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Connecting using MIDI instead of USB

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Connecting using MIDI instead of USB

Postby Airlane » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:30 pm

I use a Yamaha MX49 synth in my home setup and I'd like to change to MIDI connections from it rather than its USB in order to avoid the intrusive noises I'm getting as a result of a ground loop (MIDI is protected from this problem by its design). How can I do this? I have the following:
- Yamaha CLP130 piano with MIDI In/Out/Thru
- MX49 with MIDI In/Out
- Steinberg UR22 MkII USB audio interface with MIDI In/Out
- Windows 10 laptop with Cubase Ai 9.5
I'm struggling to find a way to make this work so that I can use the piano as a MIDI input keyboard, plus the MX49 as a sound source and a MIDI input device (it has a useful arpeggiator and some MIDI CC hardware controls). It works fine now, if noisily, with the MX and the UR22 connected to the laptop via separate USB cables but I want to get rid of the MX's USB connection and use MIDI instead and thereby eliminate the ground loop whistles and buzzes. Any ideas?
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Re: Connecting using MIDI instead of USB

Postby James Perrett » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:07 pm

I'd suggest going for a separate MIDI interface for your computer which will augment the MIDI on the UR22. Unlike audio, there is no problem with using multiple MIDI interfaces on one computer.

When I wanted to do something similar I found a used MOTU Fastlane USB interface for under £20 which works fine with my Windows 10 laptop. I also use a Midiman 2x2 USB interface in the studio.
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Re: Connecting using MIDI instead of USB

Postby Airlane » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:24 am

James Perrett wrote:I'd suggest going for a separate MIDI interface for your computer which will augment the MIDI on the UR22. Unlike audio, there is no problem with using multiple MIDI interfaces on one computer.

When I wanted to do something similar I found a used MOTU Fastlane USB interface for under £20 which works fine with my Windows 10 laptop. I also use a Midiman 2x2 USB interface in the studio.
The Fastlane is actually at least twice that price, so far as I can find it, and I'd like to solve this a bit more cheaply. Someone on another forum who had the same problem suggested using a USB isolator, and they are on eBay between £6-12. Perhaps one of those would eliminate the noise while allowing me to keep the USB connection. This seems to be a common problem using USB interfaces in home studios.
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