RJM Mastermind MIDI Controller Review
February 16, 2009
|Click here to read our review of the RG-16
The Mastermind is powerful, compact and durable enough for the touring guitarist. It contains 125 presets, transmits up to four Program Change messages and eight Controller messages per preset, and can control up to fourteen MIDI devices on separate MIDI channels. It has an expression pedal input, phantom power capability and a remote in-jack to allow the synchronized use of multiple MasterMind controllers.
For this review, we’ll be looking at how the Mastermind works with the RG-16 unit. The MasterMind makes programming the RG-16 simpler, faster and a no-hassle process. To program the RG-16 with other MIDI foot controllers can be a mindboggling process. For presets, you would have to go into the controller’s edit mode, select an empty bank and preset, and designate a program number that corresponds with the RG-16 preset number, before even designating what the preset number is going to be. For instant access switching, you would have to go to the designated instant access button on the controller and assign the controller number that corresponds to one of the eight audio loop or eight function switches. Oh, you also have to refer to the MIDI Implementation Chart in the manual to figure out what the controller number is. Way too many programming steps for me!
When using the Mastermind with the RG-16, it’s literally a “plug and play” operation. I created audio loops with a few effect pedals into the RG-16, and then started planning out what kinds of presets I wanted. For the first preset, I wanted my distortion pedal with my analogue filter pedal, and a bit of delay. On the second preset, I wanted a clean sound with a chorus pedal, and so on. I began programming my first preset. On the RG-16, my distortion pedal was on Audio Loop 1, my analogue filter was on Audio Loop 3, and delay on Audio Loop 4. First, I simply pressed button 1 on the Mastermind controller to designate that preset. On the RG-16, I selected Audio Loop buttons 1, 3 and 4 and pressed “Write”—that’s it! I was then able to turn on my distortion, analogue filter, and delay all with one footswitch. I continued to program ten different presets of all kinds of effect combinations in under five minutes. The Mastermind also includes an “Alternate Presets” feature, allowing you to call up a slightly different sound (adding chorus to a clean tone, for instance) for every preset. I can imagine the possibilities if I’d spent more time planning out a more detailed setup, incorporating rack gear, amp channel switching and other MIDI devices. I could probably even program this thing to start my coffee maker in the morning via MIDI.
Both amateur and professional players will appreciate the Mastermind, since it can handle simple rigs as well as more complex setups. It allows instant switching of pedals, rack effects, amps and more with a single press of a button. Since it’s so easy to setup and operate, MIDI-phobes will be running to the MasterMind, instead of away from it!
You want to put together a high quality guitar rig that’s easy to control.
You really want to show off your tap dancing skills on stage.
MSRP $349 - RJM Music Technology - rjmmusic.com