Zoom B3. MS-60B, B1on USB control

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by drdashdot, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. G5

  2. G3/G3X

  3. B3

  4. MS-70CDR

  5. MS-60B

  6. MS-50G

  7. B1on/B1Xon

  8. G1on/G1Xon

  9. As above, but I'd prefer a simpler (less flexible) footswitch only controller

  10. None - I'm not interested

  11. B2.1u

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Hi all.

    I've been lurking for about a year after picking up a bass again after a long break. I then found the Zoom B3 and the related threads here.

    With the B3, I wanted more effects, and expression pedal input. So, I've been developing a controller that interfaces to Zoom multistomp/multieffects pedals. It's grown like Topsy and does things Zoom says can't be done. I'm thinking about a production run after a bit more development, but would like some indication of what people want.

    Maybe not the best time for this sort of thing, but I need guidance.

    Here are some demos. The first is with a G5 but is a general overview. Please tell me what you think! (and answer the poll question)

    I've also posted this on basschat - please ignore if you've seen this there.




    In case the videos are too much, here's the executive summary.

    Uses the USB interface to provide all functions. No Zoom mods needed

    Works with G5, G3, G3X, B3, MS-70CDR, MS-50G, MS-60B, G1on, G1Xon, B1on, B1Xon

    Controls multiple Zoom pedals – any combination of the above.

    Screen scrolls (by touch or dial) to show a detailed view of all controls of all effects in chain. Optionally show/hide each effect in chain. (eg show G5 effects 2, 3, 6 and 8 only.)

    Screen shows an overview of entire effects chain showing on/off status of each effect

    Touchscreen interface plus assignable knob. All patch and effect settings can be adjusted using either.

    Continue to access all effect/patch controls on screen while looper, rhythm or tuner operating (eg change effect settings on screen during or between loops using screen, knob, footswitches or expression pedals.)

    Maintain tails on delays while switching effects eg on MS-70CDR, B1on. (Enable one and disable other effect in chain with single switch press rather than multiple presses on Zoom pedal.)

    Floor unit:
    - provides assignable footswitches and multiple expression pedal inputs
    - Footswitches (both press and release) can be programmed with arbitrary combinations of: turning effects on/off, changing effects, changing effect settings, patch and bank changes (up, down or random access), volume/balance/tempo changes (including tap tempo and global/master tempo), tuner control (some pedals)
    - Each expression pedal can control multiple parameters (any dial or slider control – including patch volume and tempo) of multiple effects on multiple Zoom pedals simultaneously

    In development:

    - patch/footswitch config storage: arbitrary number of settings
    - footswitch scroll operation

    Note: this works with current Zoom firmware. No guarantees with any future firmware changes by Zoom.

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
    CHILDISHGAMBINO likes this.
  2. Yes yes yes! As a B3 & MS60B user I would love a compact 6 button controller for live performance, especially if commands would work on a B3 and MS60B at the same time. The touch screen GUI is interesting but not essential to me unless it would work with an android tablet or kindle or is very affordable.

    Control parameters for a foot pedal:
    Bank up
    Bank down
    Patch up
    Patch down
    Tap tempo

    Would this also work with a B2.1u?
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  3. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Embedded videos (not sure why they weren't showing up but if you can fix it I'll delete this post!):

    johnp352, OzzyGreg and John Swartz like this.
  4. Thanks dannybuoy. Nice to see your smiling face here.

    I'm looking into a standalone footswitch. Possible, yes. Feasible, not sure yet. Stay tuned.
    From what I know of the B2.1u, it should work with some additional analysis and coding. Wasn't in the plan, but I'll add a poll option.

  5. The B2.1u is not essential but I would really love a footswitch that would expand the usefulness of a B3 for performance.
  6. Bump I can't be the only one interested in a better way to control and access my Zoom peds.
    johnp352 likes this.
  7. And you're not. I would likely get one if it was available (and not horribly expensive).
    bassbrad likes this.
  8. Thanks for the bump, bassbrad, and for the interest. John Swartz. Looks like it's just the three of us! (Since I'm relying on this to fund my upcoming lavish retirement, I hope you two are loaded...)

    Even more seriously, I'm still working on it but won't get too carried away until we see what NAMM coughs up.

  9. Thanks to all poll respondents – looks like a pretty even spread across the 3 groups of pedals.
    I've also asked the question on 2 other sites. If you're interested in those discussions, have a look at:


    Zoom B3. MS-60B, B1on USB control

    There's been some interest in what can (and can't) be done via USB control for each of the pedal series, so I thought I'd list what I've found so far.

    For the MS and 1 series pedals, some changes can be made only by reloading the entire patch, with the desired parameter changes. This has the same effect as changing patches: eg, killing tails. Can't do anything about that without a change of Zoom firmware.

    In the following, “control pedal/switch assignment” refers to the built in pedal or the control inputs (not to extra expression pedals or footswitches working via USB.)

    G series pedals (G5, G3, G3X, B3):
    - global settings: tempo and signal path direction can be changed, master level can be read but not changed
    - patch settings: patch level, effect types (and order), patch name, control pedal/switch assignments (and max/min settings) all can be changed
    - effect settings: on/off, effect type, parameter settings all can be changed
    - looper, rhythm: no USB control
    - tuner can be controlled for B3 and G3 (v1 only)

    MS series pedals:
    - patch settings: tempo, patch name, effect types (and order) can be changed by reloading patch
    - effect settings: on/off, parameter settings all can be changed (individually for effects 1,2 and 3; only by reloading patch for effects 4, 5 and 6)
    - tuner can be controlled

    1 series pedals (G1on, B1on):
    - global settings: no USB control, except tempo (which is read-only)
    - patch settings: patch level, effect types (and order), patch name: can be changed by reloading patch
    - control pedal/switch assignments (and max/min settings) for G1Xon, B1Xon: don't know yet
    - effect settings: on/off, parameter settings all can be changed
    - looper, rhythm: no USB control
    - tuner can be controlled

    If I've overlooked anything you're interested in, let me know and I'll edit. (Note that I haven't tested the MS-50G, the G1Xon or the B1Xon yet. Or the MS-100BT for that matter. Hmm... might work, with bluetooth added. Might look at that later.)

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2016
  10. BoydG


    Nov 16, 2011
    Pflugerville, TX
    Once I convince myself to part with the $70, I plan on picking up a B1xon. I have a Digitech BP355 which I edit from my computer 100% of the time, so I'd love to be able to have similar capabilities with the Zoom.
  11. gfen


    Aug 21, 2014
    lehigh valley
    stayed at a holiday inn, once...
    I've had my MS60b for about 3 days, and I'm already tired of having to wade through menus with fiddly buttons to configure... If you've got osmething that'll allow you to edit patches/effects that's huge.

    Frankly, Zoom should be paying you for something that awesome.
    bassbrad likes this.
  12. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    any chance of adding expression controller for MS series?

    Midi sync would be really cool. Meaning when I am on Channel 1 for my current rack setting, it uses effect chain 1 or better yet have the flexibility to say assign any effect chain to any midi selection. Meaning, I am on Midi channel 1 on my Rack, logically be able to map that that to any number on the MS.
  13. The biggest problem I would have in selling these is that they will cost considerably more than the pedals they control (for the B1/G1 pedals,at least.) Having said that, they will add a massive amount of capability and flexibility to the pedals.
    The only thing I wish the B1/G1 pedals had is tap tempo, then they'd be my choice without question.

    Thanks gfen. I won't hold my breath though.
    I'm very fussy with UIs. The MS pedals are a bit of a pain, but I think the B1/G1 pedals are a real dog in that regard.

    Expression controller works now for MS series, but is usable only for the first 3 effects in a chain (due to Zoom's firmware.)
    One important caveat here is that any future Zoom firmware upgrade could break communication with my unit. (It's also possible that it might enhance it, but I think that's less likely.)

    By midi sync, do you mean real time clock? I'd like to include tempo setting using the midi clock, but that's down the list a little.
    At present, the unit can take any midi code (on any channel) and translate it into an arbitrary Zoom control change (or number of changes.) It does that by storing whatever touchscreen/knob/mouse inputs are made and assigning those actions to the next received midi input. I might need to add more (such as channel assignment) to help it fit in with more complex midi setups.
  14. waveman


    Sep 25, 2008
    Don't really care about Midi clock. I was referring to channel assignment. Currently I have all of the MS series pedals, and I also have an ADA MP-1 for guitar, and it would be cool if I could use a couple or just one of them in that setup. It would be super cool if I could channel select two or three of them at once in a dedicated MS pedal config.
  15. ChubbyJerk


    Apr 23, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    This is incredibly cool. The biggest hurdle, in my opinion, is that the big draw of Zoom pedals (IMO) is the good variety of solid sounds in a small size at a low cost. This would substantially increase both the size and (presumably) the cost, eliminating two of the big things in favor of Zoom pedals. The extra user-friendliness it adds looks huge though, and that's one of the complaints I read over and over about Zoom pedals, so it might work.

    While I am potentially interested in this for my B3, a lot would depend on the final size and cost of production models. It will be really hard to strike a balance between keeping costs down and making a profit. Due to economy of scale, what you really need to make this work is a large set of preorders to bring production costs down. Something like Kickstarter might work, if you can iron out the details on 1) what is a price people will be willing to pay and 2) how many you need to sell at that price point to make it worth your time.

    But Kickstarter is, well...I don't want to name any names or point any fingers, but I know of a few projects that have left some people with a fairly negative impression and healthy sense of caution in regards to that.
  16. ChubbyJerk


    Apr 23, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    One other thing to note that may be a potential wrench in the idea of selling this, in case you haven't seen it, is that they're releasing the G5N pedal. It's an updated version of the G5. It has more built-in switches (for turning effect on/off, switching banks, tap tempo, etc), as well as an expression pedal. It also displays the current info better, with an extra display for the pedal chain as well as the individual displays for 4 of the pedals. It seems to add a bunch of the things that your setup would.

    No word on a B5N yet, but I am strongly hoping for one.

    A G3/G5 + your setup probably provides better flexibility, control, and visual feedback than the G5N, but would likely cost significantly more and be bulkier.

    Unfortunately, I think the G5N (and particularly the B5N, if one ever comes along) will make your gear a much harder sell. The G5N is only $300, so somebody with a G3 could probably upgrade to one of those new at the same cost or cheaper than whatever you can manage to sell this at.

    I am not trying to be negative or mean or rude or anything. I absolutely love what you've done. I'm just trying to lay out the pitfalls I see.
    BoydG likes this.
  17. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    From what you say above and elsewhere I know you really want to develop a hardware device to do real time control and I can see where that is where it is at for a lot of folks. I play in a church band however and while we cover two services that are identical repeats of each other we do at most seven distinct songs on a given Sunday. I don't need an exotic and potentially expensive real time control hardware device. I need something that would let me load and save patches from a library on my PC or tablet or smart phone. Kinda sounds like you can do that. I don't necessarily need to edit patches on the PC or whatever although that could be nice too. But if I could have a library of all the patches I need, a thousand would be more than enough for me, on my PC and load the ones I need this week into a G1Xon, B1on, and/or MS-60B I would be very happy. I'd also either need to save patches I have created on the pedal to my PC or be able to create patches on the PC by manually copying them after I create them on the pedal. I don't know if you could sell enough copies of an app to do that to help fund your hardware development or not, but something to consider since you seem to have figured out how to do that.
  18. Thanks ChubbyJerk. You're spot on, and not negative or mean or rude or anything at all. Something like Kickstarter makes sense for the reasons you give, but also will require cost increases that might tip it over the edge for many people. (Your warnings don't fill me with confidence either!)

    I have seen some info on the G5n and again I think you're spot on. I'm curious as to how much the G5n can be controlld by usb, with an eye on midi translation/control. I've been a bit surprised by the number of G5 users who want more control (compared with MS pedal users, for example) and some G5n users will want more too - midi control, programmable footswitches, expression pedal control of any parameter, etc.
    That's a little way off though - not this week!

    Thanks for the comments - much appreciated. Please keep watching.
  19. Thanks khutch. Sounds like you'd be happy with a librarian/backup/patch sharing program. I can do that, and it's on the way - keep watching.

    (Only a thousand patches? Hmm... No problem!)
  20. ChubbyJerk


    Apr 23, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    I hope I didn't kill your enthusiasm. That was definitely not my intention.