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Hi everyone,
so I have about 20 pieces of MIDI gear of various sorts (modules, synths, pedals, controllers) and I've got two MRCCs to control/integrate them all (hopefully!).

I've managed to get the basics up and running (i.e. one keyboard driving several different pieces of gear), but before I try to implement my final approach, I was wondering is there some sort of strategy I should follow re: Channel assignment?

Or does MRCC basically make it easy that every single device sends and receives on Channel 1 and you let the MRCC handle all the mapping? Or is that very much a bad idea and if so could someone explain why?

I've tried to run through it with ChatGPT and it reckons this "unique" approach would work, but I'm worried now about why it's unique and what I might be missing out on.

Probably important to mention that I plan to use the Octatrack as my main jamming device with the PC12 controller.

Thanks for any help!
Steve added a mod that does what you're discussing here. I think it's called CHannel to Port 1, or something similar. The way it works is that you place it in a routing and it only passes the channel with the same numerical name as the port, so if it's DIN output 5, then it would only let traffic from channel 5 through, but it moves it down to channel one before sending it out, so each device should be listening on CH 1 when you configure this.

We have done a few Chat GPT conversations on this type of subject as well and none of it's recommendations on the subject seem to carry water.
(10-19-2023, 01:14 PM)Newb_with_chronic_GAS Wrote: [ -> ]I've tried to run through it with ChatGPT and it reckons this "unique" approach would work, but I'm worried now about why it's unique and what I might be missing out on.

I don't think that ChatGPT (or any other LLVM) can offer a valid opinion on the topic, there's simply not enough text out there about what the MCRR can and cannot do for it to be trained properly. 

You don't tell us what it is exactly you want to achieve, but I doubt that making a device's MIDI channel dependent on the port you use is a good plan, especially because you use two MRCCs, so you will have each channel twice, and also IRRC, Channel to Port Mapping only maps channels 1-12, so channels 13-16 will never be used. 

FWIW, I have more than 20 devices on a single MRCC, which works like a charm, among other things because I can make use of hardware MIDI thru on some devices. You won't be able to do that when the port decides about the channel. 

You will lose a lot of flexibility when you design your setup that way, and you will still have to decide which machine should respond to which channel, simply because your sequencer will have to know that channel when it wants to send notes to the device. The nice thing about Channel to Port Mapping is that it allows for using devices that only respond to channel 1 on channels 2-12, too.

The best strategy for mapping this out is drawing a picture, which device needs to send what data to which other device in which case. Then you look at the constraints: e.g. 16 midi channels on one port, mono- and multi-itimbrality, 8 MIDI tracks in the OT, only 6 mods in MRCC per patch, etc.. From that you can create a plan that contains MIDI channels and routings. It's simpler to evolve that plan when it does not involve unplugging devices.
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I've been struggling with my MIDI set-up for YEARS and I was hoping to just sort of brute-force my way through it by throwing two MRCCs at the problem, but I see I'll have to invest a little more forethought and brain-power than that.

I painted myself into a bit of a corner re: accessibility of my gear, which is why I am loathe to do anything which requires a lot of plugging and unplugging, but also I genuinely can't fathom how I would plan out my routing on paper because I don't really know what ... what ... uh ... what I'm doing, haha.
In my opinion, in my experience, and in my belief, the point of adding a router or two is to prevent the need to "plug and unplug" MIDI cables. Admittedly, the higher the gear count is that you want to connect, the more forethought is required to create a system that meets all your needs for how you want to use everything. But, with a little creativity, it can be done.

Personally, I rarely have to change MIDI channel assignments of gear after the first initial assignment. Following a suggestion from, I think Steve here, I put stickers on some of my gear indicating the channel assigned (plus the amount of polyphony available). Other gear that needs to have its channels changed often is located for easy access.

I've also done what others suggest and drawn out maps of the connections. I can't tell you just how valuable that is. Adding labels within the MRCC is just icing on the cake and makes checking and modifying routing patches that much easier. But really, with a map and the MRCC easy button routing, complex routes are a snap.
(10-24-2023, 03:37 AM)Newb_with_chronic_GAS Wrote: [ -> ]but also I genuinely can't fathom how I would plan out my routing on paper because I don't really know what ... what ... uh ... what I'm doing, haha.

I can offer some suggestions on how to set it all up, but to be specific we'd need to find out which device needs to talking to which other device, and why. So you'd need to tell me what MIDI gear want to connect to the MRCCs, and what you want to achieve. Do you want a dawless setup, or do you need different setups for different occasions, e.g. a dawless setup for jamming, another setup for sound design, and a production setup where your control everything with a computer or tablet, but still want your Octatrack to run in sync. 

In case you want to brush up on your knowledge about MIDI, see the SoS guide about MIDI basics (, its from 1995, but still relevant, the MIDI standard hasn't changed since then.