What will I be able to do?

I wonder if the forum is the right place for questions about a speculative set-up design. Like many of you, I’m eagerly awaiting a Mod Dwarf and enjoy running through the ways of how I might be able to use it. I’m a guitarist coming from an ageing Line6 HD500 and one of my main aims is to take up less space and consolidate a bunch of patches that have become rather mis-matched in volume, etc.

Right now, I’m running through ideal ways of organising a guitar -> two amp stereo set-up. Ultimately I’m hoping to get FRFR cabinets, possibly the Headrush FRFR-108. I also have a Boss RC10R looper that I’m keen to integrate and make more use of, not least for its ability to trigger sample loops over MIDI, as well as an expression pedal (Mod’s own?) to deal with Wah and other parameter changes.

My question is, would a Morningstar MC8 be a good partner for all the above? I’m assuming I’ll set up and tweak pedalboards on a laptop at home, but stage/at rehearsal, I envisage using the Dwarf itself to flip between pedalboards and perhaps launch the tuner, and the MC8 to then make changes within each pedalboard, either by turning a single plug-in on and off or by switching on snapshots that change multiple parameters. Does this sound feasible? I assume that a MIDI expression pedal can be assigned to one or more plugins in each pedalboard?

My follow-on question is this: can the Dwarf and MC8 be set-up so that each pedalboard stored on the Dwarf has a different set of parameters assigned to the MC8? So that changing pedalboards on the Dwarf would automatically load in new actions to the MC8, including the ability to trigger different loop from the Boss looper depending on which pedalboard you’re using?

My final question is about the synth capabilities of the Dwarf. In an ideal world, I’d like to link up a MIDI controller (I have the AKAI MPK mini) to the Dwarf and have some pedalboards with synth routing. Can this be made to fit into the above with all the available connectors?

Apologies if this is all a bit speculative and impossible to answer. It’s part of the fun for me to work out what is possible and what isn’t. Any comments, tips or stern warnings much appreciated.

Anyone? Perhaps this wasn’t the place for this kind of question!

I think the answers are all YES!

All of the MIDI settings on the Mod stuff are saved with each pedalboard so if say the on/off for distortion on one pedalboard is linked to a specific stomp on the MC8, you could also assign that same stomp to a chorus pedal in a different pedalboard.

As for the Akai/synth stuff, also would not be a problem because your MC8 would be connected via MIDI DIN (with adapter) but the Akai would be connected to the Dwarf via USB. I’ve done similar things with my Mod Duo without issue!

That’s really heartening to hear - thanks so much. Would a separate MIDI cable be needed to run from MC8 to RC10R looper?

Well that’s a tricky one. Yes, you will definitely need some more MIDI cables (heh, always need more cables) but how they’re connected depends on what you want to achieve and what the MIDI spec on the Boss is like. Like, will you want the Boss and Dwarf to be clock synced (probably) and if so, what will be sending clock? Lots of options, but I can assure you the Dwarf will NOT be the showstopper here. If there’s something you end up not being able to achieve it will likely be because of the Boss. The Mod MIDI capabilities are just as flexible as its audio routing!

Funny, I’ve had the MC8 product page open in a tab for a few days. I’m planning to get one to work with my Duo now and Dwarf when it comes. At a glance, you should be able to achieve what you’re describing.

Currently with my Duo I run both a mic and guitar into the 2 inputs, with a MIDI keyboard controller attached via USB so I can (up to the processing limits of the Duo) have guitar, vocals, and synth on the same board. I use a 4-button MIDI foot controller with expression pedal to navigate between pedalboard snapshots (patches). Currently the keyboard controller is also used to select pedalboards by enabling PC message mode. I also have a BOSS RC-300 looper and a BeatBuddy in my setup that I’d like to sync together with everything.

For me it looks like the MC8 will be a nice addition that I can use to replace the current foot controller and drive the whole system: loading songs/patches/pedalboards across all the devices, managing looper transport, changing snapshots/patches during a song, toggling effects, tap tempo, etc. When the Dwarf arrives, I’ll likely keep the Duo on board perhaps as a dedicated vocal unit or a secondary synth

Again, this all sounds positive. I’m hoping the MC8 can send out MIDI clock messages to both Dwarf and Boss Looper. From reading the forum here, it looks like the forthcoming Mod expression pedal has a couple of buttons on it - anyone know what those are for?

Regarding the MIDI clock - on the RC-300 it has to be the clock master when syncing with external devices. Not sure if your model has the same limitation.

I think there’s an option for MIDI synch on the RC10R: https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/RC-10R_parameter_eng01_W.pdf

In my experience, almost all loopers (including all the BOSS) sucked as MIDI slave. But I haven’t tried the RC10R yet. I gave up after the 505…

Well the Mod could totally receive clock from the Boss, no problem.