I’m trying to find a very specific piece of kit, but I’m running into a bit of a dead end. I was hoping someone on here might be able to point me in the right direction!
I need to hook up several bits of MIDI gear, and would like one simple no-hassle box to merge my various MIDI inputs and send them all to multiple outputs at the same time. I can live with 2 in and 2 outs, but 3 or 4 or each would be ideal. It needs to work without being connected to a computer, and I’d ideally like to spend less than £100 on it.
This little box looked perfect (2 merged ins to 4 outs) but having bought a faulty unit I’m reluctant to try buying another one from the same place:
These two options have all the features I need, but plenty of other stuff as well, and are much more expensive as a result:
Then there’s stuff like this, which is cheap but only works when connected to a laptop:
Then finally there are the good old Kenton boxes, which as far as I can tell only appear to merge or split, but not do both in one box.
Is there anything which sits inbetween all of the above, and routes multiple merged MIDI ins to multiple outs in one box, without necessarily doing more than that, and without connecting via a computer?
this is probably unhelpful, since this isn’t widely available yet, but the Blokas Midihub is interesting. 4in/4out; able to be customized; able to run standalone. no idea on the final price, but likely to be >$100.
midi solutions makes pretty much every version of midi utility you can think of, and they’re pretty cheap. here’s a 4 in / 2 out merger. I have several of their products and use them on tour and they’ve never failed.
I use an old JL Cooper MSB+ Rev 2. It has 8 in/outs and can route any input to multiple outs. It will also merge 2 inputs and route that to any output. You can save setups and recall them via program changes (it listens on a configurable port and channel). It is 1U rackmount and runs of a 9v guitrar pedal PSU.
The Midihub looks great, but like the Retrokit or the iConnectivity it’s got more features than I need and, as you say, is likely to be more expensive when it does come out. Rackmount gear would be grand but I don’t really have the space for it, and that Hotchkiss one would be good if I only needed to split a MIDI signal (I’ve got a cv.ocd at it happens, and it’s great) but it doesn’t merge multiple inputs.
The MIDI Solutions box is exactly the thing I’m after but having done a bit more digging, I’ve realised that the Kenton Merge 4 actually has two outputs: this means it has the same inputs and outputs as the MIDI Solutions box, covering everything I need, for 20 quid less (at the expense of having an external power supply rather than being MIDI-powered). Here it is, in case anyone else ever finds themselves in the same situation:
I’m looking to merge 3-4 MIDI to 1. The MIDI Solutions Quadra Merger seems like a safe bet, but I’m really drawn toward the 64-pixels Orange Squeeze. I particularly like that the Orange Squeeze has DC power built in, is open source, has indicator LEDs, and puts everything on one faceplate.
I worry that MIDI Solutions one could end up needing their additional Power Adapter so more boxes and cost. Anyone have experience with the Orange Squeeze? I can’t seem to find many reviews/experiences online about it.
You can certainly use a y-shaped cable to split outgoing MIDI from a single source to two destinations, although you can sometimes get unexpected weirdness caused by the voltage dropping at each post-split output - I have one analogue synth in particular that stops responding to MIDi inputs if I split an outgoing signal more than once. I assume the same would be true whether the physical connector is 5-pin or TRS.
You can’t use a y-cable to merge incoming signals because of how MIDI data functions, with each bit needing to arrive in a particular order and sequence for the message to be comprehensible. If you just jam two MIDI data flows together via a y-cable, there’s no way to manage or synchronise the flow of MIDI data from each of the two inputs. The messages get jumbled together and become incomprehensible to the receiving MIDI device.
I have an old M-Audio midisport (4x4) interface that stops working when I update OSX and then it stays down a year til there’s another short-lived new driver. So I’ve been thinking of a more reliable solution. I was thinking about Motu Microlite – but then I found out about Blokas Midihub.
I run Live with M4L and midi effects anyway so I might not need all those features. But since they’re roughly the same price. There’s little reason not to go with Blokas right?
I’ve always daisy chained midi but i started to notice a slight flam/delay with Bass drums in different devices, i went for the clear version because if I’m spending £45 on a midi thru i want to see what it’s made of at all times.