What about a MIDI-Controlled FX-Matrix by Morningstar?

Hi everyone!

Like the headline says: I was wondering how the Morningstar community thinks about a future product, that makes completely free routing options of FX units possible. We already know that a ML5x is about to be released at some point and it sounds amazing, what it will be able to do! For me personally it is still not the product I might not be looking for and maybe I am not the only one here.

To make it short, what I am using to solve my setups currently are the switchblades by soundsculpture. For those who don’t know them: They are routing matrixes with several inputs and the same number of outputs. None of these I/Os is declared as an Instrument In or Out or Loop A or sth. You basically are able to build your switcher how you need it. Almost no limitations. They are MIDI-controllable but a pain to program, sometimes buggy and only usable with an app that is windows only. Yes it works and sounds good, but when you know how Morningstar products are handled, you recognize complicated workflows and UIs much more easily :wink:

So what I am missing on the market is a product with the usability, quality and service (!!!) of Morningstar products and the routing options of a switchblade.

What do you think? Looking forward to your ideas :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing. Can you share some examples of the routing options you are using with the switch blade? Just trying to understand how flexible you need it to be.

In the ML5X, the I/Os are all joined as a Loop (or I/O group) in software. So Loop A Tip, for example, consists of one Send and one Return port. In the software, you specify the connections for each loop. You can join Loop A Tip to Loop B Tip, for example. That just means you are connecting Loop A return to Loop B Send. Every signal going into the ML5X return port can be routed out to a send port.

So, a connection like this will give you a connection like in the diagram:
Input Tip >> MonoToStereo
MonoToStereo L >> A Tip
MonoToStereo R >> B Tip
A Tip >> StereoToMono L
B Tip >> StereoToMono R
StereoToMono >> Output Tip

I’m trying to understand a use-case where a user needs more flexibility in terms of routing options

Hey James! Thx for replying so fast! Of course, here are some examples, that I use at the moment. I hope my english ist good enough to make it understandable:

At first, one main thing is, that I use parallel routings but with different levels. It is the Post/Pre gain thing, that I use very often. You already wrote in the ML5x threat about it.

One other thing is, that I often use three different amps. So I need three outputs. All switching devices I have seen so far have two outputs max. With a matrix I am not limited.

The complex part comes in, when I am not only using one but two or in my case three instruments as inputs. Because I am limited to 8 IOs in my stage rig, I have a three way split before the matrix, but it could also be two synths that are played at the same time.

Now one could say: Well then use an ABC selector in front and a three way splitter after your loop switcher.

But what I do now is, I mix my three inputs two several FX units with different constellations. The returns of these FX units are then mixed with different levels to the different amps also in different constellations.

You could say that I have three seperate rigs that share their FX units, so I don’t have to buy each one three times :wink:

One of many example for a signal flow:
Pitch Shifter 1 (IN1) >> FX1@0dB + FX2@-6dB >> OUT1@0dB
Pitch Shifter 2 (IN2) >> FX1@-6dB + FX2@0dB >> OUT2@0dB + OUT1@-6dBdB
Ptich Shifter 3 (IN3) >> FX3@0dB >> OUT3@0dB + OUT1@-10dBdB + OUT2@-10dBdB

This is my specific way of using it.

But what I think is super powerful, is that I am able to decide wich Inputs and Outputs are joined as a loop, like you say, and which are simple INs and OUTs. So I can run a multi-amp rig on one day and a multi instrument setup the other day, without thinking the whole hardware thing from scratch.

And this is “only” the live setup. In a studio environment I easily build the cooles FX constellations without patching everything new and am able to recall setups I saved before.

I hope this wasn’t too confusing. I think this need starts, when you use two amps that don’t act as a stereo rig, but more as individual “sound objects”.

What do you think?

Sounds to me like you need a programmable mixer with a couple of fx send/returns and multiple aux sends to send different mixes to different amps.

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A better way to show my example would be this here:








The horizontal axis is the inputs of the matrix. The vertikal axis the outputs.
You read it as follows: Signal from IN1 goes to FX1in with 0dB and with -6dB to FX2in.

[Edit]: In this specific example IN1, IN2, IN3 are programmed as input objects, OUT1, OUT2, OUT2 as output objects and FX1, FX2, FX3 are loop objects with both inputs and outputs.

Yes, I still think the concept you are suggesting is along the lines of a programmable mixer. Instead of the FX send coming back in the FX return, it just comes in another input channel. I do this all the time running sound or mixing. It gives you more control of how the FX return sounds if that is what you want. It gives you more control of the FX mix & tonality eq wise, if you have the luxury of having enough input channels & aux sends. In what you are displaying you have 6 input channels, 3 FX sends (or Aux sends), & 3 Outputs (2 Main & 1 Aux send or alternatively 3 Aux sends). So you would need at a minimum of 6 input channels and 6 Aux sends (or 2 Main out L/R w/combination of a total 4 FX/Aux sends.

Or you could use 1 or 2 of these, like I used to in my 80’s & 90’s refrigerator rack.

It has 7 inputs & 6 outputs, midi controlled.

Or maybe Morningstar could use this concept as a template for a updated design with more modern midi control. :grinning:

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There is also KHE, demo here

Yes, what I mean is sth like the MB76. It is almost the same as the switchblade. But of course I am looking for a Morningstar kind of thing, like you said it. :wink:

For me personally a 12x12 IO in a pedalboard format would be the ultimate device. As far as I know, there is no such thing on the market. And when, it has not the morningstar UI, I am sure!

Haven‘t seen the KHEs before! Thanks for sharing! But if I understand it correctly, the are selectors and they don‘t have the possibility to specify levels at the crosspoints. So they are mainly amp/cabinet selectors with internal load boxes and stuff. And that is not what I am talking about. But good to know, they exist! :slight_smile:


Thanks, I was not familiar with the switchblade. I just checked it out.

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And also one point can be, that many of us have the problem, that the pedal board is always too small. If you play and switch between many instruments on the input side or amps on the output side, you save space, because you don’t need splitters or selectors any more. Plus, you get more flexibility in routing your FXs. And of course having it in a small as possible enclosure and not in a 19" format, as the other manufacturers do, would be outstanding.