FOMOfx - Virtual Jeff

Started by mbenigni, January 07, 2016, 09:46:03 AM

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vanceg

Good find on the Amatec design contract and that academic paper.

Unforutnatley, I still can't seem to get a reply from FoMo themselves. I hope they surface again - they seem to make pretty neat stuff.


admin

#126
Quote from: vanceg on July 22, 2019, 11:37:26 AM
Good find on the Amatec design contract and that academic paper.

Unforutnatley, I still can't seem to get a reply from FoMo themselves. I hope they surface again - they seem to make pretty neat stuff.

The Whammy Bar as a Digital Effect Controller
http://www.nime.org/proceedings/2018/nime2018_paper0077.pdf



M. Kristoffersen. Whammy bar digital effect
controller - prototype demonstration.

Password: nime



mooncaine

I've updated my Virtual Jeff mounting project in the DIY Hardware section. I've a working 3D print of a mounting plate that's customized to hold the 1/8" cord in place *and* change the angle of the unit relative to the guitar (customized for my Steinberger GT-Pro).

I've also removed the original VJ whammy bar, itself, to enable experiments with alternative bars.

Things I learned:

The diameter of the hole is nearly equal the diameter of my Steinberger GT-Pro's whammy bar. Just a skosh wider, enough that the bar wouldn't stay in place without help.

I tried wrapping the whammy bar in Teflon tape. The tape just rubs off pretty quickly from friction. I tried sandwiching that hole with rubber surgical tubing, but the size of tubing I have isn't small enough. I also tried using the rubber casing peeled off of a guitar cable (too small).

The original whammy was attached using a 'snake eyes security bolt' that screws into a nut on the underside. I was able to gently unscrew it using a tool made for use with "snap rings".

My latest experiment uses Sugru silicone to adapt the whammy bar's mounting hole such that I can use it with a metal whammy bar. First draft: the hole might not be tight enough, but it works OK so far. We'll see how durable it is. Sure feels nice having the mass of a metal bar there. Inertia, ya know?

Meanwhile, I'm thinking of 3D printing some whammy bars that attach the same way the original VJ's bar attached, or at least fit better.

I tried a few alternative whammy ideas so far. Let me know if you want more info. I kinda feel like vance and I are the only VJ users here.

Ultimate goals for me and VJ:

  • Make it easier for you to use one on your guitar
  • Make it possible for you to have more than one mounting clip
  • Make it possible for you to have a customized bar
  • Hopefully some of these things will make the VJ more popular. Seems to me that it's very close to being a holy grail type of whammy: never go out of tune, whammy up or down as much as you want, and no breaking strings or messing with string locks and screws.

vanceg

I wonder if anyone other than you and me actually has one of these, Mooncaine.

I haven't used mine in a long time...mainly because I need to put time into figuring out how to use it without that (far too large) controller/switch box... If I could make it work well with JUST the whammy unit (1/8" out) running directly into one of my CV to MIDI converters, I think the entire device would be more attractive to me.  I did get it working with a Teensy board based pedal to MIDI converter at one point...but I never got around to figuring out how to adjust the response curves or the resolution... Perhaps I should get back on that someday.

mooncaine

Vance, thanks for the reply. One big reason not to haul that whammy out on stage is the box and the cable connection... but I am determined to try this sucker out on stage this year. I started tackling the probs I can handle first. My current plan requires 2 boxes to work with my VG-99 but only one power source needed, for the VJ.

In return for this, I get the advantages of the VG-99's whammy emulations--way, way more flexible than a Whammy Pedal. And I've made patches where the bar doesn't change the pitch, but affects something else, like filters, wah, volume, ring mod freq, delay feedback & level.

BUT: something causes the pedal and VG to disagree, at seemingly random times. I have to reset the VJ by yanking its 1/8" cable out and pushing it back in. I can't tell if it's because my VG-99 isn't seeing the MIDI messages at the right times, or if it's something else... possibly because I don't know a better way to measure than to use MIDI Monitor to watch the traffic.
I say 'seemingly' because it does seem that it takes some time between each interruption... so maybe that suggests I'm overloading the VG with too much MIDI at once.
That's the biggest reason VJ hasn't left the building yet. I want to minimize that prob, or speed up my method of resetting it. I have a Whammy Pedal, but I don't like it. I want this to work better with VG-99.

vanceg

So you are using the "CV" to MIDI portion of the Virtual Jeff. That's likely wise because there is so much that they've put into the mapping curve of the analog singal to MIDI.

What mode of the Virtual Jeff do you use when you connect it to the VG-99?  Is it possible you are using one of the modes that uses separate CC messages for "up" and "down" on the bar?  If so, pehraps the VG-99 is getting confused with what value it's receiving?  Do you know what message the VJ is sending with the VG-99 stopps responding and is it the same message that the VJ is sending after reset?  That is - Could it be that the VJ just stopps sending MIDI or that the MIDI message number changes or that it's not sending the full MIDI header before sending data?

Personally I was aiming at just plugging the VJ either into a different CV to MIDI converter or, my ideal goal, was to connect directly to the Pedal input of the VG-99 and map from there.  But connecting direct to the VG-99 isn't happening. I HAVE had some good luck connecting it direclty to a CV to MIDI converter made by AudioFront... https://www.audiofront.net/MIDIExpression.php    Here I connected the 1/8" output of the VJ directly into the Audiofront converter. If I recall correctly I had to reverse the polarity of the converter, and I had to mess with the curve a pretty good bit... but I was able to get it to work.  What I think would be really cool would be to somehow use two CV to MIDI converters and map one to use the "Center to Down" voltage range of the VJ and the other to use the "Center to Up" voltage range... effectively giving us 256 steps of resolution rather than just 128. 
More soon.

mooncaine

Quote from: vanceg on November 01, 2019, 01:48:04 PM
So you are using the "CV" to MIDI portion of the Virtual Jeff. That's likely wise because there is so much that they've put into the mapping curve of the analog singal to MIDI.
I'm using the MIDI output of Virtual Jeff, if that's what you mean. I think Peter (or whomever) did a great job of curving its response. Ever notice how it seems to ease into the farthest note? And you gotta admit, once you've got Bend turned on (on VG-99), it eases nicely into the bend, too.
QuoteWhat mode of the Virtual Jeff do you use when you connect it to the VG-99?  Is it possible you are using one of the modes that uses separate CC messages for "up" and "down" on the bar?
Yes. The DIP switches are UP-UP-DOWN-UP. I usually have the Mode footswitch on "B" but I chose these DIP settings realizing that the "A"  mode will let me switch to a smoother, but shallower pitch range. The difference between a Bigsby and a Floyd, I guess is one way to imagine the difference.
QuoteIf so, pehraps the VG-99 is getting confused with what value it's receiving?  Do you know what message the VJ is sending with the VG-99 stopps responding and is it the same message that the VJ is sending after reset? 
THAT's where my sad science falls flat. I suspect it's possible that the VG is missing a MIDI message, or VJ didn't send it, but I don't know how to be sure. I've done trial & error settings, but probably could be more methodical & scientific about it. I have MIDI Monitor and a Mac.

I feel that's the area of trouble because the VJ seems to work perfectly with my Digitech Whammy Pedal, as it was designed to do.
QuoteCould it be that the VJ just stops sending MIDI or that the MIDI message number changes or that it's not sending the full MIDI header before sending data?
Good question. I recorded some audio along with a MIDI Monitor log. I don't think that was helpful. I probably should capture screen video & audio at same time so I have a better idea what MIDI stuff just happened right before VJ stops working. As for full MIDI header... we're straying into the part of Latin class that I musta missed. No idea how to tell you that (yet).

QuoteWhat I think would be really cool would be to somehow use two CV to MIDI converters and map one to use the "Center to Down" voltage range of the VJ and the other to use the "Center to Up" voltage range... effectively giving us 256 steps of resolution rather than just 128. 
More soon.
In a sense, that's what I'm doing now with MIDI. The VJ sends a specific, discrete Program Change that indicates each of three states: the bar is at zero position, the bar is pushed down, and the bar is pushed up.

Meanwhile, it sends a separate MIDI CC that indicates how far you pushed the bar from zero. It simply ranges from 0 to 127 (at the most). If you filter all MIDI except for this MIDI CC, you'll only get a whammy that does the same thing upwards as downwards.

It just lucky for me that the designers of the Digitech pedal made a pedal that can switch modes very quickly via MIDI, and the unintended side effect of this is that you can tell it 'up', 'down' or 'neither' via MIDI... that's 3 discrete, mutually exclusive states, signaled for you. All you need to do is translate the MIDI.

My VJ always sends MIDI CC# 11 when the bar moves, whether up or down. Only way to know which way it's going is by looking at those 3 discrete MIDI messages.

Example: when I push VJ down, VJ sends, let's say, Prog Change #45. I filter that, converting it into a value of CC #12 that's greater than, say, 63.

On the VG, I make a control assign (momentary) where the MIDI values range from 1 to 2. I do the same for the VJ when it pushes up, using MIDI #13 as the switch. I leave the value of 0 unassigned, just trying to give me a 'pad' or 'dead zone' where I can be sure the VG did NOT receive an UP or DOWN message. I tried a larger dead zone (2 to 3, for example), but it didn't *seem* to affect the problem.

My settings in the midi event processor convert each PC change (I think) into a useful signal, or else filters it out. After a few tries, I think I stumbled on all the ones relevant to the DIP settings I've chosen.

I think you can get the MIDI-to-CV functions that you want by using a similar MIDI filter to translate/change VJ's MIDI outputs into whatever controllers your CV converter needs to see.

mooncaine

These are the MIDI Program Change message outputs I noted from my VJ.
0=DIP switch down. 1=DIP switch up.
MODE A [the left pair of DIPs]

00__
Pull 45
Push nada

10__
Pull 45
Push nada

01__
Pull 45
Push nada

11__
Pull 45
Push 47

I think I captured most, maybe all, of the Program Change messages that Virtual Jeff sends out. I think there's at least one more that snuck in there that I noticed later, and filtered out, having no use for it yet nor a notion what caused it.

MODE B

__00
pull 45
push 47

__10
pull 45
push 48

__01
pull 43
push 49

__11
pull 43
push 50







vanceg

You've spelled out what I was going to point out - That the firmware in the VJ's foot pedal sends out separate MIDI for Toe and Heel directions, and a switch message for going from center to toe and center to heel. 

I just really, really don't want to add an entire pedal box to my rig just to get this whammy bar controller...

This did inspire me to complete my whammy emulation on the H9000... Well... It's functional.. .I still need to add some variation in the pitch of each string so it sounds more like an actual whammy.... right now it sounds like a REALLY accurate TransTrem.

vanceg

For the few of you who have been wondering:  FOMOfx and the Virtual Jeff are apparently back in business. They had become all but impossible to contact for a while and it ends up that they had some company issues and are now back with a new organization and an improved product.

The Virutal Jeff used to require a separate pedal to do pitch shifting. It now has it's own pitch shifting built in, apparently licensed from IVL.  They've improved the electornics and added a few features like a high resolution (14bit) MIDI output and seemed to be moving full speed ahead at NAMM this year.



admin




mooncaine

Quote from: admin on August 14, 2021, 11:41:15 AM
Back in production new features

https://store.fomofx.com/
Had a good couple weeks in background acting, things are going well for me in general, and I'm celebrating by getting a Virtual Jeff Pro. Can't wait. Just clicked the order button.


BROCKSTAR

So can I take the midi out on the virtual jeff floor unit and run that into midi in on my helix or anything else and control any parameter with the whammy bar on guitar? And will it bypass the pitch shifting abilities so it doesn't mess with the the parameter we're controlling elsewhere?

alexmcginness

VG-88V2, GR-50, GR-55, 4 X VG-99s,2 X FC-300,  2 X GP-10 AXON AX 100 MKII, FISHMAN TRIPLE PLAY,MIDX-10, MIDX-20, AVID 11 RACK, BEHRINGER FCB 1010, LIVID GUITAR WING, ROLAND US-20, 3 X GUYATONE TO-2. MARSHALL BLUESBREAKER, SERBIAN ELIMINATOR AMP. GR-33.

mooncaine

Quote from: BROCKSTAR on November 22, 2022, 08:25:59 PMSo can I take the midi out on the virtual jeff floor unit and run that into midi in on my helix or anything else and control any parameter with the whammy bar on guitar? And will it bypass the pitch shifting abilities so it doesn't mess with the the parameter we're controlling elsewhere?
It's on my to-do list. I got as far as connecting the VJ Pro unit to my Mac, but haven't found MIDI output yet. I only expect to see MIDI pitch bend data coming from VJ Pro, but life intervened and I had to put this project aside before I had a chance to determine if MIDI is coming across the cable or not, even.

I'll be here infrequently, I'm guessing, in the next few months, but I'll eventually take up this project again. It's a quest. I want the perfect electronic whammy bar that controls my VG-99's unequalled whammy effects.

Chumly

#143
hi  mooncaine, I ordered one and it will be here shortly! I have plenty of other ways to do pitch shifting (as I expect you do as well) but nothing that I can control with the muscle memory associated with a conventional mechanical vibrato, plus it was on sale.
I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. - Richard P. Feynman

BROCKSTAR

Peter sent one over to me and this is what he had to say about midi

"I've attached our MIDI Quick Start for info on the VJP MIDI OUT.  In brief, it's MIDI pitch bend data, which is 14 bit high resolution data, broadcast on MIDI Ch 1. Many devices can handle 14 bit data (it's been in the MIDI protocol for over 30 years). The spec for the converter lead is also in the Quick Start (it's a Type 'A'  converter from 3.5mm to 5pin DIN).

Note:  The MIDI OUT is permanently sending data (about the whammy arm position) even if VJP is in Bypass or HOLD etc."