Nektar Pacer MIDI Footswitch with TC-Helicon’s VoiceLive Touch 2

Nectar’s Pacer MIDI footswitch is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment. The Pacer comes programmed with several patches, but if your equipment or DAW of choice isn’t among them, for example TC Electronics VoiceLive Touch2 or Ableton Live, then you have to do some work.

The question you might be wondering is, “Do I need to get a Touchswitch 3 or Touchswitch 6, or can I get all I from the Pacer?”

What is the VoiceLive Touch2?

TC Electronic’s VoiceLive Touch2 is one of the most popular vocal processors and loopers out there right now. It’s primary customers are 1) solo vocalists and 2) singer-songwriters. It has 9 vocal effects, and you can dial in your preference for how present you want those vocals to be. They range from subtle and tasteful to robot-deathscreech-chipmunky. Take your choice.

Touch2: Singer-songwriter’s best friend?

The Touch2 comes with 200 presets, and there’s another 100 you can program yourself (and, yes, you can replace the factory presets with your own). You’ll also find a great community where you can download more by using the VoiceLive Editor app that’s available.

In short, the Touch2 is a powerful vocal processor and a pretty cool looper. It fits on your mic stand.

Is the Touch2 worth it?

I’m a fan of the 6 loops (each of which can be overdubbed) and the onboard EQ for the guitar input. Most of the vocal effects presets are very useful, and you can customise them as you like.

Ableton’s Push 2: Perfect Ableton integration

I was looking at buying a looper for live work. I had been the DAW route and using Ableton along with the Pacer and a Push. But the lag time and constant fear of a computer crash had me thinking about re-tooling. I’ve moved away from using a DAW and am trying to go computer-less for playing live now.

Nektar Pacer Presets for the Touch2

Nektar Pacer is a MIDI foot pedal that can work with a number of many devices that allow for MIDI input (see my article on using the Pacer with Ableton Live, for example). It’s great for musicians who bought a Touch2, but don’t really want 2 touch it.

I’ve made a preset that you can use with the Touch2 so you can control most important functions without taking your hands off your instrument…or emoting with your hands. These presets allow you to:

  • Start and stop recording your loops
  • Undo a recording
  • Use the Hit button to punch in some extra effects
  • Use the Talk/Tune feature to remove all effect and bring up the tuner
  • Control the gain on your bass or guitar
  • Punch harmonies in and out
  • Control the volume of the harmonies
  • Return your presets to #1
  • Scroll backwards through presets from #128

Where to get VoiceLive Touch2 Presets for Pacer

If you’d like to get these presets so you can install them on your Pacer, email me at brandonxshaw@gmail.com. For just €9.99 I’ll send it right over and you can install.

Instructions about installing are right below, but if you still need some help, I can schedule an online tutorial with you.

How to Install Presets on Nektar’s Pacer

Look at page 20 of Nektar’s manual for instructions on how to upload the file: http://support.nektartech.com/support/User%20Guides/Pacer_User_Guide_ENG_Final109.pdf. I used Snoize, which was the format they recommended for Mac. 
Be sure to check out this website: Francois Georgy’s Pacer Editor, which should let you edit presets from your computer rather than doing the manual entry you see me doing on the video. 

You can download these presets and install them on your Pacer, which gives you some great options while you’re using your Touch2.

Pacer
Pedal 
Touch 2 Function Color CC# , Range
1 Harmony On/Off  Pink 110
2 Talk Mode + Tuner  White 14
3 Hit On/Off  Purple 87
4 Undo Yellow 44, 5 (NOT 3 as in
manual!)
5 Play Loop Green  44, 0
6 Record/Overdub? Red 44, 1
Expression 1 Guitar Gain  109
Expression 2 Harmony Master Gender  59
C Increase Presets by 1 (Presets 1 – 126) Orange
D Decrease Preset by 1 (Presets 1 – 126) Orange
Make Nektar’s Pacer control your Touch2 with these Presets.

Again, if installing is difficult for you, we can arrange a tutorial.

Most of these functions are straightforward. The last two, pedals C and D, might be a bit confusing. You can scroll up using the D pedal as much as you want, until preset 126. After preset 126, the Touch2 won’t respond accurately if you press C.

The best thing to do is to place the presets you want to use at the beginning of the list. That way you can start on 1 and go from there.

This is obviously a workaround for the fact that there’s no good way to go through presets with any MIDI controller that I know of.

This is one of the main gaps between Nectar’s Pacer MIDI footswitch and a Touchswitch 3 or Touchswitch 6. So far, I’m happy with Pacer’s integration with the Touch2 and am happy not to have to buy a new piece of gear!

Suggestions to TC Helicon for future updates:

  • Make loop selectors MIDI mappable so we can select a new loop with a footswitch.
  • Make volume controls for each loop MIDI mappable so we can control that with volume pedals.
  • Greater general integration with MIDI controllers. Share that integration that the Footswitch has!

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