
It isn't free but it is not expensive.  It offers a graphical representation of the pedal board and you can click on the various parts with a mouse to set the values that you want.  It makes the programming of the board so easy that it will also help you to understand how it all works, which will give you more ideas about how to program it.
You will need to get a USB to midi interface to use this.  I have bought a really cheap thing off ebay.  MJMP doesn't like the cheap ones and recommends that you get a better quality unit.  He's probably right.  I haven't YET had any problems with mine.  I use it for the FCB, the G-Major 2 and the MP1. 
My first mistake with the USB/midi inteface was to plug the "out" lead into the "out" midi socket on the FCB.  The "out" label on the lead refers to it being "out" from the computer.

Have I modified mine?
You bet.  I have installed the UnO eprom.  Available from: http://www.ossandust.be/index.php
Switching the Eprom was quite straight forward.  (not sure what it will do to your warantee).
This mod has changed the behaviour of the FCB in a way that suits me perfectly.
What was once 10 banks of 10 patches is now 20 banks of 5 patches with the other five pedals now being Change Control switches.  They can be set as toggles or momentary. 

My setup.
I have five basic sounds that I use.  I have two guitars with quite different pickups and sometimes I play through speakers and sometimes I play through a cabinet simulator.  So this results in 4 pretty similar banks of 5 mp1 patches.  Each matching patch in the 4 banks uses the same patch on the G major2.  I have set up the Program Change footswitches to send a Program change on two different midi channels.  1 for the MP1 and 2 for the G major.  That way the FCB is able to coordinate the mixture of mp1 and g Major patches.  Therefore I have a bank on the FCB that is for my LesPaul to Speakers, Strat to Speakers, Les Paul to Cab sim and finally Les Paul to Cab sim.  The five CC pedals turn on or off the various effects blocks on the G-Major (modulation, filter, delay, reverb, and pitch).  One of the expression pedals controls the mix of reverb and the other the mix of all the other effects.
Setting all this up on the FCB editor was easy because it also has a table style view that allows cutting and pasting.

Geez, where does the time go?  I'm going to bed.
I'll have to do this in chapters.  I'll get around to the other mods I want to do shortly.
If any one else wants to throw in their two cents worth, I'd be very interested.
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rnolan

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Well I can attest the results of your endeavors are good  :thumb-up: but then I get to jam/rehearse /play with you LOL
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Studio Rig: MP2/MB1 > Eurorack UB2442FX-Pro > TC M-One XL > Behringer Truths (with Truth Sub) / QUAD ESL 63s
Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

DesmoBob

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Thanks for posting this. This is info is a HUGE help in deciding on the purchase, and I think I will give it a shot before the end of the year.

Initially, I think I will attempt to do the manual programming. I looked up the 1010 manual, and the hardest part appears to be remembering what step you're at in the process; otherwise, it's like following a recipe. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I'm very OCD, so hopefully I can put that to good use, heh. Plus, when I looked up the price for the software editor, it cost more than the controller.

These especially caught my eye.
Pros:
Each patch can send 5 Program Changes and 2 Control Changes, each on potentially different midi channels.
.
.
.
Cons:
No phantom power in its stock form (however, there is a mod)

My #1 need in a controller is that with one footpress, it can simultaneously send multiple program changes on different channels. This appears to be it. I don't really have a need for any other feature, like CC or expression, but it's nice to know they're available.

The phantom power mod sounds interesting. By phantom power, does it mean that the IEC cord is eliminated, and power comes through the MIDI cable? Is it similar to the MC-1 power, where you can use a 7-pin cable to connect to the MP-1?
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MikeB

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Hey DesmoBob,
I'm glad this helped.
You have nailed the issue with the manual programming.  It totally did my head in remembering which step i was up to.
You have the wrong software editor. At the bottom of the same page is the one that i have for just 16 euros.  You want the  UnO FCB control Centre,  not the LG FCB one.

Yes, by phantom power i mean that power comes through the midi cable. I have found a variety of plans for performing the mod. Some better than others. The one that really caught my eye is a kit that looks ridiculously easy to install. it will use the 5-pin socket that is already on the FCB.  You can modify the mod to use a 7-pin that is compatible with the mp1, but it means swapping out the midi socket as well.
This is the one i will ultimately do http://www.dmvelectronics.com/store/pc/home.asp
You can also get a power insertion midi cable which might just be easier than swapping the midi socket.
Mike
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DesmoBob

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MikeB, thanks for the info about the 16 euro version. I looked straight at it and didn't even see it.  :facepalm: I'll definitely get the software if/when I get frustrated. Ugh, that means I'll need a midi-usb interface. These things keep adding up.

BTW, I didn't reckon I'd cave so soon. A shiny, new FCB1010 is now on order. I have a lot of time to figure it out though, since I'll be creating all new patches from scratch on my entire rack. I'll also make some flowcharts defining what presets will call upon which patches in which devices.

I probably won't attempt any phantom power mods until the warranty period expires.
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MikeB

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It sure does add up. It seems i can't turn around without my rack demanding more money from me. 
i keep thinking "just this one last thing and then I'm finished".  There is no last thing.

I look forward to hearing about your adventures. Good luck.
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rnolan

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Flow charts are a very good idea and will help you trouble shoot any issues. Funny, I've always done it in my head (then my rig is quite simple), but a simple programming schematic would make it much easier, and help think through other options as well.   :thumb-up:

Sounds like the FCB1010 will suit you purpose well. The phantom power option is great for gigs/rehearsals etc (loved it for years  :whoohoo!: ).  If your tinkering at home and it stays much in the same place not being packed down/set up constantly, the jug (IEC) lead will do fine for now. (I'm a bit amazed Behringer haven't done something about it) but I spose they designed it to be the centre of a bunch of stop boxes so you'd need power at you feet anyway. Make sure you plug it into the same circuit (power board) as the MP1 to minimise earth loop possibilities.
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Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

DesmoBob

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It finally arrived this evening. Spent a little while with it, and for my particular application, manual programming is really not bad. All I'm doing is sending different patch changes to 3 different MIDI devices over 3 different channels, so it's just a few programming steps per preset. But I can see how it can spiral out of control once you start adding other commands.

The thing that will take getting used to is how it displays the current preset during use. I was used to the MC-1, where, for example, preset 39 (bank 3, patch 9) is simply displayed as 39 in the LED display. On the FCB1010, the LED display only shows the bank, and the footswitch pedal numbers tell you the patch.  So preset 39 is displayed as 03, plus an illuminated footswitch #9. Multiples of 10 are even more counterintuitive--preset 40 is displayed as 03, plus footswitch #10 illuminated (30 + 10).
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rnolan

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I suspect (Multiples of 10 are even more counterintuitive--preset 40 is displayed as 03, plus footswitch #10 illuminated (30 + 10).) is because ADA (quite sensibly in my view) went with 001 to 128, where lots of other devices (e.g. my Quadverb) go from 000 - 127 (which is maybe more a computer progamers way to think of the numbers, don't waste the 000 byte...). But the consequence for us ADAers is that with allot of units, for a given midi patch number sent to them their patch number will be one less than ADA (e.g. ADA = 40, other thingy(s) = 39). Seem Behringer went with the flow (as lots of units are 000 - 127, 001 - 128 is much rarer in my experience). MC1 and MXP send out 001 (Quadverb goes to 000, ADA goes to 001).
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rnolan

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Just thought about this some more, it's probably more true to say that the MC1 and MXP sends out 000 when you select 001 on the pedal and the ADA maps it + one more (i.e. 001). Why else would the other units read it as 000 (BTW some units you can select between 000 - 127 or 001 - 128), e.g. if I just change the Quadverb using my MXP, if I select patch 001 on MXP, the Quadverb reads it as 000. So MXP is sending proper midi numbers, it's about how the other gadgets interprets/use/maps that.
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GuitarBuilder

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Re: What I have learned about the Behringer FCB1010
« Reply #10 on: Time Format »

The two approaches to 128 MIDI programs you mention can be a real pain.  I have the same problem in my Rockman rig (SR&D uses 001-128), where my Alesis DEQ830 uses 000-127.  You'd think the manufacturer would make that a user-selectable option (and some do!).  The answer is to use this MIDI swiss-army knife:

MIDI Solutions Event Processor



It converts any program address to another (plus a host of other things).
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Dante

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Re: What I have learned about the Behringer FCB1010
« Reply #11 on: Time Format »

^^ that's a cool little device. I had no idea there was such a thing
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MikeB

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Re: What I have learned about the Behringer FCB1010
« Reply #12 on: Time Format »

I have just changed my thinking on the whole process. there is no correlation between patch numbers on any of my devices. Because the fcb1010 is the master control unit in my setup, i have it all organised in terms of my different tones, but it will then go off and fetch that from wherever on the rack units.  If you have a controller that can talk to all of your rack units independently, why bother getting them all lined up.
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rnolan

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Re: What I have learned about the Behringer FCB1010
« Reply #13 on: Time Format »

Hey Mike, depends how you like to think about it I spose, more a this goes with that approach...
My early experiences with Midi was with sequencing programs on Neils Atari, notator, creator, the along came QueBase (which back then was just a sequencer), the war of the sequencers LoL. So then we were mapping midi channels to various gadgets to play parts, Alesi drum machine (drums obviously), Korg M1 keyboard, bass, keys etc so you have them on separate midi channels and select which patch on the gadget you wanted in the sequencer. So the mapping aspect was similar to how you do yours.

The MC1/MXC are much more simple (as you know) and just send out a patch change (well MXC does more with CC but simply put), so the various gadgets just get a change number (which of course you can map at the gadget). Also a guitar setup tends to grow from the preamp out and then combine FX gadgets so in our case MP1/2 centric. I tend to assign the same Quadverb delay/reverb patch (000) to most things (these days), there were time it was much more elaborate, but if I wanted a different FX patch for a given ADA patch, I tended to make them the same number (-1 in case of Quadverb LoL), but also across other gadgets so they'd all have the same(ish) patch number. Just the way I though about it, so if I had MP2 patch 40 say, and I wanted a specific FX combination for it, I'd dial that up on patch 39 in Quadverb, and with IPS33 (00-99 only) patch 40. So that constituted the patch 40 tone and was easy to tell on each device.

With FCB, it's similar (in some ways) to the sequencer where you can send a bunch of different changes (5 IIRC ?) to a bunch of different midi channels by pressing one button. Which lends itself to the way your approaching it. But once you get 30 or 40 different patches going (like my days in The Queue), can get confusing. Back then, I was setting up very specific patches for various songs.
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Live Rig: MP2/MB1 > Alesis Quadverb > Alesis Midiverb 4 > Yamaha AM802 > B200s/Carvin TS100/DCM200L > ADA Split Stacks/Mesa P112s

Dante

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Re: What I have learned about the Behringer FCB1010
« Reply #14 on: Time Format »

Um...I may have acquired an FCB1010

I have not plugged it in yet, I need to pick up a midi cable. I could plug it into my iPod, but it's late. I'll do it later
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