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.
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.
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.
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
You can get these presets by downloading them from my personal GDrive folder: VoiceLive Touch2 Presets for Nektar Pacer.
If you also want the presets that can work with DAWs, including Ableton Live, you can download those here: All BCS Presets for Nektar Pacer.
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.
|Touch 2 Function||Color||CC# , Range|
|2||Talk Mode + Tuner||White||14|
|4||Undo||Yellow||44, 5 (NOT 3 as in |
|5||Play Loop||Green||44, 0|
|Expression 1||Guitar Gain||—||109|
|Expression 2||Harmony Master Gender||—||59|
|C||Decrease Presets by 1|
|D||Return to Preset 1||Orange||—|
Most of these functions are straightforward. The last two, pedals C and D, might be a bit confusing. There’s not a good way with the Pacer to go through Touch2’s presets. You can press the D pedal to go to preset #1, and then C will take you backwards through the list starting at #128.
So you might replace the presets you want to use for your sets with 1, 128, 127, and so forth. So you can go through your set list by pressing the C button.
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!