We recently built a very large pedalboard for a client. There were many more pedals than loops on this one - which called for a device to allow for additional loops. The customer went with the Morningstar ML5. This devices has 5 more loops that can be controlled via MIDI, essentially adding more loops to the ES-8.

The video and instructions below will cover two ways to program changes being sent to the ML5 from the ES8 (CC vs. PC messages). The video also shows how to use the ASSIGN function on the ES8 to program a switch (within a patch) to essentially act as an instant access button for a loop or multiple loops on the ML5.

The first thing to do is connect the ES8 and ML5 via MIDI. Connect the Boss ES-8's MIDI Output to the ML5's MIDI Input as you will be sending commands to the ML5 from the ES8. Of course, this can vary if you have multiple MIDI pedals chained; however the concept remains the same.

1. Set the ML5's MIDI Channel

The first thing we want to do is set the ML5's MIDI channel. This will ensure that you are sending the correct MIDI commands from the ES-8 to the correct device. Depending on your rig's MIDI chain, the MIDI channel you use may vary. We are setting the MIDI Channel to 1 for the sake of this video and instructional.

  1. Power off the ML5 if powered on
  2. Hold down the "E" button on the ML5 and power it on
  3. Let go of the "E" button and the "LEARN" button should be flashing repeatedly
  4. Press the correct button on the ML5 to set the MIDI Channel:
    1. A - sets the ML5 to accept MIDI programs on all channels
    2. B - sets the ML5 to channel 1
    3. - sets the ML5 to channel 2
    4. D - sets the ML5 to channel 3
    5. E - sets the ML5 to channel 4
  5. After your press the designated button, the learn button on the ML5 will stop flashing. The MIDI channel is set.

2. Programming the ML5 using PC Messages

There are two ways that the ML5 can take commands, PC and CC messages. We will show you how to use both of those.

  1. Select the patch you want to be on/off on the ML5 by pressing the designated letter's button
  2. Press the "LEARN" button. It will slowly flash
  3. On the ES-8, press [EDIT] on the patch you wish to use
  4. Press [ENTER] to enter the PATCH screen
  5. Scroll right to "PATCH MIDI #" (depending on what MIDI # command you are using for that patch) and hit enter
  6. Use the [+/-] buttons to select the Channel you have set the ML5 to
  7. Scroll to "PC" and set the value to 1 (or any # you aren't using within your MIDI rig)
  8. Press the [WRITE] button 3 times to save the patch
  9. When the program is saved, the ML5's Learn button will flash to show it has saved

3. Programming the ML5 using CC Messages

CC Commands use different values to denote different actions on MIDI devices. Please reference page 4 of the ML5's manual to see these commands. We have a brief list below. Please also note, we are using the ML5 on MODE 1 in this video and instructional.

0-63 Bypass all loops on ML5
64-127 Engages all loops on ML5
1-5 (1 being A, 5 being E)

0-63 Bypasses the individual loop selected
64-127 Engages the individual loop selected
6-10 (6 being A, 10 being E)

Any value turns the loop on/off

  1. On the ES-8, press [EDIT] on the patch you wish to use
  2. Press [ENTER] to enter the PATCH screen
  3. Scroll right to "PATCH MIDI #" (depending on what MIDI # command you are using for that patch) and hit enter
  4. Set the MIDI Channel to match the MIDI Channel of the ML5
  5. Select the CC Number to the patch you wish to control using the [+/-] buttons
  6. Use the [+/-] buttons to set the value to match the desired function for the ML5 (based on the table above and ML5 manual)
  7. Press [WRITE] 3 times to save the patch

4. Using the Assign Function of the ES-8 to Create Instant Access on the ML5

The Assign function on the ES-8 is a pretty great feature. Once you know how to use this feature it opens up a bunch more flexibility on the ES-8. In this video and instructional we use the ES-8's assign function to create an "Instant Access" button that controls a loop or multiple loops on the ES-8. Scenario: Let's say you are on a patch for a set and want to have access to a loop in the ML5 without changing your patch. In this scenario lets say, you want to be able to turn a drive pedal on/off frequently within the set. You don't want to have to create an entirely new patch & you don't need the MUTE button on this particular patch. You can change the MUTE button's function (using ASSIGN) to toggle this loop of the ML5 on/off. Here is how:

  1. On the ES-8, press [EDIT]
  2. Go to "CTL/EXP" and press [ENTER]
  3. Scroll to "ASSIGN 1"" and press [ENTER]
  4. Use the [+/-] to turn the Switch "ON"
  5. Use the [+/-] to select the button you wish to use for the SRC. In this demonstration, we use the MUTE button
  6. Ensure MODE is set to TOGL
  7. Use the [+/-] to select MIDI for the CATEGORY
  8. Select the MIDI channel your ML5 is set to receive commands
  9. Set the CC command to the desired function/loop of the ML5. In this demonstration we use "8" as 6-10 turns the desired loop on/off each time the button is pressed.
  10. Any value can be chosen in this instance
  11. Press [WRITE] 3 times to save the command

Bam! You've got an instant access button!

Posted on Categories : Pedalboard Building