Author Topic: VG-99 - Why should I shell out for the FC300 over the generic midi control ?  (Read 6634 times)

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Offline gravelaxe

 Hi guys , I had a trawl through multiple messages before this so apols if it's been covered and I missed it .
REally Really really would love to know if the FC300 is EASIER to use  WORTH the extra money over something like a Behringer or what have you ?
 Has anyone tried using the ART X FOOT ? 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2015, 12:27:18 PM by Elantric »

Online Elantric

Quote
Really really would love to know if the FC300 is EASIER to use  WORTH the extra money over something like a Behringer or what have you ?

I say yes

Time is money and the FC-300 and one cable provides a lot of joy for all VG-99 users.

Its the most "unspoken feature" but All the VG-99 factory presets have Numerous FC300 control functions and morphing features that get unleashed ONLY AFTER a FC-300 is connected.  All the factory VG-99 patches take on new life AFTER you connect the FC-300 with the  RRC2 cable and move all CTL pedals and Expression pedals . Its not documented very well, only implied in the VG-99 Factory Patch sheet.

The biggest complaint of the Roland FC300 is its heavy,  has an arcane user interface, and its a bit daunting to make the FC-300 control third party gear with MIDI, unless you are already familiar with MIDI.

I always use my Terrasonde Audio Tool box to "sniff" 5 pin MIDI streams to verify correct MIDI commands are being sent - and advise anyone to use a MIDI monitor tool when programming any MIDI controller or foot pedal.   

I have said it before  - but only a few realize that once the FC300 is connected to the VG-99 with RRC2 cable and the VG-99 is connected to a PC/Mac with USB - launch the VG-99 Editor and you can directly edit many of the  FC300 MIDI Control assignment functions to control other gear.  People beg for an FC300 editor - my response is a limited one already exists  - but its buried in the VG-99 Editor Control Assignment screen . 
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 09:03:34 PM by Elantric »

Offline gravelaxe

Thank you Elantric . Good stuff

Offline ProgMystic

I too love the FC300 hanging off my VG99. I'm not overly keen on wading through menus trying to make midi kit work and the fact that everything is right there in the VG99 Editor software to simply assign and tweak things without having to work out midi addresses and names makes it well worth the investment.

Even though I haven't tried, I know I would be in all kinds of trouble trying to setup another controller. The single cable also makes my day.

Cheers
Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.

Offline gravelaxe

Thank you Prog mystic 
 :)
Aoes anyone use the FC300 to control other kit like software  or other hardware ?

Offline arkieboy

One thing to note is that many midi footpedals only have expression pedals and patch change pedals.  The FC300 has two switch control pedals which are useful for 'sustain pedal' duties on synths (midi controller 64), for switching effects on and off (or leslie slow/fast), for tap tempo and for providing a set boost for solos. 

AFAIR Out of the box, the Behringer  FCB1010 doesn't have these capabilities.  However you can replace the FCB's OS with the Uno chip which has a very useful 'stomp box' mode where one row of switches changes patch and the other are controllers.  In my Axon rig I have the =bottom= row of switches set to three momentary controllers and two latched controllers and I map functions in the Axon and connected synths to these.  So I don't have to 'program' the footpedal on a regular basis and all the editing is in the receiving units.  I don't have a VG99 to comment in specific, but I would expect that with a little planning and a slightly different approach you wouldn't be much inconvenienced in this regard if you used the FCB/Uno rather than the FC300.

Of course, changing the firmware in the FCB will invalidate your warranty.  But they are as cheap as chips - pick up a second hand one on eBay and keep another for spares and you'll still not have spent half of the cost of the FC300.

Steve
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 09:04:48 PM by Elantric »
https://www.facebook.com/stephen.john.harris
http://www.agnieszkaswita.com
www.arkmusic.co.uk

Brian Moore and Patrick Eggle controllers
Roland VG99/Axon AX100 MkII
Marshall JMP1
TC Electronic G Major
Marshall EL84/20-20
Marshall 1912 (x2)
Roland FC300/Behringer FCB2020

Offline gravelaxe

Thanks Steve , looks like I will splash out the extra for an FC300 when i can afford. All good info either way  ;)

Offline cynegetic

Why? Because you could drop it off the Empire State onto the concrete and the concrete would lose. That's why.

Offline montyrivers

Why? Because you could drop it off the Empire State onto the concrete and the concrete would lose. That's why.

Roland's pricey, but there's something comforting about having a pedal board that can take a round for me.

Online Elantric

Plus if your tour bus gets a flat , you can use the FC-300 as a jack stand to change the tire  - with no harm to the FC-300.

When using it for non VG-99 use, it runs on some AA batteries too.  - With VG-99 just one cable (RRC2) provides the power and bi directional data.

http://www.rolandus.com/products/productdetails.php?ProductId=850

Offline A2theT

FC-300 is rock solid and I've owned a lot of midi foot controllers. No complaints.  The weight is great because it stays put.
The RRC-2 out goes to my VG-99 and the midi out jack goes to my Digitech Vocalist Live Pro and as VG presets change, so do the vocalist ones.
I'm interested to see how well my FC-300 does with the Axe FX II or the Kemper in the loop but I've yet to purchase either...
HEAVY on the METAL
Axe-Fx II, Roland VG-99 + FC-300, Roland GR-55, Digitech Jamman Stereo, Ibanez/ESP/Jackson Guitars

Offline tekrytor

I have a BCF UNO for several years now. It's main con for me is the display is numeric only, 00-99. Often, I would like more information. The UNO mod makes it tho. Without, it's only a patch changer really. The two EXPs are quite nice. And they're cheap and rugged. But I wish it had a text display.

SY-300/BeatBuddy/VoiceLive 3/GR-55(v1.50)/33/1/50/700/VGA-7/V-Bass, Yam-G10, GPK-4, DIY X-Bee HighlyLiquidCPU "Cozy-Lil-Footie", FCB-1010, other MIDI stuff, Godin Freeway SA and various other GK equipped controllers, Sonar X1, Audacity, KXstudio, Misc devices

Offline arkieboy

Same here for FCB UnO.  I have had 2 FC100s and they were built like tanks.  My first - bought new with a GM70 - slummed around most of the UK and survived a Danish tour and dates in France and Holland.  Probably 400 shows in five years.  I replaced it with a Mk2 because it was looking tatty, not because it had stopped working.  The second is still going strong and is a backup for my FCB.  Again, after several hundred shows (less because I now have a family) it is still going strong.

I don't doubt that the FCB is not as robust, but we're talking extreme levels of road-worthiness in the FC series. And the FC300 shares a fatal flaw with the FCB - the expression pedals make holes in the casing so beer could get in.  The FC100 MkI and MkII were splash proof.  So in this important respect theres not much to distinguish them: one pint of beer in the wrong place and you're f*cked.

FC300: a cooler piece of gear, works out the box, remote power, two controller pedals and a display.

FCB: a third of the price, modded for less than £20, more controller pedals near to the ground (a much better place to tap tempo or use a sustain pedal). 

And I've had my FCB for ages too and it still looks and works fine after a short European tour and any number of UK clubs and pubs. 

You're not going to be dissatisfied with either really.  If you're on a tight budget then a FCB is the obvious place to cut a very slight corner.  No loss in creativity and you can afford a spare.

Steve
https://www.facebook.com/stephen.john.harris
http://www.agnieszkaswita.com
www.arkmusic.co.uk

Brian Moore and Patrick Eggle controllers
Roland VG99/Axon AX100 MkII
Marshall JMP1
TC Electronic G Major
Marshall EL84/20-20
Marshall 1912 (x2)
Roland FC300/Behringer FCB2020

Online Elantric

Arkieboy raises many  good points too

I own a FCB-1010 with UNO too - because the healthy third party mods for it - it has a lot of power - but internally it can be fragile. but cant beat the price - most times these are used on ebay for $75

And it promotes learning electronics as you do the UNO ROM swap and perform electrical mods (remote power, etc) to unleash more power. and there are several FCB-1010 / UNO editors too

this is covered here:
 
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=32.0

and here:
http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php/topic,783.0.html
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 01:27:41 PM by Elantric »

Offline teejay

I realize I've come to this thread late, but for the benefit of anybody else considering an FC300 with the VG99.........

As has been mentioned, the factory patches come alive with the FC300 connected.
I already had an FCB when I got my 99 so I tried to use it, but ended up getting the FC300 and have NEVER regretted it!!  No need for a power connection, edit from the VG editor, plus the ability to add more switches and pedal if required. I have several extra switches connected to use as controls, as the only thin I dislike about the FC is the position of the control switches.
PS, long cat 5 leads are easier to get than long MIDI leads too!!!
Custom KGB headless, internal GK2a and sustainiac stealth plus. VG99+FC300 via Boss RC30 looper into aux ins on Line6 DuoVerb. Digitech VL4 fed via D/A converter from Digital out of VG99

Offline erikbojerik

I am fairly close to getting an FC300 - I somehow really like the possibility of plugging in 5 expression pedals  ;D - but for the moment I am trying something a lot lighter and with no cable. iPad MIDI control surface via WiFi to my MacBook Pro, one EXP into the VG and another into a Logidy UMI-3 connected to the other of the MBP's USB ports.  Maybe I can get away with only 2 expression pedals......I sure don't want to try stepping on the iPad.   :o


Offline arkieboy

These look interesting ...


http://www.keithmcmillen.com/softstep/overview


Particularly if you can route the midi control signals to the VG via USB midi


There's a review on SOS if you are subscribed - you can buy a PDF if you don't


http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/sep12/articles/kmi-softstep.htm


It needs an external expression pedal for 'wah' applications, but it seems that each of the controls is pressure sensitive so it kind of has 10 expression pedals already ...


Steve
https://www.facebook.com/stephen.john.harris
http://www.agnieszkaswita.com
www.arkmusic.co.uk

Brian Moore and Patrick Eggle controllers
Roland VG99/Axon AX100 MkII
Marshall JMP1
TC Electronic G Major
Marshall EL84/20-20
Marshall 1912 (x2)
Roland FC300/Behringer FCB2020

Offline erikbojerik

These look interesting ...
http://www.keithmcmillen.com/softstep/overview
Particularly if you can route the midi control signals to the VG via USB midi

I think there are a few folks here using the SoftStep - and yes you certainly can route CC messages via USB.

Offline drjoness2001

Number One Reason for getting a FC-300 over a Generic MIDI pedal: You get more control with the FC-300.

The VG-99 has 16 multi-purpose controllers in the control section. If you are using a generic MIDI pedal, this is how you will assign MIDI controllers to VG-99 functions.

If you are using the FC-300, there are dedicated control assigns for the FC-300 pedal, leaving the MIDI controllers available for other purposes.

Also, I find it very convenient to have the name of the patch displayed in the FC-300.

Offline gravelaxe

Thank you for all replies . Some stuff about chip mods goes way over my head but I managed to get a used FC300 at a good price and it is just you say , the factory presets 'come alive ' . Keep on rockin' in the free world guys! \m/
 

Offline Brak(E)man

I seem to manage fine with the expression pedal , the 2 extra foot switches and all the controllers that you can assign on the 99 and tweak by hand real time, I had a FC300 and I have a Behringer but the extra dead weight when on the road .....

I should add that my main reason at first to get the 99 instead of the 88 was the weight and size
swimming with a hole in my body

I play Country music too, I'm just not sure which country it's from...

"The only thing worse than a guitar is a guitarist!"
- Lydia Lunch

Offline vurnt99

 I have both the FCB1010 & FC300. For controlling a VG99 I MUCH prefer the FC300 for it's direct Sysex control of the 99 via a single CAT-5 ethernet cable, & the superior build quality of it's dual expression pedals. I appreciate that the Behringer is much cheaper, & is MUCH more Open Source- the new Un0 after-market chip updates the 1010's functionality INCREDIBLY. http://www.sonicstate.com/amped/2013/11/14/using-the-behringer-fcb1010-with-kemper-profiling-amp/ For Kemper, Adrenalinn, & AXE FX, owners it is worth exploring just how much the Un0 chip transforms the 1010 into a Universal Guitar Multi-effect foot controller. The single BIG caveat I have with using the FCB1010 is it's size; I dislike how wide the board is-It drives me nuts how it doesn't FIT anywhere compared to the more compact  FC300 that fits perfectly on my modified (Heavy duty latches) SKB boards. Love the FCB1010's current functionality via the Uno chip, HATE it's width (Do like it's flatness though).

Offline arkieboy

Re: VG-99 - Why should I shell out for the FC300 over the generic midi control ?
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2016, 11:58:31 AM »
Thought it worthy replying to this thread because I have had a FC300 on loan now for a year, used it in about 10 shows, and thus can better compare the two.


Pros
  • The expression pedals are definitely better and I feel more comfortable using them for wah/expression/volume.
  • I tend to use a FS5U for tap tempo duties, and will no doubt pick up another for general momentary duties anytime soon.  This is nice as you don't wear out an expensive pedal board and you can get the tap close to the ground.  But you can route a cable from the VG99 ...
  • Phantom power from the VG99 is great.  Very convenient.  But not essential.
  • The two control pedals on the FC300 itself are not just nice to have, they are =essential= because of what are the major flaws of the FC300 which drive me up the wall almost enough to go back to my 2020
Cons
  • 5 patches in a bank is not enough.  I can fit an entire set worth of sounds in one bank on my FCB - switching up a bank for alternate delay treatments but with broadly the same sounds under the same pedals makes learning your pedal board trouble free.  With just 5 presets I have gone to one-bank-per-song and I have to keep bank crib sheets.
  • This is of course made worse because in sysex mode you can't assign patches - bank 2 patch 2 on the FC is ALWAYS band 2 patch 2 on the VG.  Makes balancing out and global tweaks to patches more of a pain.  Makes control 1 and 2 on the FC essential to ring changes in the guitar sounds.
For my own band - prog/classic rock - the FC wins.  Just.  But its close.  If my friend wants his FC back, I won't be in a hurry to replace it, there are other things I need more.  Some of the shows were in an orchestra pit though, and here it was less of a problem because I needed fewer sounds.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 12:01:50 PM by arkieboy »
https://www.facebook.com/stephen.john.harris
http://www.agnieszkaswita.com
www.arkmusic.co.uk

Brian Moore and Patrick Eggle controllers
Roland VG99/Axon AX100 MkII
Marshall JMP1
TC Electronic G Major
Marshall EL84/20-20
Marshall 1912 (x2)
Roland FC300/Behringer FCB2020

Online Elantric

Re: VG-99 - Why should I shell out for the FC300 over the generic midi control ?
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2016, 12:16:45 PM »
A always hated the FC-300 foot switch control layout

wish it was more like this: I need instant access to Stomp box mode for any patch.


Offline sixeight

That is why I designed the VController.  More control and correct LED states for all parameters and assigns.

I still have to sell my FC300.  It is just gathering dust...

 

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