MIDI Router Control Center A ‘Ridiculously Cool’ Solution For Electronic Musicians

Conductive Labs – creators of the NDLR Multi-part Polyphonic Sequenced Arpeggiator – have introduced the MIDI Router Control Center (MRCC), a new device that they say reinvents the MIDI router.

The MRCC was originally launched as a Kickstarter project and will now be publicly available.

The MRCC has been designed to make it easy to build flexible and powerful MIDI setups, combing controllers, instruments, your computer and more.

The MRCC has tons of MIDI connections, ranging from traditional 5-pin DIN connectors to USB interfaces and USB host ports and even the 3.5mm MIDI A/B connectors that are popular on compact devices. There’s a dedicated button for each each input and output, so you just select an input button, and then pick which outputs to route it to.

MIDI merging is automatic. Status and activity are displayed on a color OLED display and per-port RGB LEDs.

The MRCC also offers advanced features, like filtering, channel mapping, MIDI tools and MIDI effects. These can be configured with an on-board graphical user interface. Configurations can be saved to memory for later recall.

Conductive Labs co-founder Darryl McGee describes the MRCC as “ridiculously cool”.

“It’s got real friggin buttons, like the good old days, so you don’t need a computer to configure it. It’s got a button for every Input and Output, 28 of them, plus 28 RGB LEDs and a color OLED display with an encoder and navigation buttons,” he notes. “Did we go a little overboard? Maybe, but there’s really nothing like it out there.”

In addition to MIDI routing, the MRCC can clock your analog gear, host your MIDI controllers, act as a 12 in and 12 out USB MIDI interface and more.

Features:

  • Inputs: 5x 5-Pin DIN, 2×1 pair2 of 3.5mm TRS, 4x USB 2.0 Host ports, 1x USB 2.0 Device3 port (for PC or Pad connection) with 12 USB MIDI virtual inputs and outputs.
  • Outputs: 10x 5-Pin DIN, 2x pair2 of 3.5mm TRS, 1x USB MIDI Interface port (to PC or Pad), 4x USB Host ports.
  • 1 1st pair, choose one of the 3 jacks; 3.5mm MIDI type A, MIDI type B or 5-pin DIN 2 Type A & B to support both 3.5mm TRS styles.
  • Message filters – Clock, Note on/off, CC, Program Change, & Stop/Start/Continue. Filter by Routing, Input, or Output.
  • Modifiers – Channel Mapping, Velocity Scaling, CC Scaling and Mapping, Keyboard Layer and Split, Transpose, Alter (Random & Probability)
  • Tools – Save/Load 127 Presets, Port Labeling, MIDI Message Monitoring, & Visual MIDI Monitor
  • MIDI CC control for built-in Arpeggiator and MIDI Clock, CV Clock Out, & “Light Show”
    motifs.
  • Powered with an included International AC Power Supply with regional mains adapters. MRCC is powered by USB-PD (Power Delivery) with USB C connector. Includes a power switch and stand-by button.
  • The USB 2.0 host ports provide up to 500mA per port as per USB spec.

Additional options include the MRCC Remote 7, which lets you use a single Ethernet cable to route to MIDI devices up to 50 feet away, and 19″ rack ears.

Conductive Labs is holding a streaming event to demo the MRCC on Sunday, March 14th, as part of the Synthesthesia 2021 virtual synth show. Synthesthesia is a free event.

Pricing and Availability

The MRCC is available to pre-order for $379, with shipping for new orders expected to be in April of 2021.

34 thoughts on “MIDI Router Control Center A ‘Ridiculously Cool’ Solution For Electronic Musicians

  1. I’ve already got a Roland A-880 MIDI Patchbay and a Kenton MIDI USB Host mkII, but if I didn’t have those, this would really be a device that I would use a lot. What would make this even more flexible is the inclusion of a couple of CV/Gate ins&outs to cover USB CV and MIDI CV!

      1. Check out the CV.OCD. It’s around a $100 and turns a MIDI signal into a bunch of CV/Gate signals. Pair that with the MRCC and you could control anything.

        I just put a MIDI convertor in my modular, since it’s a lot easier to route 1 MIDI cable across the room than a bunch of cables.

        1. Yep, CV.OCD or a Kenton MIDI to CV can hang off an MRCC MIDI output. Its not easy to do a really good MIDI to CV converter, and its not something we wanted to burden the MRCC with. Maybe a MIDI to CV could be an accessory to hang off of our expansion port? We have so many projects queued up, we need more expert firmware devs so we can make them sooner!

        2. I don´t understand why devices like this make a difference between gate and cv signals, i want something with all outputs freely configurable, only expert sleepers makes devices, like the ES-8, where you can mix and match cv/gate as you please.

    1. This looks like a huge problem solver. I’ve got lots of gear, but generally only have a small subset of it MIDI’s up at any time. Would love to get it all connected with this and then configure a patch bay for routing the audio to my mixer.

      1. We have a thing about making what we need, and what you said is what we were thinking. We were both using stuff like old JL Cooper Nexus for switching inputs to outputs, but they only have 3 inputs and and there’s a different device for merging (Nexus Plus). For some, a MIDI thru device is fine, but MRCC should be a great tool for studios with lots of gear to choose from. Its also great for performances (someday soon) as you can save a lot of presets (127 I think) and recall your settings for each part of the set.

  2. I love the ethernet port. Very nice clean mechanical design. Being on kickstarter and being available to the public at large can be very different things. Good on them for taking the next step.

    1. Great feature and the expander is pretty affordable, too.

      The killer feature for me is the idea of having a pushbutton batch bay for connecting all my gear.

    1. Latency should not be an issue when duplicating or routing signals, you’re connecting two wires with a switch that is programmable.

      When you get into things like filtering, splits, etc, the MIDI has to go through a processor, which is always going to create additional latency. But with a modern processor in dedicated hardware, any additional latency should be less than the jitter you get hooking to standard MIDI devices together.

  3. Nice! Its the perfect expression of Gear Lust. Now you have to buy gear for every port on it, right? I hope it does well, because its a savvy tool in a world full of people who play tables full of Stuff. See the big setup pic and drool. Its like the synth version of Radial’s Key Largo mixer in covering all the bases well.

    1. Don’t joke! Whenever I have a blank space in my modular racks, I’ve got persistent GAS looking for things to fill it with. I’m talking borderline irrational activity, but still love it!

    1. Unlimited MIDI merging is impossible. A DIN MIDI stream is only 3125 bytes per second. If you attempt to merge four streams of 1000 bytes per second, you’re going to saturate your output and lose (or delay) data. Neither is acceptable.

  4. Glad I backed this; it was a no brainer. NDLR is super cool and this looked like a step up from my Digital Music MX-8 (which is old and could crap out…)

  5. Very cool. I kind of want one to replace my aging MIDISport 8×8. But I’d want it with most/all the ports on the back, an interface on the front for setting up/monitoring connections and an app or web page for the same.

    I know having the connections up front is great for swapping in and out gear but most of mine is fairly static and I prefer to keeps those cables out of the way.

    1. exactly this. put the ports in the back and I’m in. the mess of tangled cables in the pic was enough to stop the GAS!

    1. The UM-550 and 880 were good MIDI routers. I believe they used one filter processor for every 2 inputs. If there was no processing required for the input, they could route the messages in hardware bypassing the processing engine for very low latency routing.

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