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So I've been using guitar/amp modellers for nearly 20 years now - right back to the Roland VG-8 in 1998. In all that time I've been through many, many different expression pedals. All of them have their quirks, but they usually get the job done after a bit of set up. When I got my Helix Rack & Control last year, I decided to treat it to some new expression pedals, so I bought 2 FV-500Ls and an FV-500H. I wanted something rugged for realtime control of both the Helix and Ableton Live. I had nothing but problems from the start, though. I understand the idea behind the 'dead zones' on the FVs, but they were a bit much for me - a waste of range (even with spacers fitted). I had a spare EV-5, too, but it was the opposite - I couldn't reliably get to 100% as there seemed to be no spare range at the toe down position. I put up with it for volume but, due to the size/weight of the FVs and the range of the EV, I decided to sell them and look for something else. I'm a bit short on cash at the moment, so I decided to take a chance on the M Audio EX-P and bought 2 for Â£14 each. I couldn't be more impressed! The EX-P was 99% plug and play, with only the polarity needing switched in the global settings and flicking the EX-P's switch to 'Other'. The range is fantastic! It's got exactly the right amount of tolerance at either end to make auto-engage a joy to use, and pitch effects work brilliantly with no fear of missing 100%. They're smooth, and the taper seems good. OK, the EX-P isn't going to win any prizes for sturdiness, but at roughly 1/6th the price of a new FV-500 (and about a 10th of a Mission pedal!), it's quite easy to justify having a couple of brand new spares. I've now got 4 - 3 for the Helix and 1 spare (which may get used for my BOSS GP-10). One big issue I had with the FV/EVs (which I thought was a fault of the Helix) was that the values in Pedal Edit Mode would jump and 'flutter' as soon as I entered. The EX is rock solid. I don't need to worry about anything happening when entering PEM until I actually move the pedal itself. This has finally opened up the true usefulness of Pedal Edit Mode to me; a feature I was really looking forward to when I first read about the Helix. If you don't use PEM, give it a try! It's a HUGE time saver. I've spent a bit of time today tweaking sounds as a I play, and it's made tone-shaping far, far quicker. I was able to 'dial' out a lot of fizz and smooth things out on a patch that was otherwise proving a bit too fiddly. I know it's kind of obvious as that's what PEM is all about, but I think it's a feature that's often overlooked. I'm looking forward to using PEM when I'm out gigging next as I think I'll now be able to quickly tweak my tones at full volume while we soundcheck. If anyone's looking to try the EX-P, make sure you get the current version. I did have one years ago, but it needed a mod (to add a resistor) before it worked properly with 3rd party gear. The latest one has a convenient switch. I've successfully tested it with my GP-10, Katana 100, and a Behringer MotÃ¶r keyboard.
First of all, loving my M9. Probably the wisest gear decision I've made thus far. It's straddling across two parallel/true stereo fx chains so I'm even considering getting a second one for more flexibility... But I digress. So yes, when I bought my M9 I already knew that the M Audio EX-P doesn't play well with M-Series pedals... but I don't understand why this is so, and whether I can fix the issue without having to buy yet another expression pedal. Is the EX-P's design unusual? Does it need to be TS instead of TRS? Would it work if I rewired it to TS (mono) or added an adapter on the end of the cable to convert TRS to TS? Has anyone experimented with this? Here is what I've discovered thus far about using an EX-P with an M9: 1) The Line6 M9 Pilot's Handbook states that "Expression Pedal 1 + 2 - Compatible with standard expression pedals including the Line6 EX-1 ... The Line6 EX-1 expression pedal is a passive 10k linear taper pot, using a standard 1/4 inch mono instrument cable." 2) The M Audio EX-P is a popular passive 10k linear taper pot expression pedal with a TRS output (ie. not mono) that I've had pleasant experiences with prior to buying the M9. Measured it on a scope to have an actual range from heel-down T-R @ 12.9k, toe-down T-R @ 1.0k (ie. 11.9k range). Also just in case it matters - heel T-S @ 53.9k to toe T-S @ 65.7k and heel R-S @ 64.7k to toe R-S @ 64.7k. 3) The M Audio EX-P doesn't work properly with the Line6 M9, as mentioned here: http://line6.com/supportarchivenew/thread/19057/ and verified by my testing. The EX-P can be assigned to actuate parameters in the M9 but tops out/bottoms out early. It won't move the parameter for its full range. Eg. If I assign it to a wah FREQ it stops well short of maximum upper freq. If I assign it to MIX then it mixes neither fully wet nor fully dry. If I switch the EX-P polarity I have to re-assign the parameters but it behaves exactly the same. Any ideas? Cheers H