MIDI Interfaces

I was surprised that there is no MIDI Interfaces thread yet, so here we go. I start with a specific question, but we could use this thread to collect general discussions about MIDI (only) interfaces.

I’m looking for a stand-alone MIDI interface for a small/medium setup: 2 hosts (Mac, norns), 5 devices (2 of them USB MIDI capable) plus some leeway for future expansions.

Looks like the main contenders are iConnectivity mioXL and Conductivelabs MRCC.

Any experiences here with one or the other? Any known issues? Fancy MIDI processing features are not important to me. (Shifting MIDI Clock in 1/16th steps would be awesome, but afaik that’s exclusive to SND ACME-4, which has a very different price point and is a MIDI Clock device in the first place.)

What’s important to me is easy, transparent routing (presets, MIDI port naming…) and solid performance (latency, stable MIDI clock…)

One note on the two hosts (computer, norns): Looks like both mentioned interfaces only support one host, but that wouldn’t be a big problem since norns could be connected via a simple USB/5-Pin-DIN-MIDI adapter.

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Retrokits rk-006 is another good option that would fit your requirement if you want something compact. RK006: Portable MIDI/Gate Master Hub / Standalone Host / Multiclock
I have an MRCC now and it’s great. Highly recommended

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Thanks, but 2 MIDI Ins are not enough for my setup – and it doesn’t need to be small. It will end up in a 19" rack anyway.

Good to hear that you’re happy with the MRCC. It looks a little oversized for my usecase, but on the other hand the price is very similar to mioXL.

Yeah, you can use usb midi in with the rk-006 as well, but only having 2 regular midi inputs was definitely one of the reasons I upgraded to the MRCC. The 19" rack ears for MRCC are good too.

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I have the MioXL. It seems to work, but in the Norns MIDI list, it shows all the ports as MioXL 1-16 instead of what the Mio has them labeled. I don’t know if there’s a way to have it reflect the actual device names, though. Maybe someone else does?

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I own 2 of the predecessors of the mioxl (Mio10), they are fantastic devices, main differences to the mioxl is that the mioxl can save more than one preset, mioxl has 22 rtp sessions (Mio10 has 4), 8 in /12 out (mioxl) vs 10/10 midi din ports. Also mioxl has an in-built USB hub.

You can connect 2 hosts, but the second must be thru rtp (Mio10 has 2 dedicated USB host ports) .

Auracle x as the editor software works fine, takes some time to understand everything but that’s due to the complexity of what the mio can do.
If you have further questions, I am happy to help. Also both mio threads on gearspace are quite helpful and contain a wealth of information.

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I have one of these:
https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/midi/iconnectmidi4plus

To be honest, I’ve never really used it. The USP of this box is that you can plug in an Apple mobile device, and it will allow routing of both MIDI And audio to and from your iPad etc. and your computer.

I thought this sounded like a great idea, but in practice, while I’ve often thought about integrating my iPadOS apps with my other music hardware, I’ve never got round to it.

It does seem odd they discontinued what was a unique product and removed the audio capabilities from their subsequent MIDI interface offerings. I guess the market for it wasn’t as big as expected.

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Do you have them labeled properly in Auracle X for both input and output?

I’m in the market for a midi interface - I missed the kickstarter for this but it looks to be maturing nicely with a vibrant community

Has anyone used one or uses one?

That pi hat looks damn fine as well

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I’ve got a midihub and it’s great.

There is a lot that it can do, from simple routing to generative sequencing.

Plays very nicely with norns via USB.

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I took a closer look. With rack ears, shipping, import VAT… the MRCC would cost about 30 % more than the mioXL (in Europe). I also favour the design of the mio.
One big advantage of the MRCC though is that you can route everything simply by pressing buttons on the front. With the mioXL you can’t apply routings directly on the hardware (apart from recalling presets), right?

That is correct. You do have 32 presets though

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I used to have one of these and have to say I hated it. Seems like it still works with the old (unsupported) software and also with the new Auracle (was buggy and/or incredibly complex when I tried it) but I couldn’t get a simple and clear routing setup working ever.

I ended up with an old Digital Music Corp MX-8 and it’s awesome. No computer required! For midi hosts I just use 2x m-audio Uno usb>midi interfaces. Love it.

Oh yeah. I spent a ton of time with the Mio tech support getting it all setup when I first got it. My Auracle and routing is on point hard. Of course, with how complicated that whole setup is, I’m wondering if there’s somewhere else it may be labeled that the Norns is picking up on.

Than I am sorry, can’t help you with that.
But iirc Pete (psychlist1972) from Microsoft once explained that there are 3 different ways of naming a midi port in the in the windows world, maybe there’s something similar going on in the Linux world?

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WRT to MioXL / Auracle X being a pain to setup… I think they’ve improved the interface significantly sometime within the last few months. I recently got one and it was a lot less complicated and opaque than the available tutorial videos suggested. And it’s been rock solid so far. Was reluctant to get a replacement for my old Emagic AMT8 but it turned out to be a really good choice.

I kind of hope the Mio has some processing power left to implement some more sophisticated routing/transform stuff in the future. As it is I also had to get a Blokas Midihub to make some devices work within my setup. The Midihub interface is an interesting approach to simplify scripting. But it also makes some seemingly simple things very hard or impossible. So I’m torn about whether I like this thing or not.

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I completely failed to get my head around how routing worked in either the old configuration software OR Auracle, I have to say. Another reason it’s been gathering dust.

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I ordered the MRCC. It’s crucial to me having a setup that can work independently from a computer. Direct, hands-on routing is the one basic feature I want from a MIDI Interface / Router – and apparently the MRCC is the only current option for medium or large setups with this functionality.

Just to drop Yaeltex in here which I heard about from the Art + Music + Technology podcast. It’s a business that produces custom made modular midi interfaces. Very expensive and I’m not seeing a lot of innovation but I have yet to see it talked about so thought I’d try it here.

From what I see on their website they offer MIDI controllers, but no MIDI interfaces. Or did I miss something?

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