Disappointed in New Spark Controller Pedal

Bias amps, pedals and software, as well as mobile apps other than the Spark app
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Keep it nice, keep it clean. This forum is not run by Positive Grid, so complaints about slow deliveries and the like will be removed as they're useless.
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DanL1553
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Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:08 pm
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Disappointed in New Spark Controller Pedal

Post by DanL1553 »

I was disappointed to learn that the Spark App needs to remain as the top/active app on my iPad, or the Spark Controller Pedal automatically disconnects. I use AnyTune to control, play and loop practice backing tracks and songs; so it’s normally the top/active app with the Spark App open in the background. I was hoping to use the Spark Controller to switch between Rhythm and Lead Setups in the middle of songs. Without the Spark App on top, this ain’t gonna happen…☹️

On the plus side, the pedal was pretty easy to set up, especially if you visit the new Positive Grid Spark Controller Help Webpage first. The Help Page is almost exclusively dedicated to promotion/purchase information, and detailed setup procedures. Unfortunately there’s no interface descriptions or information relating to either the Controller-Spark App or the Controller-Spark 40 interfaces.

The controller has nine modes available, including four blank, user definable modes. Mode 1, the only one of interest to me, is set up to control the four Hardware Setup Switches on the Spark 40; the Controller allows you to change the order on the pedal during setup (for some obscure reason).

Bottom line, if you’re using ToneCloud Music within the Spark App for practice, allowing you to keep the Spark App as the top/active app, you’re in great shape. The Controller Pedal was specifically (and exclusively???) designed for you.

If you’ve found using ToneCloud Music too restricting and clunky, then like me, Positive Grid has once again put us in a position of hunting for our own work-around…. I shoulda bought the ugly Yamaha THR 😒
Dan Lawrence
Fullerton, CA 8-)
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DanL1553
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Re: Disappointed in New Spark Controller Pedal

Post by DanL1553 »

Quick update:
I finally updated my iPad to Version 15 (V15.2.1); V15 has a simple-to-use split screen capability. I can open the Spark App and the AnyTune App in split screen mode and control playlists and songs (loops etc.) in AnyTune without losing Spark Control pairing through the Spark App. This provides the minimum level of functionality that I originally expected.

Still frustrated at the very narrow Positive Grid definition of programmability, and the lack of a real on-board Scenario/Channel Foot-switch like on the AirStep.

I was hoping to program other Spark App Presets into User Defined Control Scenarios; unfortunately ‘programmability’ means shuffling around the short list of commands programmed into the Control. You can change or mix-and-match the ‘defined’ commands; however you’re limited to the Hardware Presets saved to the Spark 40 Amp. Want a different preset, then manually load it to the amp through the Spark App first.

I’d love to be able to switch between Control Scenarios 1 and 2, I.e. change between Spark 40 Saved Hardware Presets (Scenario 1), and then turn on/off specific pedals within the selected Preset (Scenario 2). As it is, I have to do the switching manually within the Spark App itself.

Still bummed, but at least I can now kinda’ use the Control for practice, just not the way I initially intended…
Dan Lawrence
Fullerton, CA 8-)
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S@muele
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Re: Disappointed in New Spark Controller Pedal

Post by S@muele »

it's a pity
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DanL1553
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Re: Disappointed in New Spark Controller Pedal

Post by DanL1553 »

Based on your picture, you’re a Fender Fan. What Preset do you use for your clean sound? I have a 2008 Strat HSS, and have yet to find or work out a Preset I’m happy with. I dialed one in rather quickly for my Les Paul Traditional and Takamine Acoustic.
Dan Lawrence
Fullerton, CA 8-)
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S@muele
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Italy

Re: Disappointed in New Spark Controller Pedal

Post by S@muele »

DanL1553 wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:52 pm Based on your picture, you’re a Fender Fan. What Preset do you use for your clean sound? I have a 2008 Strat HSS, and have yet to find or work out a Preset I’m happy with. I dialed one in rather quickly for my Les Paul Traditional and Takamine Acoustic.
I also have a hard time finding a good clean sound that satisfies me.
I use a couple from the cloud but they aren't great
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