Can’t Get MG3 Looper Module to Work

I’m sure I’m doing something stupid, but for the life of me I can’t get any playback sound out of the looper.

Here’s my setup: MG3 in standalone, on a Mac Air M2 with 16gb RAM; Presonus 68c audiobox; Gibson ES-175 plugged into the box. I’ve got the MG3 I/O set up correctly through the audiobox.

The setup is working - I’m able to drop instruments and effects into a row, and operate them all with my Gibson. I’m able to put different VSTi’s into a chain (or multiple chains) and get terrific sounds. The looper module appears to be recording: When I enable the transport play button, looper play button, and looper record button, the looper spins, and registers notes and chords as I hit them inside the spinning spiral.

I just don’t get any sound!

Anyone have any ideas what I’m doing wrong? I’ve watched Lofileif’s introductory video about these midi instruments several times, but I’m still stumped.

Hi @diverdjango

Ok, so the looper register notes. Do you hear those as they are being registered (in Looper REC mode?).
Do you have an instrument after the looper on that Chain?

If it looks anything like this,

Skärmavbild 2024-05-13 kl. 21.31.07

all you have to do is see to that

  1. The transport PLAY is running, and then
  2. press the Looper PLAY (Green button) to playback any recorded material

That’s it, Thorleif! I suspected it was stupid simple, and you guided me right to it! I didn’t realize there must be an instrument that can play back at the END of the chain! Thank you!

So I think I understand now. Normally, you’d think of FX pedals, like a looper, coming last in a physical chain - after the guitar, the instrument that’s creating the chords and tones I want to loop. But in MG3, the virtual instruments come last in the loop - after the looper, after the arpeggiator - because those are the instruments that are creating the sounds that are being recorded.

I imagine that’s not a hard and fast rule - there will be reasons to put a VSTi earlier in a chain, but I’m getting a better sense of how this all works together now. I also suspect that “chain construction best practices” will be an ongoing topic of discussion.

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Brilliant application, by the way! Endless creative possibilities. My next step is figuring out how to use expression pedals (or just plain stomps) to sub in instruments in real time. Thank you for your hard work and inspiration.

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I am not sure what you mean with “Sub in instruments”, but if you are talking about simply changing one for another, there are a few ways to go about it:

  1. Control full Chains with an expression pedal: Switch between them using the “Invert” Modulator. Connect you expression pedal (here coming in on CC1) to the first Chain ON/OFF button directly, and also connect your CC1 to the handle (little circle) on the “Invert” MODULATOR envelope. Then connect the output of that modulator to the second Chain ON/OFF button.

  1. The second strategy is to use the fact that: in MG3 it is just the virtual Instrument that is last in the the Chain that is going to sound at all. So you can put two VSTs after each other on the same Chain and control which one should sound by controlling the ON/OFF state button on the last one.

I think that’s what I want. I won’t fully know until I try it. But my “vision” (if I can use that word) is to be able to (for example) lay down a synth pad chord progression, and loop it; then down a bass track, and loop it; then lay down a percussion track, and loop it; then have 2 or 3 solo instruments - a sax, a guitar, and a flute, say - that I can switch between to solo on top. Something like that.

I will take your guidance and others and start experimenting this week. I may be seeking your help again! Thank you much!

Well, for that to work you would need at least four channels (or Chains). It is of course not a problem working with MG3 as a plugin in a DAW. But it isn’t really an option with just the standalone MG3. Three loopers is not a problem. I would control these with a triple piano pedal. Having the loopers PLAY functions together with the transport PLAY active (ON) from the start, works if you are a proficient looper. After having pressed and released either of the piano triple pedals to record something it will automatically start to play back the contents this way. But again, this only gives you three looper Chains (I omitted the instruments after the loopers for the sake of clarity)

Aha! I’m educating myself on Midi Continuous Controllers, so I now get it conceptually, Thorleif! Of course, until I get the equipment, I won’t know if I can actually put it into practice.

I have a big dumb idea, which you are of course free to reject. I now see the brilliance and elegance of your modular construction of MG3. Which means these photographic schematics of different soundscape setups are themselves wonderful tools - they are illustrations of “how I got that sound.” Thus it might be nice to have a separate category or thread or channel on this forum specifically for MG3 soundscape setups.


Hey, anything related to the construction of MG3 is very much the handiwork of @JamO.

I am just helping out with pointing to stuff and in best case explain some function or relationship. A “how-I-did this setup” thread might be a great idea however. :+1:

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Beautiful idea! Here you go :slight_smile:


You folks rock! Kudos & apologies for not recognizing @JamO in this! Hey, it’s hard to tell you mad geniuses apart!