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USB MIDI Cables
#3023883 01/16/20 01:02 AM
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I'm ignorant when it comes to USB cables used for MIDI applications. I've always used standard 5-pin MIDI cables for connecting keyboards to sound modules but I'm getting a keyboard that doesn't have standard MIDI jacks only USB. My HX3 module came with a 3 foot USB cable that I used for the first time tonight, works fine but too short. Can't really find these online specifically for MIDI applications. . .are the printer cables that use USB A and B male connectors the same thing? Do these cables result in less latency than standard MIDI cables?


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Re: USB MIDI Cables
Polkahero #3023892 01/16/20 01:59 AM
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USB to DIN MIDI is not just a cable, technically it is a MIDI interface with a USB connection. If you are sending MIDI over USB and it is USB all the way, both ends, usually USB A on one end, and USB B at the other end, you don't need a special cable. It's just USB.


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Re: USB MIDI Cables
Polkahero #3023893 01/16/20 02:04 AM
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In the Keyboard forum, down the page a bit.

http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbth...i-to-usb-cables-all-the-same#Post3023779

I found this interesting for different reasons. Cheers, Kuru


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Re: USB MIDI Cables
Polkahero #3023895 01/16/20 02:10 AM
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I'm not the best expert to try to explain this, but I think a lot of people would gain a better understanding just by being familiar with the OSI model (google it) and in particular differentiating a protocol from a physical layer. The original MIDI specification defined both. DIN MIDI defined the physical layer - connectors, whiting, baud rate, electrical specifications, etc - as well as the protocol - essentially the language in terms of header bytes, address, data, checksum, end of message.....what the bytes of data mean and how they should be packaged and read. USB is a different physical layer that can carry many different protocols including MIDI. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, and obviously can communicate with many devices - printers, data storage, keyboards, whatever, while DIN MIDI is exclusively MIDI. DIN MIDI is unidirectional serial communication (one-way) which is why you have in and out, where USB is biderectional serial communication, which is why you can have one USB connector at one end and MIDI in and out at the other. But in the middle isn't just a cable converter or adapter, it is a computer interface just like any of the other MIDI interfaces for your computer throughout history. The fact that we now have "class compliant" means that it can be more generic instead of having custom drivers to make it work, but it's still an interface, not just some converter cable.


Dan

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Re: USB MIDI Cables
Polkahero #3023986 01/16/20 05:20 PM
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Keyboards with USB connections came into being because many of us were connecting them to computers. Using a single USB cable for midi in & out is more convenient than two midi cables going into a midi interface connected with a USB cable. Some keyboards can be powered through USB as well, so you eliminate a wall wart and the need to be near an AC outlet. It's all great, except for one thing which I found out the hard way: on a large stage where you're far from your computer, 5-pin midi is much more robust. USB connections get flaky after 12 -15 feet (in my experience). I carry a 35-foot midi cable for my road gigs. For local gigs, I go with USB.

Re: USB MIDI Cables
Polkahero #3023988 01/16/20 05:24 PM
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Great info, thanks for enlightening me guys! Need to check if my V3 module will power up via USB cable, would be great to eliminate another power supply.


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Re: USB MIDI Cables
Polkahero #3024110 01/17/20 02:16 AM
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There are several length USB cables available (as well as some extension cables). There is a limit to how long the cable can be, don't recall the exact length, but think it is about 16 feet.

Powering up by the USB cable depends on how much current the device draws. Standard PC USB ports can only supply about 1/2 amp on each connection. Mac generally supply a bit more. Some computers have a special USB port that is designed for higher power.


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Re: USB MIDI Cables
J. Dan #3026654 01/29/20 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by J. Dead
I'm not the best expert to try to explain this, but I think a lot of people would gain a better understanding just by being familiar with the OSI model (google it) and in particular differentiating a protocol from a physical layer. The original MIDI specification defined both. DIN MIDI defined the physical layer - connectors, whiting, baud rate, electrical specifications, etc - as well as the protocol - essentially the language in terms of header bytes, address, data, checksum, end of message.....what the bytes of data mean and how they should be packaged and read. USB is a different physical layer that can carry many different protocols including MIDI. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, and obviously can communicate with many devices - printers, data storage, keyboards, whatever, while DIN MIDI is exclusively MIDI. DIN MIDI is unidirectional serial communication (one-way) which is why you have in and out, where USB is biderectional serial communication, which is why you can have one USB connector at one end and MIDI in and out at the other. But in the middle isn't just a cable converter or adapter, it is a computer interface just like any of the other MIDI interfaces for your computer throughout history. The fact that we now have "class compliant" means that it can be more generic instead of having custom drivers to make it work, but it's still an interface, not just some converter cable.

Nicely stated. I should make this a thread over in the Music Lab, because stuff like this comes up all the time and quickly gets buried here in KC.

This will be more relevant as MIDI 2.0 deliberately does not have a physical layer; it'll run over any bidirectional cable from USB 2.0 on up.


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Re: USB MIDI Cables
Polkahero #3026701 01/30/20 02:15 AM
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Just to add my 2 cents, I only found out about ferrite cores on USB cables last week. They filter out impurities in the signal, if I’m getting that right. They are those barrels that you find on the ends. I bought this one from Tripp Lite last week in an effort to get my new (now returned) Numa Compact 2x to communicate with any of my computers.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B003MQ29B2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00

So perhaps for critical on-stage usage you should only use ferrite core cables.

I just Googled: Ferrite beads prevent electromagnetic interference (EMI) or unwanted high-frequency noise in both the directions in the communication cable like HDMI, USB cable or any other cable.


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