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Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

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Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby Durr GaGa » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:05 pm

Having recently discovered a large hole in my understanding of MIDI, I want to get my system working properly and I hope you can help me.

I want to buy a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI box to connect two Moog Mother 32s, a Moog Subharmonicon and an Expert Sleepers Disting 4 (with MIDI breakout sockets) so that all four ‘instruments’ will receive MIDI Clock from my DAW.

My DAW is Presonus Studio One 4 and I am using a Presonus AudioBox iTwo for audio I/O and for MIDI Out to the instruments listed above. The Studio One external device setup warns that there may be a conflict if I ‘re-use’ the AudioBox as the ‘Send To’ device for my external devices and I have noted that it is important that I only enable ‘MIDI Clock Send’ on one instance of the AudioBox, leaving this disabled on other instances (my recent error!).

Do any of you have a similar setup and would you expect the Thru 5 MIDI box to work correctly with my installation?

Thank you for your advice.
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Re: Will a Denton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby resistorman » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:22 pm

Hi there... it’s actually a Kenton :) A midi splitter shouldn’t be affected at all by what device feeds it. Its job is to duplicate (quintiplicate?) the midi stream and pass it on.
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby The Elf » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:44 pm

Sure, the device doesn't care what it's attached to - it just gets on with the job.

But there is another approach...

...and that's to add a multi-port MIDI interface. Although at the moment you only want to send clocks to each device, it may be beneficial in your future to be able to address each device separately, and a multi-port interface will enable that.
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Re: Will a Denton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby Durr GaGa » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:48 pm

resistorman wrote:Hi there... it’s actually a Kenton :) A midi splitter shouldn’t be affected at all by what device feeds it. Its job is to duplicate (quintiplicate?) the midi stream and pass it on.

Doh, of course its a 'K' not a 'D' - Doh, I have corrected my error!

My concern was more a case of 'would the Presonus AudioBox iTwo setup satisfactorily serve the Kenton Thru-5 with the correct data if there is more than one 'instance' of it' as I am assuming that I should set the MIDI channel for each instrument to a different number and then have each external device (instrument) 'point' to the AudioBox iTwo which in turn would be set to the respective channel number.
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby Durr GaGa » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:55 pm

The Elf wrote:Sure, the device doesn't care what it's attached to - it just gets on with the job.

But there is another approach...

...and that's to add a multi-port MIDI interface. Although at the moment you only want to send clocks to each device, it may be beneficial in your future to be able to address each device separately, and a multi-port interface will enable that.

Thank you for that advice. I do also want to be able to send other MIDI data from Studio One's sequencer. For example, not being a good keyboard player (and trust me, I'm not a good keyboard player!), I might want to build a simple 8 note bass sequence on my first Mother 32's built in sequencer but generate the main melody in Studio One's sequencer and send that out to my second Mother 32. Would the Kenton Thru-5 handle that scenario?
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby The Elf » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:04 pm

Durr GaGa wrote:I might want to build a simple 8 note bass sequence on my first Mother 32's built in sequencer but generate the main melody in Studio One's sequencer and send that out to my second Mother 32. Would the Kenton Thru-5 handle that scenario?
You would have to set the devices to different MIDI channels, but it should work OK.

The strength *and* weakness of a thru device is that it simply duplicates any data coming in to all of the ports going out. In some scenarios that's a benefit, but in others it's a problem.

A multi-port MIDI interface allows you to address every port with a separate stream of data, which can be beneficial. Since they are also multi-port input as well as output you can have more than one simultaneous controlling device too.

It's worth considering, especially if you see your system expanding.
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby Durr GaGa » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:23 pm

The Elf wrote:You would have to set the devices to different MIDI channels, but it should work OK.

The strength *and* weakness of a thru device is that it simply duplicates any data coming in to all of the ports going out. In some scenarios that's a benefit, but in others it's a problem.

A multi-port MIDI interface allows you to address every port with a separate stream of data, which can be beneficial. Since they are also multi-port input as well as output you can have more than one simultaneous controlling device too.

It's worth considering, especially if you see your system expanding.

That's great, thanks. I will look into a multi-port MIDI interface as an alternative to the thru box. Is there a particular one that you would recommend to kick off my research?
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby The Elf » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:08 pm

That's difficult for me to answer. I bought my 8-in/9-out MIDI interfaces (yes, I use two of them!) a looong time ago. But they are still current devices! They've worked perfectly from day one to present. But they are likely overkill for your needs.

So here's what I use, but maybe others can chip in with details of newer, more economical options?

https://motu.com/products/midi/128
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby zenguitar » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:29 pm

I use an iConnectMIDI4+
https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/ ... tmidi4plus

Very good and very flexible, but discontinued.

This is their current range...
https://www.iconnectivity.com/midi-interfaces-1

Andy :beamup:
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby BillB » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:43 pm

Cheapest option by far would be this:
https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... rface/2KOA

I have a couple of these - as they also work as stand-alone 'thru' boxes (1 in > 4 out). As MIDI interfaces they seem reliable, even though they are mass-market products. Probably a good choice if you are just testing the water. Having said that, if what you really needed was a thru box, I would go for a dedicated thru box like the Kenton.

More choices here (many other suppliers available, I just picked on G4M as they do their own cheap SubZero brand)
https://www.gear4music.com/Audio_Hardwa ... faces.html

The ESI M4U and M8U eX MIDI Interfaces seem pretty good, as the physical ports can be either Ins out Outs depending what you need - very flexible. These are what I would probably go for if I didn't already have the much older Edirol MIDI interfaces.

Review of the M8U here:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/esi-m8u-ex
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby Durr GaGa » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:15 pm

Thank you Elf, Andy and Bill - much appreciated.

I really like the look and spec. of the ESI M8U eX. However, as three of my instruments only have MIDI IN, I am leaning towards the Kenton as it would seem from your comments that this will indeed do what I require. The ESI M8U eX would, of course do the job and give me a high degree of future-proofing. I believe that my Christmas List has just started ......

Thanks again folks for your kind input.
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby Ben Asaro » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:11 pm

There is another approach you can use if you are syncing modular to your DAW: the Erica Synths MIDI <-> CLK module. I find that much easier than using MIDI adapters. That module and an ALM mmMIDI will get you through just about any MIDI to CV conversion you need, though you need a MIDI to mini jack adapter for mmMIDI (iirc it comes with the adapter, or you can use the one that comes with the Subharmonicon).
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Re: Will a Kenton Thru-5 MIDI Box work with Studio One 4/AudioBox iTwo?

Postby Rich Hanson » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:16 pm

I too have the ESI M8U eX and I highly recommend it.

Although I'm still using a MIDI thru box as I still have more devices than MIDI outputs :headbang:
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