PathFinder is a compact line selector, with 9 programmable memory banks, fast switching, two operating modes and several other intelligent resources that make it at the same time powerful, versatile.
Musicians usually need several effects to create rich performances. They can either purchase a single digital unit, which offers several effects and are easy to operate, or buy traditional individual effect pedals. The second choice is usually considered more professional. It allows the musician to fully customize it's set, and take advantage of specialized analog circuitry, avoiding digitally processed signals which become quite artificial sometimes.
The main disadvantage of pedalboards mounted with traditional pedals is that they are hard to use in some situations. It's impossible, for example, to turn one effect on and another off at the same time. The solution is the use of Line Selectors. Using one allows the musician to connect several pedals in loops (instead of a simple serial connection), and then turn entire loops on and off simultaneously.
Most line selectors today are big pieces of equipment: powerful, but expensive and unpractical. GNI's PathFinder is the first compact line selector to offer a real solution, intelligent operation and great value.
It's very important to note that the GNI PathFinder has a microcontroller that switches several analog "paths" inside it. It means that there is no digital processing. From your signal's perspective, all the way from input to output is purely analog circuitry, designed to cause no losses or distortion.
PathFinder can control 4 lines (A, B, C and D). The user can create up to 9 programs. Each program ("bank") determines which lines are turned on. For example: A and C, B and D, "all enabled" and "all disabled" are valid programs – the last one is an alternative bypass method).
When PathFinder is "off", signal bypasses all lines and goes unchanged from input to output. When it's turned on, signal passes through each enabled line (according to the selected bank.
Two operational modes:
Standard mode lets the user turn the unit on and off simply pressing the right pedal (P2). Left pedal (P1) switches to the next bank, and returns to the first when the last is reached.
"Up / Down" mode allows faster access to the banks. User can press the right pedal (P2) to go to the next bank, and left pedal (P1) to go to the previous one. To turn the unit on and off, both pedals have to be pressed at the same time. An alternative method is to create a "bypass" program (a program where all lines are disabled).
You can easily switch between standard and up / down modes pressing button B2 ("Mode").
Working with more or less banks:
The PathFinder comes from factory with 4 banks enabled. However, you might prefer to use only 2 (minimum) or 3 programs (specially in standard mode, when you need to go all the way up to return to the first bank). Or you might want to use more (up to 9) programs (specially in up/down mode, when you are free to navigate the banks in both directions).
Pressing buttons B3 and B4 ("-" and "+") lets you reduce or increase (respectively) the number of active banks. Please note that PathFinder needs to be in a bank equal or lower than the number you want to set as maximum. If you feel in doubt, go to bank 1 before experimenting with B3 and B4.
Programming the PathFinder:
To start programming, press button B1 ("prog"). The decimal dot in the numeric display is turned on. As long as it's on, you are inside programming mode, and all buttons / pedals have new functions:
- Numeric display shows the program you are currently editing.
- Buttons B1 to B4 are used to edit the program: each time you press one of them, the respective led turns on or off representing it's line.
- Press the left footswitch (P1) to jump to the next program and edit it. Note you don't have to "save" programs, which is done automatically when you exit programming mode.
- When you are done, press the right footswitch (P2) to return to normal operation.
Two details that might help:
- If you can't program bank 5, for example, it's because your PathFinder is set to work with 4 or less banks. Before starting to program, press (+) (B4) until all banks you wish to program are reachable.
- We recommend turning the pedal on before entering programming mode, so you can test your programs as you make them.
Each musician will have a preferred way to connect pedals. You can connect just one or several pedals in each line. Lines unused are automatically bypassed. The picture shows one pedal (overdrive) connected to line A, and two pedals (chorus and reverb) connected to C line.
Connections are easy to make, but require conveniently sized cables. Line A, for example, has 2 jacks: "Send to A" (S.A.) and "Return from A" (R.A). In our example, S.A. is connected to the overdrive's input, and its output "returns" to PathFinder at R.A.
PathFinder's memory and RESET:
The Pathfinder has very good memory. It remembers all your programming, the number of banks you use and the last used mode (standard or up/down). All this information is stored in non-volatile memory (EEPROM), meaning that the next time you turn Pathfinder on, you won't have to customize everything again. No battery or power chord is necessary to keep this information.
If the Pathfinder starts behaving strangely, some data might have got corrupted. The best thing to do is reset it to factory's standard. Procedure is simple:
- Unplug the power chord.
- Hold P1 pressed; reconnect the power chord. (You can release P1 now.)
- You'll see leds and display being tested. The pedal will perform a self-reprogramming.
- If you see "E" blinking at the display, it means some error occurred. Try repeating the procedure. If fails persist, contact GNI or it's representative.
- If you don't see "E" blinking, PathFinder was successfully reset to factory's standard. Remove the power chord and connect it again to start using the pedal normally.
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