MC3 v3.7

Table of Content

 

Version

3.7.2

Status

PROD

PDF Manual Download

Overview

We take pride in making the device one of the easiest-to-use programmable MIDI controllers in the market. If there is any questions you have using the device, please do not hesitate to drop us an email at help@morningstarfx.com.

Introduction

FRONT PANEL: The MC3 has 3 switches A to C each corresponding to the text shown closest to it on the LCD screen. By default all switches are empty and not programmed to send any MIDI messages.

 

MIDI Message and Action Types (Glossary)

Read about all the MIDI message types available here: https://morningstarengineering.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/MMS/pages/181698784/MIDI+Type+Glossary .

Read about all the Action types available here: https://morningstarengineering.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/MMS/pages/181698574/Action+Glossary .

Important things to note

Editing your presets in the editor

Video tutorial available here: https://youtu.be/NEl0EievXd0

Make sure you are in Editor mode. Click the ‘Connect Device’ button on the editor.

When testing your device, always make sure to exit Editor Mode as some functions are disabled when your device is in Editor Mode.

Entering Edit Menu

Press Switch A+B+C in the Edit Page. The Last Used Preset, Expression Pedal Input, Current Bank and Global Configurations will be displayed in the menu.

Press Switch B to scroll through the different options, and then press Switch C to select.


Design and Architecture

The MC3 is a fully programmable MIDI controller, capable of controlling up to 16 MIDI devices per switch.

 

There are 30 banks. Each bank has 6 presets and 1 expression presets. Each preset can be programmed to send out 16 different messages.

 

Each bank can display up to 3 presets, of which all are accessible from the 3 switches. The other 3 presets can be engaged via external aux controllers. A Page Toggle function is also available via Switch A+B to switch between the first 3 presets and the last 3 presets.


Hardware Overview

Powering the MC3

Your MC3 device can be powered via the multiple methods.

Please ensure that your power supply can supply at least 80mA at 9VDC.

9VDC Centre Negative power supply

Connect a 9VDC centre negative power supply to the power input of the MC3.

USB power

Connect a USB cable to the MC3. The MC3 is capable of being fully powered by USB.


Connections

Information on all the inputs and outputs on the MC3.

Rear Panel

On the rear panel, you will find an Expression Pedal input which can be used to connect an Expression Pedal or Aux Switch with TRS cable.

MIDI Out

This is where MIDI data is sent from the MC3 to other devices with a standard 5-pin MIDI cable.

1/8” TRS MIDI Out

MIDI signal sent via the DIN5 MIDI Out is also sent out via 4 1/8” TRS MIDI ports. Ports 1 and 2 are fixed to the standard MIDI configuration (Data on Tip, Power on Ring), while Ports 3 and 4 are, while by default on the standard MIDI configuration as well, switchable via internal DIP switches. This allows you to configure the ports to send MIDI via the Ring (for devices like Chase Bliss), or MIDI via the Tip without any power on the Ring (for devices like Meris).

To access the DIP switch, remove the backplate for the MC3. The DIP switch will be immediately visible. By default, 1 ,3, 4 and 6 will be ON (pushed up).

The numbering corresponds to the labels below the DIP switch.

  1. Power to Ring (Port 3, R+)

  2. Data to Ring (Port 3, R)

  3. Data to Tip (Port 3, T)

  4. Power to Ring (Port 4, R+)

  5. Data to Ring (Port 4, R)

  6. Data to Tip (Port 4, T)

USB port

The MC3 can send and receive MIDI data via USB, allowing you to have control over your DAWs and music software. It is class compliant and compatible with Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.

The MC3 can pass certain incoming MIDI messages (PC, CC and Note messages) via the USB MIDI port out to the DIN5 MIDI Port.

Expression Pedal Input

This input can

  • Be used with an Expression Pedal

  • Be used with an Aux Switch (up to 3 switches)

You can connect your expression pedals to these ports to control the expression presets, or connect aux switches to Bank Up, Bank Down and Toggle Page.

Please note that these ports are INPUT only, and cannot be using to control functions like amp switching or sending Control Voltage messages. You should only be connecting an expression pedal or TRS passive Aux Switches to these ports.

You should only use STEREO CABLES. Using Mono cables will cause the device not to work as intended.

Applying power to the Expression Pedal input might damage your device.


Using External Aux Switches

The MC3 requires an aux switch that is wired like the schematic below. It has to be connected to the device with a stereo cable, where the Tip is connected to the ground via a SPST Footswitch, and similar to the Ring as well. Another switch can be added to connect both Tip and Ring to ground to engage an additional preset/setting. Please refer to the schematic below.

There are a few pedal builders that sell such devices:

Analog Endeavors

American Loopers

Please note that we are in no way affiliated with these companies.

If you would like to build one yourself, you can refer to the following schematic:


Using Expression Pedals

Video tutorial available - https://youtu.be/-TNTkqh-gEE

Before using the expression pedal, check to make sure that your Expression input setting is set to ExprnPedal. You can access this menu by going to the Global Configuration Menu >> Expr Input.

The MC3 work with TRS expression pedals. It works best with expression pedals fitted with 10k - 25k Linear potentiometers. The potentiometer wiper should be connected to the Tip of the stereo cable, while the Ring and Sleeve should be connected to the outer lugs on the potentiometer.

When connecting a new Expression pedal, be sure to calibrate it first by going into the Edit menu (Switch A+B+C), selecting Expression 1 and then Calibrate.

Global Configuration Menu

The Main Configuration Menu can be accessed by going into the Edit Settings page (Switch A+B+C) and selecting Global Config.

 

Please note that the controller will restart after exiting the Global Configuration Menu.

When in the Global Configuration menu, press Switch B to select the next option, and Switch C to select.

Expression Input Settings - ExprInput

Select the functionality of the Expression Input - whether it is Expression, Fixed Sw 1 or Fixed Sw 2.

Switch Sensitivity - SwthSens

Set switch sensitivity. Choose from 1 (least sensitive) to 5 (most sensitive).

Press:

  • Switch A for 1

  • Switch A+C for 2

  • Switch C for 3

  • Switch B+C for 4

  • Switch B for 5

By default, this is set to 3 and should be comfortable for most users. Depending on personal taste, you may adjust sensitivity to help you bank up/down (by stepping on 2 switches at once) more accurately.

More sensitive means that the lag between the time when a message is sent out and when the switch is pressed it at its minimum.

Factory Reset - Factory Reset

To do a factory reset, hold down Switch C for 2 seconds. The display will show that it is performing a factory reset.


All user presets and settings will be reset to factory default when a reset is done.

MIDI Clock - MidiClockPersist

The MIDI clock setting toggles the persistent MIDI clock function ON and OFF. This setting is related to the MIDI Clock message under MIDI Types. If persistent MIDI is ON, the MIDI Clock message will continue sending a MIDI clock signal when engaged, even when engaging other presets or scrolling through banks. However, if persistent MIDI is OFF, the MIDI clock signals will shut off when an event (like a switch press or expression pedal move) is triggered.

When MIDI Clock Persistence is on, you might encounter some timing changes for a short period when engaging functions on the MC3, like changing banks and invoking presets. If you do not need the MIDI Clock after your devices have synced to the tempo, we would recommend that you turn off MIDI Clock Persistence.

Bank Display Time - BankDispTime

This setting adjusts the amount of time the bank details will show when the bank is changed.

Press Switch A+C to decrease and Switch B+C to increase.

Press Switch B to save and exit.

Press Switch A to exit

The value displayed is in milliseconds.

Bank Change Time - BnkChgDelay

This setting adjusts the time it takes to load the next bank when the bank is changed.

The value displayed is in milliseconds.

Press Switch A+C to decrease and Switch B+C to increase.

Press Switch B to save and exit.

Press Switch A to exit

The value displayed is in milliseconds.

Lock dual switch presses - DualSwitchLock

When the dual lock setting is turned on, dual switch press functions like Bank Down, Bank Up and Toggle Page will be disabled.

Align Short Name - LcdAlign

When LcdAlign is turned on, your Preset Short Names will be aligned, depending on its position on the LCD. For example, Preset A name will aligned to the left, while Preset B name will be aligned to the right. Preset C name will be aligned to the middle.

Set MIDI Channel - MidiChannel

The MIDI Channel on the MC3 can be changed in this menu. Press Switch A+C to scroll down and Switch B+C to scroll up the channels.

Set MIDI Channel Name - MidiChnlName

You can name each of the 16 MIDI channels. After selecting this option, press:

  • Switch A+C to scroll down the channel number

  • Switch B+C to scroll up the channel number

  • Switch A+B to clear all the MIDI channel names

  • Switch A to exit the menu

  • Switch C to edit the selected channel

Once you are in menu to edit the selected channel, press:

  • Switch A to move the cursor left

  • Switch B to move the cursor right

  • Switch C to select the next character

  • Switch A+C to exit the menu

  • Switch B+C to save the name and exit the menu

Remember Preset Toggles - RmbrTogg

Determine whether preset toggle states are remembered when you change banks. If set to ON, your preset toggle states will be preserved when you change banks. When set to OFF, your preset toggle states will be reset when you change banks.

Long Press Time - LngPrsTime

Sets the amount of time (in milliseconds) you need to hold down the switch in order to trigger a Long Press action.

Press Switch A+C to decrease and Switch B+C to increase.

Press Switch B to save and exit.

Press Switch A to exit


General Usage

Changing Banks

Step on Switches A+C together to bank down and Switches B+C to bank up.

Bank Changes can also be executed by programming a Bank Change function to a preset, or by using an External Aux Switch.

Switch and Display Names

Each switch corresponds to the display name closest to it.
Pressing Switch A activates Preset A, Switch B activates Preset B and so forth.

Mapping Actions to Midi Types

The MC3 allows you to map actions taken on the switches to MIDI Types and functions. For example, you can map a CC#1 message to a Press action, and a CC#2 message to a Release action. When the switch is pressed, a CC#1 message will be sent, and when the switch is released, a CC#2 messages will be sent. There is a list of actions available to you.

  1. Press

  2. Release

  3. Long Press

  4. Long Press Release

  5. Double Tap

  6. Double Tap Release

  7. Long Double Tap

  8. Long Double Tap Release

  9. Release All

  10. Long Press Scroll

More information can be found in the Actions Glossary.

Editing Presets

Both the Switch Presets and Expression Presets on the device can be edited via the on-board editing functions or the Web/Desktop Editor.

Copying, Pasting and Swapping Presets

The device allows copying and pasting of presets into different presets. These options are available in the device itself (A+B+C >> Preset >> CopyPst, PastePst, SwapPst).

The Paste and Swap functions will work to Paste or Swap with the last copied Preset.

Dual Switch Functions

The MC3 makes use of dual switch combination to carry out certain functions.

Function

Switch

Function

Switch

Bank Down

A+C

Bank Up

B+C

Toggle Page

A+B

Edit Menu

A+B+C

Editing the MC3

The MC3 can be programmed on the device itself, or by using the Web/Desktop Editor. In this section, we will go through the steps of editing a preset on the device itself.

Edit Menu

On a new controller, all switches are initially labelled as EMPTY. It is up to you to decide exactly what each one will do.

 

To enter the Edit Menu

  1. Press the switch you wish to program

  2. Press Switch A+B+C together. This will take you the the Edit Menu shown below.

Edit Menu

After pressing Switches A+B+C, the Edit menu will be displayed. The preset and expression you last used will be displayed, as well as the bank you are currently on and the Global Configuration Menu.

Press Switch B to scroll through the options and Switch C to select the displayed option.


Programming Presets

Upon pressing Preset in the Edit Menu, you will be directed to the Preset Edit page.

Preset Edit Menu (Page 1)

 

EditMsg - Edits the 16 Midi Messages available in the preset.

CopyPst - Copy the preset settings

PastePst - Paste the copied preset settings to the currently selected switch.

Holding down ‘Paste’ will paste the copied preset settings to all banks.

SwapPst - Swap the copied preset settings to the currently selected switch.

ShortName- Edits the preset short name. Look at Editing Names for more information on how to edit any names in the MC3.

ToggleName - Edits the preset toggle name. Look at Editing Names for more information on how to edit any names in the MC3.

PstToggle - Toggles between On and Off for the preset toggle setting. If On, each time the preset is engaged, the toggle position of the preset will change. The MIDI Messages in the preset will rely on the toggle position of the preset to determine if it should be invoked.

PstBlink - Toggles between On and Off for the preset blink setting. If On, the preset short name will blink when the preset toggle is in the engaged position. This is useful to visually determine the toggle state of your preset.

ClrPrest - Clear the preset settings.

MsgScroll - Toggles between On and Off for the Message Scroll mode. If Message Scroll is On, the Preset will scroll through each of the 16 Messages in the Preset that is programmed with a RELEASE action.


Editing Preset Messages

The MC3 has 16 Messages in each Preset.

Selecting a Message to Edit

When you enter the Edit Msg interface, the screen above will show. In this screen, you can view the current Message Type that is assigned to that message. It also indicates the current message that is selected for editing.

Press Switch A+C to scroll down and Switch B+C to scroll up the list of 16 messages.

Pressing Next will allow you to edit the selected message.

Edit Action

The next menu allows you to select the action to assign to the message. Once selected, each time that action is carried out on the corresponding preset switch, only the messages assigned to that action will be invoked.

Press Switch A+C to scroll down and Switch B+C to scroll up the list of actions.

Edit Toggle Position

The next menu allows you to edit the message toggle position. Select between 1, 2 and Both. This allows only the messages that match the current preset toggle position to be invoked.

Press Switch A+C to scroll down and Switch B+C to scroll up the list of options.

Edit Type

The next menu allows you to edit the Message Type. Scroll up and down to select the Message Type that you want to be associated with the message. You can read about the full list of Midi Types available in the Glossary.

Press Switch A+C to scroll down and Switch B+C to scroll up the list of options.

Edit Type Parameters

Depending the Message Type that is selected in the previous menu, unique parameter edit menus will be loaded. Edit your parameters and then press Save on the last page to save your settings.

Press Switch A+C to scroll down and Switch B+C to scroll up the list of options.


Toggle Mode

How to toggle between two different MIDI messages on your MC3 with the same switch
Video tutorial available here: https://youtu.be/VEr0TB58EgA

Using the Web/Desktop Editor

Setting up a toggle message is easy. On the editor, there is a toggle option labelled Preset Toggle Off on the top left of the interface. Switch it to On to enable toggling for the preset.

How it works

Each preset on the MC3 allows you to toggle between two positions: 1 and 2. By default, the presets are on toggle position 1. If you switch the toggle position to ON, each time the preset is engaged, it will toggle to the other position (between 1 and 2).

Each message also has a position option, where it will be sent out only when the position of the message matches that of the preset. Hence, if you set Msg1 to be a PC message in Pos 1, and Msg2 to be a PC Message in Pos 2, and you have your toggle on for the preset, each press will toggle between Msg 1 and Msg 2.

Toggle Name

When the preset is in position 1, the Short Name will be displayed. When the preset is in position 2, the Toggle Name will be displayed.

Blinking

To indicate that the preset is in position 2, you can also use the blink option, where if the blink option is set to On, the Toggle Name on the main page will blink when the preset is in position 2.

Using the built-in MC3 editor

After going into the preset edit menu, scroll to the PstToggle option.


This options selects between Toggle On and Toggle Off position for the preset, which the PstBlink button toggles between Blink On and Blink Off position for the preset.

When editing individual messages, there will be an option to select the toggle position for the message you are editing. Choose between position 1 or 2 accordingly.


Editing Expression Messages

To edit expression messages, press Switch A+B+C first, which will bring you to the edit page, and then select the expression option.

Expression Edit Menu

EditMsg - Edits the 16 Midi Messages available in the preset.

CopyPst - Copy the preset settings

PastePst - Paste the copied preset settings to the currently selected switch.

Holding down ‘Paste’ will paste the copied preset settings to all banks.

SwapPst - Swap the copied preset settings to the currently selected switch.

ClrPrest - Clear the preset settings.

Calibrte - Calibrate the Expression pedal. This calibration will save the Heel Down and Toe Down settings to ensure optimal performance with your Expression Pedal.

FullName- Edits the preset full name. Look at Editing Names for more information on how to edit any names in the MC3.

Sensitivity - Edits the Expression Pedal sensitivity. This setting is applied globally.

Edit Full Name

When the expression pedal is being used, you have the option of displaying a Name for your expression preset. Simply edit and save the name to your expression preset. See Editing Names for more information after entering the FullName option in the Expression Edit Menu.

Calibrating your Expression Input

It is best to calibrate your expression pedal before use to get the optimum performance. Simply go into the Calibrate setting in your Expression Edit Menu. Once there, follow the instructions in the LCD. First set your expression pedal to a heel down position. Ideally, the value should be displayed as 0. Press Next. Next, set your expression pedal to a toe down position. Ideally, the value should be displayed as 127. Press Save to save your settings. Do not worry if you can get a value of 0 and 127 in both positions. Once your setting is saved, the MC3 will optimise the settings to get the most out of your expression pedal.

The MC3 works with an expression pedal with a Linear potentiometer only. Log potentiometers will not work well.

Setting your Expression sensitivity

Depending on the potentiometer value used in your expression pedal, you may have to edit the sensitivity to get optimum performance. We recommend using expression pedals with 10k potentiometers. The sensitivity setting is used mainly to remove jitters, where the value sent by the MC3 might bounce between 2 values very quickly.


Editing Bank Settings

To enter the bank settings, press Switch A+B+C, which will bring you to the edit page, and then select the Bank option.

 

In the edit bank interface, you can edit the Bank Name as well as copy and paste banks.

Bank Name - Edits the Bank Name.

ClearTgl - Toggles the Bank Clear Toggle feature between On and Off. This feature allows you to disengage the rest of the preset toggle positions except for the preset that is just engaged. This is useful when you want the last-engaged preset to blink.

Copy - Copies the current bank.

Paste - Paste the previously copied bank to the current bank.

Swap - Swap the previously copied bank to the current bank.


Editing Names

When editing any of the MC3 names like Preset Short Name, Toggle Name, Long Name, or Bank Name, this interface will be display on the screen.

It is possible to display the PC Scroll number in the Preset name by using a placeholder %E0 to %EF. Since there are 16 slots in the PC Scroll function, %E0 will display the number in the first slot, while %EF will display the number in the 16th slot. %E1 will display the number in the second slot.

The count goes as such: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F

If you use %F, this will offset the counter by 1, so the name will indicate 1-128 instead of 0-127.

( Left ) - Switch A Move the curser to the left.

( Right ) - Switch B Move the cursor to the right

( Up ) - Switch C Select the next character

( Down ) - Switch A+B Select the previous character

(Save) - Switch B+C Saves the name into memory.

(Exit) - Switch A+CExits the interface.


MIDI Editor

Besides using the on-board MIDI editing features on the MC3, you can also edit your settings via the Web/Desktop editor. The Web Editor will always contain the latest developments, while the Desktop editor will be updated less frequently.

Using the Web/Desktop Editor with your MC3

The links are available on our website here: https://www.morningstarfx.com/editor

NOTE: A number of functions are disabled when the device is in Editor mode. When using or testing the MC3 with other devices, please remember to toggle out of editor mode.

Connecting the device

Connect the device via USB to your computer and launch the editor in the latest version of Google Chrome (the Web Editor works on Google Chrome only).

The editor should detect your device and load the editing dashboard as shown below.

Your device will have to be in Editor Mode for it to communicate with the editor. You can toggle into editor mode by pressing the button below the logo on the editor Click to Connect.

Once your controller is in editor mode, the Model button will turn Blue, indicating that it is communicating with your controller. You can then press any switch on your device to edit the corresponding preset.

To exit Editor Mode, press the blue button again.

To edit your expression pedal, move the pedal and the settings will be loaded on the editor.

The editing parameters are similar to the on-board editing parameters.

Editing Functions

There are various controls on the top right panel of the editor (below the Bank and Preset number display) as well. You can toggle the page on the MC3, Bank up or down or copy and paste presets. You can also clear your preset settings by double clicking the Clear button. This also applies to the Clear button on the individual Messages, where the Clear button has to be double clicked.

Device Control Functions

  • Tg Preset: Toggles the Preset between Position 1 and Position 2

  • Tg Page: Toggles the device page between 1 and 2 to load Preset A - H or Preset I - P

  • Bank Up / Bank Down: Bank up and down on the device

  • Copy: Copy the Preset

  • Paste: Paste the copied preset to a different selected preset

  • Clear: Clear the Preset settings. This button has to be double-clicked

  • Save Preset: Save the settings on the Editor to the device

Preset Editing Options

 

  • Toggle On/Off: Determines whether the preset should toggle its toggle position each time it is engaged.

  • Blink On/Off: Determines whether the preset name should blink when the preset is in toggle position 2.

Message Editing Options

  • Pos button: Determines if the message should be in Position 1, Position 2 or Both. For example, if Msg 1 is set to Pos 1, it will only engage when the Preset is in Position 1.

  • Clear: Clears the message. This has to be doubled clicked.

  • Copy: Copy the message

  • Paste: Paste the earlier copied message to another message..

 

Backing Up Your Data

The editor allows you to back up your data into a .syx file which you can later reload into your controller.

On the editor, click on the Controller Backup tab. Make sure your device is in Editor Mode.

Click on Current Bank to save the current bank data, or All Banks to save all the banks. This will start the download of your controller data in the editor.

Once the download is complete, a Save Dialog box will appear, and you can select the folder to save your file in your computer.

To load the .syx file back into your controller, click on Browse to locate the file in your computer. If the file is valid, a green button will appear.

Click on the green button to start uploading the data into your controller.

If this process hangs halfway, please refresh the page and try again.

Naming your MIDI Channels

From firmware v3.6 onwards, you can name each MIDI channel. This feature is available in the Controller Settings tab, under Edit MIDI Channel Names.

After naming the channels, press Save and the settings will be saved to your device. Now, when you edit your Presets, the names will appear in the MIDI Channel dropdown box.


Firmware Update

We are constantly updating the firmware to include new features and bug fixes.

Video tutorial - How to update your firmware: https://youtu.be/wtvX8Y9LzXo

What to download

You'll need to use the Firmware Uploader software to upload the firmware to your device.

Download the latest Firmware Uploader software here.

Download the latest firmware here

Upload instructions

Open the Firmware Uploader

If your device is connected, it will appear in the Firmware Uploader software.

Click on Upload and select the firmware .hex file.

The firmware should then begin uploading and should take only a couple of seconds. Once it is completed, your device will restart with the new firmware.


Troubleshooting

In the rare event where your device upload is not successful, the device might appear to be bricked with blocks showing across the LCD screen. Do not worry and follow these steps:

  1. Download the latest firmware from our website.

  2. Remove the back cover for your device and locate the reset button.

  3. While the device is connected to your computer via USB, and with the Firmware Uploader open, press the reset button location on the PCB.

  4. Once pressed, the Firmware Uploader should detect the device. Thereafter, repeat the above upload procedure.


MIDI Implementation

MIDI implementation chart for the MC3.

The MC3 can respond to CC and PC messages from the USB port to execute specific functions. You can send PC or CC messages via a computer/software to control the MC3 functions specified below.


PC Messages

PC messages will change the banks on the MC3, where a PC#0 message will engage Bank 1, and PC#1 message will engage Bank 2, and so on.


CC Messages

Function

CC#

Value

Function

CC#

Value

Bank Up

0

any

Bank Down

1

any

Set Toggle (All)

2

127

Set Toggle (Individual)

2

0 - 5

0 = Preset A
1 = Preset B

Clear Toggle (All)

3

127

Clear Toggle (Individual)

3

0 - 5

0 = Preset A
1 = Preset B

Page Toggle

4

any

Engage Preset

10 - 15

10 = Preset A
11 = Preset B

0 = Do Nothing

 

 

1 = On Press

 

 

2 = On Release

 

 

3 = On Long Press

 

 

4 = On Long Press Release

 

 

5 = On Double Tap

 

 

6 = On Double Tap Release

 

 

7 = On Double Tap Hold

 

 

8 = On Double Tap Hold Release

Set MIDI BPM (MSB 2 bits)

5

0-127

Set MIDI BPM (LSB 7 bits)

6

0-127

Engage Expression 1

51

0-127