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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