General Preset Best Practices - is this correct?

I’m just getting my midi board set up with a number of midi-enabled pedals. I’ve been doing a lot of research and learning on how to do basic things directly with pedals, but I feel I’m missing the bigger-picture in putting it all together across a number of pedals on the board.

Here is what I’m trying to pin down (pun intended). Say I am playing and dial in a great sound that I want to save as a preset. The sound is comprised of 5 or 6 different pedals, all midi compatible. From what I understand, saving the setup as a preset is going to take a good number of steps.

Is this correct:

  1. For every pedal involved, I need to send a Program Change along with a Bank number to save each pedal’s setting.
  2. I’m not sure how to do this quickly; it seems I have to do some manual editing / controlling via the software.
  3. Once that is done I then need to create a Morningstar preset that sends the right individual pedal-presets involved, perhaps a message to ALL pedals to turn-off pedals that aren’t part of the desired preset.

Is this correct? It does seem like a lot of work to save each “preset” across a bunch of pedals, but once it’s done it’d of course be amazing and awesome to step on one button and - boom - it’s all there.

Any thoughts or advice would be very helpful!

Hi, …where to start…
There are a million ways to combine pedals and set up patches etc. What you should do first is to ask yourself, what YOU want your mc to do for you. What is your workflow, what do you need when writing a song or in rehearsal or when jamming or playing live. This might save you a lot of time doing things over and over becaus something doesn’t work in a specific situation.
If you are happy with having something like a library of your favorite sounds, I’d approach it by sending the same pc# to all of your pedals (there is an option to send a pc to all channels in the editor) regardless if you need a pedal or not. That will speed up the programming and it will be a lot easier to keep track of what your pedals are actually doing when sending a pc#.
Set up a template with a pc# and whatever you need to engage/disengage your pedals. Copy/paste, change on/off commands and you are good.
This is a simple approach that saves a lot of time but on the downside isn’t very flexible. So if you like to improvise or if you jam a lot you might be better off to do take a different approach.

Thanks for the post, it’s very helpful! Yeah there are so many options its a bit overwhelming. I’m trying to keep my focus / need pretty simple to start with as I learn it all; not sure what I’ve chosen to focus on is that simple in the end. :slight_smile:

I’m not playing out right now, so my board is for strictly for writing and recording. To that end, my goal is to use the MC8 to recall the proper sounds for songs / tracks as I’m recording. Or just playing. So if I sit down to work on “Song A” I move to the right bank, hit the right MC Switch and it recalls all the right pedal presets (including on / off states) for that part.

I’m horrible at writing down and remembering how a sound was dialed in. I’ll work on a song one month, time will slip by, I’ll sit down to work on it a couple months later and can’t for the life of me remember how I dialed in that sound across the pedals. So I’d like to use the MC8 to save and recall specific sounds for specific uses.

It sounds like recalling should be easy once it’s set up; I just sent a PC for the right preset / bank to each pedal, including Off states and each pedal should recall the right sound. Voila.

The setup seems a bit trickier… Looks like I’d first have to roll through each peal involved, save the preset to the pedal, and then build an MC Switch preset in the software editor to send all those preset PC commands to each pedal.

Some pedals are easy to do this with, some look to me fairly manual. I’m using an Iridium, so to save a preset there I’d have to “hold the ON switch so the ON LED will blink BLUE … to receive a MIDI Program Change Message”. Sorry to repeat this again, but if I were to narrow the focus to a single pedal as a starting point it would be:

  1. Dial in the right Iridium setup
  2. Create a PC message through Morningstar to save that setup to a specific bank
  3. Enable receiving-MIDI on the Iridium
  4. Send that PC message from Morningstar to the Iridium
  5. Then I could build a Morningstar Preset for a specific Bank / Switch that sends that PC message to recall the setup easily.
  6. Wash, rinse, repeat for each pedal.

If I have this correct yeah, it’s a lot of up front work, but the end result is very appealing.

Here’s a trick, in case that may help. I am running the MC8 with a
large number of pedals, and for each multi-pedal preset came the
problem of making sure that all the unused pedals are disabled
(since they can be previously engaged). Doing this by hand would
make writing all necessary settings in the editor very cumbersome.
Rather, I defined a global preset called “Clear” that disables all
pedals in one press. This single preset is stored somewhere in the MC8,
and whenever I define a new preset in the Editor, I start by calling
“Clear” using the Type “Engage Preset” from the other Bank where it is
stored. Thus, I can only focus on the pedals that I want to engage.

In addition, I use also “Clear” for some pedals that are always engaged
by default but in a special state that I want to return to (for instance,
Slapback on the delay, and a short Reverb).

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Ooh that’s awesome thank you for sharing! I haven’t started looking into things like global presets, so I have been struggling with this very thing. Right now I have just created a standard preset called “Clear” that does just that - sends a disengage message to all pedals. But I’ve been wondering how to use it efficiently, thinking I might have to copy this Clear preset to a number of banks so its not far away. Hit “Clear” first then hit whatever actual Preset I need to load. It’s been great for testing connections and messages so far, but your solution is wonderful! I’m definitely going to try it out - thank you again for sharing!

I suppose while I’m typing, for anyone else reading through this thread here’s an update:

I’m still working on setting up the process I’ve described and will be incorporating the Global Preset for clearing pedal states. So far it works really, really well. It’s so much fun to bounce between different complete, composite sounds all perfectly configured across the entire pedal board. Adding in an Engage Preset action with the Clear preset will only make it cooler.

I’ve not yet put together a good process for saving presets, since it varies so much pedal to pedal, but that’s my next step.

You can do much simpler and more automated than that. What I called Global preset is just a standard preset of the MC that I store in a single bank, say Preset A of Bank 1, with the Action=Press. This “Clear” presets contains disengage or reset messages for all pedals in my board. Then, whenever I write a new multi-pedal preset on the MC editor (in any bank), I just have Msg1 defined as:
Action = Press
Type = Engage Preset
Bank number = Bank 1
Preset = A
Action = Press
Note that this last action corresponds to the action defined for the “Clear” preset.
Then I simply write my new multi-pedal preset focusing only on the pedals that are engaged.
Et voilà!

Hope that clarifies things. Then you don’t need to copy the Clear preset or hit it by foot, just let the MC work for you. :smiley:


Since you are starting, another tip (depending on what you want to achieve) is to have a Home Bank designed for navigation. For my use, this Home bank contains a list of Bank Jumps to various Banks that are designed to control each single pedal of my board. I have designed a global press (meaning copied automatically to all banks) on an external switch that does this: when I am in a given bank, this goes to the Home bank. When I am in the Home bank, the same press returns to the previous Bank (it’s a bit like the back arrow in the navigation of a web browser), just in case I hit the press by mistake. With this method it is easy to switch from different pedals and create new patches.

For navigating between songs, I rather use the scrolling capacity of the MC (go to next bank), since songs are arranged in sequential order typically. But one could also create a Home banks as well.

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Reviving an old post, but I’m wondering if the CLEAR preset idea will work if I’m letting songs inhabit whole banks. Can I do that when I jump to the bank or is it only possible from preset to preset?

I am not sure what you want to do. You can call this command either when you engage a new preset,
or when you enter a new bank (both are possible).

Just to be clear: if you have only 3 pedals, say A+B+C, and want to turn only A on, the standard way to call the preset would be a set of messages like:
1/ A on
2/ B off
3/ C off
This is because B or C could have been turned on previously.

But if you have a lot of pedals, this becomes cumbersome. So you can rather do:
1/ Clear all (A is included but it does not matter)
2/ A on
which is shorter and less prone to errors.

Hoping that helps.


Yes this is helpful.

I’m still thinking through the way I want to set up setlists and songs because I don’t want to spend a ton of time setting it up only to realize a fatal mistake halfway through the process.

The workflow I’m leaning toward is having a SETLIST preset on my home screen that sends me to a new bank with a song title in each preset slot in the new bank. Once I preset a song title preset, it will bank jump to the song’s own dedicated bank that is organized in order of the song (intro, verse 1, chorus 1, etc).

Currently, I have 4 midi controllable pedals (drive, delay, reverb, amp/cab sim). I’ll add a midi-controllable compressor soon. Being able to turn all off with a single preset command seems like it will help a lot.

Thanks for the help!