New to the Morningstar MC3 and MIDI in general (and actually relatively new to Strymon as well).
I have a Strymon Timeline and a BigSky. I want to quickly call up combinations of delays and reverb patches based on song situations. For example, I want to be able to press a button to use a dotted 1/8th delay with a spring reverb. Press another and use the same delay with an ambient reverb. Press another and use ambient reverb with a quarter delay. Press another, and use spring with a tape echo…the list goes on and I want to play around with various combinations, which is why I decided to go with the MC3.
Since it only has 3 buttons, what configurations do all you experts suggest to get through the various patches? I was thinking just assigning A and B to down/up presets, but what about C? And what’s the most efficient way to change banks? Ideally, I don’t want to have to press 2 buttons at the same time to bank up/down, but don’t want to use a method where I could easily make a mistake changing banks…
Just exploring and looking for ideas from people who have been through this already.
Thanks in advance!
I sometimes program 2 or 3 presets to activate from one footswitch…
(This is for calling up specific presets, not banking up and down)
For example on my BigSky, I’ll have a short studio reverb to activate on a Release action, another preset with a bigger plate delay on a Long Press, and a huge hall preset on a Double Click.
I stay in position 1 for the BigSky since reverb is always on, but if I activate presets like this on my TimeLine or Mobius, I’ll have it toggle to position 2 so I can see it blinking and know one of the 2 or 3 presets is active. And this gives me the option to turn any of them off instead of just switching between them.
Here’s an example of a footswitch that can control 2 Timeline presets (one 1/4 delay and one 1/8 delay)
Msg 1 - toggles between Position 1 & 2 when a delay is activated.
Msg 2 - selects 1/4 delay preset on Release
Msg 3 - selects 1/8 delay preset on Long Press
Msg 4 - turns on 1/4 delay
Msg 5 - turns on 1/8 delay
Msg 6 - turns off either delay from the active Position and this button will cause it to toggle back to the other position.
For some reason, my positions seem backwards for each button, I never have figured out why this is, I just know it works. Maybe because I put my Toggle Preset first and it reads that first. Who knows. I just play with my wild ideas until they aren’t broke anymore.
hey thanks so much, but ughhhh…i’m so lost as to what you’re doing here and how you are’s doing it. lol i’m such a noob i know…looks powerful/sophisticated though! i’m not following what “positions” are to start, i guess…
Not to worry! We have made using our controllers as simple, flexible and powerful as possible. There are also lots of useful resources to help you get started:
Our blog articles - https://www.morningstarfx.com/blog
Watch our YouTube tutorials - https://youtube.com/morningstarengineering/videos
I hope that helps!
It is a lot to digest at once for sure. Sometimes I come back to information later and finally find a use for it.
But like Brandon pointed out, those tutorial videos are excellent.
There are 2 positions you can switch between on a preset. Each of your MSG lines can be set to work in Pos1, Pos2, or Both.
For example, if you do a Long Press when you are in Pos2, then it’ll trigger only the Long Press command lines you assigned to Pos2 and ignore the Pos1.
There are 2 ways to change between Positions. You can click the Toggle Mode On/Off button (with this, any press of the preset footswitch no matter the command is going to toggle between the 2 positions)
or you can assign the Toggle Preset (like in my screenshot) to a MSG line and this will allow you to assign it more precisely to one type of action.
If you click the Preset Blink button, it will blink the title to always let you know when you are in Pos2.
Thanks everyone. Being such a noob, I’m even having to read and re-read your responses over again to understand anything…I think I need to get more familiar with the terms and vocabulary…like pos1/pos2, etc. i’m not sure what they’re all referring to yet…getting there.
So, let me approach like this…I think I’ve figured out something I want to try…
For my MC3, I want the left button to trigger two program changes and then pressing it again would trigger another two separate program changes (e.g. timeline does a tape delay and bigsky does spring reverb on one press, and then pressing it again would trigger timeline doing a dual delay and bigsky doesn’t a plate reverb). basically, that’s a toggle function, correct? The right-switch would do another 2 separate toggling preset combos…
Secondly, I want to long press each left and right button to bank up/down on the MC3 itself to get to another set of presets.
In every page, the top button would do a tap tempo for the timeline.
Can someone help me out on this one please?
I threw together a little basic setup to show what you are asking for…
Msg 1 - toggles between the 2 positions with every quick single tap
Msg 2&3 - is Pos: 1. You just need to change the PC numbers to line up with the presets on your TimeLine and BigSky
Msg 4&5 - is Pos: 2. Again change the PC numbers. You will notice it will show the Toggle Name changing to show the position shift. Turning on the Preset Blink is a good way to show you what position toggling is doing.
Msg 6 - The Long Press for Bank change. I have Bank Down in this example, but just alter it for the other button. Be sure You have it as Pos: Both , so it will work at all times.
Be sure you have your Pos buttons in the right place on each Msg line.
For the second button, you just need to alter the Long Press for Bank Up and put in the new PC preset numbers.
This example doesn’t have an on/off commands in it, so the devices need to have a preset active in an On state already. But it’s a good learning tool, and you can refer to my previous example if you want to experiment and add more to it.
Just be sure you copy the presets to all your banks and be sure you have exited out of Edit Mode to test out Bank Jumps or they won’t work.
Wow, thanks so much!!! this helps me incredibly and i can’t wait to try it when i get home. i’ll let you know how it goes!! thanks again!
btw, is the rap tempo switch just a single press with midi clock setting?
There are 2 options to assign to a footswitch as a midi type action…
Midi Clock - Is for programming a specific tempo to go straight to, but also have the option for the Press to open a menu for doing Tap tempo and up/down to an exact tempo.
Midi Clock Tap - It becomes your standard tap tempo footswitch
So everything seems to be working as designed except that the bigsky, running on channel 2 is not changing at all. I test-configured it to midi channel 1 and plugged the MC3 directly into it only and it changed presets just fine. So, it’s either something with Midi channel 2 on the strymon or the MC3 is not sending midi channel 2 commands correctly in this config. There’s a higher probability it is the latter…
Considering my early tests to just have presets on both pedals changed with just a normal press, could it be something with the release mechanism not working correctly? something else I’m missing?
nevermind, user error. I was not changing any programs on the bigsky, which made it seem like it wasn’t working, when in reality, there were no commands to change anything on it. it’s working now. gonna run with this for a while until i can see where to improve…
on that note, are there any other button press combinations in my configuration that can issue further commands? seems like press, release, long press take up pretty much every combo?
I can’t think of any setting on the MC3 that you would need to adjust if you programmed the corresponding midi channels for your devices.
If you are referring to the Release commands instead of Press commands…the reason for that is if you use a Long Press command in your programming, you have to use those Release commands because a simple Press would be triggered along with the Long Press when the footswitch first goes down and both would trigger.
I would suspect it is a setting in some device inbetween the MC3 and the BigSky…check to make sure Midi Thru is enabled on everything so the commands can pass through everything.
I usually primarily stick to Press/Release, Long Press, and Double Tap for the majority of my active footswitch tapping. They are easy to remember and execute in the middle of a performance. But any in that long list is useable.
MC3 v3.8 - Morningstar MIDI Controllers - Morningstar Engineering (atlassian.net)
Here is the link to the MC3 online manual. Just browsing through it from time to time is the best learning tool around.
I just thought of another idea of how I would like to control these pedals…can someone help?
If I wanted to use the MC3 to preset up/down on the timeline, BUT THEN be able to press a button to switch to the bigsky and preset up/down on that one, independently…is this possible?
If so, how would I do it? Any help appreciated. Thanks in advance!
There’s a few ways you could approach it. One more basic way might be…
This would put everything on one button, but might be slow in some regards if you are scrolling through a lot of presets.
Having Pos:1 as your TimeLine and Pos:2 as your BigSky…and using a Long Press to Toggle between the two.
In either Position having a Release command to Bank Up and a Double Press to Bank Down. (there is a midi type command you can assign to a footswitch for Strymon Bank Up and Strymon Bank Down that makes it easy.)
A more complex way (with quite a bit more programming) would have one footswitch for Bank Up (Preset A - Release action) and another for Bank Down (Preset B - Release action).
And having a Long Press on each button to do a Toggle Preset between positions to control devices. Pos:1 TimeLine and Pos:2 BigSky.
Then the small tricky bit…
Preset B needs to know when Preset A changes positions, so they will both be on TimeLine or BigSky together at all times.
Set Toggle is an action you would assign to Long Press on both buttons. It lets you click a box to remotely change the toggle on another Preset other than the one you are on. So, you would check the box of the opposite Preset and then select the Toggle Position action type you want from the drop down menu. Disable, Enable, and Toggle are your options. You would select Toggle…this would keep the 2 Presets in sync when you toggle positions between TimeLine and BigSky.
That might be a little jump beyond basics, but if it is confusing now, you might can come back to it later after some of the tutorials get you more use to those actions. Small Steps…you can find a way to eventually program almost any idea you can think of.
i’ll have to read and re-read your post to ensure i can undersatnd it. lol.
What about this though (which I’ve been thinking about is possible or not)…
Can I make A and B toggle presets up and down on a particular pedal (e.g. midi channel 1 on the timeline and midi channel 2 on the bigsky) and then make it so that long-pressing C would toggle between the two midi channels?
Would something as simple as this be possible?
That’s kinda close to the scenario, I described. Just placing the last action I talked about, the Set Toggle action, on the C button instead of on A & B.
A - Pos:1 Release action to Strymon Bank Up on TimeLine (chan 1)
Pos:2 Release action to Strymon Bank Up on BigSky (chan 2)
B - Pos:1 Release action to Strymon Bank Down on TimeLine (chan 1)
Pos:2 Release action to Strymon Bank Down on BigSky (chan 2)
C - Long Press action to Set Toggle (Check boxes for A & B, Toggle Position menu set to Toggle)
ah okay thanks. sorry such a noob here…