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Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

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Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby moth_baller » Sun Mar 14, 2021 8:37 am

I've been using an Presonus Audio box for the past year or so that I picked up for almost free at a pawn shop. It's super old and want to upgrade as it's a bit noisy doesn't play too nice with my computer.

I think I want to go with a Presonus 26c for my new one. My budget is around 200 so I'm open to other ones. 2 preamps minimum. Obvious other choice is a focusrite. I know in that price range most interfaces are all on about the same level but I want to know how much I should be a stickler for midi ports on the interface vs just going with a usb midi controller.

I'm also in the market for a midi controller keyboard. I've been doing okay with just my mouse and qwerty but workflow wise an actual keyboard would be very helpful.

I'm curious if anyone has regretted not getting their interface with midi ports on it or not?

So also a suggestion for a basic midi controller as well. Nothing fancy. I do everything through software and it's more for workflow efficiency. Tip top of budget is around 100

I use fl studio, Bias, and guitar rig. Use the synths and things in FL. I have JBL 305 for my monitors.

I do mostly metal and electronic stuff (or a blend) mostly. One or 2 mics at the same time, or guitar/bass is what I plug in.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:06 pm

I didn't think I'd need midi ports when I bought my interfaces but I have subsequently used them frequently.
I wouldn't buy a replacement without them now.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby Music Wolf » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:05 pm

No midi ports on my Steinberg UR824, and I don't miss them (I thought that I would when I bought it). I think that my old Alesis Fusion has MIDI on DIN only, but I gave that to my son and I can't be bothered going upstairs to check. Everything that I'm using has MIDI over USB, I'm only using DIN to connect a string of live kit.

If I need MIDI on DIN then I have an old Midisport 2x2 box. I dug it out from the loft the other day to try but then realised that I didn't need it as my Helix can send MIDI over both DIN and USB simultaneously.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby James Perrett » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:12 pm

I'm quite happy to use a separate MIDI interface - even when I have MIDI ports on the audio interface that I'm using.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby CS70 » Sun Mar 14, 2021 1:33 pm

I have them and never used it for years... until a couple weeks ago when I hooked up my digital piano via midi for the first time, instead of having to record the analogue output! So more about happy to have them than regretting not to!
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby worshiptuned » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:22 pm

CS70 wrote:I have them and never used it for years...

same here!!! I always end up connecting the keyboard through the USB!

Can be useful if you are short of USB ports or maybe for the CPU? Is a keyboard connected through midi lighter on the CPU than one connected through the USB?
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:26 pm

It wouldn't be a disaster, since you can always add a MIDI port, but given the choice I'd always recommend having a MIDI port available on an interface, for the sake of fewer boxes and cables, if nothing else.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:44 pm

MIDI features strongly in my workflow and I've always used a separate MIDI interface (for DIN connections) as I find it more flexible. It's also proven useful for me on occasion to be able to physically relocate the MIDI interface in my environment; something that would be difficult to do if it was built into the audio interface.

My current MIDI interface also operates usefully in a couple of stand-alone modes without a computer attached, which is a feature I've used several times and anticipate doing more of going forward.

Thus in my case I've no regrets at all!
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby OneWorld » Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:28 pm

moth_baller wrote:I've been using an Presonus Audio box for the past year or so that I picked up for almost free at a pawn shop. It's super old and want to upgrade as it's a bit noisy doesn't play too nice with my computer.

I think I want to go with a Presonus 26c for my new one. My budget is around 200 so I'm open to other ones. 2 preamps minimum. Obvious other choice is a focusrite. I know in that price range most interfaces are all on about the same level but I want to know how much I should be a stickler for midi ports on the interface vs just going with a usb midi controller.

I'm also in the market for a midi controller keyboard. I've been doing okay with just my mouse and qwerty but workflow wise an actual keyboard would be very helpful.

I'm curious if anyone has regretted not getting their interface with midi ports on it or not?

So also a suggestion for a basic midi controller as well. Nothing fancy. I do everything through software and it's more for workflow efficiency. Tip top of budget is around 100

I use fl studio, Bias, and guitar rig. Use the synths and things in FL. I have JBL 305 for my monitors.

I do mostly metal and electronic stuff (or a blend) mostly. One or 2 mics at the same time, or guitar/bass is what I plug in.

I cannot fathom why MIDI is omitted on a some kit, it seems such a fundamental part of music tech. I have a ZOOM R24, which I sometimes use as an interface, and how I would like to use it is to sync the recorder to a DAW, but, no MIDI :-( and neither is it possible over the USB either

Pssst, anyone wanna to buy a ZOOM R24! hardly used!
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby The Elf » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:07 pm

OneWorld wrote:Pssst, anyone wanna to buy a ZOOM R24! hardly used!
I know someone who could make good use of that. PM me with some numbers, mate...
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby James Perrett » Sun Mar 14, 2021 4:08 pm

OneWorld wrote:I have a ZOOM R24, which I sometimes use as an interface, and how I would like to use it is to sync the recorder to a DAW, but, no MIDI :-( and neither is it possible over the USB either

Pssst, anyone wanna to buy a ZOOM R24! hardly used!

You could always do it the old fashioned way...

Stripe one of the audio tracks on the R24 with timecode and have your DAW follow the timecode.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby ef37a » Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:04 pm

Many here will know that this has long been a hobby horse of mine!

The early interfaces that son and I used all had MIDI ports. Tascams and a Fast track Pro and the 2496 cards in a desktop, even the fairly budget (for its facilities) Behringer BCA2000 had In Out and Thru! We therefore came to consider DIN ports as part of an AI and I was very surprised when the boxes started to appear without them. The first I recall was the Tascam 2000? I was also contacted by an ex Tascam tech who told me he was sure it was a cockup and "strong words" were had.

Since the ports appear on some very low cost interfaces and other devices such as amplifiers the cost must be minimal and I can see no reason for their omission on any AI of the standard minimum '2 in 2out format? Yes there is some gear that has a very crowded rear panel but it is surely possible to squeeze in either a D breakout connector or a pair of 3.5mm jacks as is seen sometimes? And, look in any issue of Sound on Sound and you will see at least one 'synth' type device (usually bloody pages of them!) and these almost always have DIN MIDI ports. How simple and tidy it is to just whack a couple of cables to the AI?

In case someone retorts "How simple and tidy to just use a USB lead" I reply. Some computers have a very low USB port count.

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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby shufflebeat » Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:28 pm

It made the difference when I was choosing between the ssl2 & ssl2+.

My midi keyboard use tends to be sporadic and unplanned as I'm mostly dealing with recorded instruments. I usually reach for keys for double bass and percussion and recently some fancy chimes.

To have this be a matter of one midi lead makes all the difference.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby moth_baller » Mon Mar 15, 2021 5:28 am

Thanks all. Sounds like leaning towards not a deal breaker not having them and just use a usb controller. I'm not hearing a bunch of usb causing problems vs going through a midi port on the interface. still going to shoot for midi ports but I won't let it be an end all. Options for more interfaces open up a bit.

I can get away with a cheaper controller for my purposes then as pricier ones are mostly what have midi ports.

My other thought process was if the interface handling a midi port used less cpu vs usb then a midi port would be a better option. I have usb ports to spare though also.
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Re: Anyone regret not having midi inputs on their interface?

Postby ef37a » Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:04 pm

"My other thought process was if the interface handling a midi port used less cpu vs usb then a midi port would be a better option"

^ IMHO, B******s of the highest order. The 'sampling rate' for MIDI data iirc is around 30kHz and the data throughput, even using all 16 channels is pretty low?

Now, my 'digital' knowledge is I admit very low but since MIDI ports are, as I said above, found on the cheapest and meanest of devices the CPU hit cannot be that high? I do know I had the M-A Fast track pro, a USB 1.1 interface but that could nonetheless run two audio inputs, S/PDIF in and out AND MIDI I/0. The latency with a pretty low end laptop was still perfectly usable for keyboard using the right software, i.e. NOT Windows Wavetable!

The question is a bit of an odd one? IF someone has bought an interface but did not need MIDI they would not miss it? If they KNEW they needed MIDI into the PC, WTF would they buy an interface without it? For sure, NOT having MIDI ports is not going to save you any money.

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