ETC MIDI and Guitar

Hey everyone. Bit of a newbie and not very familiar with this kind of stuff but passionate about music and guitar. I was interested in the ETC video synthesizer to be used in a live set with my band. I would use it only for my guitar (one of my pedals has two outputs so that’s how I would connect to it and I also have a small monitor to display visuals). I want to use the ETC without having to do much work and be able to focus on playing guitar. I have read about midi controlling the ETC and I am a bit confused on how this works. I want the visuals to be interesting and changing but I’m not sure how I could do this without much effort. Thanks for the help!

Hey Ethan,

The ETC has a bunch of different MIDI functionality which means you can program the visuals to change in different ways in time with the music - including changing the mode (pattern), background and foreground colours, etc. This is especially good for electronic sets where everything is locked to a set tempo.

For playing the ETC in your setup, you don’t need to worry about MIDI - you’d just want to select a mode which reacted to the input from your guitar. There are different ones available that will display the audio as a waveform, or in different interesting ways. There’s also a footswitch input that you could connect up an expression pedal to (I can’t remember the spec you’d need, but it’s in the manual) and get more control over the visuals that way.

Hi @ethan,

The MIDI implementation of the ETC is a way to automate the visuals from an external device. It will respond to Notes, CC, and Program Changes messages (more here:’s_MIDI_Configuration).

If you don’t have a MIDI setup that you are using, you can create Scenes that you can recall at any time. Multiple Scenes can be made from the same Mode. They can be accessed from the ETC Scene Selector Buttons and as @unexpectedbowtie mentioned, you can also select them by pressing a foot switch. One way to use this is to have a Scene or handful for each song in your set and change the Scene hands free.
Here’s a video about how to create Scenes. Using a foot switch is covered beginning at 3:48 :

Here’s a video of the ETC responding to electric guitar:

Hi unexpectedbowtie, please let me know which cc number controls changing the modes via midi, I couldn’t find this in the manual. I only see cc for controlling foreground and background knobs (cc 21-25)

modes/scenes are changed via program change messages not CC.
to be precise…
if you have scenes saved, program changes will switch scenes.
if you have no scenes saved, then program changes will switch modes.

Thanks technobear! I misread the manual a bit, I created an Ableton instrument rack which controls almost all the ETC parameters from a push controller, I will post it here later this week.

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cool, I think Live+ETC+Push could be an interesting combo.

I did look the other day fleetingly at trying to get Ableton Link within ETC. which i think would be tighter than midi clock.
Id also like to get some wireless connection generally working perhaps via OSC, just so i can reduce the cable clutter a bit :slight_smile:

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