This is my first post to the forum and I’m contemplating purchasing a Morningstar device (maybe the MC8?). Before making that purchase, I have a few questions that I’m hoping some kind soul will answer.
First, a little about me. I mainly play in an acoustic duo, playing mainly leads on top of singing lead, managing/mixing the PA system, playing the beats (via BeatBuddy) and running some backing tracks. I am the “busy” guy on stage, tap dancing and twiddling knobs throughout the performance.
My current setup consists of an iPad Pro (running OnSong) and an HX Stomp and BeatBuddy. Both the Stomp and BeatBuddy have a CME Widi Jack and receive Program Changes directly from the iPad. Everything works great and I love not having any midi cables running between each piece…I simply swipe to a new song on OnSong, and both the Stomp and BeatBuddy change to the right patches. I use Snapshots on the Stomp to switch to lead sounds, etc., but would like to be able to select specific effects.
I have recently purchased a Boss RC-500 looper, which will likely contain a few backing tracks (drums/bass) for a few songs in our set. I’m now thinking about adding a Morningstar midi controller (the MC8), with the main goal to enable greater control over all three of these devices…I may also start to introduce some looping into the set, so I am thinking about how best to synchronize the RC500 and BeatBuddy.
My questions about how best to approach the overall midi and Widi setup is as follows:
Should I just run one Widi Jack to the MC8, and then plug each device into an Omniport on the back of the MC8? I’m assuming any PC changes I send from the iPad wirelessly to the MC8), will then be passed through the MC8 and onto the appropriate devices (Stomp, RC-500, BeatBuddy). Please let me know if this wouldn’t be the case.
When I send PC changes from the iPad, will the PC changes for the Stomp, BeatBuddy and RC-500 just pass “through” the Morningstar to each device?
I’m also assuming that I could have midi clock sent from the MC8 to the BeatBuddy and RC-500
Alternatively, would it be better to have the CME WIdi Jack on the MC8 and then basically daisy chain the rest of the midi connections from the MC8? (ie: MC8 midi out to the HX Stomp midi in, then Stomp midi out to the BeatBuddy midi in, and then BeatBuddy midi out to the RC-500 midi in?
Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance on how to approach this. I want to keep things simple, and I’m a little fearful that the MC8 might be a bit overkill for my needs. That being said, I do like new gear…and the MC8 seems like it could open up some options to control additional functionality on all three of my devices.
I don’t own the RC-500 or Beatbuddy, but I’ve been using MC8, iPad w/ Onsong, Widi Master, and HX Stomp/HX Effect with great success.
If you connect the Widi Jack to the MC8, any midi messages will pass through just fine if you have Midi Thru enabled in the settings. 5 pin din to HX Stomp and then chain to the other 2 pedals. Or you can try ominports for the Beatbuddy and RC-500. I can’t attest for how those work with omniports, but you can set omniports up to work with most combinations of tip/ring/sleeve midi pedals.
You can setup the MC8 as your master midi clock, there are programmable actions to set up a footswitch as tap tempo or where you can set up a predetermined tempo. All tempo changes pass through down the chain just fine.
I have an MC-6, a BeatBuddy and a Yamaha MD-BT01 (and a Voicelive 3 and a Roland GR55), but no RC500 or HX Stomp. But I’ll try to answer your questions. I have attached a pic of my current setup, for additional clarity.
For a Daisy Chain setup to work you need to make sure that your devices have MIDI Thru capabilities and different MIDI channels assigned, of course. Both The MC-8 and the BB have MIDI Thru, but if you also want the BB to send out its own MIDI messages along with the ones it receives you need to choose the MIDI Merge mode. My VL3 and GR55 don’t have MIDI Thru so I had to resort to a MIDI Thru hub. I also want to control the BB with my MC-6, hence its position after the former.
Yes, if the above said has been taken care of. But I also send MIDI messages to the MC-6 from Onsong (mostly PC but also CC)
Yes, you can. However, I prefer the BB being the MIDI Clock Master device, for VL3 looping, effects, etc.
That’s exactly how I have the Yamaha MD-BT01 connected as well as the resulting daisy chain, but my BB has an all-important 2nd place on that chain.
Thank you both for the feedback and ideas. Sounds like i have a couple of options and could potentially make it work using the Omniports or daisy chaining the devices. If going with the daisy-chain approach, I just need to consider which device should be the source for the midi clock. One thing I’m disappointed with is that I don’t believe you can send PC commands to the RC-500 (however you can increment/decrement through the presets), so this is just some extra button tapping (I’d prefer for OnSong to just send the change and the RC-500 to change accordingly). Not sure if Boss would enable this with a firmware update at some point.
Thanks again for the insights! I’m sure I’ll be back with more questions once I get my midi controller.
According to the manual recalling RC-500 Memory locations is possible via MIDI PC.
From the manual:
You can switch the RC-500’s memories with Program change messages from external MIDI devices.
The RC-500 can receive program change messages numbered 1 through 99, corresponding to the
99 individual memories 1–99.
Program Change messages 100–128 cannot be received.
Even if received, Bank Select MIDI messages (Control Change #0, #32) are disregarded.
Boss is kinda all over the place with their midi implementation but I can confirm this works,
Memory 1 actually starts with PC#0 so all the numbers will be one off.
I’m running an MC6 controlling 2 loop switchers (the ML5 and a disaster area dpc.micro), a Boss delay and the RC500. Takes some thinking and trial and error in your design but with the Morningstar the limit is your imagination! Now just to figure out how to narrow that control down to only 8 assigns in the Boss.