meloaudio-midi-commander-pedal-review

MeloAudio Midi Commander Pedal Review

Midi pedals might not be the sexiest pieces of gear in the world but they’re one of the most useful. Many people now use software for recording or even live, and with hardware manufacturers looking to provide more compact rigs they sometimes reduce the amount of control you have over their products. This is where midi pedals like the MeloAudio Midi Commander come in.

MeloAudio Midi Commander Pedal Review

The Midi Commander by MeloAudio is an ultra-compact pedalboard, built to unlock the extra functionality you might be missing from a whole range of products. Featuring USB and regular DIN connections, the Midi Commander can be connected to many hardware products such as the Kemper, Axe-Fx, HX Stomp or just about anything which can be switched via midi. This also includes guitar plugins. Hook it up to your computer or tablet and you can suddenly change presets and turn pedals on and off via the pedalboard.

Setting things up is relatively painless. Once connected you need to make sure the pedal and hardware/software are speaking to each other the right way. The Midi Commander has various modes ready to use with different products, along with 2 custom modes. These can all be accessed by holding down one of the switches when powering on the unit. If none of these modes are correct you can enter setup mode instead and make whatever changes you need to make. Many plugins and DAWs feature Midi learn modes which makes life easier. Once you have everything set up correctly it’s just a matter of stomping away to switch patches, presets etc. You can even set it up in your DAW to function as a transport control. I set it up so one of the footswitches controlled the record button in reaper so I could easily punch in guitar parts. There are so many possibilities with a pedal like this that you could use it for all manner of tasks.

Melo Audio Midi Commander Pedal Review

The pedalboard itself is a sturdy little unit. For adding to a small live board or as a mini studio companion it’s just about perfect. Design and build quality seem to be great for the price. It feels very solid and the switches all feel like they’d stand up to years of being stamped on. The screen is pretty small, as you’d expect, but is very clear and easy to read. Each of the ten switches have a small light above them to show when they’ve been activated. Around the back are the midi sockets, power button and two expression pedal inputs. These let you add pedals (available separately) for controlling things like volume, wah and whammy effects. Underneath is access to a battery compartment. If you’re connecting the pedal using the DIN socket the Midi Commander can be powered with two AAA batteries. If you fit rechargeable batteries they can also be charged via USB so you don’t have to take them out to charge them. Very useful.

One missing feature is a power adapter option. If I was mounting it on my pedalboard it’d make more sense to be able to power it with an adaptor like my other pedals instead of having to rely on batteries. I’m sure the batteries will last a long time but there’s always a chance I could forget to charge them and find myself losing power during a gig. You could always carry a couple of spares though so there isn’t really a reason why you’d be unable to use it for a gig even if you did forget to charge the batteries.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to like with the MeloAudio Midi Commander. It’s ease of use and rugged design should make it a popular option for anyone looking to add extra control options to their hardware or software. Having full control in plugins like BiasFX and Neural DSP: Archetype Nolly make them feel much more like physical rigs and the ability to control various DAW functions is making me wonder how I can set it up to make recording easier for myself. The only thing I’d like to see added is the option to power the Midi Commander using an adapter. Apart from that, I think it’s a great control solution at a very pocket friendly price. I think it’d be a great addition to a pedalboard or for using with plugins.

Rating 8.5/10

The MeloAudio Midi Commander is available from https://meloaudio.com and Amazon

MeloAudio Midi Commander

8.5

Rating

8.5/10