Mastermind GT Firmware 3.4.8, Mastermind LT/PBC Firmware 3.1.9 now available

Mastermind GT, Mastermind LT, Mastermind PBC, Product News

We’ve released bug fixes for the Mastermind GT, LT and PBC. These fix a few minor bugs, including an issue with tap tempo on external switches, a issue with switching setlists, and a few others. You can find the releases on our product pages:

Mastermind GT MIDI Foot Controller

Mastermind LT MIDI Foot Controller

Mastermind PBC

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Mastermind GT Firmware 3.4.2 Released

Mastermind GT, Product News

Mastermind GT Firmware 3.4.2 is now available. This one fixes a lot of bugs and adds some minor features:

  • Added support for Selah and Source Audio devices
  • Added “IA” option to Preset 2nd Press. Second or subsequent presses on preset buttons toggle the button’s IA settings (the same settings that would be active in IA mode). If IA On Color is set to something other than black, the preset button will change to that color when the IA is activated.
  • Updated CCs for Line 6 Helix
  • Added the ability for the GT to estimate tempo BPM from the tempo flash messages sent by Axe-Fx and Kemper. This works well with the Axe-Fx, less so with Kemper (the flashes are not super accurate). You can turn off “Show Tempo” if you can’t get the tempo value to settle down.
  • Added “Show Tempo” setting to button settings. This will allow you to choose whether a tempo button also shows a BPM value. “Flash w/ Tempo” also needs to be on for this to work.
  • Added Cancel button to preset, page, etc. menus
  • Fixed Song/Setlist mode to only highlight the current preset button, even if the same preset appears multiple times in the song.
  • Fixed bugs concerning setlist and song updates using the editor
  • Added support for Kemper firmware 5.x. This won’t work 100% correctly until Kemper releases firmware 5.1.0 (soon, they tell me!)
  • Fixed a bug in the editor where the setlist menu on the Globals tab didn’t reflect changes made to setlist names on the Setlist tab
  • Fixed a bug that made the GT do weird things when you have no preset buttons defined
  • Fixed a bug that made the Device PC +/- buttons interact weirdly with the Send Redundant PC setting
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Mastermind LT announced!

General News, Mastermind LT

We’re happy to announce the upcoming release of the Mastermind LT MIDI controller! This is a small, low cost controller that has all of the MIDI capabilities of its larger siblings, the Mastermind GT and Mastermind PBC.

You can find the details on the new Mastermind LT page.

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Mastermind GT Firmware 3.4.1 released

Mastermind GT, Product News

We’ve just released Mastermind GT Firmware version 3.4.1. This bug fix release fixes an issue with buttons that control effect blocks on the Axe-Fx and Kemper. You can find the update on the Mastermind GT page.

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Mastermind GT Firmware & Editor 3.4.0 Released

Mastermind GT, Product News

Now available for download, Mastermind GT firmware and editor version 3.4 adds a Setlist action that allows you to change setlists with a button press. It also changes the way the number of banks and presets are specified for devices, which also fixes how the Device PC +/- buttons work with Strymon pedals.

Please see the RJM Forum for the full list of changes.

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Mastermind PBC/LT 3.1.1 Update

Mastermind PBC, Product News

We’ve just released a bug fix update for the Mastermind PBC and LT, version 3.1.1. This version fixes a crash that could happen when working with a device that has no presets. You can find the update on the Mastermind PBC page

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Mastermind PBC/LT Firmware version 3.1.0 now available

Mastermind PBC, Product News

We’ve just released Mastermind PBC firmware 3.1.0, which is also the first to support the upcoming Mastermind LT MIDI controller (details coming soon!)

The 3.1.0 release adds a few user requested features including:

  • A new action type: System / Setlist that allows you to switch setlists and/or between preset and setlist modes.
  • Improved support for devices that have unequal size MIDI banks, like Strymon pedals
  • Function Switches have a new parameter “On Only” that is used in conjunction with momentary switching and groups. When set, a function switch will only pulse when it’s being turned on, not when it’s being turned off. This allows you to set up your function switches to select channels on certain amps that require momentary switching.

You can download the new version from our site.

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Mastermind GT 3.3.1 and PBC 3.0.1 updates available

Mastermind GT, Mastermind PBC

We’ve just released Mastermind GT firmware 3.3.1 and Mastermind PBC firmware 3.0.1. These are bug fix updates that fix a few things relating to hold functions and preset button names. The PBC also is updated to allow decimal tempos (the GT already had this ability). You can download these updates from the product pages:

Mastermind GT Product Page

Mastermind PBC Product Page

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Mastermind PBC 3.0 firmware now available

Mastermind PBC

We’ve just released the Mastermind PBC 3.0 firmware, which includes a lot of cool new features including:

  • Auto Tap: Tap tempo support for pedals with analog tap inputs and pedals that receive tap tempo through MIDI messages other than MIDI clock.
  • A whole new audio settings structure that allows you to set global defaults for loops, buffers, etc. and then set overrides to those settings in your presets
  • Buttons can how have different colors for all combinations of a button’s primary function state and the button’s hold function state.
  • Groups can now execute their own actions when transitioning from “all buttons off” to “one button on” and vice-versa
  • You can set a macro to execute on startup, allowing any MIDI messages to be sent on startup
  • Chase Bliss and Mesa JP2C support

Please see the RJM Forum for the complete list.

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Using Stereo Pedals with the Mastermind PBC

Mastermind PBC, Tech Tips

Loops 7 through 10 are stereo capable on the Mastermind PBC. You can use them with mono pedals or stereo pedals. Using mono pedals is easy – just connect them with standard 1/4-inch cables and you’re good to go. However, as soon as you want to start using stereo pedals, you’ll be required to use some special cables to make sure everything works correctly.

Before we get to the cables, we should go over the pushbuttons on the rear panel. These are also crucial for proper mono or stereo operation.

Mono -> Stereo (out) – This button, when in the “out” position converts a mono signal coming in to the In 7-10 jack to stereo. This is done simply by connecting the incoming signal to both the left and right sides of the internal audio path. When this button is in the “in” position, the In 7-10 jack’s tip and ring are connected to the internal audio path’s left and right sides.

Mono Output – This button, when in the “out” position connects the left side of the internal audio path to Output A and the right side of the internal audio path to Output B. When in the “in” position, the left side of the internal audio path is connected to both Output A and Output B.

How to set these buttons can be summarized like this:
Mono signal into In 7-10, mono output – Mono -> Stereo IN, Mono Output IN
Mono signal into In 7-10, stereo output – Mono -> Stereo OUT, Mono Output OUT
Stereo signal into In 7-10, stereo output – Mono -> Stereo IN, Mono Output OUT

Now, on to cables… please note that these only apply if you’re using one or more stereo pedals. If you’re running all mono, you can use standard cables.

If you have a pedal with a stereo input and/or stereo output, you need an insert cable for each stereo connection. An insert cable has one TRS connector on one end and two standard (TS) 1/4-inch connectors on the other. This splits the TRS stereo connector on the PBC to individual left and right connections that your pedals need.

Insert Cable Diagram

If you have a pedal with a mono input, you need a ring disconnect cable. This is a name I just made up, because I don’t know of any “official” name for such a thing. This one has a TS plug on the pedal input end and a TRS plug on the Loop Send end. The tips of both jacks are connected together, and the sleeves of both jacks are connected together. The ring on the TRS side is not connected to anything.

Ring Disconnect Cable Diagram

If you have a pedal with a mono output, you need a mono to stereo converter cable. This cable has a TS plug on one end and a TRS plug on the other, but unlike the ring disconnect cable, the tip on the TS end connects to both the tip and ring on the TRS end. The TS end plugs into the pedal output, and the TRS end into loop return on the PBC.

Mono Stereo Converter Cable Diagram

There are other ways to do it, and depending on circumstances, you can, for example, use a normal 1/4-inch cable instead of a ring disconnect cable. But, it depends on the pedals you’ve chosen, what order you’re using them in, whether you’re routing in series or parallel etc. Following the above instructions will make any configuration work correctly.

WHY???

The curious among you might wonder why we need these cables. The insert cables, I hope, are fairly obvious. The PBC combines its left and right connectors into a single connector to save space. Effect pedals have separate left and right connections. An insert cable converts from TRS to individual left and right plugs.

Mono pedals need to have their output converted to stereo. Otherwise, you will only get signal out of one side when the pedal is activated. The mono to stereo converter cable does this by taking the pedal’s output and sending it to both the left and right side of the loop return jack.

Mono pedals or stereo pedals with a mono input are a little trickier to understand. If you plug a TS (mono) plug into a loop send jack, the right (ring) side of the signal is connected directly to ground, shorting it out and making it inaudible. If you compare a TRS plug and TS plug, you can see that the area that contains the ring on a TRS plug is part of the sleeve on a TS plug. The right side of the internal audio path is connected to the sleeve through the TS connector. At the minimum, you’ll lose the right side of the signal. If the previous pedal in the audio path is mono, but converted to stereo, you’ll lose both the left and right sides of the signal. Using a TRS connector with the ring disconnected prevents this unintended connection to ground – the right side of the signal connects to the TRS connector’s ring, which is not grounded, and will not have any effect on the signal.

I hope this all makes sense. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions. If you follow the above recommendations for switch settings and cables, you will end up with a working system. You can get the specialty cables made at places like Best-tronics.

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