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How to use a foot switch to control punch in/punch out Control Surfaces
Old 12th April 2019
  #1
How to use a foot switch to control punch in/punch out

[Solved with a momentary footswitch plugged directly into my Tascam FW-1884's dedicated footswitch jack, see below - though feel free to extend a conversation about other options to use a footswitch with any DAW]

For the life of me I could not figure out how to control simple transport functions, primarily Start/Stop for practice & Punch In/Punch Out to record with my interface/controller board. I do see some activity in Cubase's software midi meter, which is on the transport bar, so something is happening, but there's no reaction.

My interface/controller in question is a Tascam FW-1884, the foot switch I'm using is from my Tascam 246 4-track cassette 6-CH mixer Porta-Studio which has a 1/4" standard male plug with a tip/sleeve connection. As I said, Cubase's midi meter is showing that it's receiving a signal.

Anyone have any idea? I'm assuming it shouldn't matter which brand or model my interface/controller & foot switch are to arrive at an answer. I have to think it's something I should be setting in my DAW software. No one at the Tascam forum has replied, nor did a search there reveal anything, in fact I've googled for hours and have not found an answer. It's like no one in the world has done this before.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 3 weeks ago at 12:55 PM..
Old 12th April 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
The transport buttons on the 1884 are working?
Also in Cubase?
Old 13th April 2019
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
The transport buttons on the 1884 are working?
Also in Cubase?
Yes, I have the FW-1884 & Cubase each set up so that the hardware transport buttons operate all of the Cubase transport functions & faders etc. Also moving Cubase's on-screen software transport buttons light up the corresponding buttons on the FW-1884's transport buttons & moving Cubase's software faders makes the Tascams motorized faders move. Other functions also work fine.

I'm using Mackie Mode in both Cubase & on the Tascam BTW. I wouldn't think I need a foot switch with a tip/ring/sleeve, rather than mine with a tip/sleeve. And since Cubase's midi activity meter shows something when I press the foot switch...?

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 13th April 2019 at 02:05 AM..
Old 13th April 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
Hi Steve,
In the manual I read that the footswitch should work (plug it in and then start the 1884).
That an midi signal is arriving in Cubase shows that it is doing something to.
Perhaps you could ad an MIDI track in Cubase and put the MIDI Monitor on the MIDI Inserts to see what signal the footswitch is giving?
And togle the MIDI inputs to see where it is comming from.

Knowing that you could set an Generic Remote to act (any command you want) to that input and MIDI message.
Old 13th April 2019
  #5
Thanks BT,

Though I'm a little vague on your reply, I'll look into your suggestions to see if I can familiarize myself. I would have thought that simply plugging the footswitch in would just work to Start/Stop... my old 246 Porta-Studio did, and how I used it to Record, is you simply arm the 246's Record button, so that when you play, it go's into Record mode having been set to do so. I would have also thought that the FW-1884 with footswitch plugged in & used, would also be pre-set to give the same midi message on the transport, Play/Stop..whatever that is.

You mention the monitor track etc to see what the foot switch is giving, interesting, I gather you mean the midi CC message/note number. Funny, last night I was wondering if I open the FW-1884 software LCD applet, and/or my units software interface, one or both may display the midi message the footswitch is giving as well (?)

So when and if I eventually do get the footswitch in Play/Stop, I'll be wondering how to use it to Record. I'm thinking for each function I'd have to reprogram what I'd want it to do, if so that sounds like a hassle, and I may be better off with trying to use some kind of multi-switch/footswitch controller, programing each button to perform that particular function. but I'm getting way ahead of myself, and will go forward with the single footswitch I have.

Last night I did a little more research, seeking out with different wording typed in, and saw something about a Generic Remote as you mentioned, plus learning, etc, which does give some clues, as unfamiliar as I am on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
Hi Steve,
In the manual I read that the footswitch should work (plug it in and then start the 1884).
That an midi signal is arriving in Cubase shows that it is doing something to.
Perhaps you could ad an MIDI track in Cubase and put the MIDI Monitor on the MIDI Inserts to see what signal the footswitch is giving?
And togle the MIDI inputs to see where it is comming from.

Knowing that you could set an Generic Remote to act (any command you want) to that input and MIDI message.
Old 13th April 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 

I don't know if this is relevant to your situation but when I had the Zed R-16, I could control Nuendo's midi functions like faders/pan ect. by using generic mode and learn function but I had to set up MMC in Nuendo for the transport functions to work.
Perhaps a clue there.
Old 15th April 2019
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
... ad an MIDI track in Cubase and put the MIDI Monitor on the MIDI Inserts to see what signal the footswitch is giving?
And togle the MIDI inputs to see where it is comming from.
Thanks again, very interesting, and a made at least some minor headway...

After a lot if time without success, not being familiar with it, I was finally able to get the Midi Monitor to identify the Midi signal of the footswitch plugged into the Tascam FW-1884, as well as transport buttons on the Tascam itself. The hold up was that I had deselected (on purpose) the 'All Midi check box in the Midi Port Setup, corresponding to the Tascams Control Input, because when selected, it triggers any VSTi Instrument Track I've selected & have highlighted. Rechecking it, then allows the midi signal through to the temporary Midi Track with the Midi Monitor on an Insert.

Footswitch - F#6 127 (pressed)/0 (depressed)
STOP - A5 127 /0
PLAY - A#5 127 /0
RECORD - B5 127 /0

The above is all I'd want to control, I observed the Rewind & Fast Forward, but didn't write them down for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
Knowing that you could set an Generic Remote to act (any command you want) to that input and MIDI message.
I added a Generic Remote, but this is another thing I'm not familiar with, I saw no way to add a foot switch value, although I did manage to rename the top two listings to 'footswitch', still no response.
But rather than having to add a Generic Remote, I would have thought that I'd be able to add this in the protocol I'm already using, which is Mackie Control, but I saw no way to add a footwsitch, nor the value of it either.

Reading the Tascam's FW-1884 manual, I also had attempted to midi program the footswitch into the unit, this didn't cause it to respond either. Spent some time reading the Cubase manual, nothing I read helped.
Old 15th April 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavern View Post
I don't know if this is relevant to your situation but when I had the Zed R-16, I could control Nuendo's midi functions like faders/pan ect. by using generic mode and learn function but I had to set up MMC in Nuendo for the transport functions to work.
Perhaps a clue there.
Perhaps, and I could certainly try, but not sure of that. Reason being is that I've already had Cubase & the Tascam FW-1884 (which connects by firewire to my DAW PC) running great under Mackie Control - set in Cubase & for the Tascam unit. All functions I've used, panning, faders, all transport functions and some others have been working fine, The Tascam controls Cubase, Cubase controls the Tascam... but no responce from the footswitch, though it is certainly sending a midi message of F#6 127/0 into Cubase when pressed/depressed, seen from a Midi Track in the Midi Monitor as suggested by BT64.

The above seems to indicate that I should be able make something happen with the footswitch without using MMC(?). It also seems that I wouldn't have to use a separate Generic Remote, when I'm already using Mackie Control that works for everything else (?), just to use a footswitch, which is in fact sending a signal.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
You probably can use the mackie control settings in Cubase.
See what happens if you set the user A or B buttons in the setup from Cubase.
Attached Thumbnails
How to use a foot switch to control punch in/punch out-mc_settingfs.png  
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Generic Remote Cubase

I read one poster recommended to try the Mackie settings.
This is good advice as I recall reading you monitored the input to Cubase and received note messages.
I'm not sure if Mackie is exclusively note messages but it is definitely a part of their protocol so I would try this.

In Cubase go to
Studio (drop down menu)
Studio Set up

In the Studio Setup window look to the top right corner.
Press the + button.
Select Mackie Control from the drop down list.
It will add the Mackie device to your list of controllers (if any)

Select the Mackie you just added and look to the right.
Here you will have an input and output.
Just try the input for now and see if you can see your device in the drop down to add in the input box.

You may find that works straight away.
Fiddle around with the various drop downs in the window.

I just had to come back and delete most of this post.
I thought is was like generic remote but I just checked and it’s not.

Try the Mackie Control first.
If that doesn’t work do you have a midi keyboard?
A cheap foot switch switch into the keyboard is pretty easy to set up.
Report back..

Last edited by RobC335; 4 weeks ago at 11:50 AM.. Reason: Erroneous advice
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
You probably can use the mackie control settings in Cubase.
See what happens if you set the user A or B buttons in the setup from Cubase.
Wow HUGH THANK YOU! ... this took some HOURS doodling around with anything I could think of, but HOT DAMN I got it! Within 'Devices' > 'Mackie Control' mode in Cubase, I saw the 'User Commands' A & B buttons you pointed out in your posted image, with the 'A' button, under 'Category' I double-clicked, then selected 'Transport' , then under 'Command' I selected & tried out various selections... START, STOP, START/STOP, RECORD (which activate & deactivate Record).

Oddly, the functions associated with Punch In/Punch Out Recording don't seem to do anything, maybe I have to 1st set Cubase to do punch-in recording for the foot switch to work that, dunno (?).
Another odd thing is that I can only get anything to respond to the footswitch with using the ' User A' button, but not the 'User B' button, and this is whether I have one or the other populated, or both...even if I select User A or B and then select the Apply button. Not sure this is a big deal, being I'm only using one foot switch at this time. I'm just trying to understand fully how this works, and say if I want to switch between the type of commands, this may come in handy, rather than having to edit the Category & Command fields.

This is just my report from the last hour of getting this going, and I could explore this a bit more. For example, say if I DO need more User buttons, A, B, C, D, E, etc is there a way to add them if needed later? I don't see an option within Mackie Control mode.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Hi Rob, thanks although with BT64's direction, I'm on track now. However, I am still curious. For one thing, where is this 'STUDIO' selection? Maybe you're using a different version than me? I'm using Cubase 8.5 Pro, in order for me to select which control mode I wish to use, I normally go to the DEVICES tab, then DEVICE SET UP, , and to my upper left I have the + & - symbols, and below that I can select the various modes, Generic Remote, Mackie Control (what I'm using on my board & for Cubase), also there's Mackie HUI, Tascam DM-24 (HUI) etc, etc. It's sounds to me like this is basically the same thing as you going to this STUDIO tab, which I don't see, nor can I find a reference to it in the manual.

When I began using Mackie Control mode a while back, just about everything did work straight away, it was an amazing thing to see. Until today, I never could get the foot switch plugged into my Tascam FW-1884's dedicated foot switch jack to respond to anything, though always showed activity in the midi activity meter on the transport bar.
And yes, I do have a midi keyboard/synth (Alesis QS7.1), but since the FW-1884 does have a dedicated foot switch jack, I'd rather not have to, nor do I now need to use my keyboard for this.
After I read you comment on using a midi keyboard for control, it made me think about my old Digitech GSP 21 Pro which has midi I/O. When I bought it decades ago, I had no clue what midi was. It came with a foot controller with 12 foot switches. I'm now wondering if my Digitech GSP 21 Pro & foot switch board can somehow control other midi devices, or could even be set for controlling several functions within Cubase...? My Tascam FW-1884 does have 4 midi inputs & 4 midi outputs. Ah, but I'll save that for a future thread if I want to pursue that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RobC335 View Post
I read one poster recommended to try the Mackie settings.
This is good advice as I recall reading you monitored the input to Cubase and received note messages.
I'm not sure if Mackie is exclusively note messages but it is definitely a part of their protocol so I would try this.

In Cubase go to
Studio (drop down menu)
Studio Set up

In the Studio Setup window look to the top right corner.
Press the + button.
Select Mackie Control from the drop down list.
It will add the Mackie device to your list of controllers (if any)

Select the Mackie you just added and look to the right.
Here you will have an input and output.
Just try the input for now and see if you can see your device in the drop down to add in the input box.

You may find that works straight away.
Fiddle around with the various drop downs in the window.

I just had to come back and delete most of this post.
I thought is was like generic remote but I just checked and it’s not.

Try the Mackie Control first.
If that doesn’t work do you have a midi keyboard?
A cheap foot switch switch into the keyboard is pretty easy to set up.
Report back..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
Mackie control mode is develop for the Mackie Control device.
This device has the possibility to connect two foot switches (user switch) and 8 (16 with the shift button) function buttons, free assignable.

Other devices later used this protocol, just like the 1884, to control DAW's to. But as the 1884 has one foot control it will only use the User A function.
If you would like to make your own mapping between an MIDI controller and Cubase you can do that by making an Generic Remote and map MIDI messages with actions in Cubase.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
A friend has that Mackie controller, and I was looking at images & read the manual on-line to see if it can use a foot switch. I was just telling him this morning that it has two foot switch jacks.

As for my Tascam controller with the Mackie Control mode in Cubase, I was hoping I could program both User A & B, and toggle between the two as desired, but there's no response from User B, even if that's the only one programmed, seems odd. I'll just change the command to User A as needed.

Record Enable/Disable, and Start/Stop is all I want for now. It would be cool to have both simultaneously at my footie-tips, but not if that means using a different controller just for that.

It's good to know of other options in case I desire more foot control than just one command at a time. But this so far is cooler than I had hoped for, and was working with some guitar punch-ins just after getting my foot switch working!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BT64 View Post
Mackie control mode is develop for the Mackie Control device.
This device has the possibility to connect two foot switches (user switch) and 8 (16 with the shift button) function buttons, free assignable.

Other devices later used this protocol, just like the 1884, to control DAW's to. But as the 1884 has one foot control it will only use the User A function.
If you would like to make your own mapping between an MIDI controller and Cubase you can do that by making an Generic Remote and map MIDI messages with actions in Cubase.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I haven't read this thread extremely close, but in case it's of any help, I bought a Tascam Rc3F footswitch to use with a little us366 and Cubase 10 on my laptop. The rc3f has several switches so that one can start/stop/play/record/rew/ff. The 366 manual states that the rc3f protocol is dedicated Mackie or hui. The 366 onscreen control panel allows the rc3f to be set in several different modes (functions varying for convenience for overdubbing as opposed to mixing), including a box to select whether the footswitch communicates as Mackie or Hui.

I haven't tried anything yet. I bought the footswitch cuz it was on sale for next to nothing.

Dunno if that footswitch works with the 1884, but....there.... that's info I have that may or may not be applicable to this thread.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Hi Steve
I think you must be using a different version but sounds like you are in the right menu.
If you select punch in out you probably won’t notice what it is doing.
What this does is enable punch in or out mode.
This means (depending on your version - it got more complicated in recent versions) that the system will punch in during playback once the cursor reaches the Left locator and out again at the Right.
What you want is simply select record if there is an option.
This will immediately enter record during playback when you press the foot switch. (On record armed channels)
It will leave record mode when pressed a second time and continue to playback.

There are punch in /out indicators but I can’t remember where they are in Cubase 8.
They should be on the transport panel.

YouTube

This guy obviously hasn’t set things up properly for his input but you can see where the indicators are in this video.

I highly recommend Cubase 9.5.
I’m not even thinking about 10.
9.5 is awesome.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
I was able to setup a Logidy UMI3 for this, in both Reaper and FL Studio. Took some doing, but it works. There is an included software utility that does everything basically, and it connects via a USB cable (and seems to work just fine going through a USB hub).

However, I just noticed the Logidy website is redirecting people to dick pills, so not a good sign... Shame, it's a great product.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Hey noodles,

Great thought. I just took a looked at the Tascam RC-3F footswitch, and see that it has a mini tip/ring/sleeve connector, though the Tascam FW-1884 has a tip/sleeve female jack, but I don't know how that would play out.

The FW-1884's manual specifically says to use a single momentary footswitch, and will identify polarity upon power up...which I find odd, they even mention polarity on a single mechanical momentary switch, that wouldn't matter which pole is connected to which of the 2 wires from the 1/4" tip/sleeve plug.

On the other hand, I bought a used Alesis LRC foot control quite a while back for this very reason to use with my 1884. I never could get it to do anything, and don't know that it's even capable of working with my board. Now that I was able to get my simple footswitch working, I may try it again, but I'm doubting it'll work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
I haven't read this thread extremely close, but in case it's of any help, I bought a Tascam Rc3F footswitch to use with a little us366 and Cubase 10 on my laptop. The rc3f has several switches so that one can start/stop/play/record/rew/ff. The 366 manual states that the rc3f protocol is dedicated Mackie or hui. The 366 onscreen control panel allows the rc3f to be set in several different modes (functions varying for convenience for overdubbing as opposed to mixing), including a box to select whether the footswitch communicates as Mackie or Hui.

I haven't tried anything yet. I bought the footswitch cuz it was on sale for next to nothing.

Dunno if that footswitch works with the 1884, but....there.... that's info I have that may or may not be applicable to this thread.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 3 weeks ago at 12:45 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Thanks Rob for that info, I'll have another look when I get the 1st opportunity. Though whow I have it programmed at the moment, in fact enable records when I press it the 1st time, and disable record on the 2nd time. In the list I simply have it set to 'record', as I have my left/right locators set in a look. This is exactly how my old Tascam 246 4-track porta-studio worked. What you describe almost sounds like the same functions but I'm tired right now, but again I'll have a look.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobC335 View Post
Hi Steve
I think you must be using a different version but sounds like you are in the right menu.
If you select punch in out you probably won’t notice what it is doing.
What this does is enable punch in or out mode.
This means (depending on your version - it got more complicated in recent versions) that the system will punch in during playback once the cursor reaches the Left locator and out again at the Right.
What you want is simply select record if there is an option.
This will immediately enter record during playback when you press the foot switch. (On record armed channels)
It will leave record mode when pressed a second time and continue to playback.

There are punch in /out indicators but I can’t remember where they are in Cubase 8.
They should be on the transport panel.

YouTube

This guy obviously hasn’t set things up properly for his input but you can see where the indicators are in this video.

I highly recommend Cubase 9.5.
I’m not even thinking about 10.
9.5 is awesome.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
Thanks for the tip! (on the dick pills lol) In my research in trying to accomplish what I did... I had read a handful of people talking about using a footswitch with USB, and I assumed it would work more or less like a USB computer keyboard.
I had for the time being dismissed the idea of using a USB footswitch, favoring the idea of trying to make use of my footswitch jack that the FW-1884 was designed to use.
But if I do end up finding a need to use more switches - and I need to get use to what I just got working - I know I can always try out the USB footswitch concept. BTW, I just saw other Midi/USB footswitches on-line, and saw a midi foot controller called Nektar Pacer (pricy at $300), but it's got 10 foot switches to control. I have no idea why I'd need that much though haha.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
I was able to setup a Logidy UMI3 for this, in both Reaper and FL Studio. Took some doing, but it works. There is an included software utility that does everything basically, and it connects via a USB cable (and seems to work just fine going through a USB hub).

However, I just noticed the Logidy website is redirecting people to dick pills, so not a good sign... Shame, it's a great product.

Last edited by Steve Fogal; 3 weeks ago at 12:51 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Yeh Steve
It looks like you have got it set up correctly.
I was only explaining what was happening when you said you saw no difference when you select punch in/out.
Keep it the way it is if it’s working the way you want it to.
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