Software amps continue to gain in popularity, and with good reason – they don’t take up any space, and they sound great.
But one drawback, as Blue Oyster Cult guitarist Richie Castellano points out, is that they don’t function like real amps. Going from a clean to a dirty tone, for instance, involves taking your hand off the guitar to click a button on your mouse.
Enter Blackstar’s Live Logic USB MIDI Controller, which offers the flexible performance control of MIDI hardware and software in a compact, rugged foot controller.
As Castellano says in the above demo, “My favorite software amp is the Line 6 Helix Native. It works fine, but a lot of us would like more of a pedalboard experience when we’re playing our software amps.
"That’s where the Blackstar Live Logic comes in.”
The Live Logic MIDI control pedal boasts six heavy duty metal footswitches – “the thing’s built like a tank,” Castellano says.
There’s also two expression pedal inputs and two modes – patch, which uses preset program numbers, and custom, which is what Castellano uses to run the Helix through the controller.
As for setting up the controller, it’s as simple as running Blackstar’s free PC or Mac app to customize the function of each footswitch and expression pedal and save and load configuration pre-sets.
Via an intuitive graphical view of the foot controller, users can also choose message types, set minimum and maximum values, toggle whether the switches send momentary messages or toggle on/off and more.
In Castellano’s demo, he assigns distortion, harmonizer (both major and minor), chorus, delay and boost effects to individual footswitches, and even uses the expression pedal to control the amount of delay in real time.
“And now I can just play like a guitar player,” he says.
And what more could you ask for?
“The Live Logic is a really cool solution for people who depend on software amps,” Castellano concludes. “It gives you more of that real feel especially when you have something to step on when you’re playing. Because the mouse just doesn’t cut it.”
For more information on the Live Logic USB MIDI Controller, head to Blackstar Amps.