Strymon Nixie and the MC-8


I’m using a “Midi Solutions” Merger to merge the midi out from Line-6 Helix, AND the Strymon Nixie (program using a UM-ONE) and I am running them at the same time. In this configuration, I get both the Nixie information from the Mobius, Timeline, and Big Sky (GUI of each) and also can then control each with Helix, watching the changes take place on the Nixie program! Nixie pulls up “one” of each Strymon pedal on its GUI. Each of the Strymon pedals, Helix, and the Morningstar are on their own Midi channels.

When I try to use the Morningstar MC-8 (instead of Helix), to switch the Strymon Pedals Nixie then pulls up 2 of EACH Strymon pedal on its GUI, and then I have to do a “force quit” on the Nixie program to close it because it locks up. Nixie is NOT playing nice with the MC-8 even if they are on different Midi channels. So what’s the difference Midi wise between what Line-6 Helix sends (midi wise) versus what the MC-8 is sending (to screw up the Nixie program) and how can I fix this?

FYI- The Roland UM-One is on Midi Channel #1, and the Morningstar is on Midi Channel #9, and all this happens without Helix being turned on (Helix is out of the picture as the Morningstar has replaced it midi wise).

What is your MC8 controller settings like for the MIDI Thru functions? Cross MIDI Thru should be turned on while MIDI Thru turned off.

Yes they are set as you suggested, but still pulls up 2 of each pedal in Nixie. This does not happen when using a Helix midi out into the merger.

Ok thanks for the info. I’ve got a Timeline and (I think) a Bigsky somewhere. Will need some time to set up and test this

Thanks, James I appreciate your help in finding this evil anomaly!

Just to check, are you using the latest v3.7 firmware?

Yes, I am James 3.7.4. FYI I reconnected Helix (along with the UM-One) into the Midi Merger, and got the normal “3” gui’s of the Mobius, Timeline, and Big Sky.
Cross Midi Thru is on, and Midi Thru is off. When I hooked out the MC-8 again with the UM-One ( and removed Helix) thru the Merger and started Nixie, I got 2 of every pedal, then after about 30 secs it dropped to one pedal each and locked Nixie up. I had to force quit the program.

Hi James, Not rushing you buddy :grin: , just wanted to see if u found the same issue?


Just tested! This is what I see in Nixie:

Initially I had multiple devices show up in Nixie also, and I had to force quit it in the activity monitor. Not sure what settings I changed on the device though, but I followed the instructions here:

After typing this, I realised that the problem lies with the BigSky. After clicking on Nixie to control the Bigsky, my MC6 hangs. Works fine for the Timeline. I gotta dig deeper into this.

Oh wait, actually I realised that its just because the MC6 is on the same channel as the Bigsky. I had no issues after changing it to a different channel.

James- thanks for the efforts but mine are like this-

All settings are good from the Strymon page (I just double checked).

Then after 20 sec or so it gos to this, and locks up Nixie. When Helix Midi out replaces the MC8 Midi out, all is fine. Again, this only happens when the MC8 is hooked into the Midi Merger along with the UM-One (Midi to USB adapter). All are on their own Midi channel. Here is my Block diagram setup.

I had that when my MC6 was on the same midi channel as the Bigsky. Can you check if yours are all on different midi channels?

Hi James,

Um-One is on # 1
Iridium on #2
Mobius on #3
Timeline on #4
BigSky on # 5
Volante on # 6
Line-6 Helix on #7
Mc-8 on #9

If you break the connection between the UM1 and the MIDI Merger, does it function all right? I’m not sure if this is the case, but Nixie might be sending the MIDI messages to both the UM One and the MC8, and then it’s getting merged, so all your Strymon devices might be receiving 2x the MIDI messages in this setup. I’m not sure how that would affect Nixie’s ability to understand whats going on.

When you use the Helix, does the Helix appear in the list of MIDI Adapters in Nixie?

Well, the MC8 is only midi out and there is nothing hooked to the midi in but the Iridium. And yes, Helix does show up in the list of Midi adapters inside of Nixie.
The MC-8 does too, even though its not connected midi wise atm.

When I hooked up the MC-8 by itself, everything works just fine as If I was connected to the UM-One and Helix (as far as pulling up just 3 Strymon pedals).

The MC-8 “seems” to work when hooked alone, but Nixie does not change its preset settings on its GUI when changes by the MC-8??

So I think we have lost focus on why I want Nixie running, and the only way I can get it running correctly. Using the UM-ONE, when I tell Helix to change a setting on one of my Strymon pedals via Midi (Timeline, Mobius, or Big Sky) it changes, and Nixie "shows me" that change on one of my Monitors. I don’t have to go across the room to look (or guess) at the Strymon pedal preset changes because the change on Nixie is right there on my monitor.

So the big question is “what is the difference” between the Helix midi out versus the MC-8 midi out? There has to be a difference because Helix gets along just fine with the UM-ONE, allowing me to monitor the changes made from Helix on Nixie and its very stable, while the MC-8 and Nixie do NOT get along at all with the UM-ONE connected and it throws up double amounts of pedals on Nixie and then crashes Nixie. I need the MC-8 to “act” like the Helix Midi out. I know you are trying James but Is this clear as mud? Sorry if its not, Im trying here too to explain lol… :wink: :grinning:

Yes but this does not happen when Helix (instead of the MC-8) is in the loop. So what’s Helix midi out doing (or not doing) versus the MC-8?

I just changed something related to how SysEx is handled in the beta update today dated 2020-11-26. I’m not sure if it will solve your issue, but its worth a try. Do let me know when you manage to give it a go :slight_smile:

Appreciate your hard work, James!!! OK on the beta it “sorta” works with these settings. Cross Midi thru has to be off or I still get multiple (2) copies of each Strymon pedal on Nixie. When Cross Midi Thru is Off I get 3 pedals and Nixie does NOT lock up!!! That’s good news. The bad news is, even thou I can manually control Nixie (change settings on the pedals by twisting the knobs and that reflects on Nixie) , When changing the patches/settings from the MC-8 it does NOT change or show the “correct” settings on Nixie EVEN thou the Strymon pedals do change to some other setting. The reason I say “some” setting is because jumping from number “3” to number “4” on a program change should increment by only one patch, yet I’m seeing it change from a bank “A” setting to a bank “B” setting on Mobius. Weird I know… So thats where Im at atm. Please advise on what do try next.

Thanks for the update!

I just took a hard look at the diagram again. It might be a possibility that the Helix is not passing SysEx messages through. Likely more devices are appearing because your Strymons are receiving SysEx messages from Nixie from both the UM1 and MC8. Thats my hypothesis anyway. If you remove the UM1 and connect your Strymon pedals only with Helix as the MIDI interface, does Nixie work?

If Cross MIDI Thru on the MC8 is turned off, that means that Nixie is communicating entirely via the UM1, which should work as well. Because the MC8 will not be sending anything from Nixie to the Strymon pedals.