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Audio Interface has no Midi I/O - I need it though ! Utility Plugins
Old 3rd August 2014
  #1
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Audio Interface has no Midi I/O - I need it though !

Dear Gearlovers,
I had already put my bid on a Roland XV-5080 sound module on ebay when I realized that my Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 doesn't have midi in/outs. Now I'm agonizing over what to do but I couldn't find a quick solution like a midi to usb-thing.
Now, do I really have to buy a new audio interface with midi i/o ?
My setup is vary basic with just a laptop + Ableton, the focusrite and a cheap midi-keyboard ( that I connect via usb3 to usb ).
I would be really grateful for any advice on how to solve this. Love the forum !
Old 3rd August 2014
  #2
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Mushy Mushy's Avatar
 

I have an M-Audio Uno for this very purpose on my netbook.

Think I paid £20 IIRC, and it does the job perfectly.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #3
Since virtually all computers allow separate selection of the audio interface and MIDI interface, simply add on a small USB MIDI interface like an M-Sport 4X4. or (if you can wait for it) the smaller M-Sport 2X2.

With all of the analog and digital audio I/O on a XV-5080, an audio interface with either more analog inputs, or one with S/PDIF or ADAT connectivity would make it easier for you to record the XV-5080's multiple audio outputs. An audio interface with ADAT optical I/O would be ideal.

A larger audio interface with both ADAT and MIDI would be an "all-in-one" solution if you decide to add audio I/O capability that matches all the audio I/O on the XV-5080. MOTU (and others) make such interfaces that you might want to consider for future expansion.

For now, a good, add-on USB - MIDI box will do the job. For the XV-5080 be sure to get one with (2) MIDI ports.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #4
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Wow, you guys are fantastic, thanks a ton for the quick and kind responses!!
Now, trying to do my homework on analog/digital/midi - ins & outs, I found a good post in another thread that talks specifically about the XV-5080s In- & Outputs ( and also about digital/analog converters, which are expensive ways of adding warmth and character, no ? ) - But I don't understand the relationship/need of all the ins/outs mentioned ( analog,digital,L/R,S/PDIF ) :

"Without ANY doubt (and I'm double checking this right now)... to me, the Roland XV-5080 sounds better using the analog outputs. To use the artistic/audio terminology... the sound was less sterile/flat. In fact, the dynamics seemed more tame coming from the SPDIF, and less musically interesting overall.

The XV-5080's output from the L/R (mix) ports, was punchier, warmer and pleasantly defined with a brighter high-end response. Truly, I was surprised that my favorite D/A converter which has improved the sound of virtually every CD player I've connected it to, did NOT do the same for a vintage rompler. Even so, this is "Roland" we're dealing with; they tend to know what they are doing." - cefshah


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...xv-5080-a.html

Ain't I right in the assumption that I need one midi-input for the XV to know what to play, and then some kind of audio out of there back into the DAW - which probably has to be digital as long as I don't have an A/D-Converter ?

I'm obviously not too well-versed in these technicalities, maybe it would just do if one of you told me which cables to get in my situation ;-). Again, thanks for your time and kind replies, it is helping me a great deal !

Last edited by Umber Hermelin; 3rd August 2014 at 04:00 PM.. Reason: wanted to supply link and username
Old 3rd August 2014
  #5
Right!

You need MIDI to control the XV-5080, to "tell it what to play". If you want to then record the audio output, you would then send the analog output(s) to an audio interface. You can simply send (2) channels of "line-level" output to your Scarlett 2i2 TRS line-level inputs and record that. Your Scarlett 2i2 has an A to D converter which can convert the (2) analog inputs into digital files that your computer DAW can process. Working with (2) channels will get you started, but you won't be able to use most of the XV-5080's capability.

However, the XV-5080 has the capability of creating up to (8) simultaneous audio outputs. The (8) channels are available both as (8) separate analog signals and as an 8-channel digital data stream on the ADAT optical port. The Scarlett 2i2 can only record (2) of them. To record the full output capability of the XV-5080 you would use either an interface with (8) analog inputs and /or one with ADAT optical I/O.

It is possible to record all (8) channels of XV-5080 output through an anaolg mixer (mixing them together) OR to record 2-tracks at a time and use multiple passes to build up all 8 tracks in your DAW. That's obviously slower and harder than simply recording everything at once, but can be done with your existing 2-channel Scarlett 2i2 interface. You can build-up a full orchestral work that way with each instrumental group on it's own tracks in your DAW.

You clearly have some reading to do to become familiar with the capability of the XV-5080 and the related audio and digital terminology. Time to do some homework.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #6
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filipv's Avatar
I am pretty happy with my Midisport 4x4.

Running Roland D50, Korg M1R, Yamaha RM1/x and Korgi MicroX at the same time, no problems whatsoever.

Cheap too.

Old 3rd August 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lotus 7 View Post

However, the XV-5080 has the capability of creating up to (8) simultaneous audio outputs. (...) The Scarlett 2i2 can only record (2) of them. To record the full output capability of the XV-5080 you would use either an interface with (8) analog inputs and /or one with ADAT optical I/O.

You clearly have some reading to do to become familiar with the capability of the XV-5080 and the related audio and digital terminology. Time to do some homework.
Personally, I find that I use and add sounds individually ( from vsti's ), when I write my modest compositions - so I think I won't mind recording instruments individually into my DAW, since I also want to mix them in there. ( I hope I understood you right about recording 2 of the 8 possible audio outputs - that I can only record two channels/instruments at the same time, and not the whole 8 the XV could handle simultaneously )

The sound-card would treat the incoming signal like it was just audio coming from a microphone then, no ? And for that, I would probably need an adapter-cable from optical to XLR ?

About the homework, you're absolutely right - I feel like a little bit of a sponge and will now definitely try to find an article from SOS on the topic and wrap my head around it !
Old 3rd August 2014
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filipv View Post
I am pretty happy with my Midisport 4x4.

Running Roland D50, Korg M1R, Yamaha RM1/x and Korgi MicroX at the same time, no problems whatsoever.

Cheap too.
Yeah, these things look nice. I will probably get the smaller version 'til I saved up some more to start a synth-collection like you have ! :-)
Old 3rd August 2014
  #9
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skillz335's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umber Hermelin View Post
The sound-card would treat the incoming signal like it was just audio coming from a microphone then, no ? And for that, I would probably need an adapter-cable from optical to XLR ?
Ill try and help.

kind of but no. signal wouldn't be treated like mic level signal, it would be treated as a line level signal. You wouldnt not want to feed a mic pre line level signal you could blow out a transformer or something. Mic level is significantly less then line level. Most modern pre amps are either smart and select input based on connectivity, or have type of signal selection switches. mic for mic, line level for line level, instrument for instrument other wise know as a high z input. all of which are different voltages.

Optical is up to 8 channels of audio information per input in the form of light per interconnect, where as xlr is voltage with one channel per cable. there is no cable that can convert optical to analog signal. when you go the optical cable route devices with optical capabilities carry one cable of optical with up to 8 channels of information for ADAT and 2 for S/PDIF.

Once the audio information arrives at a new device it has further routing options from there. For example if you took 8 ADAT optical and fed a mixer that has optical tape returns or ADAT input you could route that signal to become 8 channels of analog output. or you could sum all the information together in what is called a stem( 8 tracks to one mono track or a stereo pair of tracks). Also an Interface with S/PDIF or ADAT can input the information and have it arrive at its corresponding channels via your DAWs. I/O assignments. I hope that was helpfull.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Umber Hermelin View Post
...The sound-card would treat the incoming signal like it was just audio coming from a microphone then, no ? And for that, I would probably need an adapter-cable from optical to XLR ?...
The interface will "... treat the incoming signal like it was just audio coming from a microphone", except the signal is much stronger than that from a mic, so should never be connected to a mic-level (XLR) input. (see below)

The XV-5080 has (8) nice TRS analog outputs on 1/4-inch jacks, plus the ADAT optical port which carries the same (8) channels only in a mixed digital stream, plus S/PDIF which is a wired digital format which can carry (2) selected audio channels.

Since you don't have an ADAT-equipped interface, forget about using the optical port and simply use the analog outputs. You can set up (4) different stereo synth sounds an then just use the (8) outputs on the XV-5080 like a patch panel moving from one instrument to the next as you record them.

If, in the future you decide to purchase a "wider" interface, you should consider one with either (8) analog inputs or one ADAT optical input. Either will then accept the full output of the XV-5080. For now, there's plenty you can do with your existing (2) Scarlett analog channels.

With your current Scarlett 2i2 you have (2) analog "combo" jacks. The "combo" jacks each have (2) sections, the outer XLR part which is only for mic-level signals, and the inner 1/4-inch section which is a balanced TRS line-level input.

Any two of the XV-5080 analog line-level outputs can be connected to the (2) TRS jacks in the "combo" connectors using 1/4-inch TRS/TRS cables. Two of these will get you started.

Do not connect the XV-5080 outputs to the XLR "combo" sections. The signal level is way too high and will overload the inputs resulting in distortion. In addition, the XLR "combo" section can carry P48 (+48 Volt phantom power for powering a microphone). If you were to accidentally turn on the phantom power (very easy to do),with your synth connected to the XLR section, you could easily damage the synth. It's not designed to have a DC voltage applied to its outputs! The TRS sections are always "safe". Phantom power is blocked from the TRS sections. Accidentally switching it on won't hurt anything connected via TRS.

The only thing that should ever be connected to either of the Scarlett 2i2 XLR "combo" inputs is a microphone or a DI box with an attenuated mic-level output. There are devices with line-level outputs on XLR connectors. Just because they are on an XLR, does not mean they are safe to connect to a mic input.
Old 3rd August 2014
  #11
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Thank you guys - I really am amazed by this community. Even though I didn't quite understand all the technical details, you definitely prevented me from doing some ( major ) mistakes. I'll now go and read up on it, to figure out the bits I missed. Thank you again for the time and effort you put into explaining this stuff to amateurs like me, this forum really is something!!
Old 4th August 2014
  #12
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skillz335's Avatar
No problem Im glad to help if I can.

and for the record Im just an informed armature still in his eternal ongoing learning phase.
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