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Does Anyone Know about the MIDI Merger? Will My MIDI Set-up Work?
Old 17th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Does Anyone Know about the MIDI Merger? Will My MIDI Set-up Work?

Here is the short version of what I want to do; the long version follows:

I plan to buy the MIDI Merge, which is a unit that takes to MIDI IN streams and converts them to 1 MIDI OUT. Basically, I'm trying to turn 1 MIDI IN port into two by getting this device. Is this what the device will do?

Here is the long version:


I have an Akai MPC 3K, which is my master controller. The MPC has two MIDI IN ports and four MIDI OUT (which are labeled A-C). I have a Korg MS2000B hooked up to one MIDI IN, and a Virus to the other. MIDI OUT port A on the MPC goes to the Korg, while port B goes to the Virus. I want to buy two MIDI Merge units and do pretty much the same thing on each MIDI IN port. The Korg acts as the controller for everything on MIDI IN port 1, while the Virus does the same thing on MIDI IN port 2. I want to also have an M-Audio Keyboard controller for some rack devices (Radium 61). With the Virus, I have another M-Audio keyboard controller for my soft synths (Axiom Pro 61). I want to do the same things with both ports, which is:

To be able to record and play back MIDI sequences, including real-time changes to certain parameters (such as filters, oscillators, etc). The way I plan to do this is by Having the Korg be connected to one of the IN ports on the MIDI Merge unit, and then go from the Merge to MIDI IN port 1 on the MPC. My Radium 61 controller will be sending MIDI OUT to the second port on the Merge, which also send MIDI OUT to the MPC's MIDI IN port 1. Back on the MPC, the MIDI OUT port C will control my rack modules via daisychain. I would run the Korg on a different MIDI channel than the M-Audio controller and chained rack devices (the controller and modules will be on same channel). The MPC has a SOFT MIDI THRU function to run everything.

On the Virus side, it would be identical, except the additional controller is just for my soft synths.

To sum it up, I want to hook up two MIDI controlling devices to each MIDI IN port on my MPC. I am hoping the MIDI Merge units do this.
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Hi,

It would, but I would not recommend it, midi merge units just make everything so convoluted.

Why not just using the korg and your virus to also control your rack units?

I mean, you'll have to change the output midi channel on the MPC anyway, so you have no advantage with a dedicated controller per mpc midi output.

If you want to use your radium devices because they have more knobs/sliders than the korg and virus then I suggest you consider going Radium into the Virus/Korg, then midi through to the mpc....

R
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthbob ➡️
Hi,

It would, but I would not recommend it, midi merge units just make everything so convoluted.

Why not just using the korg and your virus to also control your rack units?

I mean, you'll have to change the output midi channel on the MPC anyway, so you have no advantage with a dedicated controller per mpc midi output.

If you want to use your radium devices because they have more knobs/sliders than the korg and virus then I suggest you consider going Radium into the Virus/Korg, then midi through to the mpc....

R
I want the dedicated controllers so that I can compose on the rack units and still hear the stuff the Korg or Virus is playing. I can't do that if I'm using them as controllers. With the MPC, each sequence has 99 tracks, so I can run a separate device on each track within the same sequence.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
rachel's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Whatever, make sure you get a merge (or thru box if you ever have the need)
box that lets you add power to the device.

I got stung by this with a "self powered" MIDI thru box that worked on all my
old gear that sends MIDI buss power over one of the pins, but a lot of new gear
- (you know who you are Moog Phatty!) does not send MIDI buss power at all
so if you need a merge/thru on it, you are stuck unless you get a powered one
like the old boss mm4 or korg ms06.

Just a word of advice from the bitten...


rachel
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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Altitude909's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel ➡️
Whatever, make sure you get a merge (or thru box if you ever have the need)
box that lets you add power to the device.

I got stung by this with a "self powered" MIDI thru box that worked on all my
old gear that sends MIDI buss power over one of the pins, but a lot of new gear
- (you know who you are Moog Phatty!) does not send MIDI buss power at all
so if you need a merge/thru on it, you are stuck unless you get a powered one
like the old boss mm4 or korg ms06.

Just a word of advice from the bitten...


rachel
I'm sorry but all midi devices "send buss power". Midi is a current loop so by definition, it is always supply 5V if it is sending midi (it is only two wires after all). If something is not powering a midi powered device, it is probably not capable of supplying enough current. Did you have both the in and out cables connected in your case? All the midi powered device I have need both to work
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Beermaster's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altitude909 ➡️
I'm sorry but all midi devices "send buss power". Midi is a current loop so by definition, it is always supply 5V if it is sending midi (it is only two wires after all). If something is not powering a midi powered device, it is probably not capable of supplying enough current. Did you have both the in and out cables connected in your case? All the midi powered device I have need both to work
I'm even MORE sorry BUT an un-buffered midi through box sending multiple midi OUTs ( 8 or more ) will result in a chronic delay and the end of the line. As Rachel said a Powered Midi through box is the only serious way.

Fooloof, Midi Merge boxes have been around for decades and should do the job but it's a bit of a scrappy way to solve your problem. If you were using a mac or PC I's opt for an AMT8 Midi unit with 8 ins and 8 outs, but as you're rigged up with the AKAI then you have to stick with what you have. There use to be some Akai Midi bays around in the 90's that might work for you ( could be dirt cheap too ) these would also have multiple ins and outs feeding from one source.

I'd be thinking about running a Mac system If I was you because with all that control data you're going to be using I'd rather see it all clearly on big screen and have total control of all the midi data.

Beer
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Understood.....

Has the virus and/or korg got soft through? If so problem sloved...Radion into virus - midi out into mpc.

Another possibility is putting the virus/korg into multitimbral mode, where you can play on one midi channel but still have it recieve and play on another.


Failing these two options...yep...midi merge it is.....


R
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Altitude909's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beermaster ➡️
I'm even MORE sorry BUT an un-buffered midi through box sending multiple midi OUTs ( 8 or more ) will result in a chronic delay and the end of the line. As Rachel said a Powered Midi through box is the only serious way.
I was talking about her understanding of "buss power", which is incorrect, nothing more. Obviously, if he needs to split it 8 ways, a line powered device wont cut it.

Akai MEP30, DMC MX-8, or one of those cryptic JLcooper patchbays is what the OP should be looking for. If you can take some punishment setting it up, you can get a motu midiexpress XT (parallel/RS422) for next to nothing (they go for around $25). You need to program it from a computer but you can recall your presets in standalone mode..

These: MIDI Solutions T8 8-Output Active MIDI Thru Box from zZounds.com are still available also
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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rachel's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
The Moog Phatty is a MIDI device that does not send line power. I wanted to
attach a through box to it because it only has MIDI in and out, so I wanted
to split the output - but the MIDI thru box I had bought for the purpose did not
work because it was line powered. I got a Korg KMT60 and it is powered
so it works with the Phatty. Not every MIDI device sends line power. Especially
some new ones like the Phatty.

I also recommend the AMT-8 if you do not have one, it's really useful.


rachel
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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Altitude909's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachel ➡️
Not every MIDI device sends line power. Especially
some new ones like the Phatty.
Ok, I will try again. The output of a midi device is two wires, one is connected to the UART of the device (the -) the other is connected to a 5 V DC power line (the +). Those two lines are connected together through an optocoupler at the midi input of the receiving device completing the circuit. This is how midi works, without the 5 V line, it does not work at all. Midi powered devices simply run off that 5V DC power. A active device will have its own power to run and will not need to use the 5V from the midi input to power itself but will still use it for data. If you have a passive device that works on one midi device but does not work on another, then the suspect device probably cannot supply enough current to operate the device.
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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rachel's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altitude909 ➡️
Ok, I will try again. The output of a midi device is two wires, one is connected to the UART of the device (the -) the other is connected to a 5 V DC power line (the +). Those two lines are connected together through an optocoupler at the midi input of the receiving device completing the circuit. This is how midi works, without the 5 V line, it does not work at all. Midi powered devices simply run off that 5V DC power. A active device will have its own power to run and will not need to use the 5V from the midi input to power itself but will still use it for data. If you have a passive device that works on one midi device but does not work on another, then the suspect device probably cannot supply enough current to operate the device.

I know. I have been playing with MIDI for 20 years.

I am explaining to people that if you have a Moog Phatty, it is such a device
that does not provide line power. I even got this confirmed by MIDI Solutions
who put their entry in their list of "suspect devices".

I am not a fool. I don't like buying the same bit of kit twice and was providing
information that could influence a purchase or not on a required product.


rachel
Old 19th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Nut
 
Electric Motel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altitude909 ➡️
Ok, I will try again. The output of a midi device is two wires, one is connected to the UART of the device (the -) the other is connected to a 5 V DC power line (the +). Those two lines are connected together through an optocoupler at the midi input of the receiving device completing the circuit. This is how midi works, without the 5 V line, it does not work at all. Midi powered devices simply run off that 5V DC power. A active device will have its own power to run and will not need to use the 5V from the midi input to power itself but will still use it for data. If you have a passive device that works on one midi device but does not work on another, then the suspect device probably cannot supply enough current to operate the device.
You forgot the 220ohm resistor.
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