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MIDI QUESTION- USB MIDI via USB hub or MIDI via DIN to MIDI interface?
Old 16th December 2019
  #1
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Quantum7's Avatar
MIDI QUESTION- USB MIDI via USB hub or MIDI via DIN to MIDI interface?

I curious what works best for you all. I was about to purchase eight 15' MIDI cables for my synths....which are surprisingly pricey for good ones. These would go into my MIDI interface. All but one of my 7 synths have USB MIDI also, so I was curious if going USB MIDI to a powered USB hub would be just as reliable for timing. I'm just trying to decide on 15' USB cables or 15' MIDI cables so I thought it best to hear your opinions before going either way. Thanks!
Old 16th December 2019
  #2
Do your synths have MIDI in/out and do you plan to use both, or just in? If you plan to use both then you would need 15 midi cables, but only 7 USB cables, so that is a simpler setup. You might want to have in and out if, for example, your synths have on-board sequencers that you would want to get timing info from, or computer based editor software that requires an in/out connection, or you want to play the synth's keyboard and record those notes. Just sayin...
Old 16th December 2019
  #3
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jweisbin View Post
Do your synths have MIDI in/out and do you plan to use both, or just in? If you plan to use both then you would need 16 midi cables, but only 8 USB cables, so that is a simpler setup. You might want to have in and out if, for example, your synths have on-board sequencers that you would want to get timing info from, or computer based editor software that requires an in/out connection, or you want to play the synth's keyboard and record those notes. Just sayin...
Yeah, USB certainly in much handier.......not to mention my Mio 10 MIDI interface has been a nightmare half of the time for me. I just was curious if USB MIDI through a powered USB hub had the same great timing as the old fashion way.
Old 16th December 2019
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
Yeah, USB certainly in much handier.......not to mention my Mio 10 MIDI interface has been a nightmare half of the time for me. I just was curious if USB MIDI through a powered USB hub had the same great timing as the old fashion way.
The timing with USB should be as good or better. However, old-fashioned MIDI interfaces do allow some fancy routing and filtering options that you won't get with a USB hub, though your DAW can probably do most of that stuff anyway.

One other caveat: some synths require USB drivers to be installed in your computer, and some don't. With 7 different ones that could be a nightmare.
Old 17th December 2019
  #5
Gear Nut
Interested as well. I'm converting my Midi from an old Motu unit to a new MioXL. I've only ever used the DIN type connections, but am now moving those synths that support Midi over USB to USB. I'll be interested to see how it works for me.
Old 17th December 2019
  #6
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by husker View Post
Interested as well. I'm converting my Midi from an old Motu unit to a new MioXL. I've only ever used the DIN type connections, but am now moving those synths that support Midi over USB to USB. I'll be interested to see how it works for me.
I hope your Mio woks better than mine did. ZERO support from them after sending multiple emails over the last year. Every month that goes by I have actually started to loath them.
Old 17th December 2019
  #7
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Arglebargle's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jweisbin View Post
The timing with USB should be as good or better. However, old-fashioned MIDI interfaces do allow some fancy routing and filtering options that you won't get with a USB hub, though your DAW can probably do most of that stuff anyway.

One other caveat: some synths require USB drivers to be installed in your computer, and some don't. With 7 different ones that could be a nightmare.
Yeah, class compliance has become a very strong selling point for me. I've several different 'little rigs', with a powered usb hub for each one.
Old 17th December 2019
  #8
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string6theory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
I hope your Mio woks better than mine did. ZERO support from them after sending multiple emails over the last year. Every month that goes by I have actually started to loath them.
The only Mio’s I use and can recommend are the simple 1-channel MIDI I/O to USB units, about the size of an elongated business card with black & white Din MIDI cables going in one end and a USB 2 cable out the other. Never had any issues and they work like plug n play utility tools. No muss, no fuss. But, also, no cfg settings. Just straight up MIDI to USB.

I use these on all my synths without USB.

For MIDI interfaces, I went with used (and unsupported) Roland UM-880s, but haven’t set them up yet to let you know how they are working.

I use all USB 3 hubs, even for USB 2 devices, but they’re sometimes hit and miss. Some devices don’t like them, some are ok, sometimes inputs don’t show up in the computer for no apparent reason... but they appear to be quite necessary, so what are gonna do.
Old 17th December 2019
  #9
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A couple of threads from other forums that might interest you:

https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=75823

https://www.harmonycentral.com/forum...ature-of-midi/

Executive summary: you may get more jitter using USB MIDI, and there's also an increased possibility of noise since USB isn't opto-isolated like DIN MIDI.

Personal experience is that I haven't noticed any timing or noise problems, but then I've never run a large setup on USB MIDI.
Old 17th December 2019
  #10
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Quantum7's Avatar
Thank you all for your comments. I have a powered USB 3 hub and some 15' USB cables coming later this week and will see how my 6 USB MIDI synths play all together in Cubase. Not having to use my MIO 10 much would definitely get rid of some stress. Even the MIO software doesn't work half the time for me.
Old 17th December 2019
  #11
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How about one of these on one long USB cable and then run short MIDI cables to the synths?

https://www.thomann.de/gb/esi_m4u_ex.htm

Bigger one:

https://www.thomann.de/gb/esi_m8u_ex.htm
Old 24th January 2020
  #12
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Zappacat's Avatar
Cheap USB hub as substitute for stand alone setup VS dedicated MIDI hub ?

OK, I picked up one of these with the idea I could power it from a USB battery pack and have full stand alone(without computer) midi capability between my devices which consist of :

Arturia DrumBrute
IKmultimedia UnoSynth
ASM Hydrasynth
Arturia MicroFreak

https://www.anker.com/products/varia...a-hub/A7516011

Am I barking up the wrong tree here with respect to functionality ? I was assuming I could hook them all up via the Anker USB data hub and could enjoy ALL the midi functionality bypassing the necessity for all the midi patch cables. Is there a better way to do this like using a dedicated USB hub?

Please keep in mind I'm trying to do this WITHOUT any form of computer hooked up to the USB hub or any of the devices in the chain.

Any help/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Clarification : I'm not concerned about audio signals transmitted via USB. I have all the audio outs going into my mixer. I just need to have them all sync up to the clock on the drumbrute and be able to transmit and receive note triggers from the sequencers on the Uno MicroFreak DrumBrute and the pads on the HydraSynth. This is my attempt at getting back to basics with what I currently have while staying away from the computer for a while. I got so caught up in the computer aspect of music that I think it's had some negative effects when it comes to creativity.

Last edited by Zappacat; 24th January 2020 at 12:43 AM.. Reason: clarification
Old 24th January 2020
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappacat View Post
OK, I picked up one of these with the idea I could power it from a USB battery pack and have full stand alone(without computer) midi capability between my devices which consist of :

Arturia DrumBrute
IKmultimedia UnoSynth
ASM Hydrasynth
Arturia MicroFreak

https://www.anker.com/products/varia...a-hub/A7516011

Am I barking up the wrong tree here with respect to functionality ? I was assuming I could hook them all up via the Anker USB data hub and could enjoy ALL the midi functionality bypassing the necessity for all the midi patch cables. Is there a better way to do this like using a dedicated USB hub?

Please keep in mind I'm trying to do this WITHOUT any form of computer hooked up to the USB hub or any of the devices in the chain.

Any help/suggestions greatly appreciated.
You can try but I'm pretty sure that won't work without a computer attached to the hub. USB functionality is tied to a computer.
Old 24th January 2020
  #14
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Quantum7's Avatar
OK, even though I had issues with my Mio10, I decided to give them one more chance and purchased the MIOXL. So far, so good!
Old 24th January 2020
  #15
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Zappacat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jweisbin View Post
You can try but I'm pretty sure that won't work without a computer attached to the hub. USB functionality is tied to a computer.
I think you're right. For some reason I figured if USB hub had power it would function just like a Midi hub setup. Unless I have something configured wrong it isn't working as I had hoped. I stripped the setup down to :

DrumBrute and HydraSynth hooked to the hub via USB hub and got not results with respect to clock sync or midi notes sent in either direction.

Thanks for your response.
Old 24th January 2020
  #16
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Zappacat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
OK, even though I had issues with my Mio10, I decided to give them one more chance and purchased the MIOXL. So far, so good!
Wow that's a big ticket item !!! Could you recommend anything a LOT cheaper that would support 4 midi devices at a time ?
Old 24th January 2020
  #17
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappacat View Post
Wow that's a big ticket item !!! Could you recommend anything a LOT cheaper that would support 4 midi devices at a time ?
I would think that you could pick up a used MOTU Midi interface for a reasonable price on Reverb.com

https://reverb.com/item/31399036-mot...midi-interface
Old 24th January 2020
  #18
bax
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
OK, even though I had issues with my Mio10, I decided to give them one more chance and purchased the MIOXL. So far, so good!
I run 2x mio10 and 2x mioXL units (and another mio10 gathering dust in the closet). The mioXL is IMHO their "fix" for all the crap that was wrong (hardware and software) with the mio10 and I am pretty happy with them. My biggest gripe with the mioXL is that they changed up the mix of DIN connectivity; I would have much rather that they kept the 10x10 vs the new 8x12 arrangement, but the built-in USB ports and the new Auracle for XL software that actually *works* (as opposed to the unreliable P.O.S that is/was iConfig) makes up for it in my case.

The network MIDI works very well now between the XL units and is great for setting up communication and routing between units without needing to fire up a DAW all the time. Not so much fun setting up netMIDI traffic between the mioXLs and the mio10s; it is technically functional but pretty convoluted to configure as you have to configure half of it on the Auracle for XL software and then try to get iConfig to work to configure the mio10 side. Even then, there are very few ports on the mio10 compared to the XL...so if you have a large rig you are almost forced to resort to channelizing instead of dedicating ports. I'm still not sure that isn't something they could address/expand in the mio10 with firmware but I'm 100.76% certain we have seen the absolute last of any kind of support for the mio10 line. VERY frustrated at that...I bought three of them within a year of launch with the (I believe perfectly reasonable) expectation that it wouldn't be abandoned just a couple years after its introduction. I'd be at least satisfied if they finished Auracle to *actually* work with the full featureset of the mio10 as promised. Also makes me nervous about what mioXL support will look like in a year from now...

If they weren't so expensive I'd probably swap out my other mio10s for XLs, but I've got things dialed in now pretty well and don't feel like screwing with it any more to be totally honest...maybe when they are cheaper on the used market.

Thanks!
bax
Old 24th January 2020
  #19
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tjontheroad's Avatar
I just installed a MioXL. The accompanying newer Auricle software is much better than the previous iConnect software (I also have the MIDI4+). The biggest downside is that all USB devices connected to it must be class compliant. Otherwise, they will not work and must be connected via DIN MIDI (I’m looking at you Roland ).
Old 24th January 2020
  #20
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Keep in mind the MOTU MTP AV units are a bit more well-behaved than the XT ones. Also, you can use the built-in network to bridge two and make a 16-port interface. Which is really cool...
Old 24th January 2020
  #21
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Why would you say thst usb is better than DIN?
Old 24th January 2020
  #22
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

I use a little of both but mostly din but I roll my own cables with top shelf stuff though.
Old 24th January 2020
  #23
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Zappacat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcabbage View Post
I use a little of both but mostly din but I roll my own cables with top shelf stuff though.
I appreciate all your advice but I still don't get it. Maybe I'm really naive but I have 4 midi devices that I want to share common clock triggers and info. Is my only solution to go through ???

If that's the case I need to know what I need minimally because I already blew all my money on the synthesizers. At least I'm honest about it.

Signed,
Sincerely POOR
Old 24th January 2020
  #24
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Acid Mitch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappacat View Post
Wow that's a big ticket item !!! Could you recommend anything a LOT cheaper that would support 4 midi devices at a time ?
Iconnectmidi4+
Old 24th January 2020
  #25
bax
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjontheroad View Post
I just installed a MioXL. The accompanying newer Auricle software is much better than the previous iConnect software (I also have the MIDI4+). The biggest downside is that all USB devices connected to it must be class compliant. Otherwise, they will not work and must be connected via DIN MIDI (I’m looking at you Roland ).
Depending on the Roland gear you have, you can change the Roland USB MIDI to be class-compliant and work very well with the mioXL (or any other USB MIDI interface). I have both an Integra7 and Jupiter-Xm connected and working over USB on mine just fine. If your Roland unit has a USB Driver Mode and is set to "VENDER" (sic) change it to "GENERIC" and it will be class-compliant. That said, you lose any of the Roland-specific (non-class-compliant) features if that is important to you. It's not been an issue for me...

HTH...thanks!
bax

Last edited by bax; 24th January 2020 at 04:51 PM..
Old 24th January 2020
  #26
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tjontheroad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bax View Post
Depending on the Roland gear you have, you can change the Roland USB MIDI to be class-compliant and work very well with the mioXL (or any other USB MIDI interface). I have both an Intergra7 and Jupiter-Xm connected and working over USB on mine just fine. If your Roland unit has a USB Driver Mode and is set to "VENDER" (sic) change it to "GENERIC" and it will be class-compliant. That said, you lose any of the Roland-specific (non-class-compliant) features if that it important to you. It's not been an issue for me...

HTH...thanks!
bax
I have both SE-01 and SH-01A. I could be wrong, but I don't think they have that ability. I'll take another look though. Thanks.
Old 24th January 2020
  #27
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Mastropiero's Avatar
If you use SysEx messages, try to avoid the USB inferno as much as you can.

If you don't use SysEx, any option will work fine.
Old 24th January 2020
  #28
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zappacat View Post
I appreciate all your advice but I still don't get it. Maybe I'm really naive but I have 4 midi devices that I want to share common clock triggers and info. Is my only solution to go through ???

If that's the case I need to know what I need minimally because I already blew all my money on the synthesizers. At least I'm honest about it.

Signed,
Sincerely POOR
Only in America can someone have 4 synthesizers and consider themselves “poor”. LOL . Seriously though, spending some $100 for a used midi interface is going to make your life so much easier, and if you spent the money on the synths, you really should do yourself a favor and just spend a little bit more so they can all properly talk to one another and make your synth life much easier in the long run.
Old 24th January 2020
  #29
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Acid Mitch's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastropiero View Post
If you use SysEx messages, try to avoid the USB inferno as much as you can.

If you don't use SysEx, any option will work fine.
I’m sending sysex over usb everyday without issue.
You must have a problem with your particular gear/set up.
Old 24th January 2020
  #30
The new MiO XL has 10 USB ports, and might act as the "computer" in standalone mode, but I can't say for sure.
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