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Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

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Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:30 pm
by Bob Bickerton
I'm something of a novice when it comes to synth set ups, so please bear with!

I'm trying to get my Arturia Beatstep (non-pro) to send MIDI clock to an Arturia Keystep as well as send its MIDI information to a synth (Waldorf Streichfett/2 Pole).

The Beatstep sends out MIDI clock just fine and in fact I'm able to go to the Streichfett via a TC Electronic Triple Delay. The Beatstep clocks the delay just fine (actually really cool!)

I've just ordered a Miditech 1 In 4 Out MIDI Thru Splitter, but now realise that it relies on power being supplied down the MIDI IN. The Beatstep does not provide power!

So I'm wondering if anyone can advise of a self-powered MIDI Splitter? I'm thinking 4 outs as I could potentially send MIDI clock to a TC Electronic X4 Looper (though I've no idea how that would help!)

I guess the other solution would be an 'inline' MIDI power module (if such a thing existed).

I take it there's a reason you couldn't do a straight do-it-yourself-soldered Y-cable split?

Appreciated as always.

Bob

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:43 pm
by Dave B
If it were me ... I would cancel the order and look around for a midi thru which takes a separate power supply (or has one built in). It's like getting a usb hub - everything is fine right up until something doesn't like not having a good, correctly spec'd connection and then it's a nightmare. In the past I've used various units and all of them had some form of power (except the merge, but that's very low impact). Even a battery can last ages if you unplug the input when not in use.

my 2c anyway ..

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:46 pm
by Dave B
Failing that, it looks like you can get midi power supply units. Midi Solutions do a box for their stuff.

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:50 pm
by Dan LB
Hi Bob,

I use one of these: https://www.thomann.de/ie/kenton_midi_thru_5.htm

Never had any trouble with it at all. I've not used it with the Beatstep but I have with the Beatstep Pro and it works flawlessly.

Dan

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:36 am
by resistorman

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:05 am
by zenguitar
It might be worth offering some clarification here, for the benefit of lurkers and those new to the Ancient Order of MIDI.

MIDI is both a data standard and a hardware standard, as it has evolved the standard has expanded to send the data over USB as well as the old, faithful, 5 pin DiN In, Out, and Thru sockets.

The issue here is that hardware electrical specification is opto-isolated and only uses 3 of the 5 pins in the DiN plug. And because it is opto-isolated, it can't carry power if wired according to the standard.

However, a number of manufacturers thought that they could take advantage of the two unused pins in the DiN connector to solve a problem. Why run two cables to a MIDI floor controller when you can do it with one? Slam the power down the two unused pins of the MIDI cable and no need to find a spare power socket on stage for the floor controller PSU, and it's a great way to encourage owners of your MIDI controlled guitar pre-amp to spend the extra and buy your floor controller as well, instead of a generic MIDI floor controller.

While power over a MIDI cable is trivially simple to do, the problem is that there is no standard. You don't have a standard voltage and it could be AC or DC depending on the manufacturer.

In this case, Miditech sell keyboards as well as the MIDI splitter and other assorted MIDI boxes. So the reasonable assumption is that their keyboards offer power over MIDI from the MIDI out socket, and their MIDI boxes receive power over the MIDI in socket. But the manuals for the MIDI splitter and keyboard don't give any detail on the voltage/current required/supplied or whether it is AC or DC.

If the Miditech box does exactly what you want, you could still make it work for you. But you would need to email Miditech support to discover what it's power requirements are, and the pin out connections. Then all you need is a small box, a suitable power supply, a pair of 5 pin DiN sockets, and a suitable socket for your chosen PSU. You connect the MIDI signal between the correct pins of both sockets, label one In and the other Out, and apply power to the correct pins of the Out socket.

And there is one final caveat, you need to be careful about the MIDI cables you use. Some have 5 cores + screen to match the 5 pins in the plug, but because the MIDI standard only uses 3 of those pins some cables only have 3 cores and a screen.

Hope that is useful.

Andy :beamup:

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:16 am
by Dan LB
Quick question:
how does the Beatstep Pro's MIDI output (TRS mini-jack) manage to power a Midisolutions Quadra Thru (which takes its power from whatever is plugged to its MIDI input). Do Arturia do something clever inside their DIN adapters in order to supply power to the likes of these Midisolutions devices?

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:51 am
by ef37a
Dan LB wrote:Quick question:
how does the Beatstep Pro's MIDI output (TRS mini-jack) manage to power a Midisolutions Quadra Thru (which takes its power from whatever is plugged to its MIDI input). Do Arturia do something clever inside their DIN adapters in order to supply power to the likes of these Midisolutions devices?

Since MIDI data is differential on 4&5 perhaps they use a centre tapped pulse transformer and version of the now obsolete phantom power system?

Dave.

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:05 am
by Bob Bickerton
Thanks everyone for the tips and thanks Andy for the background. I guess I've only used MIDI in a simplistic sense and have been lucky enough not to have delved more deeply into the technology than simply plugging it in!

I've just cancelled the order for the passive unit and ordered an Amptone as that gives the option of battery or wall wart operation.

Much appreciated.

Bob

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:17 pm
by Martin Walker
Bob Bickerton wrote:I've just cancelled the order for the passive unit and ordered an Amptone as that gives the option of battery or wall wart operation.

And thanks to resistorman too, who provided the Amptone link, as I had no idea that you could also buy those DIY MIDI X/Y pads for guitars (I thought they were custom things designed and fitted by top-line guitar techs/luthiers! :thumbup:

https://amptonelab.com/shop/xy-midipad/

Image


Martin

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:30 pm
by Wonks
Martin Walker wrote:And thanks to resistorman too, who provided the Amptone link, as I had no idea that you could also buy those DIY MIDI X/Y pads for guitars (I thought they were custom things designed and fitted by top-line guitar techs/luthiers! :thumbup:

INSTALLATION
XY MIDIpad is intended to be installed by professional luthiers and guitar repair/custom shops only. It requires significant woodworking, as well as having appropriate tools and being able to use them in a safe manner. AmpTone Lab cannot be held responsible for any damages that may occur during installation.



You were right, Martin.

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:31 pm
by zenguitar
Yes, a very useful link. I've bookmarked it for future reference. Thanks.

Andy :beamup:

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:44 pm
by Martin Walker
Wonks wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:And thanks to resistorman too, who provided the Amptone link, as I had no idea that you could also buy those DIY MIDI X/Y pads for guitars (I thought they were custom things designed and fitted by top-line guitar techs/luthiers! :thumbup:

INSTALLATION
XY MIDIpad is intended to be installed by professional luthiers and guitar repair/custom shops only. It requires significant woodworking, as well as having appropriate tools and being able to use them in a safe manner. AmpTone Lab cannot be held responsible for any damages that may occur during installation.



You were right, Martin.

I was thinking more from the synth/keyboardists point of view - I've often fancied a ribbon controller on one of my keyboards for vibrato duties, so a complete DIY kit would suit me down to the ground, without requiring any fancy woodworking skills 8-)


Martin

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:06 pm
by Wonks
You need a reasonable amount of space behind the pad, at least 18mm. I can't see any reason why you can't flush-mount the pad, though if the pad steps in under the frame, then you 'll get an unsightly gap. On a guitar, it needs a 1.5mm rout around the main cut-out area for the pad to sit in. Not that easy in a thin plastic or metal synth case though if you were making your own case, then it is do-able.

https://amptonelab.com/wp-content/uploa ... ual_EN.pdf

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:47 pm
by Martin Walker
Thanks Wonks - one day someone will create a slimline ribbon controller that simply requires two holes drilling in an existing panel to bolt it on at both ends, and a third hole drilling to pass the cable through to the other side where the control circuitry can be mounted :beamup:


Martin

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:47 am
by zenguitar
Might this come close Martin?

https://amptonelab.com/products/midi-strip/

Andy :beamup:

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:03 am
by Tuseth
If ur dawless ur going to have to have a midi thru and they all need some sort of power source if not just use your computer to do all the midi ins and thru's with your daw you could send your arturia beastep to all the channels you want... ;)

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:04 am
by Tuseth
If ur dawless ur going to have to have a midi thru and they all need some sort of power source if not just use your computer to do all the midi ins and thru's with your daw you could send your arturia beastep to all the channels you want... ;)

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:39 pm
by Martin Walker
zenguitar wrote:Might this come close Martin?

https://amptonelab.com/products/midi-strip/

Andy :beamup:

Actually, that's pretty close Andy - thanks! :thumbup:

Image

I assumed all of this range of products would require a deep cavity, but as you can see from this photo of all its parts, the control unit is entirely separate from the resistive strip, which is in turn only a couple of mm thick.

Hmmm... this might work!!


Martin

Whoops - sorry for the hijack Bob ;)

Re: Self-Powered MIDI Splitter?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:07 pm
by BillB
Also sorry for the hijack, but to continue....

How are you going to programme pitch bend or vibrato, Martin? It seems to have 4 modes, each with specific CCs and channels (targetting Kaoss Pad etc), and no obvious way to program it. Interested to know what you have in mind...
:geek: