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How to use any volume pedal as expression pedal!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by NoiseNinja, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Yes, every given volume pedal can in fact be utilized as an expression pedal.

    You might already know, but to me it's new.

    I found this piece of information while I was searching for some information of weather input 1 on a Boss FV-50H was connected to output 2, since I then intended to use it as a splitter pedal.

    Well, the bad news is it is not, the good news is that I don't really need it much, and that I found the piece of information I was telling about above.

    Since I don't really use my volume pedal for anything other than kind of an advanced mute button, and this function can be achieved by using my Zoom B3's tuner function, this is great news for me.

    Especially since I don't own an expression pedal for my B3 already.

    Well, and now to the trick:

    You simply need a 2 1/4" mono jack to 1 1/4" stereo jack cable.

    According to how the expression pedal input on the unit you wish to use it for is wired (tip/ring) you simply now just connect one of the mono jacks to the input of the volume pedal and the other mono jack to the output and then plug the stereo jack into the expression pedal input, and you are ready to use your new expression pedal, that originally was a volume pedal.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
    JCooper and Randy Ward like this.
  2. I have the same FV50H and use it as a dual expression pedal with my keyboards using insert cables. Insert cables are in invaluable tool and come in handy I also use an insert to go from the dual outs on a stereo pedal to a headphone amp for practice.
    Snaxster, NoiseNinja and Randy Ward like this.
  3. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    Snaxster and Randy Ward like this.
  4. This trick of NoiseNinja's opens a lot of options for me I had been think about getting a MIDI patch change pedal for a Future Impact but that wasn't leaving a lot of room for a expression pedal on the board. The only small expression pedals (at around 5 inches or less) I'd been able to find are the DOD Mini Expression Pedal and the MOOER Expline which AFAIK isn't available in the states yet. But I can use an old volume pedal to see how useful it would actually be to have one before I buy.
  5. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Thank you, folks. This worked a treat. (I knew that insert cable would come in handy someday.)

    I am awaiting an expression pedal on order. But I wanted to try untapped features in a few of my pedals, and to decide how compelling the rather expensive Empress Reverb truly is for me (though the money is allocated for it already, since it is backordered I can still cancel my order for it).

    After my first test, simply varying reverb decay time, I was reminded of the... well of the possibilities for expression when playing signal processors. Years ago I ran rackmount processors and MIDI controller/switcher boards for synthesis and bass guitar. But I was away for years since then; and on returning to music making, I didn't resume using any kind of real time controller setup.

    The Empress Reverb lets you define the low and high points of each parameter's range as it will be under external control, and to control any or all parameters per algorithm. Crazy. Sound designer/player heaven. So after this test, I am sold and will buy the Empress Reverb.

    Thanks again!

    NoiseNinja and Randy Ward like this.
  6. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Tonight I discovered something about this technique: polarity.

    This time I tried it with the same harness, changing only the pedal that was being controlled. I swapped out the Flint for an El Capistan. Though the El Capistan did respond to the inputs of the makeshift expression pedal, its behaviors didn't make sense. As I was about to write it off, I realized that I should try switching the positions of the two insert cable plugs connected to the volume pedal. Violà! The El Capistan behaved just as you would expect.

    Though I knew that any device under expression pedal control could be wired to receive one or the other polarity, I guess I expected that all Strymon devices would take the same polarity. In any case, if you try this technique and get odd results, try switching the connections to the volume pedal.
  7. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    I did actually make a note about this in my post.

    Anyway, glad you worked it out.

    Rock on :bassist:
  8. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Ah... so you did. Thanks. :)

    Still I wonder why Strymon wouldn't implement the expression jack consistently across all their models.

    On the bright side, though, since they didn't (and I didn't read your quotation of them thoroughly), I got to learn by deduction. :thumbsup:

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