Using a Windows Mobile Device as a USB Sound Source for Norns Shield?

Hi Everyone,

I would love to repurpose an old Windows Mobile 6.0 device (an HP iPaq 110) as an external sound source for my Norns Shield. I believe that this device runs as a USB client when plugged into a computer, and I know that I can run Sunvox (a fantastic free synth program) on the device. Without first dropping $60 to buy this, is there any way to tell whether the Shield would recognize the iPaq and send midi over USB to it?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Usually the tablets, palmtops and phones that are USB slaves only work with some kind of file transfer protocol (either standard USB mass media, or manufacturer’s own sync). I haven’t heard of one that would work as class compliant USB MIDI or audio device. Which doesn’t mean one couldn’t exist - just that the most likely the answer is that it won’t work that way.

Running audio out into Norns for processing could still be a cool combo for $60 though…

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Great - thank you for your thoughts. That is what I was afraid of :slightly_frowning_face:.

Yes it’s possible, but highly dependent on OS and version. Basically if the iPaq supports OTG (on the go) connections it might work.

That would still require a class compliant MIDI interface hooked up to the iPaq, I guess?

Yep I would guess so – I’m no expert, but here’s a random top search hit: Connect a MIDI Keyboard to Android Device: Step-by-step guide (with pictures!) – Musicians HQ

Maybe I misunderstand the problem completely but you write that you want to use the mobile device as sound source. Why is the USB part relevant? Why not plug its headphone out to the 3.5mm audio input of the norns shield?

Nevermind, you want to sequence the device thru MIDI from norns… gotcha. Now, where is my coffee…

Yep, I think that involves the Android device being USB host with the OTG, and the MIDI keyboard being the slave. Norns can only act as a host, so you’d either need something that makes the iPaq an USB slave with class compliant MIDI, or OTG + a MIDI interface of some kind if that’s supported… (Not sure if it is or not!)

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Right, forgot about that part! However it’s simpler than I was thinking – at least on Android 11. Just connect USB before starting the Norns script and select midi in phone USB settings, then Norns can send midi to the phone. Sorry @bharris22 though, that doesn’t help much with a Windows phone.

Oh cool - that’s actually something I had no idea of! The older Android versions I used only basically had USB file transfer mode and little else.

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on this! I really appreciate it.