At the 2022 NAMM Show, Conductive Labs, makers of the NDLR polyphonic MIDI arpeggiator and the MRCC MIDI Router Control Center, introduced two new products: the MRCC µ88 (“micro 88”) MIDI router and the MRCC XpandR 4×1.

The MRCC µ88 is designed for MIDI gear owners that have outgrown a MIDI thru box or 1×1 USB MIDI interface. It offers enough MIDI inputs and outputs for a small desktop or live jamming rig:

  • 4x 5-pin DIN inputs, plus a shared 3.5mm MIDI TRS
  • 4x 5-pin DIN outputs, plus a shared 3.5mm MIDI TRS thru
  • 4x USB MIDI virtual Inputs and Outputs

The MRCC µ88 can be used as a ‘DAWless jamming’ hub, or as a USB MIDI interface for your Mac, PC or tablet. You can use it for playing hardware synths, stand-alone software synths, or with your DAW to play plugin instruments.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“With the dedicated per port routing buttons, simply select an input, then pick which outputs to route to. It’s super quick! MIDI merging is automatic. Status and activity are displayed on per-port LEDs. More advanced features such as Filtering, Channel Split, Panic and MIDI monitoring are configured with dedicated buttons. When your performance setup is complete, save it for recall later. All without a PC for configuration.

The MRCC µ88 was designed for crowded desktop music spaces. Its narrow form factor and vertical connectors ensure the best use of valuable real estate. An anodized aluminum enclosure gives it stability and durability. It will look amazing among your favorite gear with its vintage synth style and hand-silk screened user interface. The raised and angled cheeks provide enough space for cables to pass under the µ88.”

Specifications:

  • Ports:
    • 4x 5-Pin DIN, and 1×1 3.5mm TRS optically isolated Inputs.
    • 4x 5-Pin DIN, and 1x 3.5mm TRS (thru) Outputs. Traditional 5V MIDI spec for maximum compatibility
      with vintage gear.
    • 1x USB 2.0 Type B device port for computer connection with 4x USB MIDI virtual Inputs and Outputs. 1 First input pair, choose one of the 2 jacks; 5-pin DIN or 3.5mm MIDI type A
  • Message Filters and Tools:
    • Automatic MIDI merging. Select an output already assigned to a different input, and the inputs get merged to that output.
    • Filter MIDI Clock and/or Stop/Start/Continue messages.
    • The Panic button sends MIDI “All Notes Off” to routed ports.
    • Channel Split – select an input and the 16 MIDI channels will be split sequentially to the 4 DIN outputs.

The company also introduced the MRCC XpandR 4×1, a USB MIDI DIN Expander for the MRCC MIDI Router Control Center.

The MRCC MIDI Router Control Center

The MRCC, right, features 6 routable DIN and TRS inputs. If that’s not enough for your MIDI rig, the MRCC XpandR 4×1 adds 4x DIN Inputs (and a shared 3.5mm TRS), and 1x DIN Output (plus 3.5mm TRS thru).

Up to four XpandRs can be attached to the MRCC’s USB host ports. Inputs and the Output are routed the same way as MRCC’s USB host MIDI virtual ports, so it’s quick and easy to route XpandR’s ports; it’s like they were built into the MRCC.

The XpandR can also be used as a 4x Input, 1x Output USB MIDI class-compliant MIDI interface for your PC, Mac, tablet. Or, use the Mode button to switch XpandR to a stand-alone 4 into 1 USB powered MIDI merger. In MIDI merger mode, the USB connector is only used to power the XpandR.

A two-color indicator shows Power, Merge mode, MIDI Input and MIDI Output activity.

The MRCC XpandR 4×1 comes housed in an anodized aluminum enclosure with a silk screened user interface. A USB cable and User Guide are included.

Specifications:

  • 4x 5-Pin DIN, and 1×1 3.5mm TRS optically isolated Inputs.
  • 1x 5-Pin DIN, and 1x 3.5mm TRS (thru) Output. Traditional 5V MIDI spec for maximum compatibility with
    vintage gear.
  • 1x USB 2.0 Type B device port for MRCC or computer connection with 4x USB MIDI virtual inputs and 1x output.
    1 First input pair, choose one of the 2 jacks; 5-pin DIN or 3.5mm MIDI type A Requirements
  • Powered by USB (2.0): 5V DC, 40mA
  • A 6 ft USB Type A to Type B cable included, powered by MRCC USB host. Or use a quality USB charger, or power from your computer or a USB battery.
  • USB MIDI class compliant so it works with most operating systems that support USB MIDI class compliant devices, including Windows 10/11, Apple OS’s, Linux and Pi OS and others.
  • Firmware updates via USB mass storage mode. Press the FW button then drag and drop the update.

See the Conductive Labs site for details on availability and pre-orders.

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