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Channel Modifier improvements
#1
Hi Conductive labs,

I was Kickstarter backer number 39, and I received it and I have been enjoying the MRCC for the last 2 months.
And really, I'm a happy camper. The feature request below is not because I see the MRCC as unusable, but because it could be a lot better with (I think) some small effort.

So, I have this urgent feature request to be made on the "Channel Modifier", but first some background:

Before I was using a iConnectivityMIDI4+ which worked fine, except it didn't do filtering of MIDI events per connection, but per either IN-port or OUT-port, meaning it was more of a all-or-nothing situation, and that bugged me. So that is a major plus of the MRCC. Of coarse the many more DIN ports is also nice. But I wanted to tell you about, as I see it, a serious omission: The MRCC is very much a port router, and less of a per-channel router. For all things non-channel related (Clock & SysEx) that is fine, but most of the many little devices use at most a few (often just one) channel, but with the MRCC as it is, one must continue bombarding them with all the un-needed MIDI channels. The reason is because of the sparse channel filtering. There is this "Channel Modifier", and in essence that one would do the job, but it is limited to 4 channels only, can be 'exclusive', but this would not allow for (say) 5 or more channels to be remapped. Modifying here is always assigning it another channel, but is never 'filtering', and (as said) limited to only 4 channels. Further more, only 6 (!) of those modifiers can be used in the entire MRCC. They can be re-used, but I have not come a cross that use case at all. (For the record, my MRCC's connections are maxed out, and consider this setup as making full use of what the MRCC has to offer)

The following would lift this MRCC limitation in my view:

- Either have a Channel Modifier per connection (best option), or raise the amount of them (20 or so would do it for me)
- Have the Channel Modifier remap all 16 possible MIDI channels (current 4 is very arbitrary and too small a number). The 'exclusive' option is not needed anymore.
- Allow this remap targets to be "Off" or "None", so that you can affectively filter out specific channel data.

So, the above suggestion would make the MRCC a channel router instead of just a port router. A huge improvement in my view. (Hope you agree).

Some other stuff, I think would increase the MRCC's use (but has been talked about elsewhere here on this forum):
- SysEx filtering per connection
- USB host ports 4 in/4 out (instead of current 4 in/1 out)
- Backup entire setup to PC (over SysEx for example)

But I'd really like to end here with a statement of praise: the MRCC is a great device! I use it daily, its the MIDI center of my studio, and it holds up to most of my expectations. (And there is no alternative I know of)

Hope you will consider my recommendations.

Cheers,
Joris
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#2
Does no one at Conductive Labs care to respond to the above?
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#3
(08-23-2021, 12:32 PM)Hey Joris,I had a chance to discuss some of these ideas with the team and there are some that we already had in mind to do, and others that are not likely be added.  because it could be a lot better with (I think) some small effort. Wrote: We love the idea of making the MRCC better and it's basically our full time job. But it's one thing to add something like a sysex filter, and another thing to re design the whole architecture of the device. We are happy to make changes that fall within the scope of the project, and harmonize with our goals. I will try and touch on some of these below. 



So, I have this urgent feature request to be made on the "Channel Modifier", but first some background:

Before I was using a iConnectivityMIDI4+ which worked fine, except it didn't do filtering of MIDI events per connection, but per either IN-port or OUT-port, meaning it was more of a all-or-nothing situation, and that bugged me. So that is a major plus of the MRCC. Of coarse the many more DIN ports is also nice. But I wanted to tell you about, as I see it, a serious omission: The MRCC is very much a port router, and less of a per-channel router. For all things non-channel related (Clock & SysEx) that is fine, but most of the many little devices use at most a few (often just one) channel, but with the MRCC as it is, one must continue bombarding them with all the un-needed MIDI channels. The reason is because of the sparse channel filtering. There is this "Channel Modifier", and in essence that one would do the job, but it is limited to 4 channels only, can be 'exclusive', but this would not allow for (say) 5 or more channels to be remapped. Modifying here is always assigning it another channel, but is never 'filtering', and (as said) limited to only 4 channels. Further more, only 6 (!) of those modifiers can be used in the entire MRCC. They can be re-used, but I have not come a cross that use case at all. (For the record, my MRCC's connections are maxed out, and consider this setup as making full use of what the MRCC has to offer)


The following would lift this MRCC limitation in my view:

- Either have a Channel Modifier per connection (best option), or raise the amount of them (20 or so would do it for me)
- Have the Channel Modifier remap all 16 possible MIDI channels (current 4 is very arbitrary and too small a number). The 'exclusive' option is not needed anymore.
- Allow this remap targets to be "Off" or "None", so that you can affectively filter out specific channel data.

I feel you on the 6 MOD limitation and will be championing the cause with the dev to see if we can make that number bigger someday, but for now that's how it is. In large part because of that limitation we added functionality for a Modifier called Channel to Port which would allow you to send MIDI from a single channel out to the Port with the same number as the channel you want to send, so placing the C-P1 MOD on a routing from Port 1 in to Port 4 out, would listen to channel 4 of port 1 and output MIDI on Port 4 channel 1. With this if you need to have just one channel routed, you would just connect the target device on the Port with the correct channel name, or set the channel on the upstream device to the Channel with the correct port number if that is possible. 

It's possible that we may choose to implement deeper channel routing behavior in future updates, however these are not in the works at the moment and are not planned at this point. 




So, the above suggestion would make the MRCC a channel router instead of just a port router. A huge improvement in my view. (Hope you agree).

Some other stuff, I think would increase the MRCC's use (but has been talked about elsewhere here on this forum):
- SysEx filtering per connection
This may be something we add at some point. 

- USB host ports 4 in/4 out (instead of current 4 in/1 out)
Not likely to happen, but we are working on a breakout box that will add 4 din ins and 1 din out to utilize the usb host ports. 
- Backup entire setup to PC (over SysEx for example)
Not likely to happen, but if you're feeling adventurous the left end cheek can be removed and there is a Micro SD card in there, the contents of that contain all your saved routing data and can be backed up to the computer and restored by putting that content back on that SD or even having another to swap out. The files are even in readable plaintext so you could even get creative with editing your setup via text editor, but I stress that you'd definitely want to back up your data first.

But I'd really like to end here with a statement of praise: the MRCC is a great device! I use it daily, its the MIDI center of my studio, and it holds up to most of my expectations. (And there is no alternative I know of)

Hope you will consider my recommendations.

Thanks Joris, we appreciate your suggestions as well as your patronage. I am glad to hear that we meet most of your expectations and hopefully our device will continue to improve.

Best,
Jesse 
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