How a Pedalboard can RECEIVE Wireless Bluethooth MIDI

I want to wirelessly send MIDI messages to a controller on my pedalboard.

FIRST — the use is only to change banks/presets between songs. So for this use 2-5 seconds latency is not a problem.

My approach is to use MIDI Designer to create an interface to generate the MIDI messages, and the MIDIMITTR to send the signals/messages from my iPad.

My question is: HOW CAN I RECEIVE MIDI over Bluetooth?

I have a WIDI Master but it requires power in the MIDI out jack.

I’m wondering……would it be wise to start a Wireless MIDI topic on this forum? More and more ppl will want to do this. I realize for bank/preset changes DURING a song, it may not be practical….but for changes between songs it seems like it makes a lot of sense.

One other thought……if there’s a way to send wireless (Bluetooth) MIDI messages from an iPad to a Morningstar device……can somebody make a YouTube video to show how?

Thanks in Advance!!

I have a system with 4 CME Widi Master.

1 Widi Master is for communicating from my ipad to my system. It is isolated by itself. I use Onsong on my ipad for changes to my effects. In my opinion, there is not a notable latency with bluetooth compared to a direct cable connection.

The other 3 Widi Masters are grouped together and seperate from the other one.
1 is on my rack case with my Kemper and some effects.
1 is on my board at my feet.
1 is on my Line 6 Powercab 212.
I only have 1 audio cable I need to run from my board to my kemper which is nice.
I use my footboard for switching some of my effects wirelessly in the rack, so there is hardly no latency.

The Widi Master is indeed powered from the Midi Out, but it has the extra connection for your Midi In, so they can all recieve midi as well. Even if sending over bluetooth from an ipad.

You should have no problems using 1 Widi Master to send ipad midi messages to a Morningstar with midimittr.

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Sounds really interesting.

Do you think it would work in a loop?

Im sending miidi messages from MC8 to change patches on Strymon and HX through Ableton.

WIDI IN —>MC8 --wired midi out to → Timeline ----wired midi out to → HX Stomp —WIDI OUT —> Ableton Sequences

Sending Bluetooth midi from Ableton wirelessly to the loop for the effects? I think it would work fine.

In my setup, the footboard is a wired loop on it’s own and the rack is it’s own wired loop and both separate loops are connected with 2 Widi Masters. So, the overlap where your wired midi and the wireless bluetooth midi connect is pretty seamless.

Jmay - first thanks for your reply.

I know that the OnSong app on your iPad is creating the MIDI messages to send to the pedalboard; but WHAT device or software sends those messages wirelessly over bluetooth?

I don’t think there’s something in OnSong itself that says “send these wirelessly”? It “seems” there must be something else running on the iPad that processes the messages from OnSong, and sends them wirelessly over the Bluetooth connection - to be received by the WIDI Master.

Is MIDIMITTR? [it looks, from your post…… this is what takes the OnSong MIDI messages, and then sends them out of the iPad wirelessly through Bluetooth] correct?

SooOOooOOOo….if I have to buy a Morngingstar MIDI controller just to receive the MIDI messages sent from my iPad, for the purpose of changing banks and presets ::: is it worth it?
Doesn’t buying a MIDI controller with full functionality —— JUST TO ——- receive wireless MIDI messages defeat the purpose?

The major functionality that the Morningstar MIDI controllers provide is to send MIDI messages to your pedals; including bank up/down and preset up/down type messages. I mean, why go through all of the trouble of sending bank/preset change messages wirelessly - - - - when the MIDI controller itself is designed to do this type of thing.
In my case —- When I change songs; I want to send 3 or 4 or 5 MIDI bank/preset change messages together to set all three pedals (Mobius, Timeline and Big Sky). But again….this is what the MC3, MC6 and MC8 does. It can “store” a set of MIDI messages (more than one message) to be sent with just one foot switch press. ??? I don’t see any real “gain” or “benefit” of doing this wirelessly through bluetooth, compared to using the MC3, MC6 or MC8.
Am I missing something?

What about the MIDI Box product from Morningstar? I don’t think I can use it, because the MIDI in and out are too far away from each other to connect that small jack on the WIDI Master from the in to the out??? (the out is on one end of the box, and the in is on the other….why?)
If they were right next to each other; like most MIDI jacks are, then this would be the perfect device to:

  • Power my WIDI Master - to receive the messages
  • Take the messages received by WIDI Master and send them to either the Strymon Conduit, or directly to the 3 pedals themselves.

Would I want any messages back from my pedals? I am thinking like after the bank/preset changes, to get back what the current bank/preset is. OF COURSE…. I can look at the pedal and see that, but it might be NICE to see some things on my iPad, that I can NOT see on my pedal ::: like what the mix% is, or what chorus depth is, etc. - things that I can NOT see or easily see on the pedal.
Maybe I should leave this for later…… rather than complicate things.

Again….thank you for your post; and EXTRA thank you for answering my questions here. I don’t mind at all spending money, but I want to spend it wisely. The Strymon Conduit was a BAD purchase, since it doesn’t support or power WIDI Master. ;-(

The Onsong app is creating the midi messages per song. Midimittr is only needed to make the transfer of midi from the app to the bluetooth of the ipad. The type of midi messages I send from Onsong is generally to change the banks on my MC8s (I use 2) and clean up pedal settings (ex. Bypass state, etc) to cue them up for the next song. The reason I use Onsong over something like Midi Designer is my cover band has a list of about 200 songs we pick from, and I can have chord charts and lyrics handy along with the proper midi messages being sent when I pick a song.

The Morningstar device is not needed at all to receive midi messages wirelessly from your ipad. If you only used Midi Designer for sending the program changes and commands to your pedals, then you could use a Widi Master in the loop with your pedals and not need a Morningstar at all.
In my case, I use Onsong to change banks on my MC8s per song. I have banks 1-9 set for different genres of music (blues, classic rock, country, metal, etc.). Onsong will cue up the bank I need per song. On each bank I have controls for my Kemper and turning on/off different effects on my board (I like to have a very interactive way of mixing overdrives and effects at anytime).

In my opinion, Morningstar Midi Box is a product you need only if you have some pedals that receive their midi through TRS jacks. On my board I have a Disaster Areas Midi Box 4 (generally same device as Morningstar’s) . I have some pedals like Jackson Audio Bloom, Boss OD-200, Chase Bliss Brothers that use trs to receive midi. If you only have midi devices like the strymon that use 5 pins for midi, then the Midi Box isn’t really needed at all. Just patch Widi Master into your pedal’s loop that is made up of 5 pin midi cables and you would be fine.
Now that being said, the issue of power for the Widi Master. You said the Conduit can’t power it and I’m not sure if the individual Strymon pedals can either (I’ve never tested my Strymon pedals to see if they power Widi Master as I have lots of other things like Midi Thru/Merge boxes that do that). If you do use a Morningstar MC6/MC8, that will power a Widi Master just fine.

I don’t think you would really need to send messages from your pedals wirelessly back to the ipad in most cases. My brain can’t comprehend the type of programming you would need to get info back from your pedals to show things like Mix Level, Chorus Depth, etc that you make on a pedal to show on something like Midi Designer or if it is even remotely possible.


Looks like JMAY214 answered most of your questions. I just wanted to chime in that none of the Strymon MIDI pedals I’ve had (Mobius, Timeline, BigSky, Volante) will power your WIDI Master via MIDI. I think I might have replied to you earlier today on another post and said I have the WIDI Master, but I have the newer WIDI Jack. I always mix them up.

For five to ten years or so I’ve used ForScore on my iPad to send MIDI messages to my pedals. First with my old iPad2, the camera kit adapted and a USB to MIDI adapter cable. Then when I got a newer iPad with Bluetooth MIDI capabilities I got a HiFing Bluetooth Midi device and did it the same way but wireless. The HiFing was powered by my PedalPower 2+ using the 9v dying battery SAG output that I reduced down to 5v and taped in place. Then I used a series of adapter cables to power it via USB and connected it into my MIDI loop. ForScore is a lot like OnSong only it was way ahead in features at the time. I also used it for click tracks and multitracks. Not sure if it is still ahead of OnSong anymore, but I digress…

MIDI Channel 1 (Timeline), channel 2 (Mobius), channel 3 (Bigsky), and later channel 5 (Volante). So with ForScore I would program MIDI PC messages to each pedal specifically and when I would switch songs in ForScore it automatically sends the PC messages to each pedal and calls up those presets.

Here is an old instagram video where I demonstrate this setup using the camera kit on my old iPad:

It’s much the same as this now, but wireless. My HiFing broke, so I got the WIDI Jack and it is awesome. It’s great because if you need longer cables you just get a 2.5mm TRS headphone extension cable making it somewhat modular. The other difference is since getting the MC6 I send way less MIDI messages from the iPad, but mostly just have the iPad tell the MC6 what bank to load and then when the bank loads the MC6 sends the bulk of my messages to my other pedals to load presets. It takes no noticeable time for everything to load.

So yes, you can easily control your pedals without a dedicated pedal MIDI controller, but if you dropped the connection in the middle of a gig what would you do? When my old iPad dock connector broke, and my HiFing broke this is where I was stranded. The MC6 is my backup if bluetooth should fail or my iPad battery dies, but it also expands the MIDI capabilities far beyond simple PC messages and makes everything much more hands on… or foots on…

That is AWESOME……I use OnSong. I don’t see myself creating, on the pedals themselves, patches/presets specifically for one song. Or probably most of the time; I don’t see myself doing that. But rather I would create a generic set of 20 building block presets, and then for each song I’d determine which of the canned presets I want to use.

You know there’s a crazy expensive product called GigRig G3 (their 1st controller was the G2). It does MIDI but it’s more of a analog router, that has a send/retur to each pedal, and then you can route the pedal signal path anyway you want - and store that as a preset. You can determine which pedals are part of the signal chain or not, and what order. Unlike traditional pedalboards where the signal path is ‘hardcoded’ by the literal wires……with the G3 you can have the reverb first in one preset, and have it last in another. That type of ordering the signal path can’t be done with MIDI.

But the very interesting thing with the G3 is that it (supposedly) can be set up/controlled wirelessly by an iPad. I think the wireless control is intended for “setup” more so than playing live.

Of course for the wonderful technology, you pay an arm and a leg (or 2 Strymon pedals)

The standard for pedals should be wireless control, and really an app to configure and digitally store the pedal configurations. There shouldn’t be a pedal on the market where you have to bend down and twist knobs……that’s like 1960s.

Thanks again for your help and the Instagram video!

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I have a question. I see in the video a MIDI connection into the Strymon Timeline (correct???)

I have heard from Strymon that their flagship pedals: the Big Sky, Timeline and Mobius —- DO NOT at this time, accept MIDI through a TRS jack: only through a MIDI connection.

Is that what you’re doing?

So if I wanted to send program change messages via WIDI or Bluetooth MIDI; I would have to find a controller that can A) power a WIDI Master type device to receive the messages wirelessly and then B) have a MIDI out that I can send to my Strymon pedals

Does Morningstar have such a creature?


Hi AJ,

Yes, I’m using traditional 5-Pin MIDI cables in a loop. The Volante will do TRS MIDI but not the others.

Basically I have a MIDI loop (that’s what I call it anyways…lol) it’s like a daisy chain of MIDI pedals that circles back. I have the WIDI Jack in that chain and set all my pedals to MIDI THRU.
The WIDI Jack can be powered via USB if none of your pedals will power it via MIDI like the Strymon’s won’t. The WIDI Master can’t do this, it needs MIDI power, that’s why I got the WIDI Jack.

Your A/B questions are half-correct. You just need to find any pedal with MIDI power, it doesn’t have to be a controller. The Line6 HX Stomp has powered MIDI, the Walrus Audio Mako pedals have powered MIDI, the Chase Bliss Automatone MKII has powered MIDI. Those are ones I’ve tried and can personally confirm. If you’re not sure just email the manufacturers, they all reply quickly and could tell you. I’ve noticed most of them don’t mention it in their manuals. Plus, asking them this question lets them know this is something people want.

I believe the MC6 and MC8 pedals have powered MIDI. Maybe James can answer it for sure. My WIDI Jack would power up via the MC6 MKII but not run correctly. It would light up but not work. So I just moved it to another pedal at that point rather than chase the problem since I have others with powered MIDI. I also built my own box that could power the WIDI Jack and my old HiFing. I believe we talked about it in detail in another post.

The WIDI Jack and WIDI Master will forward the PC messages they receive via bluetooth, so you can technically do this completely without a dedicated controller.

Since the WIDI Jack can be powered via USB you could power a WIDI Jack with this device from a traditional Pedal Power Supply:

I don’t have one, but reading the description I believe it automatically adjusts to 5v no matter the input voltage so it would be dead simple to setup. It it needs adjustment just find any friend you know that is a handy auto mechanic and get them to dial it in to 5v with a multimeter. It’ll take them two seconds.

Hope this helps. I’m happy to elaborate on any of this stuff.