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  • Writer's pictureBen

The New MC3 MIDI controller: The Big Deal about this Small Controller

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

The MC3 is our latest offering and it completes the trinity of MC MIDI controllers. You guys are definitely no strangers to the MC6 and MC8, and now we have the MC3 that takes compactness to a whole new level.

So let’s start off with the dimensions of the MC3. The MC3 measures just 4.8 by 2.8 by 1.9 inches, and this many millimetres, for all you pedalboard squeezers. It takes up less space than your mobile phone, which is an amazing feat for the amount of features it packs.

Taking a look at its front face, you can see that it has 3 soft touch foot switches and a gorgeous LCD display so that you can name your presets and easily navigate through the controller. Connections

Moving on to the rear panel, you’ll be able to see the I/O connections that make the MC3 a complete package. Let’s go from left to right, starting with these TRS MIDI outputs.

The MC3 has four 3.5mm (or 1/8th inch) TRS MIDI outputs. These allow you to connect directly to pedals that have TRS MIDI inputs, without the need for a MIDI box. This keeps your setup clean and compact, and saves you from needing to spend more money on a separate MIDI box.

If your effect pedals have 1/4 inch MIDI inputs (like Chase Bliss, Meris, Empress, Jackson and some Strymon pedals do), all you need is a simple and commonly found 3.5mm to 1/4 inch adaptor like this. Just slip the adaptor on to any 3.5mm stereo TRS cable and you’re good to go. By default, these outputs comply with the TRS MIDI standard send MIDI via the tip.

Now, we also understand that some companies have deviated from the MIDI standard and send MIDI data via the ring instead of the tip. That is why we’ve made MIDI outputs 3 and 4 switchable to be able to send MIDI via the tip or ring depending on what you need. This is done with the internal dip switches located on the inside of the MC3.

Next on the rear, we have the Expression port. This not only allows you to connect and expression pedal for smooth continuous control, but also allows you to add external aux switches to control presets and various controller functions. Check out our videos on how to use expression pedals and external switches with our MIDI controllers if you haven’t already.

Moving right along, we have a USB type B port. This allows you to update the MC3. We love listening to our customers and regularly release firmware updates with new features and improvements. And just like its bigger brothers, the MC3 offers all the benefits and features of the Morningstar Editor, which is accessed by connecting the MC3 to your computers via USB. Other that, the USB port also sends and receives MIDI and is class USB class compliant, which means that no drivers are required.

MIDI over USB allows the MC3 to control your favourite music software. This includes DAWs like Ableton and Logic, plugins like those from Neural DSP and, and also your iOS applications like Bias Amp, Bias FX, OnSong and any other application that supports MIDI.

Then we have the 9v DC input. Nothing much to say here except you’ll need a minimum current supply of 80mA for the MC3.

And finally we have the standard 5-pin MIDI output, which allows you to connect to 5-pin MIDI devices. Take note that MIDI data is sent simultaneously through both the TRS and 5-pin outputs. That makes the MC3 super flexible and capable. And that’s it for the physical hardware of the MC3. For the full hands on walkthrough. Check out the video below. Enjoy!


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