MasterControl: Live Mix Recalls
How to save and load Direct Monitor presets via SysEx.
The MasterControl is the simplest, most powerful way to run your studio. From controlling nearly any software using its pre-mapped configurations to managing all of your inputs and outputs at up to 192 kHz resolution, to handling talkback and monitor switching functions, you just add monitors, mics, and your computer for a complete studio. You can learn more of the basics about the MasterControl by visiting its main page and go deeper by checking out its product spotlight. In this article, you’ll learn about one of the more powerful tricks for using the MasterControl as a monitoring console. Every engineer can probably agree that if the musicians’ headphone mixes aren’t just right, they’re not going to be happy, so here are some ways the MasterControl can make your life easier.
How To Do It
Create a leveled mix in the MasterControl’s Direct Monitor mode that you want to save on the MasterControl and get it ready it to send as a SysEx preset by navigating to the Global option for SEND SYSEX GLOBAL.
Next, open a SysEx recording and playing application on your computer. If you don’t have one, we recommend the following free downloads. Please support the developer if you are able.
PC – MIDIOX
Mac – SysEx Librarian
Configure your SysEx application to use the MasterControl’s virtual MIDI I/O. Here’s how to do this using Bome’s SendSX on a PC: (Mac users can skip ahead.)
Now you can send your first Direct Monitor Mix as a Global SysEx dump. Press Enter on the MasterControl and SendSX records all incoming MIDI, storing it in the “MIDI In” window. Once you’ve received the data, you can navigate to File → Save MIDI In as…”
Choose your file names carefully so that you know exactly what to look for later. When it comes time to call up a saved preset, simply choose it from the list that is created as you save the files or open it from your stored location:
Once you have chosen the appropriate file, press Send. As you send the SysEx, you will notice the MasterControl’s display reading: RECEIVING SYSEX xx% Complete.
For Mac Users
Set the destination MIDI Out port. SysEx Librarian listens on all MIDI inputs so no setup is required for the IN port. To record a new SysEx file, click Record Many.
To send a preset out the MasterControl, choose the .syx file and press Play:
On the MasterControl, you will see a progress status:
Once completed, the MasterControl’s display will read “Global SysEx Updating…”. It will then cycle through some settings, finally displaying “Global SysEx Updated”.
You will hear the difference immediately in the Direct Monitor mix. The faders, pans, solo, and mute settings will all reflect the new settings loaded via SysEx. If your DAW supports sending SysEx in real time, you can even automate the MasterControl’s DSP mixer by placing the SysEx files at the appropriate time-location before a desired preset switch.
There is no audio dropout in the computer audio or the live inputs during this process, effectively turning your MasterControl into a 24 channel semi-automated preset-based console.
If you need to drop the guitarist’s headphones out of the mix during a feedback part or you want to talk to only one musician in another room through the talkback mic during tracking without disrupting the players, you can save these configurations as SysEx-based Presets and have them on call. You can even enable and disable the A/B/C Speaker Outputs via SysEx, which can be useful when using multiple headphone amps.
That wraps up this month’s Tips & Tricks. As always, we want to hear from you, so please send us your comments, suggestions, and topics for future articles!