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Multiple Midi outputs

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Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:31 pm
by Ez
Hi,

This is my first post so apologies if I don’t quite get the etiquette.

I have recently assembled the Hobbytronics USB to Midi host controller board so I can use my keyboards with my stage piano which only has a “to host” socket. The board works well but I would like to add a second Midi Out socket so I can use multiple keyboards - none of them have a thru socket. I have scoured the internet and there a plenty of variations on the theme. Quite frankly I don’t know which circuit to go with. Can I take the existing Midi out, put it through a hex inverter, say a 74LS14 and then into another out socket or is there an alternative?

Thanks for a great forum.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:36 pm
by Wonks
That was your 7th post. This was your first one back in 2016. https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 06#p449706

Are you sure you are who you think you are? :D

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:43 pm
by Wonks
You'll need a MIDI Thru box. There's normally a choice of 2 to 5 outputs from commercially available boxes, though there's not a huge price difference between them. A 1 to 2 box might get away with being powered from the 5v supplied by the MIDI in, but more than that and they can be unreliable, so one powered with a wall-wart is recommended.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:44 pm
by Ez
:headbang: Ouch! Suffering from information overload, can’t remember what I did last week let alone 2016.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:53 pm
by Ez
Thanks Wonks, I have considered a thru box from the likes of Midi Solutions or Kenton but I was rather hoping not to add another box to the setup.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:56 pm
by Folderol
As you've already assembled the converter, you simply need to duplicate the output using something like 74LS04 inverters.

Patch into the same place as the existing one gets its feed from. Don't forget you must have the 220ohm resistors. One on the output and one for the +5V return.
Within reason, you can patch in as many as you like!

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:33 pm
by Ez
Thanks Foderol. Will give it a try.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:34 pm
by Ez
Er sorry I meant Folderol) :oops:

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:50 pm
by Wonks
Don't worry. Folderol can't spell his own name after typing a few lines of Linux.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:56 am
by Ez
On the subject I Midi, do you think it will become obsolete in a few years time as keyboards become more DAW orientated or is it still widely used?

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:58 am
by Ez
And I don’t know Folderol to be able to rib him :tongue:

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:07 am
by Folderol
Ez wrote:And I don’t know Folderol to be able to rib him :tongue:
Doesn't seem to stop anyone else round here :wave:
Oh, and the death of MIDI has been predicted for at least 10 years.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:16 am
by Ez
But is there a viable alternative?

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:37 am
by BillB
Take a look at the fabulous Muzines site (thanks AGAIN Desmond :clap: )

How to add in, outs, and thrus to a MIDI interface:
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/practically-midi/2523

Note the errata at the bottom (thanks AGAIN Desmond for attention to detail!)

And here’s a lovely article telling us what’s wrong with MIDI and how it needs to be updated to faster systems - from 1986!
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/midi- ... th-it/1398

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:39 am
by blinddrew
At the moment it seems to be the only 'standard' that actually is. Hopefully that will long continue.
I'm sure one of the more technical folks will comment on whether there's any viable alternatives in the wings.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:46 am
by BillB
Ez wrote:But is there a viable alternative?

Sure, do it all “inside the box”. Plenty of people do. But if you want dependable links between any music hardware of the last 35 years, MIDI is superbly designed and up to the job, provided you accept and work-around the shortcomings (for example as in the second article above). In the same way, you have worked around the annoying cost-cutting trend by manufacturers to omit hardware DIN MIDI sockets in favour of USB-PC. But thank goodness that Hobbytronics have provided cost-effective options in USB-MIDI.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 12:08 pm
by Wonks
MIDI is far from dead, and is likely to have a major update very soon: https://www.residentadvisor.net/news/42 ... gzEUt57U5A
What you may see happen is the demise of the DIN sockets and a switch to MIDI over USB on new products. Already, a lot of the master keyboards available only have USB connections, no DIN sockets at all.

But as long as old synths remain popular, then there are always going to be DIN to USB or USB to DIN converters around.

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:47 pm
by Ez
Wonks wrote:MIDI is far from dead, and is likely to have a major update very soon: https://www.residentadvisor.net/news/42 ... gzEUt57U5A
What you may see happen is the demise of the DIN sockets and a switch to MIDI over USB on new products. Already, a lot of the master keyboards available only have USB connections, no DIN sockets at all.

But as long as old synths remain popular, then there are always going to be DIN to USB or USB to DIN converters around.

That is what Ifind worrying. I’m not entirely convinced of the mechanical reliability of the USB socket verses the good old DIN variety. On consumer goods that’s fine but on professional grade products that are used in the touring industry I don’t know how long the sockets will last with repeated plugging/unplugging - often night after night. I guess the design gurus would have factored this in to the pricing?

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:00 pm
by Folderol
Depends a lot on the quality of the plugs sockets and cables - to say nothing of how many beers you've had before the end of the session.

On a personal note (C mostly) I run two keyboards, a synth module, and a controller module into a 4 port MIDI -> USB hub which is well built, and I use quality cables throughout. This largely avoids the latency issues of MIDI as I'm not using THRU at all so not trying to stuff too much through one piece of wire,

Re: Multiple Midi outputs

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:42 pm
by ef37a
I have only dabbled with MIDI for son but found it an interesting exercise.

I too deplore the lack of DIN ports on much modern equipment (where things are very wee, the 3.5mm TRS jack is acceptable SO LONG as I do not have to solder them!)

There is the argument that USB is ok and things can all be done "in the box"? Well, if you want a MIDI INPUT they can't!

DINs more rugged than USB? Oh, I don't know? Tread on a cheapish DIN plug. Buggered. I have hoofed the odd USB plug and bent it back to working. I will admit USB ports are vulnerable to having the PCB tracks broken. I have had to replace a couple on the front of desktops that I have "kneed".

For a rugged connector can I put in a word for the RJ45? Ok, you need a crimp tool to make your own but the cables are MUCH easier to source now than DINs. Cheap as chips and will stand the odd size 12. Not good to "steal" a connector from another protocol? Well, DIN was anyway and people put watts of DC through the buggers. Rj45 is used for Dante etc and whilst that is technically a network you can't get Google on it. Can't pin it down now but I am sure I have seen kit in SOS that used RJ45 for some other purpose?

And! a network patchbay would make a superb MIDI patchbay!

Dave.