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Posts posted by littlespaceman

  1. See this thread;



    And the good news (if you own or want to buy an Xsonic Airstep Multi) is that they are currently working on a firmware that will allow the pedal to control all of the Catalyst MIDI functions by USB MIDI. And you won't need a laptop / host etc; the pedal will be the host. It is a standalone unit, that will resemble in form and function something like the Roland GA-FC footswitch. Why Line 6 had to make to so difficult to access simple functions like changing Bank on the Catalyst amps is totally beyond me, I'd love a comment from someone at Line 6 about this...

  2. I've posted separately on another thread about this, so I'm glad this conversation is happening here; I have a major problem with the way the FX loop is implemented on the Catalyst, and it's deal breaker for me - the amp will go back, because the FX loop just isn't fit for purpose and this looks like a major ball dropped by Line 6...     ...IF my understanding is right! So I'm happy to stand corrected on all of this :o)


    The problem I have is that I'm using the FX loop for a looper. However let's say I record a loop using a preset with NO reverb / delay. I then want to solo over that loop with a different preset that does use reverb and delay. But when I do, the reverb and delay is also added to the first loop I recorded, which makes the whole thing sound mushy and is basically unusable.


    So here goes - my understanding, helped by the explanation above, is;


    1)The order of things in the amp = EFFECTS (if PRE*) -> PRE-AMP -> FX LOOP -> EFFECTS (if POST*) -> POWER AMP

    (* the EFFECTS can be PRE or POST)


    2) If this is correct then it explains why I get the problem I described above; because when the EFFECTS are post, they are still before the FX LOOP, so any EFFECTS that are turned on in the preset I want to use to solo over the loop will also affect the loop itself. Is this correct?


    3) One solution would be to place the EFFECTS in the PRE position. But as we know if delay is placed before a distorted pre-amp voice, then what you end up with is mushy and unusable. 


    4) So the best solution - as implemented on other brand digital amps etc is for the FX LOOP to be last in the chain, except for the POWER AMP. But this is not how the Catalyst is put together. And therefore it is impossible to use it effectively with a looper in the FX LOOP, without the problems I have described above.


    Is this all correct?? If so I'm sending the amp back, because the only reason I want the FX LOOP is to use a looper, without having to plug the looper in the front end before the PRE-AMP.


    I await your replies!

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  3. I'll look in to calling support / opening a ticket. In the meantime, some follow up information for you; I took my MacBook in to a Guitar Center (I don't actually live here in the US but come here a lot with work) and plugged it in to a Cat 60W they had on display. Cat Edit opened almost instantly on my MBP, so it's not the Mac that's the problem. And the Cat 100 at home works fine with the iOS app, which implies it's not the amp that's the problem. So it must be something going on with the amp...?


  4. On 5/7/2022 at 3:04 PM, rd2rk said:

    Yes, that is the normal behavior. When using HX Edit with Helix, starting w/o a Helix connected results in a "No Device Connected" message.

    Don't know why they didn't implement that in Catalyst Edit.

    I'm not sure if you misread my message, but taking (at least) 5 minutes to launch a Mac application such as Cat Edit, WITH the amp connected, does not seem like normal behaviour to me. I had a Cat 60 for a while before switching to this brand new Cat 100, and Cat Edit would start in a few seconds with the 60w connected...

  5. Interesting - I will.


    I also thought of some other possibly relevant info; when I launch  Cat Edit on my MacBook, WITHOUT the amp plugged in to the Macbook, Cat Edit starts almost immediately (as it should)


    if I launch Cat Edit with the amp already connected via USB, Cat Edit takes about 5 minutes to launch, with the onscreen message ‘Creating Engine’ displayed during that time…

  6. On 4/18/2022 at 5:58 PM, phil_m said:

    So can I ask the dumb question? Why wouldn’t you just buy the Catalyst 100 for $100 more than the 60W version? It has built-in MIDI ports, and you wouldn’t need this additional accessory to control it. The 100W version is only slightly larger than the 60W and like four pounds heavier…

    The answer - for me at least - is that I live in a tiny house, and I will never really get to gig with the amp (young kids = no time!) So I don't want something that is even only a few inches / pounds bigger and heavier, not to mention $100 / £90 more expensive, for the sake of a 5 pin MIDI socket.


    Call it a battle of wills if you like, but it's become my personal mission to get the 6oW to work with USB MIDI, without the need for am external host. To be frank, I think it is a major ball-drop by Line 6 to make it so difficult to get the 60W to work the way we want - and if it's all about marketing and not wanting to under-sell the 100W by giving the 60W proper MIDI, then look at it this way, Line 6 - this does not make me like you any more! You could easily have used a TRS MIDI socket on the 60W if space was an issue.


    In the meantime I did buy an Airstep, specifically to get USB MIDI in to the 60W. And it doesn't work - BUT, and it's a big but, Airsonic have been fantastic, and are working on a firmware update for the Airstep that will make it work directly with the 60W via USB. Their customer service makes the purchase worthwhile, it's a fantastic pedal, and I get to use it with loads of other hardware I own, such as the Yamaha THR 2 (control of all patches and FX, via Bluetooth directly from the Airstep, without the need for the THR app to be open!)

    • Like 1
  7. Good spot, but yes, I’ve used that switch.

    All that switch does is turn the amp into a sort of ‘Powercab Lite’ by allowing you to plug a modeller (Helix etc) in to the FX loop return socket. It then just amplifies the sound from your modeller, so you don’t get any of the amp voices or fx, everything comes from the modeller.


    If you have the switch on the back of the amp to the ‘Power Amp’ setting but plug something like a looper in to the FX loop, all it does is amplify the signal coming through the looper, which if nothing else is plugged in to the looper will just be a clean guitar signal.

    To use the FX loop properly you have to have the rear switch set to ‘FX Loop’.

    But it’s with the switch set this way that I’ve found that the amp channels / voicing and FX such as reverb or delay change the loop you’ve recorded, hence my original question about where the FX loop sits in the overall chain 

  8. On 3/19/2022 at 1:46 PM, silverhead said:

     but I don’t have any suggestions other than the obvious.





    I agree it would be strange for the FX loop to be before the preamp. And yes if the FX blocks are after the loop I get that this would affect the playback of the recorded loop, so again you’d think that Line 6 would have put the FX Loop at the very end.


    When you say you don’t have any suggestions other than the obvious, what are the obvious ones? Because changing the amp channels/presets definitely changes my loop so something isn’t quite right; and it’s not like you can deep edit the position of the FX loop like you can with Helix etc. So it’s not as it there’s much possibility of user error as there are so few user definables…


  9. See my thread about USB MIDI on the Cat 60W. I’ve done a LOT of Googling to try to find a 5-pin to USB B MIDI cable and it appears no such think exists. And I don’t think you can get BT MIDI dongles in anything other than 5-pin.


    If I’m wrong please let me know where I can get one from! 

  10. I’m a bit confused about the position of the FX loop in the Catalyst amps.


    I thought it was normal for FX loops to be after the pre amp (or amp voicing) or at least switchable, so you can choose whether it’s pre or post.


    However when I use a looper pedal in my Cat 60W, when I record a loop, it changes as I change the amp channel / patch and also when I turn on effect or reverb, even if ‘post’ is selected on the effect/reverb.

    I find this surprising, and it makes using a looper in the FX loop (which is surely one of the most basic and common uses for an FX loop these days?) pointless; if you lay down a clean rhythm loop, and then choose a driven sound to solo over your rhythm loop, the loop takes on the lead sound and turns to mush.


    Am I missing something here?

  11. I'm waiting for an Xsonic Airstep pedal to be delivered, when it does I will be trying it with the Cat 60W as a MIDI footswitch. From what I can tell it is the best way to get the feel of an amp footswitch (it is metal, it is foot operated, it looks more or less like a guitar amp footswitch and it is battery powered so no messy mains cable, which most MIDI foot switches have) and is one of very few options to get MIDI to the amp via the USB B socket (why there isn't a 5 PIN on the 60W is beyond me; if lack of space was considered an issue, Line 6 could have at least opted to a TRS MIDI input. But USB B is not at all user-friendly) 

    The only thing is I haven't been able to verify that it will work for sure with the Cat USB; Airsonic think it will but don't have access to a Cat to try it, so looks like I'm the guinea pig. Ill let you know how I get on...


  12. I've now had a play with a MIDI app / iPad to see what these things do, and it seems that in '1)' it would have helped to add the word behaviour, so what it really means is 'Matches physical knob behaviour'. From what I can tell, it doesn't matter where the knob is positioned on the amp, the MIDI controller will give you the full range. So even if for example the amp Channel Volume knob is at 0, the MIDI controller can give you, as you say, from full off to full on.


    One really nice feature is that if you assign an expression pedal to a function like amp gain, in the Edit app you can set what the range of the pedal will be (so for example it doesn't have to be full off to full on, you might have the minimum at around 30% gain, and the max at 100%.


    Re the bit where it says 'Controls bypass state of the Effect (DOES NOT match button behavior)' I think I've cracked it; the effect button on the amp can has a secondary mode if you press and hold it in; I think 'DOES NOT match button behavior' means that you can replicate the 'Effect Bypas/Enable' function of the amp button by using MIDI (CC#0-63=off; 64-127 = on) but you can't access the deeper functions of the amp button as there is no way to replicate the 'press and hold' needed to do this using MIDI? 

  13. Thank you Soundog. I thought the limitation might be that Garageband doesn't transmit MIDI, so I tried recording a MIDI track with PC messages from my Boss RC5 Looper. I then tried to play this back through the amp, hoping it would recognise the PC messages embedded in the GB track, and change amp patches. But no luck. I've also tried to use the Audio MIDI Setup, but again didn't get anywhere with that; I was hoping the Audio MIDI would allow me to send simple PC messages to the amp, but again no luck - probably because I still need a 3rd party app like Pocket MIDI to the set up, which I didn't know until your reply.


    The eureka moment came when I found a free iOS app that I found called MIDI Wrench. Using the iPhone camera kit, I managed to get any PC or CC message in to the amp's USB socket. So I've now had a good play around to see what the amp can do and it's pretty cool - but it's only a way of testing things work, not a real solution, as you spend most of the time dragging your finger up and down the iPad screen to send the messages.


    Anecdotally, modern wide-body aircraft like the Dreamliner are basically fixed using iPads too - the engineers literally plug the iPad in to the jet when there's a fault, to diagnose and remedy it. Long gone are the days of 'impact technology' - or in other words, fixing things by giving them a whack with a hammer ;o)

  14. Can anyone tell me how I can send MIDI in to the Cat 60W USB via a Macbook. I want to test/play around with the MIDI on the amp, to make sure my cables are good before I try the same cables using a MIDI footswitch (which I'm yet to get)


    I'm pretty clued up with this sort of thing usually (I fly commercial jets for a living!) but this MIDI via USB thing is totally doing my head in!


    For clarity, I'm using a MacBook Pro, with GarageBand. All I want to do is send a simple Program Change message from the MacBook to the amp. I don't have Logic or anything like that, so it might be that I'm limited by the software. But surely the MacBook is capable of sending a simple PC message to the amp?

  15. In the catalyst MIDI implementation table, it says that MIDI CC13 controls the amp Gain control using a value/range of 0-127. It then says in the notes column 'Matches physical knob' (this is also the case for Bass, Mid, Treble etc)


    I have a few questions;


    1) Can anyone explain what this means? It's quite ambiguous to me;  does it mean that if the Gain knob on the amp is set to 12 o'clock, then regardless of what MIDI value you have programmed in to your MIDI controller, the maximum gain you would get is whatever the Gain at the 12 o'clock position would be? So to be able to get the full gain range using MIDI you need to have the amp knob turned to maximum?


    2) Boost: MIDI CC# 25 controls Boost Bypass/Enable, and in the note column it says 'Controls bypass state of the Boost (matches button behavior)'. Again can anyone explain this? 


    3) Effect: MIDI CC# 28 controls Effect Bypass/Enable. This time the notes column says 'Controls bypass state of the Effect (DOES NOT match button behavior)' Same question, can anyone translate that in to unambiguous plain English please?


    Thanks in advance



  16. Quote
    28 minutes ago, soundog said:

    The MC3 also has a female B, but it has 4 TRS (1/4" stereo jack) MIDI outputs. That's interesting. You would need to contact them to see if it might work to create a TRS to USB cable


    My Headrush (MX5) uses TRS MIDI ports, so I'm actually going to try a TRS to USB C cable, with a USB C to USB B (male) adaptor to see if the Headrush will transmit PC messages to the 60W. I'll report back!


    Again though both the MX5 and the Morningstar require power (as does the Ampero in fact) so not my ideal solution as the Catalyst seems to be all about being a simple plug-n-play sort of amp, so in keeping with that I would really like to be able to use a simple footswitch (ie one with no power cables etc) in to the amp to access all the 12 channels, and maybe to turn delay on/off - and that's really all I need the MIDI for. So it's a shame that more channels aren't available using the A/B channel-change footswitch...

  17. Very tempting - and you can also run it at 0.5 watts, which on the 60 seemed plenty loud enough for home use. Then I have to work out if I keep the Powercab and use the 100W as a second speaker for a stereo rig, or sell the Powercab and accept the Cat 100 allows me to power-amp my Headrush albeit not as FRFR :oI 


    It's just a shame the 60W doesn't have the 5 pin MIDI...

  18. Thanks Soundog. Cheaper (but not much!) alternatives to the Airstep are the Ampero Hotone Controller or the Morningstar MC3. Neither say they specifically act as a host but both can transmit MIDI via USB B so I assume these would work too? Both rely on mains or USB Bus power though, so that's not quite the elegant solution I was after, whereas the Airstep is at least rechargeable (I can't imagine MIDI footswitches use much power?)


    Regarding the host-board, I'm still not clear on how that works; is the idea that if you are using a non-host MIDI controller, the host-board goes between the controller and the Cat 60 to make the controller act as the host?  


    Presumably you mount the host board in an enclosure (a cheap plastic or aluminium hobby box from eBay/Amazon?)

    How do you connect the host-board to the non-host controller though? Do you have to add another USB connector to the circuit board?




    It's all starting to make me think the Cat 100W is an easier option - or that they could have included a 5 pin MIDI port on the 60 :oI

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