BIAS FX, iPads, and MIDI controllers

  • So, I've had the opportunity to learn a good bit about MIDI controllers over the past several weeks, learning that BIAS FX on the iPad can theoretically interact with any old MIDI controller.

    And I realized, I have any old MIDI controller - my old Line 6 POD XTLive. It supposedly will send out MIDI messages for each of the footswitches and the expression pedal(s) and the messages are fairly well documented.

    So, I could use my lightning cable and iRig HD2 audio interface, but how to connect the XTLive-used-as-a-MIDI-controller-only to the iPad?

    Have any of you used this -- a Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth Wireless MIDI Interface?

    The idea would be to connect the Yamaha MD-BT01 to the MIDI ports on the XTLive, then install something like the midimttr app on the iPad to catch the Bluetooth MIDI messages.

    Thoughts? (I'm looking at you @pipelineaudio and @alderre) (and of course anyone else as well)

  • A2

    The BT01 works great here with an FCB1010 and MIDImittr on the ipad and way better with a CME WIDIBud on the computer

  • I’m just going to sit this one out. @pipelineaudio has way more insight into midi than I do.

  • @pipelineaudio Hey thanks - I'm going to give it a try! If any one reading has any tips or watchouts for this type of configuration, please let me know.

  • @alderre , np, thanks and - next time!

  • A2

    This is BT01/WIDI Bud in the hardest test there is for MIDI throughput - an expression pedal

  • I received the Yamaha MD-BT01 Bluetooth Wireless Midi Interface yesterday, and I’ve been doing some testing. Thought I’d give everyone a report.

    Here’s the configuration:

    Line 6 Pod XTLive, with the Yamaha MD-BT01 plugged into the MIDI ports on the XTLive.

    midimitter app installed on the iPad to interface with the MD-BT01.

    BIAS FX running on the iPad.

    iPad to iRig HD2 to amp (Atomic Reactor.)

    Looking back through my notes, I think everything is working. I think I can divide the results into “works fine” and “a little weird, but, ok”.

    Things that work fine –

    Connecting the Yamaha MD-BT01 to midimitter worked fine, very easy.

    The Line 6 has four effect buttons, labeled “Amp”, “Stomp”, “Mod”, and “Delay”. Each sends it’s own MIDI CC number, and each was easily assigned to any effect in BIAS FX. “MIDI Learn” worked fine, and specifically assigning the CC numbers worked fine also.

    Tap Tempo works fine, I assigned the CC number.

    Tuner works fine, I assigned the CC number (this one is a “long press”.)

    Volume pedal works fine, I did MIDI Learn for the pedal travel.

    Wah pedal works fine. I assigned the CC number for Wah activation, and did MIDI Learn for the pedal travel.

    I have a second Line 6 expression pedal, and plugging that into the XTLive allowed both Volume pedal and Wah pedal at the same time.

    And, things that are a little weird, but ok –

    The “bank up” and “bank down” buttons on the Line 6 don’t look like they send commands out the MIDI port. Instead, when you finish “banking up” and “banking down” on the Line 6, and then choose patch “A”, “B”, “C”, or “D” from that bank, a specific Program Change gets sent out the MIDI port. These are called “Channels” in Line 6, and channel 1A sends a “0”, channel 1B sends a “1”, channel 1C sends a "2", all the way up to channel 32D sending a “127”. Amazingly to me, this works right out of the box with BIAS FX. If you are on channel 2A on the POD, and press button “A”, then BIAS FX will change to Preset 2A.

    Line 6 will default the “lights” on the XTLive to how the onboard patch is set. That seems to be ok, it doesn’t seem to hurt anything, it doesn’t look like the XTLive sends out CC messages for each of the “lighted” effects. But throw out any expectation of the “lights” on the XTLive matching the effect toggle settings in BIAS FX.

    I had one instance where MIDI learn was working, but then I tried to toggle the effect, the toggle would not work. I power reset the Line 6, and stopped/started BIAS FX, and all then worked fine.

    So, was this a worthwhile spend of $50 for the Yamaha MD-BT01? Well, “if” you don’t mind learning about MIDI configuration, and “if” you have a Line 6 POD built for the floor that you want to put back into service, then yes. The Line 6 MIDI implementation seems pretty good.