Another shameless gush, and enhancement suggestions

I’ve said this before, here, but it’s worth saying again: I continue to find MG3 to be absolutely blowing up my mind in terms of how I think about so many things. Between MG3’s improved control capacity and the new XSONIC Airstep I just got last week, the ideas are coming faster than I have any possible means to test them.

Right now, for me, I am using this combination with standalone MIDI Instrument apps like Universal Piper and IK’s SampleTank, and also audio effects like IK’s AmpliTube; the Airstep’s ability to “scene switch” lets me go between them seamlessly, supplying keyswitch MIDI notes to SampleTank, and control messages to Universal Piper and AmpliTube. (I would never have guessed that I’d actually be deliberately using MG3 with audio apps just for the control, but there it is, and within the limitation of the Patchbay’s nine possible mappings, it works fabulously!)

The Airstep also allows me to send “HID” computer keyboard keystrokes, which lets me use MuseScore with MG3 for hands-off note input, because the use of HID messages gets around MuseScore’s limitation of listening only to one MIDI input device at a time, and MG3’s limitation of only being able to pass four control mappings to the MIDI Out module. I can pass a couple of critical messages thru MG3 by CC message (e.g., toggling a note to an equivalent rest has no keyboard shortcut, but I can assign it to CC) and tell MuseScore to listen to MG3 for notes and control, while the Airstep provides the keyboard shortcuts to let me change note values (e.g. 8th/16th etc), dots, ties, etc., and also transport for playback.

And just last night I had an epiphany which I’ll pose as a separate post once I have a chance to think it through just a little more: I wondered if I could use the Retuning module as a way of mapping a drum Instrument (the one I have is IK’s MODO Drum) to something that would allow me to play the drums logically on a guitar, without affecting the default key mappings within the Instrument.

The point is that all these ideas are a direct result of actually stepping into the MG3 landscape with some intention; it’s hard to overstate how powerful this promises to be.

I believe, that with a couple of enhancements to MG3 as it exists at the time of this writing, that it can become a preferred live plugin host for anyone who wants to intermix audio and MIDI instruments. To my mind, these would be, roughly in order of how important they’d be:

  • Expand the number of available Patchbay connections beyond the current 9. I’m sure this is a balance between programming, UI space, and performance, but if I’m dreaming, since MG3 makes it possible to use both a tabletop device (e.g. Korg nanoKontrol) and footswitches (e.g. Airstep, Boss MS-3, etc.) I would certainly find use for 20 or even 30 possible connections to keep me from having to use the computer screen for control changes.
  • Expand the number of possible parameter mappings on each Instrument/MIDI Out module beyond the current 4. Similarly as above, the four mappings are incredibly powerful and adequate for small-footprint plugins, but something heavier-weight like AmpliTube as a plugin, could make use of 10 or even 20 connect points between footswitches and tabletop faders/pots.
  • Allow, and pass thru, MIDI note input from other devices such as the Airstep. This would allow keyswitch notes for some Instruments, and certainly could also make something like the Airstep an instant bass pedal machine!
  • Expand the number of channel blocks available to each chain (from the current 6) and Master (from the current 4). This more of a “nice to have” than the above, but even a couple more blocks would allow one to switch between multiple Transposers (or multiple Arpeggiators, etc.) within a single chain, with other things going on.
  • Add a second audio input. This would be a real “nice to have” for someone who wants to use an existing pedalboard for the audio entering MG. One input could be dedicated to the purely dry signal for optimized tracking; the other could be available for sending wet audio to one or more channel chains without having to use channel block space (and processing power) for audio effects.
  • Make MG3 respond to Program Change messages for targeting a specific patch. Another “nice to have”; I used this to good effect with MG2 on both Mac and iOS to be able to kick a footswitch that would 1) load the right Multi in SampleTank and 2) load the right preset in MG2 with a Transposer set to match that Multi.

With MG3’s Patchbay conveniences of forcing latch/invert, and the available use of Modulators to affect control (mindblowing just unto itself), plus chain management and the available Mixer and Master channel, this would seem to me like an absolutely outstanding orchestration tool for live use, with massive functionality for the price.

But that’s just me getting inspired. :slight_smile:


I certainly hope the VST version will properly respond to PC messages. I continue to have patch selection with MG2 in my live host Cantabile. The Beta testing process should help.

Hi @craftygrass, I love your deep analytical comments.
MG3 is a wonderfully easy to use product. That should not be lost with any feature enhancement.

Now more specifically:

  1. some kind of MIDI through would be good

  2. a 2nd audio input with some kind of audio-through or like send and return would also be good

  3. another audio input would be good to manipulate audio data with the midi data of the game (pitch, number of notes, velocity) with a new group of midi audio effects audio events, e.g. key-dependent filters, stutters, tremelos

  4. to maintain clarity, complex chains could be switched to only one chain on the full screen with all elements in each case

  5. to maintain clarity, the individual elements of a chain could be assigned an on/off switch that shows/hides the entire content of an element on the screen (does not switch it off!), e.g. Transpose: only in the chain as a name with on/off switch (for visibility) or also as a midi machine on the screen with all settings.

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Thank you. All very good considerations and requests.

I implemented the program change and the midi controller notes forwarding this morning. I’m just
thinking a bit about the Microphone/second input stuff.

Most of the other requests are “more of everything” and technically trivial but UI-wise time consuming. We’ll have to pass that for now until all bugs are fixed - but we’ll get to it at some point when I have more time and hopefully also will be able to afford another developer to help with a bigger redesign. Also, (just a reservation) maybe “more of everything” will fit better into a kind of extension or mini-DAW, to not sacrifice the ease-of-use for most use-cases.


Yes, concentrate on bugs in the basic functionality and avoid requests that can mean “Feature Creep”.

Great work, many thanks.

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Related to request here:


Looking forward to the goodness of this next build!

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