Yamaha THR II and foot controllers – Part 2

In this post, I will show how easy it is to connect a remote foot control to your Yamaha THR II amplifier and also some issues I have with using it (I hope Yamaha can fix this).

I have posted a video that shows how to do

I have built my own MIDI controller but you should be able to use any standard MIDI controller that can send Control Change messages (CC)

I am using the Yamaha MD-BT01 Wireless MIDI adaptor and connect both adaptor and amplifier in THR Remote app.

MIDI Controller
Wireless Adaptor
Power the MIDI controller by using a powerbank.

Issues with THR Remote and wireless MIDI footswitch

So far so good. It can connect and it’s easy to assign preset and effect blocks to different CC messages from the MIDI controller.

The issue I have is that it take some time for THR Remote to load new preset. The preset by itself is loaded directly in the amp, but it takes some time between changing preset until THR Remote has synced settings between app and amp and while this sync is running it does not sound good. It sounds like it step by step is turning on each effect blocks and your can hear pops and drop-outs. Turning effects on and off is fast and working perfectly. So if you plan to use a similar setup as mine, then be aware of that you can’t switch presets fast in a song (until Yamaha has fixed this issue). Turning on/off effects works.

I try show the issue here in this video. I try to demonstrate the time it takes until it has loaded (and synced) the new preset.

You will hear the issue best at the end of the video.

Nice socks 🙂
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Yamaha THR II and foot controllers – Part 1

I really like my Yamaha THR30IIW, mostly for how it sounds, but also for the wireless freedom when practicing (guitar, remote control and audio for backtracks etc.). I was super excited when it arrived, but also confused when I tried to understand how to connect to an external foot controller through BLE MIDI. I know it should work because it was mention in the product info sheet, but didn’t know how. No clear information from Yamaha and no documentation that covered that part.

Finally I saw a YouTube video from Japan that actually very shortly show a iRig BlueBoard connected to THR and finally I understood it has to be connected through THR Remote app. It is the app that makes the mapping from external controller to THR.

THR Remote Tips

So the app actually makes two BLE MIDI connections, one to THR and another one to the BLE foot controller. So finally I understood how it worked. I only had one BLE foot controller available (Positive Grid BIAS Foot controller) and wanted to try, but this foot controller does not work because it requires their own mapping app and are not visible in THR Remote.

But I connected my Roland Piano and it worked (some switches sends CC commands).

So how does it work

Yamaha THR Remote app connects to both the controller and THR amp. The communication between THR Remote and THR amp is done by sending MIDI SysEx messages (so it will be able to send all type of information back and forth)

So any type of BLE MIDI controllers that are able to send CC commands should work.

So for example already mentioned iRig BlueBoard works as well as AirTurn BLE foot controllers and many others.

Using a standard MIDI controller

It is even possible to use a standard MIDI controller together with Wireless BLE MIDI adapters like Yamaha MD-BT01 Wireless MIDI adapter (I will test this in a few days when my adapter arrives) or Quicco Sound mi.1 (I have not tested this one).

The MIDI controller must be able to power the adapter through MIDI out so check that your MIDI controller have that feature before buying a wireless adapter.

The missing Tap function

I don’t know why Yamaha did not give us the opportunity to map a CC command to send Tap (or support MIDI Clock). I really miss that function and hope Yamaha will add that in THR Remote soon.

It seems that MIDI clock is not supported and that Yamaha sends SysEx messages even for tap function.

A sample of the SysEx message that is sent when Tap button is pressed.

I will add some more posts later on when I have tried out more options.

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IoT Flower

My very good friend and colleague Christian Forsberg made a funny present for one of his customers.. a Internet of Things BI Flower :). I was looking for a good idea to show on my roadshow talking about Internet of Things, so I made my own flower but wanted to improve the light because it needed to be very effectful from stage..

Don’t miss to check out Chris site:
http://www.cforsberg.com and his YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/chforsb where he show a video on how to create flower and the omnichannel service.

The flower is based on Arduino Uno, Adafruit CC3000 WiFi board and three NeoPixel rings. I really love the NeoPixel because it so simple to implement and give really cool effects.

Create your own and have fun 🙂







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Birthday present

My friend had his birthday party and I wanted to give him something personal. He is a tech guy so why not a #iot tool 🙂




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Internet of Things Binary watch – Part 1/3

My son told me that they would make a clock in woodwork at school. The same clock that all students had done for years. When I talked to my colleague at work, he laughed when he heard that they still made the same watch that when he went to school.

Since I’m a geek … let’s do something fun. I told him that we are building a modern watch instead. We do a binary clock! He thought it sounded exciting and the teacher accepted ways of thinking. Let’s start create a binary watch.
We decided early on that the clock would be based around the Arduino and we found a suitable module: Sparkfun Pro Micro with ATmega32U4. Small, inexpensive and powerful enough.


The Pro Micro has enough I/O pins to manage a LED matrix, RTC module and some input switches. The module doesn’t have a Real Time Clock onboard so we needed to add one to manage power lost.

An overview of the watch:


First challenge

The first challenge to build a binary watch is to create a good LED matrix. I did a lot of testings with LED matrix from the pin outputs. The problem was that I did not get rid of a small flicker in LED. Even if I adjusted sleep time between changing value of the output it was almost impossible to get a flicker free display.

2013-09-21 15.30.05

My first testing with LED matrix

So I started to gave up… but finally find a real cool device NeoPixel. A RGB LED Matrix with 1-wire interface.. Exactly was I was looking for :-).


NeoPixel RGB from Adafruit

So the first prototype was developed with Arduino Pro Micro, RTC, three buttons and NeoPixel LED matrix.

It was ok… but hey.. no internet connection and no possibility to control the watch from an app (a must have ;-)). At least if I should call it an Internet of Things Binary watch…

So back to researching… trying to find a good and not too expensive WLAN module that works good with Arduino (drivers).

After a couple of hours researching I found CC3000 device that provides all functionality that I needed. The CC3000 can not act as an AP (access point), but I don’t need it for this project.. It can still act as a socket server which is good enough.

So the final device wireframe for the internet connected watch:


We don’t need the RTC anymore because we will sync time with an Time Server on Internet (And trust our internet connection ;-)). You can easily add back the RTC if you want because it will communicate with I2C so Arduino board will anyway have enough i/o pins.

More details on wiring and complete sample code in next article.

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My first blog article on Sogeti Labs

I recently joined our research lab – Sogeti Labs as a fellow. Here is my first article:

Stay clean, Your body transfers your data

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IQR version 2.0 is here

You can now upgrade to IQR version 2.0. It works with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1

Please use the form on this page to request for a download link an instructions. IQR will be available for purchase online in next month.

IQR version 2.0

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Blog about IoT and Mobility

In this blog I will show good storys about what Internet of Things and Mobility can do for business and for fun.

Posted in Apps, IoT