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Way to get around a MIDI config problem?


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I seem to be short a MIDI port or 2 and I'm wondering if anyone can advise a better way to chain my MIDI devices. Or some kind of MIDI splitter or switch that will keep me from having to constantly unplug and replug cables to do different things.


Here is my setup:

- A Roland Controller keyboard with a single MIDI OUT port

- A Windows PC with an Audigy2 Platinum soundcard which has MIDI OUT and IN ports on its front panel

- A Kurzweil 2500RS rackmount that has a MIDI IN, plus a MIDI OUT and MIDI THRU. Though confusingly (the otherwise useful manual barely says anything about the ports on the back) there is a small switch that seems to indicate you can only use 1 of the 2 (OUT or THRU) at once.


Usualy I have a cable running from the keyboard controller to the PC's IN port. And from the PC's OUT port to the K2500's IN. This is fine for having sequencer software control the K2500 or for playing notes on it using the controller.


The problem is that I often also would like to have a MIDI connection from the K2500's OUT or THRU back into the PC so I can do things like SYSX dumps or control it using something like the Kurzsee program. But to do this I have to then unplug my keyboard from the PC's IN port and replace it with the cable from the Kurz. I'd like to be able to use both at once. Or at the very least, make switching between the two not involve unplugging anything. Does anyone know a way I could achieve this?



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You could consider an additional MIDI interface. For example, the M-Audio USB Midisport 2x2 offers two additional interfaces, that is 2xIN and 2xOUT. It is reasonably priced and also often available 2nd hand at eBay.


There are MIDI merge boxes as well which funnel two or more MIDI IN sockets into one MIDI OUT. Something like this could as well work for your purpose.


The OUT/THRU switch on your K2500 lets you choose if the THRU is in fact THRU or a copy of OUT.

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honestly? I would go grab a USB midi adapter. Computer and music stores both carry them and they are fairly inexpensive. Less expensive than most mergers I've seen. $49 or so.


BTW do you ever have any MIDI wierdness happen with your Soundblaster Setup? I am having a heck of a time since my controller likes to stick the A#5 but it dosen;t appear to be the key or the controller since it has happened on the A#3 as well (very random, but too common.) Almost a moot point since I am getting a 4-port when I get my S90.




The Magician

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Thanks guys. Some good suggestions there. Probably will just go with the extra USB-based MIDI ports for cost reasons. Especially condering that K2500 and several upgrades I got to go with it were very recent EBay purchases which my wallet is still recovering from. Though its good to know that things like those mergers do exist in case I need one down the road.


Andy, I can't say I've seen anything like your controller problem.

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Originally posted by The Magician:

BTW do you ever have any MIDI wierdness happen with your Soundblaster Setup?

I don't know if this is still true, but early Soundblaster cards ran the midi interface at 5 volts signal instead of 15. (I think those were the values) and some pieces of gear would have trouble with this. Don't know if this is your problem of course.
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