I just recently received an MC6mkII to control all my SA pedals through the Neuro Hub. I decided to start with the C4, as I had a few presets I wanted to map to the controller. Maybe I’m just stupid, but it feels like I’m missing something big here… Everywhere I look, others have seemed to pass this brick wall I’ve been beating my head into for a couple hours without a hitch. How do I change the selected preset on the C4? I would like to set it up to engage the pedal and select a preset at the same time. @moley6knipe , You seem to be quite the SA/C4 guru 'round these parts. Think you could help me out?
If your C4 is connected to Hub with the SA special midi cable, and you register your C4 presets in Hub scenes, you have just to send PC to the hub to change scene. The easiest way.
“Guru”! Bless yers for saying so…. Sure, will write some stuff up and post some json later!
Part 1: The basics
You’ll get fed up running USB cables in and out. Make a loom and mark ‘up’ on the plugs like the photo. Seriously! Avoid using USB hubs (especially unpowered hubs) between your laptop and MC / Hub / SA pedal - direct USB laptop to ‘thing’ is always problem free.
You need to decide if you’re going to use the Hub to save a snapshot (‘Scene’ in Hub language) of all connected SA pedals, and then recall those Scenes by sending Program Change (PC) to the Hub from your MC.
Or if you’re going to send Control Change (CC) to each SA pedal to recall presets per pedal (and you can do this to control one or more pedals with the same action e.g. Pressing a switch on the MC).
If you’re going to use the Hub / Scenes then you can leave all the SA pedals connected to the Hub on the same MIDI channel as the Hub.
If you’re going to address the pedals using CC you’ll need each pedal and the Hub set to their own unique MIDI channel.
Neuro desktop editor lets you set this.
To use the Hub, you would set up each SA pedal individually, press the Save button on the Hub then send the PC number that you want that Scene to be recalled with to the Hub from the MC.
So if you created “Sound 1” by setting up and engaging pedal 1 and pedal 3, pressing Save on Hub and sending PC 0 to the Hub, you can now recall “Sound 1” by sending PC 0 from the MC.
I don’t do that - I use CC because: my Hub is slung under the board so not easy to access Save button. And I only have one SA pedal (the C4). And to my thinking having to note / remember what Scene is doing what adds a layer of obfuscation, whereas I know if I send CC value 44 to my C4 I get my Muff sound (and you can add ‘notes’ in the editor to store text like this too).
Plus (I haven’t tried in ages) I recall that if you connect your laptop USB to the Hub then you can’t actually edit each pedal individually, you have to plug into the individual pedal anyway!
For any MIDI device connected to the MC, name them in the MC editor:
Take time to think about how you want to navigate the MC before you get too far into programming it. By this I mean, think about how you want to use Banks. I have a couple of Banks for my Core go-to sounds, a range of Banks that are “one Bank per song”, and a range of banks for filters, dirt, octavers and (of course) many many many banks with ridiculous synth sounds!
When you’ve got many Banks, you need to think about how you’ll move around them. Pressing A+B on the MC will Bank down, pressing B+C will Bank up. Great, but what if you’re on Bank 5 and want to get to Bank 22?
It helps to visualise / draw this. I made Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online. to help me with this. So that led me to make it so that Preset F in (most) Banks has a sound on it when I Press, but when I double-tap I jump to a Bank and when I Long Press I’m taken back to Bank 1. The linked Word doc is pretty intuitive I think!
Assign a Bank on the MC for “testing”. Nothing worse than trashing your favourite Filter settings from your live core sounds bank when experimenting on the MC! Another Bank for Browsing sounds on the C4 (or whatever) is useful (I’ll attach some json you can import in Part 2!)
Finally: SA Neuro desktop editor preset numbering starts at 1, whereas the MC treats this as CC value 0. That’s because MIDI always “starts” at 0, but some manufacturers choose to display 1 for “first in the list” rather than the actual value “behind the scenes” value of 0. If you’re sending CC to SA pedals, you need to get your head around this.
All your post is very good but not this part. The Desktop editor allows to edit each scene and inside this scene you can edit each pedal included in this scene. Note that a scene do not need not to contain all the pedals connected to a hub, so if you want you can manage mixed configurations.
Concerning the latency to recall scene from hub, I never nocticed a difference when I send a PC to the hub to recall a scene compared to sending direct CC through the Hub to each pedal, I even think it is faster.
Using 2 hubs and 8 SA pedals I really appreciate the desktop editor, even if it contains lots of bugs.
Nowdays SA will certainly abandon the Hub, at a time in 2020 I have participated on a Hub 2.0 project driven by Jesse, but they finally abandonned the concept and that has been the signal to sell my Soleman and replace it by a second MC8. What is sure is that the Hub will not get updated, the last Ultrawave pedal data being too large to be managed by the Hub…
At one time I have been using 10 SA pedals on 2 Hubs, but I get tired with the complex C4, prefering to use Fishman Triplepay and VSTs or real Synths which is far easier and better sounding in 90% of cases.
Part 2: Storing sounds on the C4 and MIDI map
You’ve got 128 slots on the C4 to store sounds. I like a logical-ish layout so I group types of sounds together and leave gaps to add more:
…trying to store sounds so that you can tap “next sound” in sequence from 1 to 128 on the MC is pointless, really. Grouping like this helps lay things out. Excel helps too tbh!
So you’ve created a sound. We’ll use the highlighted one in the above screenshot: on the C4 that’s preset 45 “CW Heavy Muff”. That means I will recall it using CC value 44.
How? The C4 (and I think all such SA pedals) have CC values mapped by default. From Neuro editor go Device > Edit Device MIDI map.
|Preset Recall (On)||104||any||Recalls any preset engaged||Default|
|Bypass||102||0||0-64 permitted. I use 0||Default|
|Remote Tap Tempo||93||any||Default|
|Remote Expression Pedal||100||any||Default|
|External Control Enable||101||0 or 127||0 Off. 127 On||Mapped|
|Engage||102||127||65-127 permitted. I use 127||Default|
|Preset Recall (Off)||103||any||Recalls any preset in bypass||Default|
|Engage/Bypass Toggle||105||127||0-127 permitted. I use 127||Default|
|Increment Preset||106||127||0-127 permitted. I use 127||Mapped|
|Decrement Preset||107||127||0-127 permitted. I use 127||Mapped|
(from my Excel notes)
The top two rows are what we’re interested in here. One of the great things about using CC to control C4 is that it doesn’t matter whether you saved the preset on the C4 with a “Preset Recall State” of ‘Engaged’ or ‘Bypassed’, you can override this behaviour by sending CC from the MC.
So to recall my Muff sound:
I send CC #104 value 44 on MIDI channel 1.
To bypass the C4 again I send CC #102 value 0 on MIDI channel 1.
On the MC that looks like:
The control highlighted in the red circle is your friend here. If you click it the MIDI Dictionary opens… and the community / Morningstar have already added the basics - nice!
(you can investigate “User Library” and add your own personal text too).
On my Preset D screenshot, you’ll see “Toggle Mode On” and “Preset Blink On” are both enabled, “Msg 1” is set to ‘Pos: 1’, “Msg 2” is set to ‘Pos: 2’ and I’ve added text in “Toggle Name”. That means that when I press switch D on the MC my Muff sound is engaged and the label flashes. When I press it again the C4 is bypassed and the label stops flashing.
For me that works great - I can see what’s going on. Toggle mode can get a little funky so to start with I would recommend these settings on the MC to ensure that Toggle mode clears when you press another switch within the same Bank or jump to another Bank…
(note use of bank events here too - very useful if you want to bypass pedals (or do anything, really) when leaving or entering a bank).
…set “Remember Toggle States” to ‘Off’
Better go and see the fam now
Thanks @CSurieux - my bad! Like I say, never tried it - for sure I can see it being a useful approach for that number of SA pedals… have you got a shot of your board on the forum? Sounds big!!
I think I know what he is referring to here. If you connect to the Hub, you can’t access the global settings for each individual pedal, or any presets saved to each individual pedal.
Thank you so much man… I will get to work on it and let you know if I run into any hiccups!!!
Thank you for your input! I have 3 other SA pedals, a Collider, Lunar Phaser, and LA Lady, and from what I’ve been able to gather, I think the Hub is going to be my best bet at controlling the latter two. The Collider has loads of Midi control options, whereas the others seem to be more limited. Do you know if there is a way I could activate a sound on each of those two pedals individually? To be more specific, say I have 3 sounds on each I’d like to use, A, B, and C for each pedal. Would I have to save scenes with AA, AB, AC, BA, BB, so on and so forth, or would I be able to activate a sound on each of them individually, and build it up so to speak?
I would try accessing the MIDI map on each SA pedal via Neuro desktop editor…. That’ll tell you what functions you can access on each pedal. On the C4 for sure you can map pretty much any function to any CC.
The scenes you save on the Hub will be a snapshot of whatever each pedal was doing at the time you pressed Save. So when you save a Scene against PC 0, you’ll get that Scene recalled when you send PC 0. I guess, if you’re using Hub / Scenes and each pedal / Hub are on different MIDI channels, you should be able to recall scenes using PC and then also pass CC to individual pedals to do “stuff”.
Worth noting that when you program a Preset on the MC to send CC to your pedals you can send up to 16 messages on one single Press. Eg Msg1 could enable pedal 1 sound 5, Msg2 enables pedal 2 sound 46, Msg3 enables pedal 3 sound 112 and so on.
Alright, so I’ve done exactly what you’ve shown in the screenshot with the CC messages. I have finally gotten the C4 to change presets. However, it takes anywhere from 2-5 presses of the switch to actually change it. In the Midi monitor it registers all the presses and only after at least 2 presses will the pedal change presets. The command I’ve programmed to bypass the pedal works 100% of the time first press. This isn’t how it’s supposed to work, right? I have updated all the firmware, that was the very first thing I did when I got everything together to start working on this. Any idea on what the deal is?
Thanks too, I see that you manage your board with high precision.
I am not a ‘board man’ and picture of mine would be …cahotic : I have now part of my stuff on and under a table : 2 H&K amps , 2 PC, one Scarlett 18i20, MIOXL, large USB Hub, 2 keyboards, 3 synths, 3 groveboxes, and 5 SA pedals (Ventris, Nemesis + 2x modulations+EQ2) + 1 Hub connect to the FX loop of my amps (stereo), on the floor is the Fishman FC-1 + 2 x MC8 and 10 exp or volume pedals (one is for SA EQ2 managing the FX loop level) , far behind on the floor and connected by ethernet RTP-midi is the ‘front input node’ made of MIOXM + TC PX5 + ML5 + Hub with 2 SA dirt pedals + Digitech FreqOut + Digitech Trio+, also a Behringer 204HD, an ethernet Giga Hub, an USB Hub, a signal splitter+ radial DI, also a TC-Helicon when using a guitar with piezo.
My MC8s manages all this in 70% of situations without having to go in plug/unplug war
Concerning the SA pedals management, on the start of this story I tried to use individual CC instructions, but discovered that the midi instructions were not totally working with stereo routing mode and not totally error free (lost midi messages, strange dark situations uneasy to debug, etc… one or 2 pedal ok, more a pain) which I am using on all of them and that sending the CCs through the Hub was slow. So I limited my SA usage in editing the scenes with the desktop editor (I never use the Save button on the hub, not very easy when many scenes, pedals and hubs) and simply changing scenes with PC’s on the same channel from one of my MC8. One time I had Ventris and Nemesis on their own channels, expecting to control some of their attributes from an exp pedal on the MC8, but I enter in difficulties which SA support can’t solve (midi instructions acting only on channel A…) so I go back to the efficient solution : everything in scenes on the hubs. As MIOxx are USB hosts I could directly connect the SA pedals to them but it would be a wast of USB host ports. Hub 2.0 project from SA was using a lot of USB, may be they decided to restart it, I am no more in this train as a beta tester…may be taking distance from SA products as they abandon the hub idea little by little, an error AFAIK. More interested in aggregating synths, physical or VST’s, now…
Okay so after some reflection, for my set up right now, I will just have to use the scenes functionality. I have started to realize I won’t be able to utilize the pedals the way I would like to. I built it up in my mind that they would all work a certain way, and I have been let down by the reality of how they actually work. I’m going to use them all for right now, but I think for what I would like to do Strymon pedals seem to tick all my boxes. Time to start saving up! I’ll probably still be on here to work out setting everything up but my time with a SA/Neuro Hub set up is limited.
Sorry, missed this (your post about needing 2-5 presses).
That’s not right, no. Post a screenshot of your preset please?
Have you tried setting it up on a different Preset / Switch? There’s always an off chance that you’ve got a bad switch I guess?
I can post a screenshot when I get back home, but it was doing this with 2 different switches for 2 different presets. I just replicated the CC messages from your screenshot and copied them to each preset, and adjusted the CC value according to the preset to recall. Took sometimes 10 presses to get it to switch, sometimes it wouldn’t switch at all. Midi Monitor registered each press.
My eyes just rolled out of my head and onto the floor. I did not have an exact copy of the screenshot you posted. After fixing, it works just fine! Thanks man.
hey folks. I had this working for a long time but now it suddenly doesn’t seem to be working. The only somewhat recent change I had made was to change my c4 settings to “preset mode” (which I’ve since changed back).
my setup is as follows:
mc8 → omniport set to “midi type b” → TRS patch cable → TRS to midi converter → disaster area micro.ghost → c4
on the mc8 I have a “main menu” which is sorta my home base while I’m playing.
in preset A I have a “synth on/synth off” toggle which simply sends cc 102/127 “engage” when in toggle position 1 and cc 102/0 “bypass” when in toggle position 2.
preset B toggles preset A to “on” (position 2) then switches to a separate bank which contains my c4 synth presets. For each one, when I release the switch, it sends a program change corresponding with the appropriate preset, then sends cc 102/127 “engage”, then switches back to the last bank.
when this first stopped working, it would basically only engage the c4 in the preset that was selected on the front of the pedal.
I’ve now updated firmware on the mc8, micro ghost, and c4 and the c4 doesn’t seem to be receiving any midi from the mc8. I’ve tried switching to a different omniport and even just using straight midi out into the micro ghost, and neither worked. it could be the usb cable between the micro ghost and the c4 synth, I suppose, but the light shows green on the micro ghost. I can also successfully use that cable to connect to the micro ghost as a usb interface from my computer.
Now the c4 doesn’t seem to be receiving any midi at all whatsoever from the mc8 through the micro ghost.
Any ideas? figured I’d ask here because source audio doesn’t seem too motivated to help people make this stuff work whereas folks here seem super helpful.
is your TRS to DIN5 adaptor type A to Type B? If it is Type A then your omniport setting should be set to MIDI Out standard (type A)?
not really sure - this is the cable:
but I’ve even used a standard midi cable from the midi out jack and that didn’t work either.
Also just confirmed it still doesn’t work when I use the Midi Standard/type a option