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Understanding the VC12 Floorcontroller's 128 patch memory

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Understanding the VC12 Floorcontroller's 128 patch memory

Postby Voxman » 10 Dec 2005, 04:09

The VC12 manual is not the clearest manual I've seen, to say the least and the way it describes the 128 patch memory functionality in particular is downright confusing! So, if you've just got yourself a VC12 floorcontroller for your Valvetronix AD60/120 amp, and are puzzled by how it works, and how to find those 'hidden' factory pre-sets, then read on.

In brief, the VC12 allows you to store a TOTAL of 128 patches in 4 banks of 32 but you can't access all 128 patches in one go. Essentially the VC12 holds the patch information as a Sysex (system exclusive) file. But because the VT/VTX can only hold & process 32 patches at any one time, you have to go through a 'load' sequence to overwrite the existing block of 32 patches currently in the VT/VTX, with another block of 32 patches stored in the VC12.

In the manual, it refers to 'SWITCHES' numbered 1 through to 4. By 'SWITCH' it means one whole set of 32 patches. You'll find that the factory pre-sets are in switches 1 to 3, but the 4th switch is empty(& there's a good reason for this).

Think of it this way - you have oranges, bananas, apples, & pears in the VC12 (these are the 4 'switches' banks each containing 32 patches). Currently, you've loaded apples into the amp, but you now want to taste the oranges. So, you have to 'copy' over the oranges into the amp from the VC12, which overwrites the apples in the amp. If you hadn't previously saved the apples in one of the VC12's 4 memory banks, you'd lose the apples. That's why when you first get the VC12 you should copy your current 32 patches in the VT/VTX to bank 4 in the VC12 (that's why it's empty!), so you don't lose them (always assuming you'd like to keep them). You can't therefore scroll through all 128 patches in one go, but it's still useful to have all that portable memory space.

If you haven't made any custom patches, you don't need to copy these into 'switch 4' because these are always re-obtainable after a factory reset of your V'x amp.

The real pain is that each time you want to swap over each group of 32 patches, you have to do a hard re-boot of the amp (ie switch it on & off whilst pressing various buttons) & this makes the system useless for 'live' use when fast changes are needed.

Unfortunately, you can only copy WHOLE banks of 32 patches into your VC12. So, if you have 5 patches in 'switch 1' that you want to add to other patches in 'Switch 2' - you can't. You'll have to make a note of the patch settings and manually put these into any new 'switch'.

Now, although you can store 128 patches (4 banks of 32) you'll notice that there are only 48 factory presets (16 each in 'Switches' 1-3 inside the VC12). These occupy the first 16 patch spaces 1(1) - 4(4) However, you'll notice that when you copy a new 'switch' into your Valvetronix, the 16 patch spaces which on your amp start with a 'dot' after the number (eg 4.) are the same as you originally had! So, where have these extra patches gone? Well, nowhere because, in fresh factory mode, these are empty in the VC12, and whilst it copied over the first 16 patches to your V'x amp, there was nothing to copy over to replace 1.1-4.4, so they stay the same. But they are all writeable patches, so if you customise 1.1-4.4 and then copy them back to your VC12, next time you put that 'Switch' back in your amp, it will have all 32 patches to carry across. 8)

Whilst it would have been great to have the facility to edit patches and move them around on your computer, and re-load them back into your amp, there is simply no way to do this. This is because, unlike the Tonelabs, the Valvetronix amps have no MIDI facilities.

Be aware also that, unlike the factory settings in the amp itself, once you've changed the factory patches in the VC12, these CANNOT be recovered as the VC12 has no factory re-set facility.

But the four 'switches' give you lots of flexibility and back-up. If your amp is lost, stolen, replaced, or you're using someone else's V'x, and you've saved your patches into the VC12, the patches are there stored ready for use.

And it's great for helping you organise your patches. For example, you might store your gig patches in 'switch 1' all set for playing at volume, but in 'Switch 2' you have patches you like to use at home. Switch 3 might contain patches set for your Les Paul, and switch 4 might hold patches designed for your Strat....anyway, you get the idea.

When you transfer from the VC12 to the amp, it's a COPY & the original stays in the VC12, but the amps patches are (by definition) over written. However, you can always set the amp back to factory settings. If you've saved your customised V'x patches in Switch 4 in your VC12 beforehand, you'll always have a back-up of these to transfer back.

When you copy patches from the amp to the VC12, then these OVER-WRITE (ie copies over) the VC12 patches. The VC12 has no factory re-set & once you copy over any factory patches, then they're gone. That's why Switch 4 is empty - to give you a full Switch space to save your amps 32 user-presets without having to copy over any of the VC12 factory pre-sets.

The 16 1.1-4.4 settings are empty in each of the other 3 'Switches' - so you can customise these also without losing the VC12 factory settings. To do this, transfer (say) Switch 1 to your amp. Customise ONLY 1.1-4.4 (as the first 16 ie 1-1 to 4-4 are VC12 original factory settings) in your V'x. Then transfer back to Switch 1 in your VC12. Now in the VC12, Switch 1 has 16 factory & 16 user patches. If you don't want the factory patches then of course you can customise all 32 patches with no problem.

Rich :wink:
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