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linz

M Audio EX-P and why I love pedal edit mode!

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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 £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 Motör keyboard.

 

 

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Thanks. I will get a Ex-p and give it a try. I might be selling my mission pedal soon!

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Just my opinion, but I think that some of these expression pedals are ridiculously expensive when you consider what they actually do – sweep a potentiometer back and forth!

Yeah, right!

For a really inexpensive and functional solution, may I suggest the simple M-Audio EX-P.

They have an integral 1/4" cable and also a built-in polarity switch, so they work with just about anything, keyboards, whatever - just plug in.

Mine works a treat as EXP 2, plus you can buy half a dozen of these for less than the price of one Mission unit.

^^^^^^^^^^

 

I posted this way back in 2016, in another thread about what do other people use for pedal controllers.

 

To expand on that original comment, which still stands. I have 2 of these permanently hooked up to my Helix and never had any problems. If they did break I would simply replace them with the same units. Cheap and very effective!

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On 2.2.2018 at 4:08 AM, linz said:

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...

 

 

 

Does your M-Audio have the range of 0-100%?

I just got this pedal as a present with a used Katana 100 Amp and thought I'll give it a try with the Helix (not that I need it that much). But mine goes only form 16% -100% or If inverted from 0% to 84%.

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Yeah I'm too - Maybe it's just a configuration thing. I'll try the pedal with the katana this weekend to see if it's there too.

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I can confirm the M-Audio EX-P works well with Helix, allowing for a smooth full sweep from 0%-100%.

My settings: Switch on pedal bottom panel is set to "M-Audio" (not "other"), range wheel on pedal is set to full (full counter clockwise turn) and polarity set in Helix to "normal".

 

The one thing I have learned to mind is to set the above "parameters" on the pedal, before you plug it into Helix.  If you're playing with the pedal switch and the range wheel while plugged-in, you get strange responses (no response, or limited ranges).  The reason for this I believe to be the auto-calibration process.  It's only initiated by certain actions, and for sure it is when you (re-)plug-in the pedal.  If you change settings shortly after plugging in, you can get strange things.  I was always able to solve things by disconnecting and reconnecting the plug, forcing a re-calibration.   
Obviously, once everything is set, not need to touch things anymore, and the pedal works like a charm. 

Admittedly, not realizing the range wheel was somewhere in the middle when the pedal came out of the box caused some confusion on my end before I realized what was going on (and the M-audio manual is not even mentioning this wheel).  Holding the pedal in my hand and accidentally affecting the range wheel while pushing down the pedal spiced my confusion, as you can imagine ;-)

 

I agree to all forum comments on "plastic" build and design, yet price/quality range for this pedal is unmatched.  It does well what it needs to do, and happy to see how long it will last before breaking.  My gut feeling says it will last if you treat it with respect.   If it breaks, it was worth the gamble for 20€ shipping included.  I am just flabbergasted at the prices charged for a quality pedal, comprising nothing more than a metal case holding a hinge and a pot.         

 

Disclaimers: only have the pedal for a week - still plenty of time for the pedal to break early.

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On 4/17/2018 at 1:47 PM, Dshow said:

I just got this pedal as a present with a used Katana 100 Amp and thought I'll give it a try with the Helix (not that I need it that much). But mine goes only form 16% -100% or If inverted from 0% to 84%.

 

There is a 1K resistor in the EX=P... on the PCB near the main volume control (not the min volume control). In my experience.... that resistor needs to be jumped (solder a wire across the resistor, or remove it and replace it with a bare wire) to get the full range. I solder a wire across it... takes 10 seconds (after the iron is heated) to add, and even less to reverse if needed. 

 

6 hours ago, kritaar said:

I can confirm the M-Audio EX-P works well with Helix, allowing for a smooth full sweep from 0%-100%.

My settings: Switch on pedal bottom panel is set to "M-Audio" (not "other"), range wheel on pedal is set to full (full counter clockwise turn) and polarity set in Helix to "normal".

 

Those are the setting I use as well, but I could not get a full sweep without jumping that resistor I mention earlier. 

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5 hours ago, codamedia said:

There is a 1K resistor in the EX=P... on the PCB near the main volume control (not the min volume control). In my experience.... that resistor needs to be jumped (solder a wire across the resistor, or remove it and replace it with a bare wire) to get the full range. I solder a wire across it... takes 10 seconds (after the iron is heated) to add, and even less to reverse if needed. 

Thanks for the reply.

I fixed it in the meantime. Just opend up the pedal and turned the volume volume potentiometera bit and now it seems to work. Not the most quality volume potentiometer but for home use its ok.

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