#tuesdaytip - 12.22.2020

We’re going to talk about MIDI! Do you need it? Where does it go in your signal chain?⠀

*This does not involve daisy-chaining* - We do NOT recommend using daisy chains whenever possible.⠀

MIDI is a method of electronic communication to control musical instruments. If you’re new to MIDI, it can be daunting at first, but it can help minimize tap dancing on your pedalboard. MIDI can be used by connecting a MIDI controller to a MIDI-enabled effect pedal. ⠀

MIDI sends two types of messages - system and channel. System messages are essentially global messages, such as tempo. Channel messages are specific to each pedal, giving the ability to control one or more parameters of one pedal at a time. Each MIDI-enabled pedal is set to its own MIDI channel. The main types of channel messages are CC (continuous control) and PC (program change).⠀

CC messages can control your pedal’s settings or parameters without having to manually change the settings on the pedal. CC messages are even capable of engaging or bypassing a specific pedal, if that pedal has a dedicated CC# to do so. PC messages can control your pedal’s presets.⠀

To connect a MIDI controller to MIDI-enabled pedals, connect one send of a 5-pin DIN cable to the ‘MIDI Out’ jack on the MIDI controller and plug the other end into the ‘MIDI In’ jack on the pedal. From there, you can connect another 5-pin DIN cable to the ‘MIDI Out’ jack on the pedal to the ‘MIDI In’ jack of a second MIDI-enabled pedal. ⠀

MIDI must be connected correctly to work properly. It’s not recommended to connect more than 4 MIDI-enabled pedals to one MIDI controller, as it could result in glitches. Additionally, some MIDI-enabled pedals use a ¼” TRS cable instead of a 5-pin DIN cable.

MIDI Devices we recommend:

  • Morningstar Engineering MC3 // MC6 // MC8⠀

  • RJM PBC/6X // PBC/10⠀

  • Boss ES5 // ES8⠀

  • Disaster Area Designs MIDIBox 4⠀

  • MIDI Solutions Quadra Thru⠀

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