I have a question regard Guitar Rig 5 (GR5) and the Rig Kontrol 3 (RK3) "MIDI out" port and I hope someone can answer.

During live shows, I need to change patches on my Korg A3 and Korg SDD-2000 rack effects. I normally do this using a Ground Control Pro and GCX audio switchers. But now I need to do this via GR5 using the RK3, when I click the "next" or "prev" buttons on the RK3.

I'm pretty knowledgable when it come to connecting guitar effect systems via MIDI. But I am unable to get this to work and I am totally stumped.

From what I have read online, some have said ...

» The RK3 or GR5 does not send program change message via MIDI OUT.

» The RK3 MIDI OUT port is essentially useless.

That sounds crazy to me. Do anyone know if this really true?

Thanks, Chris

  • The manual says that the RK3 does not need the MIDI output because it communicates over USB, but that you can configure something with some PC software. – CL. Aug 12 '16 at 15:13
  • True, but for classic gear from the '80s like my Korg A3 and Korg SDD-2000 rack effects, there is no USB port. Only the standard MIDI connections. Since the Rig Kontrol 3 (RK3) also provide the standard MIDI in / out hardware, one would think you could send program changes to classic hardware. – Chris Simeone Aug 12 '16 at 16:00

So I discovered something interesting ...

The Rig Kontrol 3 (RK3) does send MIDI data via the "MIDI out" port when the RK3 in in MIDI controller mode. The RK3 is switched to MIDI controller mode via a Native Instruments app on my Mac (not very convenient).

When in Guitar Rig 5 (GR5) controller mode, the RK3 will not send MIDI data via the "MIDI out" port. However, when in GR5 controller mode, the "MIDI out" port can be used as MIDI-THRU.

So, I connected some rack gear (my Korg A3) to the RK3 "MIDI out" port. I set the Korg A3 to receive MIDI via channel 2. I connected the RK3 to my MacBook via USB. I started up my DAW software (Reaper) and created a MIDI track that sends program changes on MIDI channel 2. To my surprise the Korg A3 responded to the program changes.

Since our show uses a lot of automation, I can continue to use the RK3 in the GR5 mode and also use my rack gear by automating program changes. Not ideal, but it works!


Having tested it, finally (sorry it took me a while to have the relevant kit to hand) I can say there appears to be no way to get it to send programme change messages through MIDI OUT.

I don't necessarily class the MIDI OUT as useless, but for these purposes, yes - it isn't going to help you at all. You'll still need to use your GCX switchers.

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