Triggering articulations of VST instruments while playing on guitar

At this moment playing with MG2 with VST instruments going well. But the question is, as every instrument has its own articuations, expressions, etc, how I can trigger them, when my both hands are busy. Ok, I know, solution is the breath controller, but I don’t have this yet. (that reminds me: hear anybody something new about Papritech Airmotion Breath controller? There is no any useful reviews still. It’s strange.)
So, I have a Minilab key controller too, but I’m not a good key player, I’m guitarist. But Minilab is handy, as I can plug in an expression pedal and I can trigger and automate articluations later, after recording. Really timerobber thing. Can’t figure out, how to trigger articulations in real time without breath controller. Some type of foot midi controller? I’m afraid, it’s doesn’ make things easier. Tap dancing instead of concentration on playing music. And if I spend on it, why not spend on breath controller.
Anyway, I can’t think of anything better, but I ask anyway: has anybody some good idea, trick, experience or something about this thread.
Every advise would be much apreciated.

Hello Gabor, you pretty much answered your question yourself in your post. If you do not want to use a breath controller the easiest would be a MIDI expression pedal.
With this you can control one CC parameter live while you play.

@Dutti67 replied while I was writing my reply :wink:, so it’s the same story:

You gave the answer yourself: if you want to keep 2 hands on the guitar and not use your foot to change articulations, the only thing left is the breath controller.
But if you think that using a foot controller interferes with your concentration, so will the breath controller.

I had the opportunity to try out a breath controller for a while, but I have no affinity with this device, which I can’t get used to.
On the other hand, I’m very comfortable with foot controllers (footswitch, expression pedal).
Once I’ve got the hang of it, using them doesn’t stop me concentrating on my playing, in the same way as a keyboardist who also uses pedals or footswitches to enhance his playing and who doesn’t see this as a tap dance.

To change articulations in MG, I create similar patches with a different articulation for each patch, (usually a maximum of 3 or 4), and I use a dual footswitch to switch from one patch to another (= 1, 2 or 3 quick presses at most). After a bit of practice, I can do it without even thinking about it.

Thanks for your replies!
Yes, I realized, that I answered for myself. But Herolds idea is really interesting. Can you recommend any good and affordable footswitch for this job? Switch with midi needed. My current setup is: audio/midi interface, AXON guit synth with midi in-out and footswitch in, Arturia Minilab with footswitch in. So, I can plug both of midi and footswitch . But in the future I should to get a breath controller, I think.

I’m very happy with my Behringer FCB1010. The size doesn’t bother me because it’s fix in my studio. Beside 10 switches you have 2 pedals (all MIDI). To use the 10 switches as real stompbox toggle switches (one time push “on”, second time push “off”) you need to buy the Uno2 chip in addition. Without the chip the switches act as momentary switch only.

As I sometimes travel by train and coach with my equipment, I use a compact Line 6 FBV Express MKII .
The price is affordable and the configuration application is simple and complete (CC number addressing, toggle/momentary selection, etc).

Out of curiosity, why do you use Midi Guitar if you play a MIDI guitar?

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Hm… Interesting question. First of all, the MG2 is comfortable. No midi pick-up, no 16 pin cable. But in my experince every VST reacts differently, so good to have a real Guitar Synth (in this case AXON, which is old, but has a best tracking and it has two Footswitch in and two Expression in in the same time). MG2 has its own preferences. Really good tracking also. Anyway, I think, that the best solution is a breath controller. But until I don’t have one I will try figure out, how to use both together. Say, play sounds with MG2 and trigger fundament articulations with AXON and connected footswitch and expression. Then, if I need more articulation change, I can do this with recorded material in postproduction. Mean trigger needed articulations on the recorded stuff with Minilab keyboard and automate them in the DAW. Something like that.

Certainly in post-production you don’t need many simultaneous controllers.
On the other hand, I play live and sometimes, in certain configurations, I need access to a lot of quick parameter changes, so when I don’t have weight and volume limitations, I use this pedalboard below, and it’s true that sometimes it’s tap dancing :crazy_face:

Gig performer is for live situations. I want to work in DAW in this case.
Anyway, thanks for your helfulness.

Hello Mate
Aye the Line 6 FBV midi express 2 would meet your needs. I use it in the studio for orchestral stuff. I used to use it live, but I have the big FBV 3 now. I’ve got the fcb1010 as well, but I found that harder to program and too big for my oversized pedalboard. Still a great pedal though (that needs an update).
I’ve done an old video on my youtube channels about the Midi express and have a few featuring my FBV3. I do use the Triple Play, but the idea is identical. It’s very small sturdy and versatile.
I had real trouble making the sustenuto (CC66) thing work (not to be confused with sustain) with MG2 and chords didn’t work live in the same way as the TP which is why I’ve kept the TP for live use. The tracking on the MG2 is brilliant however, so I use that for all my new studio stuff that involves gratuitous widdley soloing!
I really hope the MG3 will be the one!

Thanks for detailed response. Really hard situation, as a lot of equipments was recommended here. But I can’t try out all of them. Can’t find any videos about my problem and I got lost in a lot of information.
Anyway I think I found some, exactly what I need. I hope at least. First of all I realised, that breath controller what need. And I found Xsonic Airstep Play. I have another Airstep switch, the KAT version, which is for my Boss Katana amp and it works pefectly in live situations, so I love it. The Play version is small, has Bluetooth connection also, able to send any MIDI commands, inexpensive, has midi and USB connections too and has both of expression pedal and sustain switch slots. So versatile enough for playing with different situations and scenarios. And small. I think with breath controller and with some type of postproduction and automation these two is more than enough for me.
And yes, I’m waiting the MG3 also!
Will check your vid on YT. Is your channel under the same nickname?

Aye, nickjitsu (with a small m). I do a lot of synth guitar stuff.
From what I’ve seen the king of the breath controller is Roy Marchbank. He’s an amazing player, innovator and top bloke (we were at college together. He’s always been a monster player). I’m pretty sure he has some breathe controller advice.

As I see, there is a lot of valuable information on your channel. Following. And yes, Roy is incredible. Didn’t know him before. Will dig in his world. Absolutely individual. May I ask him about breath ctr stuff on his channel directly?
So, thanks a lot, Man!

Are you sure you are talking about the Airstep Play?
Your description matches Airstep Smart Multi Controller

The Play version wouldn’t do because it’s not intended for use as MIDI controller (inadequate settings).

Yes, you are right. I was wrong. Not cheap at all.

Aye, Roy is very approachable. He is also a wealth of knowledge about MG2, so I imagine he will be the MG3 go to guru too! Tell him I say hi!