2-Piece Modular Rig


Just completed four months of chemotherapy. Took advantage of the down time by building my ultimate controller board. I play set-based gigs almost exclusively. Rather than create many different variants of similar presets, I like the ability to tweak a relatively small number of basic presets. Much easier to keep organized and offers much more performance flexibility as mood or inspiration dictates. The GT 16 and nine expression devices gives me sufficient command of both set-based and on-the-fly switching. I celebrated the news of my cancer being in complete remission by purchasing the Strymon Volante, which replaced two pedals. Love the sounds and tweakability. My only gripe is that the pedal gives you no indication of which preset is currently loaded. So I feed its PC MIDI data into the SIMI LCD display. I have a clean boost pedal on the effects board that has expression control so i use an expression fader on the controller board that is configured to provide a unity gain to +16db boost to compensate any dips in level. Rather than run a TRS cable in addition to a MIDI cable between the controller and effects boards, I converted MIDI + TRS to a single CAT5 cable. In addition to requiring only a single cable connection, there are other advantages. CAT 5 cables are much cheaper and easier to beg, borrow, or steal (should a cable should ever go bad) than MIDI cables. CAT5 cables also offer more signal fidelity over long runs. Using CAT5, I can remotely control my effects board from over 300 feet away! Even though 15 to 20 feet is usually sufficient to get the effects board off the stage, it's good to know! For my next project, I'm going to build a mini controller board around my old Mastermind LT controller and maybe two or three expression pedals for quick and dirty or tiny venue gigs.

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Active Member
Brakho... first, congratulations on the state of of your health. I hope this note finds you continuing to do well!

So,this is a very interesting rig you've created. Almost in passing, you mentioned something that really caught my attention: "... Rather than run a TRS cable in addition to a MIDI cable between the controller and effects boards, I converted MIDI + TRS to a single CAT5 cable...."

If you don't mind, could you tell me a bit more about this? I'm planning a new 2-board rig, somewhat similar to what you described, also likely to include the MM GT 16... To increase the available board 'real estate' on the 'effects board,' I want to have Volume, Expression, and a Game Changer Plus Pedal on the 'Controller Board.' Hence, I'll need to have both MIDI and mono audio running between my 2 boards. Using CAT 5 for this is something I didn't even know was possible, but am very intrigued by it for all the reasons you cited.

How exactly is this done? If you have time, the more specific the better!

Thank you for any help you might provide.



CONGRATULATIONS on your cancer being in remission!!!

Also, you've developed a great board, and I can really tell a lot of thinking went into this!

How do you handle your CAT5 interfacing? What is controlling the signal being sent over the Cat 5 cable?


Well-Known Member
+1 on health congrats! Glad you are doing well.
Great setup. That looks like a very effective command center.


Given the details you've disclosed about yourself and your diagnosis, @brakho, your lack of response for months is worrisome to me -- I've prayed for you! I hope you are well and are just ignoring your inbox