Fishman's TriplePlay MIDI controller and pickup gives guitar players access to a world of digital sound generation, whether it's playing a funky vintage synth from your fretboard or blowing a haunting melody on a flute. The controller wirelessly links to music creation software running on a laptop, which then outputs the tones via the audio jack to headphones, powered speakers or even an instrument amp. But you don't really want to be leaving your laptop, which may contain personal information, just off stage when touring small clubs, so Fishman has launched the FC-1 Floor Controller. This allows players access to patches and presets from connected sound modules and synths.

The FC-1 features 5-pin DIN MIDI in and out ports for connecting MIDI hardware (such as a Waldorf Blofeld synth or Korg's Kronos) to the Floor Controller. Players can step through patches from those devices or change presets using the three multifunction momentary footswitches up top, with a 192 x 64 backlit graphic LCD display showing the chosen patch name and number. The display also offers status information on such things as TriplePlay battery level, MIDI activity and the position of the Guitar/Mix/Synth on the TriplePlay controller.

The instrument cable from the guitar hosting the TriplePlay controller can be plugged into the Floor Controller to allow the guitar's own pickups to be routed through an integrated relay switcher for pain-free mixing of guitar and MIDI sounds. There's a built-in tuner to keep playing pitch perfect, and sustain/hold functionality. When at home or in the studio, the FC-1 can be connected to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) as a USB peripheral, putting stompbox-like, programmable footswitches, an expression pedal input and a class-compliant MIDI interface at your feet. Like a floor stomp, the FC-1 runs from a 9 V power source, an AC adapter is included.

The TriplePlay FC-1 is available now for a recommended retail price of US$319.99, though the street price will likely be significantly less. Visitors to NAMM in California next week can see the Floor Controller in action at Fishman's booth.

View gallery - 2 images