[Solved] Trouble with MC8 and ML5

Hey everyone, I could really use some help! I am new to MIDI (at least with my guitar rig) and am trying to figure out the issue I am having.

Here is a pic of my pedalboard.


Here is how things are currently set up:

MC8 > (Midi Out) > ML5 (Midi Channel 2) > Boss DD500 (Midi Channel 3) > Strymon BigSky (Midi Channel 4) > HX Stomp (Midi Channel 5)

I am also coming out of the USB jack on the MC8 going into a MacBook Pro controlling Ableton Live on Midi Channel 1.

My goal is to be able to select a preset called “Song 1” that will move to a locator in Ableton and change presets on the DD500 and HX Stomp. I have six buttons mapped as “Song 1, 2, 3,” etc. These are all set up as long press. I also have the PC Commands for the DD500 and HX Stomp set up as “long release” on the same switches. I also have a button labeled “Play” and one labeled “Stop” that control the transport in Ableton. On the second page I have it set up to control the ML5 presets. When it’s all working, it is really great and functions really well for me.

Here is the issue I am having…

The MC8 and ML5 seems to lose connection with one another. Upon initial set up I can program the ML5 to switch loop presets just fine, but eventually it stops working. The ML5 won’t even receive signal from the MC8. It won’t change presets, it won’t allow me to reprogram it…basically it stops acting like it even exists! The Boss DD500 will display a “MIDI Error” message also every time I try changing presets. I have tried changing MIDI channels, I have tried doing a factory reset on the ML5, I have upgraded the firmware on the MC8.

I have experienced the same problem with just the MC8 and ML5 connected…so I don’t think it has anything to do with the other things in the Midi chain.

I know that the ML5 doesn’t generate any MIDI signal of its own, but is it possible that it could corrupt the signal? What about power requirements? I can’t find that info in the manual anywhere.

Last night as I was preparing to play, even Ableton starting wigging out and I had to basically unplug everything except the USB cable to get it functional. The frustrating thing is that I can get it working (if I unplug everything from power and wait awhile, it will usually start responding again) but then all of sudden without making any other changes things start to go haywire.

Like I said earlier, I am a noob at all this and am guessing that I am inadvertently doing something wrong. So, any help would be greatly appreciated. When everything is working, it is incredible…just super frustrating when not.

Just some quick thoughts (using my mobile now), what are your cross midi thru settings in your controller settings? Can you try turning that setting off and see if the issue still persists?

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I will check that and get back with you. Thank you!

I tried changing the Cross Midi Through setting to “Off”. I reprogrammed the ML5…it worked fine at first and then stopped working just like it has been doing. The MIDI Error message on the DD500 came back as well.

It is so sporadic. Occasionally the ML5 will respond and then immediately stop responding again. I am wondering if I have a faulty device? Or faulty cable…checking that now too.

Swapped out cable and problem persisted.

Thanks for the info. Can you try this: Change the MIDI connection from MC8 >> ML5 >> Boss DD500 to Mc8 >> DD500 >> ML5, and then see if the Boss still gets the MIDI Error message. Then at least we can pinpoint that it’s something weird coming out of the MC8.

Also, possible to share a screenshot of the Preset in the editor that is causing this issue?

Just to confirm, this issue occurs even without any USB connection to the computer?

Thanks for getting back with me. I changed the MIDI signal flow to what you suggested. The DD500 works fine and I am not receiving the error message. The ML5 is still not functioning correctly. Here is a screen shot of one of the presets in the editor:

And I have confirmed that the problem persists even when the USB cable is disconnected.

Another thing…when the ML5 does respond, it doesn’t seem to respond in any predictable sort of way. By pressing the same button several times it will call up random loops on the ML5…none of which I have programmed. Or sometimes it will work as it should, but then quickly stop working again. Very strange.

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Thanks for the information. Ok, if it is

  1. calling up random loops when pressing the same button (Preset I?)
  2. not connected via USB
    then that’s strange.

Last question: Is there anything connected to the MC8 MIDI IN? From your picture, it looks like there isn’t but just want to confirm.

There is nothing connect to the Midi input of the MC8.

Ok, sounds like a faulty unit. We’ll follow up with you via the email you sent.

Just a thought : have you checked your cables ?

I have tried swapping them around. I am also going to pick up another brand today and see if that’s the issue before returning the ML5 to Morningstar. I am using One Control midi cables. The odd sporadic behavior seems like something that could be caused by a bad connection. Thanks for the reply.

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In an effort to avoid having to send it back to you, I have tried a few other things first and believe that I might have figured out the issue.

First off, I performed a factory reset of the MC8 just to rule that out and then I rebuilt my presets from the ground up with the latest firmware. When I first received my MC8 I was uncertain how I wanted to set it up and played around with several features…who knows…maybe I messed something up along the way.

I also changed the PC numbers for the ML5 presets to different numbers than what is being used to change presets on the DD500. Even though they were set up on separate channels (ML5 = 2 and DD500 = 3) I believe this has made a difference. Everything seems to be functioning correctly at the moment. I will continue to test it throughout the day and confirm with you.

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Ok, thanks for that! Do keep us updated.

@james Unfortunately the problems are continuing. Another issue that could be related is that the MC8 is not immediately showing up when trying to connect to the editor. And this problem seems to follow the other problems. If the ML5 starts acting up and not recalling the correct loops, or responding at all, when I plug the MC8 in to my computer via USB it doesn’t appear right away and I usually have to power it off and back on again to get it to show up.

@James I did a bunch of experimenting today and believe that maybe the issues is with the MC8 and how it is connecting to my computer via USB. I was able to recreate the issue, which is good because up until now I thought it was completely random.

  1. The MC8 is not connecting easily to the online editor. It almost never shows up on the first try and I usually have to reboot the MC8 several times before it will show up. The same is true within Ableton Live. I have experienced this issue with multiple USB cables but will still try another just to rule that out.

  2. After that happens, the MC8 almost like it gets stuck in this weird state between working and not working. The computer doesn’t see it, and it also doesn’t want to work with my pedal via midi. It only comes back to working if I power it down for at least a few minutes. Almost as if the capacitors need to fully drain before it restarts and works. A quick power cycle doesn’t help.

  3. I am able to get the ML5 working pretty well as long as I keep the USB cable unplugged. Interestingly enough, the same issue happened when I plugged in my HX stomp via USB. I was not expecting that to happen at all. I have since gone and disable all MIDI through USB on the Stomp just to prevent that from happening.

I know this is all a lot of info and it’s really tough to try and problem solve from the other side of the globe! I really appreciate all your input and hope that we can get this stuff working.

Thanks for troubleshoot this. It’s slightly clearer to pinpoint what’s going on.

Do you have any MIDI software that is running on your computer? Based on your description, it sounds like a software might be sending a lot of MIDI messages to the controller (since the controller is recognised by the computer as a MIDI device).

If you close ableton, or perhaps do a computer restart, does the issue still persist?

@James I will try that. Ableton is the only software running on my computer.

I am going to send the ML5 in. Just a few minutes ago it froze (all loops on and they wouldn’t even respond manually). Then after trying to power cycle it, it wouldn’t power on for about 20 minutes.

Sorry for all the trouble! Really appreciate all your help.

No worries! just send it in and we’ll check it out. You should have received the return shipping label in your email.