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Korg X5DR to Host

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Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:53 pm
by DanielBeach
Hi,

Does anybody know if there's somewhere to buy an 8-pin mini din to USB cable? I want to use the connect To Host port on my X5DR to avoid buying an extra midi interface.

Or, is it just easier these days to use regular midi connections?

Daniel

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:04 pm
by Rich Hanson
You're probably best off just getting a basic USB to MIDI cable, which are quite cheap (between £10 and £15).

If I remember correctly, the To Host port is RS422 on a proprietary connector which would require a USB to Serial adaptor plus the Korg Serial to X5DR cable so you'd likely end up paying more.

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:32 pm
by nickle15
As Rich mentioned, the MIDI to USB cable is a wonderful option. That's currently how my Trinity interfaces with my computer. I've not had any problems with this arrangement and in my opinion it doesn't get any easier to connect "old" gear to modern computers.

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:53 pm
by Eddy Deegan
nickle15 wrote:As Rich mentioned, the MIDI to USB cable is a wonderful option. That's currently how my Trinity interfaces with my computer. I've not had any problems with this arrangement and in my opinion it doesn't get any easier to connect "old" gear to modern computers.

That works well if you're connecting a device to a host (the computer being the host in this case).

If you want to connect a device to a device (for example to play the sounds on a Trinity from a USB keyboard controller) then you'll need a USB host box in the middle (or a cable with an inline lump that acts as a USB host).

USB MIDI makes a distinction between the roles at each end of the cable (device vs. host) whereas the old MIDI DIN connections are all treated as straightforward 'in' and 'out' ports regardless of whether they are on a synth, a computer or anything else.

Even though USB demands that one end is a 'host' and the other a 'device' I always felt that the inablity to connect two devices directly together with a simple double-ended Type A cable was something of a glaring omission in the USB MIDI implementation, especially as the ability to control one device from another was pretty much the main reason MIDI was invented in the first place.

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:03 pm
by SteveFlesh
I'd go with the Midi to USB cable option.
I dabbled with the 'to host' ports with my NS5R (the successor to the X5DR) but struggled to get the Korg drivers to install/work on post XP versions of windows.

I recall an eventual workaround which involved a serial to USB adapter and I think a non-korg driver, but I wasn't 100% certain about the stability and midi timing, so ended up using a midi interface instead (as I have multiple midi devices)

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:05 pm
by Sam Spoons
Eddy Deegan wrote:Even though USB demands that one end is a 'host' and the other a 'device' I always felt that the inablity to connect two devices directly together with a simple double-ended Type A cable was something of a glaring omission in the USB MIDI implementation, especially as the ability to control one device from another was pretty much the main reason MIDI was invented in the first place.

Is that even possible without some hardware in the middle? I thought, as you say, it was USB that presented the limitation?

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 5:19 pm
by The Elf
I recently created my own USB-to-USB solution using a pair of Mio cables and some back-to-back barrel DIN connectors. Works fine.

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:47 pm
by DanielBeach
Bizarrely, I never knew that Midi to USB cables existed :-)

That might be the way forward - or a 2x2 interface in case I buy any more second-hand 90s synth modules from ebay :-)

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 7:56 pm
by nickle15
DanielBeach wrote:Bizarrely, I never knew that Midi to USB cables existed :-)

That might be the way forward - or a 2x2 interface in case I buy any more second-hand 90s synth modules from ebay :-)

If you buy the right MIDI to USB you'll get the added benefit of a little strobe light show included in the cable. What a bonus! :)

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:41 pm
by Sam Spoons
Strictly 'midi to USB' cables don't exist, 'midi to USB' interfaces built into a 'line rat' do.....

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:00 pm
by Rich Hanson
There's always one pedant, isn't there :P

(This time it wasn't me)

Re: Korg X5DR to Host

PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:01 pm
by Dashanna
So this is old technology - that 8-pin is an old-style serial interface not USB.
I have tried to connect mine with a USB to "D" serial port converter, and then I made a cable up, "D" to 8-pin. Couldn't get it to work.

The only way I could get it to connect was using an old windows laptop with the serial port.
(Old synths need old computers is my go-to maxim.)

I bought an 8-pin to 8-pin lead, and a "D" to "D" lead, and cut them both in two, and connected the wires inside, according to pin-out details online. Incidentally, I have a Roland module that also has the 8-pin to host, but the pin-outs are different to the Korg, so I had to make two. Both companies sold proprietary cables. This is several years ago, and greater detail is forgotten.

The To Host allowed a computer editor to program the synth, while using the MIDI from a keyboard or whatever.