ML:2 Documentation

Quick Start

ML:2 requires a WiFi network to communicate with other Ableton Link enabled devices. There are two ways to do this: Connect ML:2 to your home or studio WiFi network or have the ML:2 create its own WiFi network via its Access Point Mode. Connecting ML:2 to your home or studio WiFi network is the preferred method, which we will cover in the following quick start instructions.

Powering Your Module

Plug the Eurorack power cable in to your case’s power supply. The included cable, which comes attached to the ML:2 in the box, uses the fairly standard system of “red stripe down.” That is to say that the power cable has the red stripe pointing to the -12V power rail, which on the module’s PCB is aligned to the bottom edge of the PCB. If your system does not adhere to this standard, then you might need to flip the power cable that is already plugged in to the ML:2. It is always a good idea to check and double check that the -12V rail on the ML:2 module aligning along the ribbon cable to the -12V power supply plug in your case.

Once your ML:2 is plugged in, secure it to your case with the included screws. You are now ready to power on your modular power supply.

PLACEHOLDER. REPLACE WITH PICTURE OF MODULE, POWER CABLE, ETC.

Connecting To Your Local WiFi Network

In order to communicate with other Link-enabled devices and software, your ML:2 will need to connected to the same WiFi network as those other devices. Usually this means connecting your ML:2 to you home or studio WiFi.

Once the ML:2 has powered on it will quickly boot and go in to Access Point Mode. The WiFi status light will be slowly pulsing. This means that your ML:2 has created its own WiFi network with which you can connect and configure your ML:2.

Open your computer or mobile device’s WiFi menu to select the ML:2’s WiFi network. The WiFi network will have a name similar to this:

ML2-XXXX

(The exact name of the network is included in the Quick Start card and also affixed the module itself)

Enter the password link1234 when prompted

Point your browser at:

http://ml2-XXXX.local/

(It is the same name as the WiFi network with “.local/” added on to the end)

If the above URL does not work

Please double-check that you are connected to the ml2-XXXX WiFi network. If you are, then your mobile or desktop computer may not support mDNS. This is required to allow the “.local” address to work. If your mobile/desktop device does not work with “.local” addresses, then try entering this IP address instead:

http://192.168.4.1

Click Add WiFi Network from the main menu of the Web Control Panel.

Click your preferred WiFi network, enter the password, and click the Save Network button.

Your Missing Link will reboot and connect to your WiFi network. The ML:2 WiFi status light should be glowing a solid blue now. Be sure to re-connect your mobile or desktop computer to the same network you just configured the ML:2 to connect to. The Web Control Panel page will refresh to the Home page when it has detected that ML:2 is back online.

Your ML:2 will remember this network!

The process you just did to connect to your local WiFi network stored that network name and password on your ML:2. It will now attempt to connect to that network every time it boots up. You may store additional networks as well, if you have more than one network you connect to. You may also edit or remove these networks on the Edit Stored Networks page.

If you entered the incorrect password

If you enter the WiFi password incorrectly, The Missing Link will not be able to connect to that WiFi network and will go back in to Access Point Mode once it has rebooted. You will know that it is in Access Point Mode by the WiFi status light slowly pulsing instead of glowing a solid blue. To fix the incorrect password, go to the Edit Stored WiFi Networks page of the Web Control Panel. Click the Edit button next to your WiFi network’s name.

Connect ML:2 to Your Modules

The A and B Outputs

The factory default settings for the two outputs in the ML:2 are as follows:

  • A: 4 PPQN clock
  • B: Loop Reset Trigger

Plug Output A in to the Clock/Sync Input on the module you wish to synchronize with ML:2. Plug Output B in to the Reset Input, if your module has one.

When you press the Play button on ML:2 it will start generating a clock signal on Output A. Output B will create a trigger at the start of each loop. The four buttons will cycle from top to bottom showing you the phase, or position, of your loop.

You may have to change the settings of Output A and B to match the module you wish to synchronize. Click here to learn more about the Output Settings.

The Web Control Panel

Since the interface of ML:2 is so minimal, there are many settings that could not be easily accessible via the front panel. The ML:2 instead hosts an interface to access these settings called the Web Control Panel. In the Web Control Panel you will find settings for storing and editing WiFi networks, performing firmware updates, and changing the playback behavior of the A and B outputs.

Connecting to the Control Panel

If ML:2 is in Access Point Mode, then connect your computer or mobile device to ML:2’s WiFi access point. The name of the default name of the network is printed below the serial number on the label attached to your ML:2’s main circuit board. The name and serial number are also included in the Quick Start card included in the box with your ML:2.

If your ML:2 is connected to your local WiFi network then connect your computer or mobile device to the same local WiFi network.

Now that your computer or mobile device is on the same network as your ML:2 you can access the control panel by opening a web browser and entering the following URL based on your Missing Link serial number:

http://ml2-xxxx.local/

The exact name is included next to your serial number on the quick start card or on ML:2’s main circuit board. Also note that there’s a trailing “/” at the end of the URL. Your browser needs this forward slash in order to correctly parse the URL.

The browser should now be displaying the Home menu of the Web Control Panel with some large square buttons that you can click to bring you to various pages of settings. There is also a sidebar menu that will link you to the same settings pages as the buttons shown on the Home page.

Connecting to ML:2 via an IP address

If your Windows computer or mobile device does not support Multicast DNS (aka Apple Bonjour) you will not be able to access ML:2 via its “.local” web address. Apple has a Windows installer for mDNS/Bonjour support. If you cannot install mDNS services then you will have to access your Missing Link via its IP Address.

ML:2 IP address when in Access Point Mode

The IP address to access your ML:2 Web Control Panel is:

http://192.168.4.1

ML:2 IP address when connected to your own WiFi network

The IP address is not known when it is connected to your own WiFi network since the address will by dynamically assigned by your WiFi router. If you need to connect via IP address then you should configure your WiFi router to give your ML:2 a dedicated IP address. You can do this with most routers via the router’s administration app or web page.

Output and Playback Settings

Since the interface of ML:2 is so minimal, there are many settings that could not be easily accessible via the front panel. The ML:2 instead hosts an interface to access these settings called the Web Control Panel. This is the same web interface where you just set up your ML:2 to connect to your home or studio WiFi network. Let’s check out how to change the default playback behaviors of ML:2 in the Output Settings and Playback Settings.

Output Settings

Your ML:2 has two outputs: A and B. These outputs can be configured in a number of ways. By default, the A output will play a clock trigger whenever ML:2 is playing. When ML:2 is stopped, Output A will output nothing. Output B will output a single trigger at the start of each loop when the clock is playing. If ML:2 is stopped, then Output B will do nothing.

Load the Web Control Panel and click the Output Settings button on the Home page. You should now see settings for Output A and B that look like this:

There is a pop-up menu to set the mode of the output jack and then there might be a second option to set, depending on the chosen mode.

Output Modes

Clock the Output Mode pop-up to reveal the various modes each output can be set to.

Clock

The output will output a clock trigger whenever ML:2 is playing. When ML:2 is stopped, the output does not output anything.

Clock (Always Running)

The output will always output a clock trigger signal. If ML:2 is stopped, the output will continue to output its clock. This mode is useful for any devices that require a DIN Sync style clock. It is usually paired with a second output in Gate mode.

Loop Reset Trigger

The output will generate a trigger at the start of each loop. This is useful for resetting your sequencer at the start of each loop. If your sequencer happens to fall out of sync for some reason, it will reset the sequencer at the start of the next loop.

Gate

The output will turn on (i.e. go high) when ML:2 is playing. When ML:2 is stopped, the output will turn off (i.e. go low). This acts as a switch to turn on or gate another device whenever ML:2 is playing. It can be paired with another output set to Clock (Always Running) to create DIN Sync-like clocking.

PPQN

When an output is in a Clock mode, there is a second option shown. This is the PPQN, or Pulses Per Quarter Note, value. This tells the clock how many pulses to create per quarter note of time. Refer to the manual for the device you are syncing with ML:2 to find out what PPQN value that device is expecting.

Playback Settings

The Playback Settings can be accessed from any page of the Web Control Panel. Click the box at the top of the Web Control Panel that is displaying the current BPM of ML:2.

Tempo (BPM)

The tempo controls how fast everything plays. Tempo is set in Beats Per Minute. Changing this value will also change the Tempo of any other Link devices you are networked with.

You may either enter a new tempo via the text input box or use the + or buttons to increase or decrease the tempo. There are also / 2 and X 2 buttons to double or half the tempo.

You can also adjust the tempo on the front panel of ML:2. The Up (+) and Down (-) buttons will increase or decrease the tempo. The Tap button will set the tempo according to the speed at which you tap the button.

Loop Size (beats)

This feature sets how often a Loop Reset output triggers. It also controls quantization of the Play/Stop control of ML:2. The value of Loop Size is in beats (quarter notes). Setting Loop Size to a value of “4” will cause a Loop Reset Trigger to happen every bar in a 4/4 time signature.

You may either enter a new Loop Size via the text input box or use the + or buttons to increase or decrease the Loop Size, one beat at a time. There are also / 2 and X 2 buttons to double or half the Loop Size.

Delay Compensation (ms)

Devices on an Ableton Link peer network can be timeshifted ahead or behind other Link peers. Sometimes the device you are synchronizing might have its own built-in latency that causes it to play a little bit behind the Link grid. In either case, you can use this setting to shift your clock output in time to better align with the Link music grid. Enter a value in the text input box or use the + or buttons to increase or decrease the Delay Compensation. This value is in Milliseconds.

Start/Stop Sync

When this feature is enabled The Missing Link will listen for Start/Stop transport messages from any other Link 3.0 peers with Sync Start/Stop enabled. If any of the devices, including ML:2, either start playing or stop playing the other devices will also start or stop playing.

This is an Ableton Link 3.0 feature. Your other Link apps or devices may not support Link 3.0 and thus, may not work with this feature.

Application Example

Start/Stop Sync is handy in the studio when recording your modular synth into Ableton Live or any other DAW that supports Link. Enable Start/Stop Sync in ML:2 and Ableton Live. Now, whenever you hit record in Live the ML:2 will start your modular synth sequencer in time with Live. Stopping the transport in Live will also stop ML:2’s clock playback.

Add WiFi Network

Click the Add WiFi Network button. You will be presented with a list of available WiFi access points that The Missing Link could connect to. Click on one of the names in the list. Enter the password for that WiFi network and press the Submit button. Your ML:2 will store the WiFi network information and automatically reboot. Once it boots back up it will try to connect to that WiFi network with the password you entered. If the password is correct, your ML:2 will connect to the network successfully and the WiFi light will glow solid blue. If you entered an incorrect password, ML:2 will go back in to Access Point Mode after it determines that there’s no valid networks to connect to.

Edit Stored Networks

Click the Edit Stored WiFi Networks button. You will be presented with a list of the stored WiFi networks that you’ve entered via the Add WiFi Network button.

Click the remove button to the right of the network name to that network. A dialog will appear to confirm you wish to delete that network from your stored networks list. Click Yes to confirm.

A message will appear notifying you that the network was removed. You do not need to reboot immediately. Click IGNORE if you wish to do some other editing of stored networks or other settings in the Web Control Panel. Click the REBOOT button if you wish to reboot now. Rebooting will refresh the changes you just made to the stored networks list. If you removed your home or studio network, then your ML:2 will boot into Access Point Mode since it probably won’t find another network it can connect to.

Access Point Settings

Your ML:2 has the ability to both connect to other existing WiFi networks or create its own network. When the ML:2 is making its own WiFi network it is in Access Point Mode. Any other Link devices can join this network and synchronize via Link. The Access Point Settings page allows you to adjust the Access Point to your liking.

Name (SSID)

This is the name of the WiFi network the ML:2 will create when in Access Point Mode. The will also change the web address of your Web Control Panel. If you change the Name to “MyLink” then the web address to access the Web Control Panel would be http://mylink.local/

Hidden SSID

Enabling this will hide your ML:2’s WiFi network name from the list shown in the WiFi menu in your computer or mobile devices. This allows your WiFi network to be a little less discoverable in a situation such as live performance. You do not want people trying to connect to your ML:2’s WiFi network whilst you are performing!

Password

This is the password needed to gain access to your ML:2’s WiFi network.

Require Password

Disable this if you wish to have an open network that anyone can easily join. This is nice for Link jams where you want to make it easy for others to join in the fun.

Always Start In Access Point Mode

Enabling this option will force ML:2 to always create a WiFi network on boot up, even if it can connect to another available local WiFi network. Sometimes you wish to keep your Link session separate from your home or studio WiFi network.

Disabling the option will go back to its default behavior: ML:2 will try to connect to one of the stored WiFi networks in its list. If it cannot connect to a network it will then create its own WiFi network in Access Point Mode.

Updating Firmware

Upon entering the Update Firmware page, ML:2 will automatically ping the Circuit Happy updates server to check for an available update. If one is available, a button will appear that reads INSTALL UPDATE. Click it to start the update download and install process.

A window will pop up showing the installation progress.

After the install successfully finishes, ML:2 will automatically reboot and the Web Control Panel will refresh when ML:2 is back online. You can verify that the new firmware version installed successfully by checking the firmware version listed at the bottom of every page of the Web Control Panel:

Beta Codes

At the bottom of the Firmware Update page, there is a “Beta Code” area. If you were a beta tester you would enter a secret beta code here to install an experimental firmware to test. Unless you are participating in a beta testing program, please leave the Beta Code box empty.

Troubleshooting

I can’t connect to the Web Control Panel

Make sure that your computer is connected to the exact same WiFi network as your ML:2. If your computer is connected to the WiFi network with “My Network 5G” at the end but The Missing Link is connected to “My Network” (without “5G” at the end), they may not be able to see each other correctly.

2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz WiFi

ML:2 can only communicate on a 2.4 GHz WiFi antenna. If your WiFi router has combined both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz networks under one name (this is quite common) it is possible your computer or other devices are connected to the 5 GHz network and your ML:2 will be connected to the 2.4 GHz network. These two combined networks may not be able to send Link between them. It is best to name your 2.4 GHz network differently from your 5 GHz network. This way you can be assured that all the devices you wish to Link together are on the 2.4 GHz network.

Be sure there’s a trailing slash in the URL:
http://ml2-xxxx.local/

If that doesn’t work try dropping the .local from the URL:
http://ml2-xxxx/

When in Access Point Mode you can use this IP address to access your Missing Link:
http://192.168.4.1

When your Missing Link is connected to your own WiFi network, then the IP address is usually dynamically assigned by your WiFi router. You should be able to find the IP address of your Missing Link via the administration panel of your WiFi router.