Massimo Procopio

MIDI CONTROLLER ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G e MS70CDR

Quick User Guide: https://www.massimoprocopio.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/MidiControllerQuickManual.pdf

MIDI CONTROLLER VIDEO NEW VERSION – FW 2.0
MIDI CONTROLLER VIDEO OLD VERSION – FW 1.0

MIDI CONTROLLER FOR ZOOM MULTI-FX

Anyone who owns guitar Multi-Fx will surely have had, sometimes, the need for further controls, especially in live, more comfortable and safer. I own a Zoom G5 and a Zoom MS50G, and in both cases, there have been times when I needed additional foot controls, especially for the little one, without the risk of turning effects on or off accidentally. These two multi-effects have great sounds and low cost. Comparing them to analogue effects, the sound is very similar (I personally tested it with Tube Screamer and Big Muff). Even if the analogs have something more, these digital effects are absolutely not to be denigrated, because they have the possibility of changing multiple settings instantly with a single pedal and are much more portable than an equivalent number of effects. In addition, they also have an excellent simulation of amplifiers and can also be used very well directly connected to the mixer. However, I always prefer a real amplifier, for obvious sound reasons. In order to expand their possibilities, I decided to develop a Midi Controller with all the possibilities that this kind of instrument can offer.

MIDI CONTROLLER - FEATURES

There are various projects that do something similar, but none of them supports some important features of this controller.

Following, you can see the project features:

  • Automatic detection of multi-fx connected (ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G, MS60B, MS70CDR, GENERIC HW)
  • Automatic adaptation to the protocol of detected multi-fx (for GENERIC HW only Patch Change with standard midi message)
  • Powered by USB (ZOOM G3, MS50G, MS60B, MS70CDR, GENERIC Compatible HW)
  • Patch name recognition and display according to data stored on the multi-effect (ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G, MS70CDR)
  • Effect Name Recognition and Display (ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G, MS70CDR) - Only FW 2.0
  • Synchronization of Patch or Effects changed on Multi-Fx (ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G, MS60B, MS70CDR)
  • Cyclic Patch Change (+/-) (ALL)
  • Change with Patch Preselection (ALL)
  • Patch change with direct association of a Footswitch (ALL)
  • Effects scroll (ZOOM MS50G, MS70CDR. To be tested on ZOOM G3) Only FW 1.0
  • Enabling / Disabling of single effects (ZOOM G5. Limitation to the first 3 effects for MS50G, MS60B, MS70CDR. To be tested on Zoom G3)

MIDI CONTROLLER – HARDWARE

I relied on ready-made hardware for reasons of reliability and not to waste time designing things already on the market. I therefore decided to develop the controller with an Arduino Uno Rev3, a USB Host Shield, a LCD 2004, and a rotary encoder. I then created a simple IO Shield and added 3 Footswitches.

Following, the componens list

  • 1 – Arduino Uno Rev3
  • 1 – SunFounder IIC I2C TWI Serial 2004 20×4 LCD Module Shield
  • 1 – SainSmart USB Host Android ADK Shield 2.0
  • 1 – HiLetgo Rotary Incremental Encoder Module 360 Degrees
  • 4/7 - Momentary Footswitches 1PST (Minimum 4 Footswitches. You can add 3 more footswitches directly in the case or as an extension via connector)
  • 1 – NAUSBW Connettore USB-Chassis
  • 1 – DC power jack 2,1mm isolated
  • 1 – Alluminium Enclosure Natural BoxType D++

The USB Host Shield connects without soldering by mounting it directly above the Arduino Uno. For the LCD I used the dedicated I2C pins according to this scheme:

MIDI CONTROLLER per ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G, MS60B, MS70CDR
LCD I2C CONNECTIONS

Actually I first created an IO Shield from which I used all the IOs needed for the connections.

Following, the scheme:

For those who wish to have a more reliable board, you can buy or print the PCB:

The IO SHIELD connects above the USB HOST SHIELD exactly like all Arduino Shields, without soldering.

This is the final result:

MIDI CONTROLLER – FIRMWARE

Before using the firmware, it is necessary to read and accept the user license:

https://www.massimoprocopio.com/en/licenza-duso-midi-controller-firmware/

The firmware was developed in C with the Arduino IDE.

I used following libraries:

  • USB_Host_Shield_Library_2.0
  • Liquid Crystal I2C

The current use of the hardware is as follows:

  • 99% Flash Memory
  • 53% SRAM
  • 98% EEPROM

Quick User Guide: https://www.massimoprocopio.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/MidiControllerQuickManual.pdf

The protocol can be found at the following address:

https://github.com/g200kg/zoom-ms-utility/blob/master/midimessage.md


NEW FIRMWARE

MIDI CONTROLLER – FUNZIONALITÀ (Ver. 2.2.600)

ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G, MS70CDR

In collaboration with Manuel Cabral, whom I thank very much for his support, I have changed the firmware.

SCROLL mode for effects has been removed, replaced by decoding the names of effects, which are now all visible at the same time for up to six effects. A Change Mode Footswitch has been added plus the ability to use up to 6 Patches and Effects Control Footswitches, so 7 Patches in E-Patch Mode and 6 Effects in E-Effects mode. Here are the new features of the menu:

The Controller works in three different main modes:

  • Normal Mode
  • Patch Mode
  • Effect Mode

Secondary modes:

  • Preselect Mode

Normal Mode

  • Knob Rotation - Patch +/-
  • Knob Press - Change Mode
  • Knob Long Press - Menù
  • Right Footswitch – Patch +
  • Left Footswitch – Patch –
  • Central Footswicth - Mode Switch: Preselect Mode
  • Mode Footswitch - Change mode

Preselect Mode

  • Knob Rotation - Preselect Patch +/-
  • Knob Press - Change Mode
  • Knob Long Press - Menù
  • Right Footswitch – Patch + (Preselection)
  • Left Footswitch – Patch – (Preselection)
  • Central Footswitch - Patch change and return to Normal Mode
  • Mode Footswitch - Change mode

Patch Mode

Each Footswitch activates a pre-stored patch (E-Patch) on the controller (maximum 50 - E-Patch).

Each E-Patch contains 7 Multi-Effect Patches.

  • Knob Rotation - E-Patch Bank +/-
  • Knob Press - Change Mode
  • Knob Long Press - Menù
  • Mode Footswitch - Change mode
  • Footswitch Mode (Long Press) - Enable Bank Scroll
  • Footswitch Dx – E-Patch Bank +
  • Footswitch Sx – E-Patch Bank –
  • Footswitch Mode - Disable Bank Scroll

Effect Mode

Each Footswitch is directly associated with an effect of the current patch by pre-storing on E-Patch (maximum 10).

  • Knob Rotation - E-Effect Bank +/-
  • Knob Press - Change Mode
  • Knob Long Press - Menù
  • Mode Footswitch - Change mode
  • Footswitch Mode (Long Press) - Enable Bank Scroll
  • Footswitch Dx – E-Effect Bank +
  • Footswitch Sx – E-Effect Bank –
  • Footswitch Mode - Disable Bank Scroll

Menù

  • CLONE
    • SELECT BANK (PATCH MODE or EFFECT MODE)
  • ASSIGN PATCH
    • CANCEL
    • SELECT FOOTSWITCH
    • SELECT BANK
  • ASSIGN EFFECT
    • CANCEL
    • FOOTSWITCH 1 EFFECT
    • FOOTSWITCH 2 EFFECT
    • FOOTSWITCH 3 EFFECT
    • FOOTSWITCH 4 EFFECT
    • FOOTSWITCH 5 EFFECT
    • FOOTSWITCH 6 EFFECT
    • SELECT BANK
  • SET FOOTSWITCHES
    • FOOTSWITCHES NUM
  • TOGGLE MODE
    • ALL MODES
    • E-PATCH – E-EFFECTS
    • NORMAL – E-EFFECTS
    • NORMAL – E-PATCH
  • LONG PRESS DELAY
    • 250ms To 5000ms
  • STARTING MODE
    • NORMAL MODE
    • PATCH MODE
    • EFFECT MODE
  • RESET MEMORY
    • CANCEL
    • RESET ALL MEMORY
  • FIRMWARE
    • FIRMWARE AND LICENCE INFORMATIONS
  • EXIT

MIDI CONTROLLER – TEST WITH ZOOM G5 and MS50G

The controller allows you to expand the possibilities of controlling the Multi-Fx and can be used in different ways:

  • Add 7 more patches than those already controllable by the Multi-Fx
  • Move cyclically between different Patches leaving the Multi-Fx in Home mode (Effects view)
  • Directly control 6 effects of the current Patch

With the new firmware and the new optimizations, the “Side Effects” of the old version have been eliminated

I haven't had the possibility of testing it with the Zoom G3, which currently can't detect it correctly because I haven't found its ID. Further updates coming soon.

Firmware has been thoroughly tested with Zoom MS70CDR, MS50G and G5.


OLD FIRMWARE

MIDI CONTROLLER - FUNCTIONS (Ver. 1.10.200)

ZOOM G5, G3, MS50G, MS60B, MS70CDR

The Controller works in three different main modes:

  • Normal Mode
  • Patch Mode
  • Effect Mode

Secondary modes:

  • Preselect Mode
  • Scroll Mode

Normal Mode

  • Knob Rotation - Patch +/-
  • Pushing Knob - Menu
  • Right Footswitch – Patch +
  • Left Footswitch – Patch –
  • Central Footswicth - Mode Switch: Preselect Mode
  • Central Footswitch (Long press) - Mode Switch: Effect Mode or Scroll Mode (According to menu setting)

Preselect Mode

  • Knob Rotation - Preselect Patch +/-
  • Pushing Knob - Menu
  • Right Footswitch – Patch + (Preselection)
  • Left Footswitch – Patch – (Preselection)
  • Central Footswitch - Patch change and return to Normal Mode

Scroll Mode (Doesn't work with ZOOM G5)

  • Pushing Knob - Menu
  • Right Footswitch - Focus on the next effect of the current patch
  • Left Footswitch - Focus on the previous effect of the current patch
  • Central Footswitch - return to previous mode

Patch Mode

Each Footswitch activates a pre-stored patch (E-Patch) on the controller (maximum 150 - E-Patch).

Each E-Patch contains 3 Multi-Fx Patches.

  • Knob Rotation - E-Patch +/-
  • Pushing Knob - Menu

If Mode Change with long press is enabled (from the menu):

  • Right Footswitch (Long press) - E-Patch +
  • Left Footswitch (Long Press) - E-Patch -
  • Central Footswitch (Long Press) - Switch to Effect Mode.

Effect Mode

Each Footswitch is directly associated with an effect of the current patch by pre-storing on E-Patch (maximum 30). On the MS50G, MS60B and MS70CDR, only the first three effects work. On G5 all 9 effects.

  • Knob Rotation - E-Patch +/-
  • Pushing Knob - Menu

If Mode Change with long press is enabled (from the menu):

  • Right Footswitch (Long press) - E-Patch +
  • Left Footswitch (Long Press) - E-Patch -
  • Central Footswitch (Long Press) - Switch to Previous Mode.

Menù

  • SELECT MODE
    • NORMAL MODE
    • PATCH MODE
    • EFFECT MODE
  • ASSIGN PATCH
    • CANCEL
    • SELECT FOOTSWITCH
    • SELECT E-PATCH
  • ASSIGN EFFECT
    • CANCEL
    • FOOTSWITCH 1 EFFECT
    • FOOTSWITCH 2 EFFECT
    • FOOTSWITCH 3 EFFECT
    • SELECT E-PATCH
  • SCROLL
    • USE SCROLL AS DEFAULT
    • USE SCROLL AS SECONDARY
  • CHANGE MODE
    • ENABLED
    • DISABLED
  • BUTTON DELAY
    • 250ms To 5000ms
  • RESET MEMORY
    • CANCEL
    • RESET ALL MEMORY
  • FIRMWARE
    • FIRMWARE AND LICENCE INFORMATIONS
  • EXIT

MIDI CONTROLLER – TEST WITH ZOOM G5 and MS50G

The controller allows you to expand the possibilities of controlling the Multi-Fx and can be used in different ways:

  • Add three more patches than those already controllable by the Multi-Fx
  • Move cyclically between different Patches leaving the Multi-Fx in Home mode (Effects view)
  • Directly control three effects of the current Patch (whose change remains under the control of the Multi-Fx)
  • Scrolling effects, right and left (not compatible with ZOOM G5)

I tried to optimize the firmware, unfortunately, however, there are some limitations and "Side Effects" that you need to know.

In NORMAL MODE it is possible to activate, preselect and view the patches of the Multi-Fx without latencies. If the SCROLL MODE is enabled as Default, this function can be activated without any difficulty or latency. Unfortunately, however, the Scroll introduces an instant micro pause at the change of focus, of a few ms, but slightly perceptible with some effects if you play during the Scroll. It is possible to switch from NORMAL MODE to EFFECT MODE, and vice versa, by holding down the central Footswitch if SCROLL MODE is set as secondary and CHANGE MODE is enabled.

In PATCH MODE and EFFECT MODE, changes are instantaneous, as in NORMAL MODE, only if the CHANGE MODE function is not enabled. If enabled, however, the change occurs when the Footswitch is released, not when pressed, and this can introduce a slight delay if not managed correctly. However, when it is enabled, it is possible to change E-Patch directly with a long press (customizable) of the Footswitches, so expanding the amount of Patches or Effects available. If disabled, instead, any delay is eliminated, and it is still possible to change the E-Patch by turning the knob.

These limitations are due to a careful control of the Footswitch pressure to avoid unintentional activation of Patches or Effects when trying to change function or E-Patch with long press.

I haven't had the possibility of testing it with the Zoom G3, which currently can't detect it correctly because I haven't found its ID. Further updates coming soon.

For the Zoom MS60B and MS70CDR, despite not having had a chance to test it, I found all the data on the internet and they should work exactly like the MS50G, that I have fully tested.


MIDI CONTROLLER - PICTURES OF WORKING CONTROLLER - MS50G (OLD FIRMWARE)

MIDI CONTROLLER - PICTURES OF WORKING CONTROLLER - ZOOM G5 (OLD FIRMWARE)

If you are interested, please contact me.

See you soon.

Massimo Procopio

38 Comments

    1. massimoprocopio

      Spero che ti possa trovare bene con il tuo nuovo giocattolo da chitarrista.
      Fammi sapere cosa ne pensi dopo che avrai preso dimestichezza con il controller.

  1. Alessandro Guerriero

    Ciao Massimo.
    Mi chiamo Alessandro e sono un chitarrista anche io , posseggo inoltre entrambi i pedali della Zoom sia il 50 che il 70.

    Sei nella possibilità di condividere il firmware ?

    Sarebbe per me una grande cosa!

    Fammi sapere e grazie mille comuque per i contenuti e gli spunti che offri!

    1. massimoprocopio

      Ciao. Per ora non ne ho proprio il tempo, quindi non lo vendo. Posso fornire solo il firmware. Realizzarlo comunque è semplice, ma bisogna avere un po’ di manualità con il saldatore.

  2. antonio

    Buongiorno Massimo,
    ho provato già a scriverti ma il mio messaggio non compare in lista una volta riavviato il browser… ti chiedevo gentilmente se puoi condividere il firmware; io ho un MS70CDR.
    Ti ringrazio in anticipo

    1. massimoprocopio

      Scusami se non ti ho risposto subito, ma ho problemi a ricevere le notifiche via mail. Comunque hai fatto bene a scrivermi via mail. Quello è il mezzo più veloce e sicuro per contattarmi.

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