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I need a more detailed explanation of using the MRCC with a DAW (Logic)?
So there is this entire category of threads on using the MRCC with a DAW, but I haven't been able to find anything that clearly explains how to use the MRCC with a DAW (in my case Logic 10.7 MacOS Monterey). I have read through a bunch of threads with people having the exact same issue as me.  I have found the MRCC quite capable in a DAWless setup, and am using my new Hapax quite favorably with the MRCC to control and sequence 10 different hardware synths. I cannot for the life of me figure out at all how to get Logic to do anything with the MRCC.  I gave up on trying to get Logic to see my Kronos Keyboard through the MRCC and have once again got it connected separately via USB and am using the DIN connection for the MRCC. Not cool, but okay. AudioMidi sees the MRCC and all the other synths.  When I route Logic back to the MRCC, the activity and routing window shows activity, but nothing is coming through the MRCC to trigger any of my hardware synths on any channels. I have checked the MRCC Filters page and have no filters applied. I have Logic Midi out set to MRCC Port 1.  I have tried it with the green button set to port 1, and other ports. The blue button set to port 1, and all other ports. Nothing works.  

I know other people have ended up doing a Zoom session with Jesse to figure this out, but should it really be this difficult?  It is not self-explanatory in the least, and I can't find a single source of good information on how to get this set up.  I am glad I kept the box, because if I can't get this figured out, I will need to return this, which I'd rather not do since it is working so well in the hardware world and it seems like it should her a no-brainer.

I really hope there is something simple I am missing.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I will give you a quick outline of how I would set it up if it was me, and if that works for you, great, if more investigation is needed, then we can set up a call.

The first thing is that any connection to the DAW can be done over USB via the PC port, and it's important to know the USB C port is strictly for power, and passes no data. Probably not the issue here, but worth mentioning just in case. If you have another MIDI interface you can feel free to connect the DAW via the DIN cable instead, but that isn't the usual use case since it requires 2 cables (in and out).

So if we proceed with the PC port connection, the next part would be to open the DAW (*preferences menu) and select at least one port for input and one for output. I have less than 16 synths so I would just set up one port to be output, lets say Port 1 (*in and) out. Now in my DAW track setup I will select the output port I want, as well as the input port, and a channel that coincides with the listening channel of a synth I am routing to, let's say 4.

Next I can write some MIDI data in the track and when I play, it should now be sending the MIDI out PC port 1 channel 4. So now in the MRCC, we select the PC port Blue button, (the routing selection defaults to Port 1, so no need to change it here, however if we were using port two, we would need to press and hold the blue (*PC port) button and select output 2 while it's lit blue). Once we've selected PC port 1, we select the output. To do this we are simply going to press any output port buttons that we want the output to get routed to. In my case I have my CH4 synth on port 4, so I will press port 4 out's button, and it will light up.

Please note that I wasn't holding the PC button while selecting the output port, that step is only when selecting outputs which are going out to the PC, so if I wanted to send the DAW MIDI back out to another Application, I could send PC1 out back to, say PC 3 in, by selecting PC output 1, then pressing and holding the green PC button and selecting PC 3 by pressing the now lit up Port 3 output button.

So now I should have Port 1 out on the MRCC PC port routed to output port 4, and channel 4 should be being sent from the DAW to this port.

OK, now lets say I have 10 synths and they're set up on ports 1 - 8 and channels 1-10 with channels 1-8 all on ports 1-8 and channel 9 and 10 being passed via MIDI thru on the synths on ports 7 and 8. So all I need to do to continue this routing, since port 1 is still selected is to press ports 1-3, and 5-8 to copy the output from PC port 1 to all these ports. Then in the DAW I can make 9 copies of the MIDI track I have (transmitting to port 1 on ch 4) and change the channel to 1-3 and 5-10 and they'll all stay on port 1.

Now this only works if we have each device listening on only 1 channel, but sometimes you can't do that, so in that case we can send the output for that device on a separate output port (let's say PC port 2 out) and only send that port to the device in question, so it doesn't hear 9 other channels worth of MIDI notes.

So that's the basic idea, if that's what you're already trying and it's not working for you, please feel free to let me know and I am happy to set up that meeting to troubleshoot.

All the best,

Jesse Johannesen

Wow, that’s quite a detailed response. Thank you so much! Let me absorb this and try some things you’ve suggested and see what I can figure out and then I will get back to you about whether I need more help. I really appreciate your dedication to helping me.
I just wanted to follow up with a response to Jesse's information by adding it to this thread for the community of MRCC users (and some things I've learned specific to Logic on a Mac).

I followed your suggestions, and now am able to trigger notes on my hardware synths.  I still don’t fully understand the “port” and “channel” distinction, but am able to trigger different sounds on different tracks regardless of whether I use the same port or a different port, but still use a different channel dedicated to a given synth. It really helped to know that when I was holding down the blue button on the PC Port and then selecting a port on the MRCC , I was actually not choosing a different channel, but instead was choosing a different port, and wasn’t then telling Logic what port to find, just the channel. Just to be clear, is the “green” button what I use to select the “port” I am using to send midi to my Mac and the blue button what I use to select  port and channel for Midi coming out of my Mac to the MRCC and then the synths connected to it? 

Also, one thing about Logic that I have learned, which is really strange, at least when working with the MRCC, is that, even if you change the midi out selections in the inspector, it doesn’t relay that information to the track.  Instead, you have to call up the “External Midi Instrument” window and make the change there, which is not then reflected in the inspector, for reasons that have nothing to do with Conductive Labs, but thought you might want to know this for others.

Lastly, I am bypassing using the MRCC for sending midi to Logic because I could not get Logic to recognize my main midi controller (Korg Kronos), so am instead just using a direct USB connection from the Kronos to the Mac for this.  That’s okay,  but I am sure there is a way to use the MRCC for this and could use some help on this because I also have a Hapax sequencer and three other midi controllers/sequencers (Linnstrument, MatrixBrute and Electron A4) that I want to use to communicate with my Mac without having to bypass the MRCC to do this.  If you have a simple suggestion for this, I’d really appreciate it.
Yes - the biggest stumbling block for folks with the MRCC and a computer and the PC port is the whole ports, virtual cables, and channels.
You have to route a source (input) to a destination (output). 
In addition, you often have to specify which MIDI channel the sender and receiver are using to talk to each other.
All connections (DIN, TRS, USB, PC, virtual cables) support 16 MIDI channels.

When you are talking DIN/TRS only there's only 1 connection for input and 1 connection for output, so those ports do not have virtual cables.  You can just make a direct input to output assignment.

When the USB port is used, it has 4 virtual cable inputs.  That's why when you press USB A/B/C/D input button, the first 4 output LEDs light up.
You have to first select which of the 4 virtual cables to use.  After that, you let go of the USB input button and it stays lit.  then select an output port as before to make the route.

When the PC is involved, there's 12 virtual input cables and 12 virtual output cables.  So if you are routing a DIN input (like the Kronos) to the PC, it takes a few steps.
Select the DIN for input, then press the PC out button and select the virtual cable you want to use for the connection.
BUT - you're not done since the vast majority of the DAWs out there recognize these virtual cables, inside your DAW you have to select which one to listen to.
Since the MRCC uses the same buttons for all routing, you have to pay attention to the color and the step you are on.
For routing the PC out to a synth connected on the DIN port, you need to first hold the PC input button and select the virtual cable to use.  Select the same one you are using in the DAW as an output destination.  Now let go of the PC button at it should stay lit.  Now you can select the output port that is connected to your synth.

One suggestion for Mac users -- bring up MIDI Monitor.  Drop down the input/ports menu and you can see it's listening on all virtual cables.  Play a synth and see which virtual cable is comes in on.  Try turning some off to see what happens when you route a synth to those virtual cables

Remember to also check the MIDI channel of the sending and receiving devices.  virtual ports *are not* MIDI channels.
sorry for necro bump.. but been looking at the 880 and thinking how it would fit in. i also use a mac and logic/ableton and some other hosts like five12 numerology. i have a few HW synths that are multitimbral and also a drum machine that offers midi sequencing as well.

i'm wondering how rerouting things on the 880 or the MRCC is effected by apple's audio midi set up where you have to pre-patch your midi connections for them to show up in your DAW.. for example logic.

so, if i have my DAW on and sending clock so i can multitrack record things being sequenced by my drum machine... how does that effect what's pre-patched in apple's audio midi set up?

generally interested in how that would be set up and i could switch between one or two presets on the 880 easily without having to mess with the audio/midi set up window in MacOS.

also, what about sequencing some channels of multitimbral synths with a daw while sequencing others with a hardware sequencer which is getting midi clock from the DAW? are these things possible? considering MIDI channel settings are correctly allocated.
Hey D,
I'm not 100 percent sure that I'm grokking part one of your question, but I believe that if you connect the MRCC or the 880 to the Mac it should show up as a destination in your DAW regardless of any default settings in the Audio MIDI menu, so unless you turn it off as a target there, it should be accessibly by the DAW. You may still need to set it up in the DAW, however.

Now your routing from the DAW will be to (or from) one of the available virtual MIDI ports on the device (4 ins and outs on the 880, 12 each on the MRCC), and so any routing to downstream devices is managed on the device, where you can manually route from virtual ports to either physical ports, or other virtual ports, via the routing buttons on the device. You may be able to route between virtual ports in the audio MIDI setup page, but I haven't explored that yet, and since the MRCC can do that easier manually it just seems to make more sense to do it that way to me.

As far as sending the clock from the DAW, I can't think of any issues which would arise in the Audio MIDI setup page, but it could be that is just my lack expertise on that particular subject, maybe someone else can chime in?

The way I can see this working (correct me if I've got things turned around), is that let's say I have an MRCC and 3 synths/drum machines and I want to record them, 2 are hardware one is some external program on the computer (I can't see why it wouldn't be in logic, but let's just say for the example it's not). What I would do is set up Logic to be on Virtual ports (in and out) 1, then the external software synth on port 2 in and out, and my hardware devices on physical DIN outputs 1 and 2.

So on the MRCC I would pick Virtual input 1 (from Logic) as a source, then send it to Virtual output 2 (our soft synth) as a destination, and then to physical outputs 1 and 2 as well. Now as long as we are listening on the right channels the clock and MIDI from the DAW will pass through the MRCC and back into the computer for the soft synth, and out to the hardware dudes. No fuss. If you needed to ensure that no note data was passed you could even drop a note filter on the routing. You can save a particular set of routings as a preset and jump between them as necessary, but even doing it by hand it's so fast that it's doable on the fly in most use cases.

With Multitimbral synths it's really nice, because the MRCC just does the MIDI merging automatically, so if I send MIDI Ch 1 and 3 from the DAW and live play keys from my keystep pro on channel 2, and send it all to DIN port 3 where my blofeld is set up, all of the MIDI from the DAW will be mixed with all the MIDI from the Keystep. If I only want the Clock from the DAW to pass, I can put a Clock filter on the Keystep routing, etc. but the merging is all automatic, and unless you're sending from multiple sources on the same channel (and notes are overlapping for instance) then it should be 100% seamless. So yeah the last question is a "Yes", you can do it.

Hope that helps, and again if I have it confused my apologies, let me know and I'll try and get it sorted out.
thanks for the info Jesse.

just FYI this is all pre-purchase research for me. i don't own either unit.

currently using a MOTU midi timepiece AV.. have used Logic AMT8/Unitor8 MKII in the past when i had larger midi set ups. currently just a couple hardware synths + drum machine.

the reason i ask about audio/midi set up in MacOS is that in order for any ports to show up in a DAW you have to have them patched in audio midi set up first. w/o setting up audio midi set at the OS level your midi devices/ports will not show up in the DAW. at least, that's the way it's always been in MacOS.. at least since Core audio.midi came into the OS.. (before that Logic's Environment window handled the plumbing). i don't think that's changed but i could be wrong. i'll check that out later and see what happens.

the reason i'm looking at the conductive labs stuff is for quickly switching between a couple possibilities.. sequencing/clocking from DAW -> hardware synths/drum machine. and the other is sequencing from drum machine (which is also a midi sequencer) w/o having to repatch midi cables and use a thru box.. which i have owned for ages.

if i can recall 2 set ups from a conductive labs device and be ready to go in a moment that's preferable.

i do wish they were labeled in the opposite way though so they looked like a midi patch bay.. patching from out to in to make connections for sequencing. does my head in a bit.
i guess the simple question is.. does the MRCC bypass the audio/midi set up utility in MacOS?
So the short answer is "No".
The slightly long answer is that in some scenarios you can use the MRCC in lieu of the Audio MIDI setup page by using the virtual ports as a way to route MIDI data outside that menu system.

If we look at the layout of the MRCC routings like this:

                                   PC ports
IN1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12.        OUT1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

DINInput1,2,3,4,5,6.        DIN Outputs1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12

It's easier to see what I mean. We can have multiple pieces of software listen to input ports of the MRCC, so Ableton could listen on PC port 1 and 2, (in and out), with Reason on Port3 in and out, etc. and we could connect them so that Reason out (port 3) is connected to Ableton in on Port 2. We could do that simply with a few button presses on the MRCC front panel after the software is configured initially. Thus the requirement for internal routing is bypassed in this scenario. It would be like drawing a thread between PC out 3 and PC in 2 in the pic above.

We could probably do this in the Audio MIDI menu on the Mac, but without the convenience of using the tactile immediacy of the MRCC port routing, and I don't have any way to say how easy or robust the methods available are, as I am little experienced with them, so for more info you'd probably need to look at the Mac documentation on the subject.

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