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BSS Varicurve MIDI control anyone??

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bob4 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 June 2020 at 8:59am
Does anyone have practical experience of remotely controlling a BSS Varicurve FCS 926  via MIDI? 

I gave in to GAS craving and bought yet another old box....

https://bssaudio.com/en/products/fcs-926

The user interface is rather clunky, and since the unit has MIDI I/O connections, I was hoping to control it by MIDI. I tried sending control change messages with a Doepfer pocket control, but all I got was a strange little display glitch. I'm a bit stumped at the moment. I know that BSS was also selling two other versions of the unit, one of them being a "Slave" unit without any UI, to be MIDI controller by a master unit. 

I'd be glad about any advice.  
 

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Peter Jan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Jan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 June 2020 at 1:48pm
I don't recall the possibility to control the Varicurve system other than through the dedicated remote control. This thing like a model airplain RC worn with a band around your neck. It fitted nicely in a 19" 2 unit rack drawer. It was coupled to the system with a 5 pin XLR cable, that carried the MIDI signals. That XLR (and cable) was more sturdy to be able to walk on stage, but it was just MIDI signal like it is present in those typical DIN connector/cables.
Back in the day I only used these Varicurve systems with master, slaves, interface and remote as a whole. Maybe someone, somewhere in time fabricated something other than the dedicated gear, but I never heard if it. Doesn't mean it cann't exist, I just have no knowledge of it.


Edited by Peter Jan - 11 June 2020 at 1:50pm
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bob4 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bob4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 June 2020 at 7:35am
Hi Peter, 

thank you for your answer! I think I will have to do some reverse engineering with a midi monitor software and have a look at what the Varicurve outputs when in MIDI Master mode.... I suppose it needs SysEx , or multiple control change messages in a specific order.   
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Peter Jan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Jan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 June 2020 at 8:23am
It’s a long time ago I had a manual of these in hand, but doesn’t it have a MIDI chart ? MIDI channels, values etc...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 4D Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 June 2020 at 12:00pm
Manual is here midi implementation on p26

Should be simple enough to map a midi controller just need a disciplined mind to actually control it in real time.. 

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bob4 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bob4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 June 2020 at 4:43pm
well, that is the thing..... I HAVE the manual, I have read it, it just doesn't work Confused at least with my unit.... I am trying to send control change messages to the unit, but it doesn't react. I will whip out the USB MIDI cable and start sniffing the MIDI output of the box to see what exactly is going on.... 
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bob4 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bob4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2020 at 7:26am
I am not very proficient with this MIDI stuff...... 

At first I assumed that the parameter numbers mentioned under 12.2 in the manual would just map straight to control change numbers. But doing that didn't work, and sure enough, monitoring the MIDI output, the messages that the 926 outputs are not standard control change messages. 

The MIDI Implementation chart says

NRPN LSB 98
NRPN MSB 99
DATA LSB 38
DATA MSB 6

Seems less straight forward than I thought. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Jan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 June 2020 at 10:52am
I can remember a few things from the eighties.
Doubt it can help you, but I give it anyway.

NRPN stands for Non-Registred Parameter Number
98 and 99 are so called " controller" numbers ( like a function on a keybaord, footcontroller, main volume,...  or like recall, frequency, gain, data +, data - .. on the BSS). There are 128 controllers ( 0-127 ), some are reserved, the last 5, 6 or 7 I think.
Controller 96 is Data increase and controller 97 is Data decrease ( pretty sure I have that right )
LSB  stands for Least Significant Bit, because it represents the least in value.
MSB  stands for Most Significant Bit, because it represents the most in value.
There are 7 data bits, bit 0 being the LSB and bit 6 the MSB.
Each controller has this 7 bit value available, so ranging from value 0 - 127 ( or 128 possible values for a given controller/function of your gear ).

More than that I struggle to recall now, but I suggest you google a few things regarding MIDI, especially how it is made up, so you understand what's going on under the hood.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tthorsten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2020 at 3:47pm
hey i thought it would be possible to use an fds 380 and the varicurve remote to remot the curves and this type of 2he processoer even the jbl labeld dcs 380 or what ever they named it version. Perhaps an Behriber FCB100 Footcontroller and the BFC and BCR 2000 Controllers will work also.
But im really not that MIDI guy - i think we used an Computer and Roland UA25ex with USB over MIDI to remote this under W98se or XP i think - its too long ago that i remember .
Sound is good - the BSS Varicurve is an Digtal Controled PAssiv  EQ like the Klark Technik DN2700 DN3000.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bob4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 June 2020 at 4:02pm
Dankeschön Tthorsten! Alles Gut in Sindelfingen? Thumbs Up
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