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Stupid midi question


Garrafon

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I have not done an awful lot of midi stuff over the years. Many years ago, when I played around with it, I had instruments with midi thrus on them. It turns out that my current stock of equipment does not have any midi thrus (why they leave that out is anyone's guess).

 

Anyway, I have a USB midi interface with one MIDI in and one MIDI out.

 

I have done some research and THINK I know the answer, but just wanted to double check before I lay out any cash...

 

If I want my sequencer to be able to trigger (send information to) mutiple instruments (e.g. my PX-3, Electro, and an SR-16 drum machine), is the proper device to accomplish this a MIDI hub/port with several "thru"-puts (one "thru" going to each of my devices)? So, in other words, the out from the computer to the midi hub in, and then from each midi hub thru to each each instrument's in?

 

I realize there may be better options, but I'm try to get by cheaply.

 

Does that make sense?

 

Thanks for your help!

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Thanks for the reply Forceman. I've got the SR-16 on channel 10, but neither the PX-3 nor the Electro have thrus, thus breaking the chain and (I think) preventing my from daisy chaining (which is how I used to do it in the old days when I had equipment with thrus).
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Thanks for the reply Forceman. I've got the SR-16 on channel 10, but neither the PX-3 nor the Electro have thrus, thus breaking the chain and (I think) preventing my from daisy chaining (which is how I used to do it in the old days when I had equipment with thrus).

 

What are you driving these with? a PC (or Mac-based) sequencer? You can then use a USB to MIDI connector and have the computer do the distribution for you. Pretty cheap solution.

Steve Force,

Durham, North Carolina

--------

My Professional Websites

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Thanks Moe!

 

Steve: Thanks for your response. I'm using a PC with a USB to MIDI interface. But with only 1 set of ins/outs on the interface, I need to somehow get a clean MIDI signal to each instrument. I thought thru (rather than a merge or something else) was the answer, but just wanted to "double check my math" so to speak.

 

To answer Toano, it is my understanding that a "thru" port sends a clean MIDI message from the sequencer. If you use an "out", by contrast, the MIDI message would include any new information from the sending keyboard in the middle (if that makes any sense). Suppose for example you have computer sending to MIDI instrument 1 then to MIDI instrument 2. If you use a thru on MIDI instrument 1, then MIDI instrument 2 gets clean signal from the computer as if it was the first instrument receiving the signal. If you use an out from MIDI instrument 1 into MIDI instrument 2, the signal going to Instrument 2 will have information from instrument 1 as well as the information from the sequencer. So, I think the OUT is more of a midi merge than a THRU (at least to my feeble understanding).

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Garrafon,

 

I see, I just figured if everything is on different channels it wouldn't matter if the signal was present because the next in the chain wouldn't respond. I'm no expert either, I haven't tried using more than 2 devices.

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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MIDI OUT sends the signals from the attached device.

MIDI THRU passes along signals that came into the attached device

 

What you want is a MIDI Thru box. One in, and however many out as you need. MIDI Solutions makes 2-out, 4-out, and 8-out. Other companies make (or have made) them too, they pop up on ebay all the time. Or if you want to get fancy, you get look for an old Yamaha MEP4 (1-in, 4-out, 4 processors, 60 presets) or Digital Musixc MX-8 (6-in, 8-out, 2 processors, 50 presets) -- these allow you to reconfigure your devices and memorize presets without having to plug and unplug things, plus they can do things like filter data out of certain devices, split your keyboard to send to different devices over different ranges of keys (complete with octave transpositions), call up different sets of program changes at once, etc. (I'm actually probably selling an MEP-4 soon, if you're interested.)

 

There is also an advantage of using thru-boxes instead of daisy-chaining... you don't get the cumulative MIDI delay.

 

EDIT: You can also do a lot of the MEP4/MX8 stuff on your computer... the advantage of those boxes is that they work for live rigs without a computer.

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The simplest way to do what you want may be to add a second USB - 1 MIDI in / 1 MIDI out interface. You can then control what goes to each device more easily. I'm assuming your sequencer can do the routing. If not, you might need something like MIDIOX or a MIDI Mapper like the one in SoundQuest's MIDI tools.

 

MIDI-OX

SoundQuest

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