Kemper MidiControl via iPad/forScore for live performance

  • Hey guys,

    to be honest, I cannot really tell why I am THAT late to the party, but I recently noticed how awesome it is using an iPad for organising my leadsheets and live performances.

    I read a lot of stuff on how some of you use Midi via tablets to change KPA-Performances, but since I just discovered how to use an iPad for playing live I really need some help :)

    So what do I want to do:

    - If I select a leadsheet in forScore I want my KPA to change to the rig in performance mode

    - Changeing should be wireless, but with a stable connection so that I dont have to worry in live performances

    - If there is no stable wirelessconnection I would love to know, which cables and adapters I need for an iPad pro (2016)

    - How do you find out, which midi state you have to send? Is there any kind of documentation or do you even have a sample since I just want to select performance number and rig number?

    I know that something might get clearer when adding some time for searching the web and the forum since some of these things already have been discussed here, but since I am building everything excep my performances from ground up, I would like to collect all I - or someone else with this setup - needs to know.

    Best regards from Cologne, Germany


  • Hello Basti. I am using this setup since years, its great. So what you need is a Kemper, an iPad (even an old one will do the trick), a Yamaha MD BT 01 wireless midi Adapter, the forScore app and a second app called midi wrench (its free).

    Connect the Yamaha to the midi in and out ports of the Kemper. The Yamaha is powered by the Kemper. Now you have to make the iPad see the Yamaha. You can not do this with the iPad and the forScore app only. Switch on bluetooth on the iPad and start the midi wrench app. In midi wrench go to settings, then to bluetooth midi and select the Yamaha. When there is a connection you will see all the mididata that is been sent in the right monitor window of the app. Let the app run in the background and start forScore.

    In forScore you can add a specific command to each score. Add a program change to your score. Every Slot in every performans has a specific program change. Please read the forScore manual and the Kemper midi manual. Everything is explained there. The main trick is the midi wrench app to let the iPad connect to the Yamaha.

    Good luck its worth trying.

    multiple Parker nightfly guitars, KPA & remote, DXR 10 stereo setup

    Edited 2 times, last by birdman ().

  • Thanks mate! Sound as if this is a solid way, but did you test that setup live on stage with a couple of hundred people around? I am curious if the BT-connection stays stable.

    Is it due to the use of forScore that I would have to use another midi-App in the background or do you have to run another app with every app like Songbook or Bandhelper?

  • Use it for years and on stage. No problems so far, always stable. I have my Kemper in front of me and the iPad at the micstand. So they are only 2 meters apart.

    You will always have to use a second app so that the iPad can connect to the Yamaha. That is because the iPad bluetooth will not see the Yamaha. You will not find the device listed in the iPad bluetooth menu. Nothing to do with forScore.

    multiple Parker nightfly guitars, KPA & remote, DXR 10 stereo setup

  • Sounds good to me, thank you :)

    I just ordered the BT-Adapter from Yamaha this morning and it should arrive tomorrow. Will try my best to get it to work, but since I just want to switch performance and rig that aim should be in reach soon. Otherwise I will ask for more help since you already send the same sets of midi commands I want to send, too.

    But I will try learning it on my own, this its always better to understand what you are doing ;).

    Since I am that late to the whole "digital" way referred to an iPad/tablet on stage are there any other tips someone might have on what else you can do? I just found out, that some people control their lightsetup via midi as well on the same way. So when they select the next song they not only get their amp/piano to the sound they like but they also get the light set up properly!

  • If you're using a computer with a DAW on stage (e.g. for backing tracks) you have the opportunity to control all that MIDI stuff of the entire band via the DAW. This way there would be no need for an iPad.

    I could have farted and it would have sounded good! (Brian Johnson)

  • I just found out, that some people control their lightsetup via midi as well on the same way. So when they select the next song they not only get their amp/piano to the sound they like but they also get the light set up properly!

    While I'm not familiar with the iPad options for music and lights, I thought a bit of background info on lighting would help you know what to look for.

    Lighting doesn't speak MIDI but instead a different protocol, DMX. Most stage lights are DMX controllable but that's the first thing to verify.

    Next, you need a DMX interface and controller of some sort. There are dedicated hardware consoles that serve as both the interface (you plug your DMX cables into it) and the controller (design your lighting scenes and events). There are also Mac and PC based apps for controllers. It's not uncommon for a USB DMX interface to come bundled with controller software of some sort as a package deal. If there are iPad apps to control DMX lighting, you'll still need a hardware DMX interface that connects to your lights, and some way for the iPad to get info to that interface, be it DMX itself or MIDI (if your interface / controller supports it).

    When people say they're controlling lighting via MIDI, what that usually means is they have a DMX controller that also responds to MIDI messages and allows you to map a MIDI message to a given DMX scene or event. As an example, for my setup I run Windows based computers and use a program called D-Pro. It speaks to an Enttec USB DMX interface plugged into the laptop. I design the lighting in D-Pro, and then within the software I map a MIDI event to fire a specific action, e.g. a scene that turns the lights blue. Turning the lights blue is a DMX thing, so the MIDI simply tells the software to fire the DMX.

    In a similar manner, I have video software (Resolume) that does a similar thing. I map MIDI commands to events and when it receives them, it plays the video events.

    So, if you want to control your lights via MIDI, that's the basic pieces of the puzzle you need to get sorted out. Once you have a DMX interface / controller with MIDI support in place, you'd then just fire MIDI from the iPad and make sure it gets to the DMX gear that responds to it.

    It's yet another rabbit hole, but a fun one. :)

  • Thank you, Chris! This really sounds quite interesting. If I get my MIDI-Changes for the Kemper ready to go I will definetly take a look into that rabbit hole since this is really handy.

    Speaking for today we only have the opportunity to set the lights on random (following a the beat) or someone controls them via DMX which was pretty uncommon. Following a leadsheet or even my stomps on the KPA-Remote I could imagine that we would have a really big improvement there.

  • I know, late to the party, but I've been using the Quicco Mi.1 and now the Yamah BT01, with Bandhelper (and formerly with Setlist Maker) to control AxeFx, Helix, Amplifire and now Kemper. I got pretty deep into raw midi commands to change presets, turn effect on/off, etc. I use an iPad live with lyrics, chords and midi. Makes life much easier, and not something I could ever do with an older tube amp. Been considering making a video to walk through the set up, just haven't gotten around to it.

  • If you just want to control the Kemper via an iPad have a look at „midi macros“ and „midipad“

    These are great apps for the iPad and very easy to set up.

    multiple Parker nightfly guitars, KPA & remote, DXR 10 stereo setup

  • Just wanted to say thank you everyone!

    Got my Bt01 up and running and I am able to control my performances which is really handy! Since this got made my level of organisation way up, I will dig in that stuff a little deeper.

    Just found out how to use the App midi Wrench which let me take control on several parameters with a dial or a button-awesome!

  • I've been using a iPad live, for about 4 years now, to send MIDi to Kemper. No other midi app needed

    I've been using a Yamaha Bt01 for a couple of years with no issues, I use Setlist Maker for lyrics and Midi

    pamisano What advantages do you find with using Bandhelper over Setlist Maker???

  • The Yamaha bt 01 needs a compatible app to be recognized by the iPad. Seems that bandhelper and setlist maker are such compatible apps, forScore up to now is not. So with forScore you will need a second app. But that takes only 10 seconds and if you use midi wrench you get a midi monitor and you can see what happens in the land of midi.

    So there are lots of possibilities and you can search for the perfect solution.

    I can highly recommend forScore. Works perfect for me.

    multiple Parker nightfly guitars, KPA & remote, DXR 10 stereo setup