I have been switching my pedalboard over to MIDI controlled using the Morningstar MC6 Pro.
I have all my pedals responding to CC/Program change commands from the controller, except the Ribbons and I can’t seem to figure out why. Perhaps I am testing it wrong?
Here is the situation:
- MC6 Pro Omniport 3 TRS → Ribbons MIDI in TRS
- MC6 Omniport is set to MIDI Standard
- I have tried a couple different MIDI Channels for the Ribbons (3 and 12) to make sure there is not an unknown conflict somewhere with another device.
- I also tried switching both the Ribbons and Omniport 3 to Type B MIDI and still did not see any response from the Ribbons
- I also verified the cable works with another pedal (Strymon Cloudburst)
- I’ve tried sending CC 16 with a value of >= 1 to engage the pedal’s bypass but I do not see it turning on or off
- I saw a post here that suggested sending a CC of 0 with a value >0 and did not see the first LED light green (or any change for that matter)
So… looking for any guidance here. I am sure it’s operator error, I just don’t know what else to try at this point.
Hi Bret! So sorry to hear you’re having issues getting your Ribbons working with the MC6. Let’s try and get that sorted.
Are you sure you’re using the correct cable? You should use a plain TRS to TRS cable from the Omni port to Ribbons. I say this because I believe the cable that you use for a Strymon pedal is not the same as the one you use for Ribbons. Ribbons and Strymon follow different MIDI TRS standards.
Confirm both jumpers inside Ribbons are in the top position for TRS Type A
Make sure you set the Omni port on the MC6 to MIDI standard (Type A). From their documentation, it seems like this one:
Finally, there is another option - you can set up Ribbons to use the Type CBA configuration, which is the same thing as “Ring Active”. In-general, I have found this configuration to be less reliable than Type A (depending on the device sending the MIDI data) but others have reported that it works well.
Let me know how that goes! Happy to help you troubleshoot further if none of those things resolves it.
Thanks for the response and no need to apologize! I am relatively new to MIDI in this context, so I am sure it’s something I am missing.
To answer your questions:
Yep, standard TRS → TRS cable (also using the same cables for connecting stereo pedals with a single TRS jack as well), which strangely does also work on the Strymon pedals in this case.
Yep, I moved them back up there after trying the middle position out.
And yep, MIDI Out - Standard is correct. I did try Type B when I flipped the jumpers in the Ribbons but switched it back when that did not work.
I will try this one out! I’ll also swap cables and confirm that is not the issue, but I did not buy any special Strymon cables, I’ve just been using a pack of TRS->TRS cables I bought for the Omniport connections.
Thanks so much, I’ll let you know how the CBA configuration works.
Oh, and I did also try a factory reset at one point, just to be safe. But that did not appear to help.
Darn! Was hoping it would be something silly like a cable.
Let me know if the CBA option does the trick. I wish I had an MC6 myself to troubleshoot alongside you. I might have to pick one of those up soon.
If the OMNIport doesn’t work, you could also try the side 1/8” TRS ports - those should work with Ribbons’ jumpers in the MIDI Type A position.
Oh, good call, I’ll give the 1/8" TRS option a try first, since that does not involve opening things up. I’ll be over at the studio a little later today and will let you know how it works. Thanks!
Ok, so 1/8" TRS out is the only option that seems to work. Odd! I need to order a right angle 1/8" → 1/4" TRS and I should be all set. Thanks for the help!
Hi @bretvh, There is a new betta firmware for the MC6 pro, I was having problems with the midi clock and this fixes my problems but I’m using the Strymon conduit to for the midi to Ribbons, I’l try the omnivores In I’ll get back to you.
Just be careful with the betta FW, back up your MC6 before installing the new one.
I tried all the configurations with different cables and the omniports are not working for me either
@bretvh @Cornelius I’ll reach out to Morningstar and try to figure out what’s happening.
Ribbons has worked with just about every DIN MIDI device I’ve ever used, which makes me think that it’s something odd on the Morningstar side. Most of the devices they interface with use the “ring active” and “tip active” modes - maybe they didn’t follow the MIDI Standard correctly for the Type A (standard) connection.
That said - I believe there are two confirmed options to interface Ribbons with your MC6 Pro:
Side MIDI TRS Out connection: Set Ribbons to “Type A” mode using the internal jumpers, connect to the MC6 Pro side jack with a TRS to TRS cable. I’m not sure if this requires configuration inside the MC6 app.
Omniport: Set Ribbons to “CBA” mode using the internal jumpers, connect to the MC6 Pro omniport with a TRS to TRS cable, and then use the “Ring Active” mode
For what it’s worth, the 1/8" side TRS out has worked great for me so far. I’m able to switch in and out of bypass, and load presets with the MC6 Pro just fine. The only issue I have had is trying to get the Ribbons synth engine working using the MC6 Pro’s midi sequencer generator, but I 100% believe that was due to me not fully grasping how that works, and it was really more of a curiosity rather than something I would use in practice. I did not have luck with the CBA option with mine, but I am perfectly happy using the 1/8" TRS out for now (and it frees up an OmniPort for another device).
Odd! I helped another person troubleshoot their Morningstar device and the CBA/Ring Active combo worked for them. Thanks for letting me know.
I will see if Morningstar can provide more info about that too.
The wave generator and the sequencer are amazing!!! once you get them to work it is a no return trip
Just heard back from Morningstar - see below. It sounds like there was a hardware bug in the early batches, which is why the omni ports don’t work with devices that use the standard MIDI circuit. I think there may be a hardware mod that can be done to resolve it.
There was some MIDI devices that the Omniports are not able to work with. […] This was resolved in the later batches (serial > 10900).
They also noted this (not sure if you restarted your unit after changing settings):
When configured to Type A, just make sure that the controller is restarted after saving for the new settings to take effect. They can use the 3.5mm or DIN MIDI OUT ports as well (these use hardware MIDI instead of software like the Omniports).
Oh, now I totally want to get it working!
Ah, this is good to know! I am not sure what my serial # is, as I bought it used, so I will check and confirm if it’s part of the old batch. Likely is.
I do not think I intentionally tried restarting, but I am pretty sure inbetween troubleshooting sessions, the pedalboard was powered down and when I attempted to use it after booting it back up the next time, the same issues occurred. I’ll do some more experiments next time I am at the studio. Thanks!
Just came here with this exact problem. I have a later unit 11738 and it’s still not working on the omniports. But the side 1/8" port works fine.
What’s really odd is that I swear I was getting some response on the omniports on some (but not all) commands when I first set it up, but then something changed and then it went totally dead.
UPDATE - I just updated the MC6 Pro to the latest firmware (3.11.2 beta 4) and the omniport is still not working with Ribbons.
Sorry you’re having issues getting Ribbons to work with the Omniports on the MC6. We follow the MIDI Association’s official spec and used the circuit they recommend. During the development of Ribbons I never had issues with the many MIDI controllers I tested.
When I reached out to Morningstar they gave me a cryptic response about how some devices don’t work with the Omniports because of the “overvoltage protection” they use. IMO that is not a very transparent response… the standard MIDI circuit is a current loop and can work at very low voltages. It sounds to me like they put a big resistor on the output of the omniports which means it can’t drive the 1mA current loop called out in the spec. You mentioned you have a later serial number (they said it was resolved with later ones) but I can assure you the issue is not with Ribbons.
Nevertheless, I’m going to borrow an MC6 Pro before we release our next pedal and see if I can do anything to get our MIDI circuit to play nicer with the Omniports, since it seems like a lot of people like them.
Thanks! Yeah, I don’t think it’s a problem with Ribbons. I see other people commenting on the Morningstar forum about problems with other pedals not interfacing with the omniports on the MC6 Pro.
It looks like there may be a more recent beta version available for the MC6 Pro and I’ll give that a try tonight.
Otherwise, the MC6 Pro is an amazing unit. Lots of expanded functionality compared to the regular MC6. As noted above, the additional waveform generators are really handy. (As a teaser, you can get some great behavior out of the random waveforms!)