Can MC8 listen to external midi clock?

Hello, I know that MC8 works fine when acting as a source of midi clock for chain of pedals. But is it possible set it so that MC8 listens to external midi clock from for example drum machine? Will MC8 pass midi clock to pedals down the chain?


Trying to do the same thing. I want to send clock from ableton to MC6.

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In the meantime I’ve received message from James (Morningstar Team):

We are planning to allow the MC8 to listen to the external MIDI clock messages and set its own internal tempo, and then generate the MIDI clock itself.

It can currently pass MIDI messages including clock down the chain but there can be issues:

It can pass MIDI clock from MIDI IN to MIDI Out only, but if the MC8 is being used then the MIDI clock might go out of sync for a moment (Hence we cannot say we support it). MIDI IN to USB MIDI or vice versa is not supported. We’re looking into implementing a feature to fix this.

since the MIDI clock messages are time-sensitive, and the MC8 is processing all the incoming MIDI messages, there may be a situation where the clock will go out of sync when the MC8 is processing other events.

i’d like the MC3 to do this as well. i’m using ableton and i’d like to send clock to the MC3 via usb and then get clock at the same tempo out of the mini-jack outs. whether it’s the same clock from ableton passed through, or the MC3 generating it’s own clock at the same tempo as the incoming clock…either would work. it would solve a big problem for me!

Currently the only way to do this is via the MIDI DIN input on the MC8. Many audio interfaces have MIDI I/O ports or you can use a MIDI interface such as those made by iConnectivity.

There are issues with MIDI clock via USB - check out this post for more info.

Has anything changed on this front since the release of 3.8.3?

my MC8 since uploading 3.8.3 seems to be passing clock/generating its own clock from external sources in a more stable way than before. The clock stays more constant when engaging presets which leads to less pitch artifacts while using loopers. this was a big trouble for me and i’m glad to see it gone. I’m not using USB midi however.

Nice to hear! I’m troubleshooting syncing CBA Blooper to MIDI clock sourcing from a Synthstrom Deluge, so it’s good to know that this should be possible.

I’m also wondering about native instruments maschine, it can be master or slave but I prefer it on master as it makes more sense to me to have a drum machine keep the tempo stuff on itself.

I’ve not seen any one commenting on compatibility with maschine.

We’ll be working on a minor firmware update to push some bug fixes. We’ll also update the MIDI clock feature such that:

  1. If MIDI THRU is turned ON and IGNORE MIDI Clock is turned ON, MIDI Clock signals will be passed thru directly
  2. If IGNORE MIDI Clock is turned OFF, MIDI Clock signals will be processed and set the internal BPM

This will give you the option to pass MIDI Clock thru directly (with some caveats) but we’ve had feedback that it solves the drift issue when syncing loopers


Hi James,
Good point.
From my past experience, it is possible to start MCxx midi clock even if an external midi clock is running on midi input (DIN or USB), so some devices get suddenly a great timer boost with these 2 clock signals ;).
Could it be possible that a setting block double clock ? In such a way that starting MCxx clock has no effect (and may be display some alert somewhere (?) ?

Good news. For now I can’t use MC-8 to control my Boss RC-500 sync’d with Beatbuddy because it has only one Midi In socket and I have to choose between the two to avoid the clock drift. With the Headrush Looperboard there are no problems because it has two Midi sockets and so I connect the MC-8 to the USB socket and the Beatbuddy to the 5pin Midi In. Thank’s for the good work.

Hi! I just purchased an MC8 intending to do what you state can’t be done. Yikes! It was my understanding that the MC8 could be programed by channels to send messages to individual, but daisy chained, pedals. A pedal NOT in the “channel” ignores the message passing through it. I also understood that the MC8 could send the same message to one, some or all channels, and that this could be user defined. Wouldn’t that solve the problem you cite above?

Hi @crash. Everything you say is true. I can daisy chain any number of pedals.
My problem was that when I connected Beatbuddy-MC8-RC500 and tried to sync RC500 looper to the Beatbuddy clock I observed some drift in clock tempo introduced by MC8 resulting in loss of sync between them.
The good news are this is now solved (like @james promised) because MC8 can pass thru the clock it receices from MIdi IN to Midi Out without any processing. You’ve made an excelent buy.

Oh, fabulous! Thanks for the response.

One more question, does your MC8 setup enable Beat Buddy’s output to be incorporated into the RC 500’s loop? I keep reading that the Beat buddy needs to come AFTER the looper, but I believe what you just shared changes that.

The chain is only for Midi signal. BB Midi Out → MC8 Midi In and MC8 Midi Out → RC500 Midi In. If I want record audio from BB into my looper I should connect them with an audio cable. The MC8 doesn’t enter in this equation because it hasn’t audio connections. Did this answer your question?

In terms of audio chain, normaly the BB comes after de looper just because I don’t want to record the rhythm. It is allready looping in BB. If the pedals share the same Midi clock they will allways play syncronized live.

Yes. Thanks Jose! Bill

@james is this feature limited to the mc8 or is it functional on the mc6 mkii as well?

Should be the same functionality on both boxes, assuming latest firmware. This manual section for the MC6MkII lists those options: