MIDI "Chocolate" 🍫 controller with the Mod Dwarf, an introduction

Hello, it’s a tutorial of the M-VAVE Chocolate Bluetooth Midi controller. It’s divided into three parts. The first is something like a Manual of the equipment. The second is related to ideas to configure it with the Mod Dwarf and other Mod devices. The last part is some personal considerations.

A quick manual

M-VAVE Chocolate is a cheap MIDI controller. With it, it’s possible to send MIDI messages by USB, by MIDI TRS and by Bluetooth (but apparently the company doesn’t licensed the Bluetooth technology).

The equipment works by USB 5v (300mA) or by your battery (2,5 hours to full charge for 12 hours of usage, according to its manual).

The equipment contains four footswitches, a two seven-segments display, an expression pedal/midi trs input, a USB type C input and an on/off switch. It also has two leds, one red/green to informs when the battery is fully charged and one blue to inform if the device is connected with another by Bluetooth device.

M-VAVE Chocolate is an interesting equipment. It contains a lot of modes, where you can select between them by the app “CubeSuite”.

For smartphones, the CubeSuite app is present on the Apple store. But it’s also possible to download the Android app scanning the QR code printed below the device (it contains the http://www.cuvave.com/appdownload link)

Surprisingly, the CubeSuite app isn’t present on the Google Play Store and you need to download the apk and install it. Very strange and suspect…

For computer, it’s possible to download it from the site http://www.cuvave.com/xznr

Modes

The modes are quickly presented by a small description. I transcribed them (quotes citation) and tried to describe how they works.

Program Change A

“A to D keys are used to send PC code, E and F keys are turned groups. A total of 8 groups of 32 timbre. The PC number is displayed as an alphabetic plus number”

  • 32 PC codes are divided into 8 groups of 4 PC codes.
    • The first group contains the first four PC codes (00 to 03)
    • The second group contains the PC codes 04 to 07
    • The last group contains the PC codes 28 to 31
    • When a footswitch is pressed, its corresponding PC MIDI message is sent.
      Eg: If we are in the first PC group, if I press the C footswitch, then is sent “PC 02” MIDI message.
  • It’s possible to navigate between groups pressing F (C+D) to go to the next group and E (A+B)
    • Note:
      pressing F (C+D) is sent CC Control Function 3 Value 5
      pressing E (A+B) is sent CC Control Function 2 Value 5

Program Change B

“A to D keys are used to send PC code, E and F keys for the flip group. A total of 128 timbre. The way to display PC number is a pure number”

  • Similar of the previous mode, but the 128 PC possible values are splited into 32 groups of 4 PC codes

Touch Screen (Android)

“A–Swipe up B–Swipe down C–Swipe left D–swipe right”

  • It really simulates swipe movements. Useful for change a partiture page if you connect the M-VAVE Chocolate on your phone
  • No midi signal is sent

Keyboard A

“A–Up B–Down C–Left D–Right”

  • It sends the keyboard up/down/left/right commands. Probably useful for change a page from a PDF or similar if you connect the M-VAVE Chocolate on your phone
  • No midi signal is sent

Keyboard B

“A–Page up B–Page down C–Space D–Enter”

  • It sends the keyboard page up/page down/space/enter commands. Probably useful for change a page from a PDF or similar if you connect the M-VAVE Chocolate on your phone
  • No midi signal is sent

MultiMedia keyboard

“A–Page up B–Page down C–Space D–Enter”

  • Similar of the previous modes
  • A - Go back to the last song
  • B - Go to the next Song
  • C - Lower the volume
  • D - Turn up the volume

Manufacturer Control

“Control manufacturer’s equipment. Refer to manufacturer’s equipment instructions for details” (???)

  • Control Change:
Button Action Control Function Value
A on pressing (momentary on) 20 127
released 20 0
B on pressing (momentary on) 21 127
released 21 0
C on pressing (momentary on) 22 127
released 22 0
D on pressing (momentary on) 23 127
released 23 0
E (A+B) on pressing (momentary on) 24 0
released 20 or 21 0
F (C+D) on pressing (momentary on) 25 0
released 22 or 23 0
  • After releasing the combination buttons (E or F), a MIDI signal is sent based on the last button released.

Custom control

“Set up custom MIDI CC and some common MIDI”

  • On the app, you can:
  • When I press a button of the CC mode, is presented a window, where is possible to:
    • change the current mode:
      • “Visual behavior” on:
        On/Off - Press to change the CC value to 127, press again to change the CC value to 0, press again to change the value to 127…
      • “Visual behavior” off:
        Momentary on (CC value to 127) when the footswitch is pressed and off (CC value to 0) after it is released
    • select the control function that will be sent.
      |337x729.5131497000349
      • It’s possible to select between 1 and 128
      • Also, it’s possible to select the following modes

        but when one of their is selected, the “Visual behavior” don’t change any behavior
  • Isn’t possible to assign any command to E (A+B) and to F (C+D)

Video Model (sic)

“A–Quick astern B–Fast forward C–Play/pause D–Loop playback, need to use Chrome browser and install the extension, temporarily support YouTube, Bilibil”

  • I tested with the Youtube Android app and the A, B and C footswitches worked. D apparently doesn’t work.
  • No midi signal is sent

Advanced custom mode

“You can customize the way you use your pedals more flexibly”

  • You can assign custom MIDI command(s) for A to D footswitches. There is also an “Interface” that I don’t know what it is. Maybe is for the foot controller
  • In this mode, you can change the footswitch mode and the MIDI messages that are sent. It’s possible to add more than one message to be sent.
  • For each button, you can define the “working mode” between them:
    • Mode: Single step (single Bank information)
      “Send an identical MIDI message or set of mid messages each time a foot pin is pressed and lifted”
      • The command is only sent after released the footswitch
    • Mode: Single step (switch between two banks)
      “You can set two banks of MIDI information, A and B. Each time you press the nail and lift it, the two banks of MIDI information will be sent in turn.”
      • The command is only sent after released the footswitch
    • Mode: Press down - release (Two set of information)
      “You can set two banks of MIDI information, A and B. Each time you press the foot pin to send the bank A message, lift the bank B message”
      • Pressing a footswitch sends a command
      • Release a footswitch sends another command
    • Mode: Long step
      “When you step on a foot pin, the MIDI message of set of MIDI messages that you set will be sent at regular intervals. You can also press the on once to send the first of all MIDI messages”
      • In my tests, if I long press (about 2 seconds), then only the first midi command is sent. If I continue pressing, then all the midi messages will be sent at regular intervals.
      • If I short press the footswitch, nothing happens.
    • Mode: Step short or step long
      “Send bank A message every time you step on A foot spike and lift it. Send bank B message when you step on a foot pin”
      • The command of bank A is only sent after released the footswitch
  • After selecting the mode, you can customize/add MIDI messages for each button behaviour. For instance, if I select “Single step (switch between two banks)”, I can define the MIDI messages there will be sent after I press and release the footswitch and also define other MIDI messages there will be sent after I press and release the footswitch again.

Usage with the Mod Dwarf

Live debug

First trick: Download and connect the “MIDI display” plugin beta to check if you successfully configured the MIDI messages.

Usage like Mod Footswitch - Latching and Momentary on

If you want to use the equipment to turn on/off an equipment like the Mod Dwarf footswitch, I recommend you to use the “Custom Control”, not the “Advanced Custom Mode”.

On the Cube Suite app

  1. Select the Custom Control;
  2. Press the button that corresponds a Footswitch;
  3. Change the “Visual Behaviour” to:
    1. off if you want to use as “Momentary on”;
    2. on if you want to use as “Latching”;
    3. if you what to use as “Momentary off”, select off (but an additional step is necessary);
  4. Select a MIDI CC (preferably one that has not been used yet to avoid to use two footswitches for the same audio plugin)

On the Mod UI

  1. Go to the configuration of the effect
  2. Go to the configuration of the parameter that you will controls (probably is the first “ON/OFF”)
  3. Select MIDI and press Save
  4. Now press Close
  5. And, finally, press the corresponding Chocolate footswitch that will control the audio plugin. In my case, I selected the Channel 16 and the “Midi CC1”:

Usage like Mod Footswitch - Momentary off

If you want to use the footswitch like Momentary off, it is necessary to invert the MIDI signal. An alternative is using the “Advanced Custom Mode”, but I prefer to use the “Custom Control” plus control voltage:

I suppose that you selected “off” in the “Visual Behavior” in the Cube Suite app. If not, check the previous section to know how to do it.

On the MOD UI

  1. Add a “Control to CV” and a “Logic Operators” (maybe it’s necessary to install them);
  2. Add also the “CV Meter” for debug purposes;
  3. Connect them like the following:

    Note that the “Operator” of the “Logic Operators” is in INV. Then, if the input is 0v, the output is 10v, and if the input is 10v, the output is 0v.
    Check in the “CV Meter” “Current Value” display.
  4. Now, you need to assign a footswitch to the Control parameter of the Control to CV
  5. Click in the Manage CV Ports button to enable it
  6. Click on the checkbox of the CV Logic operators

    and rename it to an explicative text. In my case, I wrote “Chocolate B - Momentary off”
  7. On the settings of the parameter that you will control over the footswitch, select CV, select the CV with the name that you selected and press Save.

Control an effect with the MIDI and the Mod Dwarf footswitch

Maybe you thought: “If at any moment I forgot/lost the MIDI Chocolate or even the battery discharged and I have only the Mod Dwarf… Is there any way to configure both the Mod Dwarf footswitch and Chocolate footswitch to turn on/off an effect?”

Yes! It’s possible:

You will need to use two Control to CV and the CV Logic Operators:

  1. At the first Control to CV, you will

    1. move Control to 10v
    2. assign the desired footswitch to ON/OFF
    3. Click on advanced

      and add an identifiable name. In my case, as I’m controlling a Gain, then I will rename to Gain
  2. In the second Control to CV, you will configure like the presented in “Usage like Mod Footswitch - Momentary off”

  3. In Logic Operators, you

    1. will connect the Control to CV to the inputs
    2. change the Mode to “OR”
    3. enable the CV output port and rename to some identifiable
  4. Then, you will assign the output to the desired effect, just like as the previous section.

Warnings:

  1. Note that changing the Chocolate footswitch state doesn’t changes the Mod dwarf state
  2. Note that it is necessary that only one of the two footswitches is tuned on to turn on the audio plugin. As a consequence, if you turn on the Chocolate footswitch, the effect will be on, and you can’t disable it by the MOD Dwarf footswitch.

Custom routing

The previous cases are related to turning on / off a specific effect. Another usage is changing the audio routing. I will not explain it. Consider it as an exercise. Try to use the previous knowledgement presented wit this audio plugins:

.

An example of usage:

I use the same pedalboard for electric guitar and acoustic guitar. When I’m using it on acoustic, I need to ignore the amp and cabinet simulators. I use the Switch Box to ignore them

Turn on specific effects like Octa switch

I’m developing an audio plugin to turn on/off a set of audio plugins. It’s a more simple alternative to snapshots, inspired by the real pedal switches, like Octa Switch and Pedrone Penta Switch. But I’m now in the learning process…

Personal considerations about the M-VAVE Chocolate

Advantages

  1. Very cheap;
  2. Small size;
  3. Same color of the Mod Dwarf;
  4. Has a lot of modes and can communicate with a device with a lot of ways (USB/Bluetooth/MIDI trs). It’s also possible to send (the same MIDI messages) to the USB and Bluetooth at the same time (I haven’t tested with the MIDI trs);
  5. Advanced mode enable to send more than one MIDI message;
  6. Expression pedal input;
  7. The equipment is made of iron (or aluminum, I don’t know) and is apparently well built.

Disadvantages

  1. Android App isn’t present on the Play Store;
  2. I felt a lack of material about it. The manual didn’t explain the usage modes and the app didn’t explain them well.
  3. Despite the number of modes, it misses some customization:
    1. The seven segments display isn’t configurable, so, isn’t possible to know the current state in the custom modes;
    2. There are missing footswitches behavior (“modes”) in the advanced custom mode that I expect. E.g.: In the “Mode: Single step (switch between two banks)”, the command is only sent after press and release the footswitch, but I expect that will be sent after press, not only after release;
    3. Isn’t possible to use the button combination E (A+B) or F (C+D);
    4. There isn’t any possibility to send custom Sysex (this is for controlling other devices, not specifically the Mod Dwarf).
  4. I bought thinking to use it to assign more audio plugins and on/off them with the MIDI controller, but there isn’t any feedback about the current state: there isn’t a led for each footswitch.

Then, in my opinion, this equipment is useful, but limited. For a fine control of the Mod Dwarf, the Mod Footswitch will work better because of the compatibility provided by the Control Chain. But the Mod Footswitch is more expensive and bigger than the Chocolate (280 x 87 x 46 mm with 500g vs 212 x 36 x 17mm with 280g).

IMHO, the best of both worlds is a Mod Footswitch Chocolate: An equipment with the size of Chocolate, four leds RGB (one for each footswitch), Control Chain (over USB is a good idea — @falktx, is it possible?), support for expression pedal. LCD screens or 7-segments display for me aren’t necessary. Bluetooth and battery also aren’t.

Note: I saw some M-VAVE Chocolate labeled with other brands, like “CUVAVE” and “Yuimer”. The “Manufacturer Control” apparently shows that someone already did this. An alternative to the Mod team to instead create another MOD Footswitch is to outsource the device construction, requesting to remove the unnecessary and problematic things like Bluetooth and add RGB leds.

I know that it’s possible to buy the Arduino Shield and myself create what I need, but here in Brazil, the price and the shipping are impediments. And I didn’t spend some time trying to do a confiable “box” (I’m sorry about this miss translating here).

34 Likes

Wow, this is quite the manual!
I’ll have to revisit it as soon as I familiarize myself with some more concepts so I relly understand what is going on here. linking the toggleswitch with an external midi controllers seems to render a cr*pload of switching options if you multiply th Dwarf switches with the amount of states with the midi controller. fascinating!

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I just bought chocolate (it is crazy cheap) and own Mod FS, do you think it is possible to connect Chocolate to MOD Footswitch via usb?
I plan to change pealboards with choco, since my mod fs is always full programmed.

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Apparently the USB input is only used for firmware updates, @Lukasz

I don’t understood why do you will connect the Mod Fs with the chocolate. You can connect the chocolate directly on Mod device :thinking:

2 Likes

I thought it would be possible to power chocolate with Mod FS usb - it would be a nice option since I do not trust to baterries. If not I will use usb from Cioks DC7.

Octa switch plugin - really good idea!

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Thank you so much for sharing such a comprehensive and complete tutorial with the community @SrMouraSilva :slight_smile:

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I don’t know if the Mod Footswitch can supply all the required energy. This is a question for the mod team :sweat_smile:

But I’m using it connected with my mod Dwarf by USB. It works like a charm.

Note: If you don’t connect the Chocolate and the Dwarf by USB, you need to connect in other way (Midi trs or Bluetooth).

I only tested the Bluetooth connection with the M-VAVE midi adapter.

https://m.pt.aliexpress.com/item/1005003320016237.html

(I bought at Shopee, the price was better than the AliExpress).

I don’t know how (or if is possible) to connect it with other Bluetooth dongle.

1 Like

Thanks, João!

I’m waiting the creation of the Mod Devices “dwarf footswitch” with Control Chain :star_struck:!

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Isn’t it supposed to connect with MOD by Bluetooth? I have modx, there is an option to power chocolate with modx, but it would be more convenient to do it by FS, we will see :wink:

Sorry getting back to you late , was having a break from the forum, as still no dwarf : (

Really appreciate the time and effort you have put in to this one. Think you need employing by mvave!

My mvave should be turning up soon so will give it a go with ableton and maybe my helix and you break down has been amazingly helpfull.

Cheers and have a great New Year

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Let’s hope that we manage to ship it soon after the new year

Fingers crossed Jon. Hope you and the rest of the Team have a great New Year. ( bit early I know but working through it so last chance)

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Yeah the proprietary app is what’s preventing me from buying this. Really expect it to be unusable in a couple years which would be a waste.

Otherwise though, the form-factor and functionality is perfect for the Dwarf!

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Ok mine arrived about 30mins ago. Great little piece of kit working really well…but no cc toggle that I can find.

Nooooooooooooooooooo

Almost perfect for a back up or addition but without that I think Ive wasted £20. Actually thats a joke - even without that its pretty handy. Just messing with Ableton and my helix at moment via usb.

If I am missing a trick and it does toggle please let me know what Im missing.

Going to be very handy when the dwarf turns up even if its just for the expression pedal.

1 Like

why do you expect it to be unusable after a few years? Surely if you have a phone or tablet with the app always on it you should be fine.

But saying that I have spent lots more on sound cards that don’t update and won’t work with windows 10 onwards. I’m sure you will get £20 worth of use out of it over the next few years.

You never know they might even update it, especially if enough people buy it

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Also found the toggle after reading SrMouraSilva amazing tutorial!

Sorry and thanks

Just to add, I tried a hack of using OTG adapter straight to Helix USB but unfortunately thats a no. Just need to try and find my soldering iron to make an adapter for the midi out via expression pedal to see hows that copes.

Working flawlessly via usb and bluetooth on my pc and cant wait for the dwarf to turn up and see how that works with it.

Its a shame it cant work like wireless mice that way you could have more than one without wires but hey something for MOD to think about for future :wink:

Ok adapter soldered. Works brilliantly, Helix responding accordingly - shame no extra expression pedal as its been used for the MIDI out. Just don’t forget the picture of the TRS wiring in the app is actually the switch to turn MIDI out On! Took me a while to work that one out!!!

4 Likes

Thanks so much for this @deleteme - mine arrived today and it’s great!

Connecting it to the Dwarf created the midi connection as well as supplying power.

So good to be able to easily control the dwarf with an expression pedal, as well has having 4 extra buttons.

Only annoyance is that my expression pedal works the wrong way around - at the minimum position it reads 127 - ah well - a bit of rewiring required!

3 Likes

yes mine does too. Try changing the value range round.

Ie 0-127 to 127 -0 and see if that fixes it

. Cant remember if I just inverted the range in Live or changed the chocolate.

Dont have a dwarf yet but can the cc be inverted on that ?

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On the Dwarf in the Advanced settings it only has min and max values, and if you try making max less than min it won’t let you :frowning:

I thought this was something you could once do but I may have misremembered.

Just tried plugging it into my Duo to see if that was any different, but, although it registers the pedal as a midi device I can’t select (tick) it in Aggregated mode, and although I can tick it in the other mode I still don’t seem to be receiving any midi.

Has anyone else had any success with the Duo? I was about to recommend it to my friend who only has a Duo and can’t afford the MOD Footswitch…