Multiple MC8 Questions

Hello All,

I just received my MC8 in the mail yesterday and I’ve been working to control ableton and some key plugins I use live. My laptop is a windows 10 Dell, Interface is a focusrite 2i4, and ableton 11 is my primary DAW where I use mainly Helix Native for guitar and the looper.

I have a few questions regarding my MC8 that I have not been able to find the answers to that I’m hoping someone can answer for me.

1 - MIDI CLOCK to ABLETON. - I’ve never used Midi clock so this may not be unique to the MC8 but I’ve noticed that changing tempo in ableton using midi clock tap on the MC8 takes a while (a few seconds) before the tempo finally regulates itself in ableton. Even then it seems like it changes/stutters by .2 seconds over time. I’ve got the pers. clock ON so it continues to send MIDI CLOCK but the delay in changing times is frustrating as it makes my Delay Plugins do that “distort/warble/transform (not sure what its called)”

2 - MIDI CLOCK back to the MC8. - To get around the slow issues in #1, I switched to CC based TAP using midi mapping in Ableton to the tap tempo button. This has worked really well and however I can’t figure out how to send midi clock back form ableton to the MC8 in order to then utilize that tempo to run the Midi Waveform Generator. I’m probably misconfiguring something in ableton for this. Also, if I’m sending midiclock back to the mc8, is there any way to display that BPM on the MC8 much like it does when I use the midi clock tap function?

3 - Keystrokes - Can you send Keystroke messages to your computer when using the Midi 5 pin ports or is that only available when connecting to your host via USB

4 - USB Concerns - One issue I’ve ran into with other controller pedals was weakness with the USB B port. I’ve had it where that port broke and it effectively bricked the device. I could no longer edit it as it only accepted edits via USB. Can you edit the MC8 with the editor without using the USB port? Can the editor edit the MC8 via 5pin MIDI connected to my interface? If the USB port did have an issue how hard is it to replace physically on my MC8? USB Ports aren’t very strong if stepped on or whatever so I’m concerned about breaking that port.

5 - How can I change my screen to be black background with white letters like I see on some of the videos?

1, 2 - Hi. As you correctly pointed out, it is better to use your DAWs MIDI clock as the master to which all other devices are slave to.

To sync your MC8 to Ableton’s clock, first make sure you have disable Ignore MIDI Clock and enabled Cross MIDI Thru as shown:

Then in Ableton, go to:
Live > Preferences > MIDI > Enable Out Sync for your MC8 MIDI Port
Then make sure Link is enabled on the top left corner of Ableton.

The BPM display on the MC8 will update automatically as you change tempo in Ableton.

3 - Keystrokes only get sent out via USB and not MIDI outputs.

4 - Yes, you can edit via the 5-pin MIDI In and Out ports on the MC8. Take note that you will need both in and out connected so that two way communication is possible. If you are unable to see/connect your MIDI interface within the Morningstar Editor, send us an email and we will add it in. We are planning to implement a solution to make this automatic in a future firmware update. So far we have had no reports of USB port failure even after having sold a considerable number of controllers.

5 - From 3 August 2021, we moved to LCD screens with white backgrounds for the MC8. The Quality Control reject rate of the previous black ones was getting too high and we could not continue to use them. We changed all our product photos to reflect this change in color as well. Since then we’ve also had some customers ask how they can change their black screens to white (and vice versa). Both colors work great but the QC rejection rate was something we could no longer accept.

There are some programs that can translate midi to keystrokes or other actions.

On the Mac, BetterTouchTool can do this.

Thanks for answering all my questions. I got my MC8 all programed last week and I can say that this thing is awesome!