A Technical Question About Midi

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hearttimes
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A Technical Question About Midi

Post by hearttimes » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:48 am

Why 5 pins and what do they do?

I find it incredibly insightful since it has lasted this long.

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Post by piRoN » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:55 am

It's an interesting question, given that only two pins are actually used. I've always assumed it was simply because it was the same connector used for the pre-existing dinsync systems.
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Post by Neonlights84 » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:59 am

piRoN wrote:It's an interesting question, given that only two pins are actually used. I've always assumed it was simply because it was the same connector used for the pre-existing dinsync systems.
Precisely.
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Post by crystalmsc » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:16 am

read here for some additional info:
http://www.borg.com/~jglatt/tech/midispec/hardware.htm
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Post by polardark » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:21 am

MIDI DIN-5 connectors are good, in a way, because they've always been inexpensive and commonly available. You don't even need "real" MIDI cables. Old stereo hifi DIN-5 cables work just as well. I think at least in the beginning, price and availability was a great advantage for MIDI.

On the other hand, MIDI is hardly the most efficient use of available technical resources out there and it's dead slow.

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Post by Altitude » Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:35 am

Actually, the third pin is also used on midi out connections as a ground which is useful for inline midi to sync converters so they dont need power. My guess for the DIN 5 was that they were planning on going beyond the two data wires down the road. Midi is a basic but fairly elegant as a communication protocol and has really endured as a digital communication schem (almost 25 years!!)

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Post by MrFrodo » Wed Jun 20, 2007 2:31 pm

Didn't the Roland DCB buss utilize all 5 pins? It was an immediate precursor toMIDI - and looks like it.
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Post by Altitude » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:44 pm

The DCB I had on my JU60 was a D-sub connector so it was not even the same type of connector as midi

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Post by Soundwave » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:19 pm

I think MIDI is a dated tired interface, which has been holding back the potential of a solid reliable and flexible control medium for synths especially for live/performance use for far too long. I think the reason for this is that the big manufactures think the vast majority of users won’t need any more so why waste money on developing something new which may not take off (like most new hardware these days). Maybe it’s time to use all five pins or something in a 16/32bit resolution or maybe dump the whole thing and use something else. I know we have NRPN's on stuff like the Ion but it isn’t very user friendly to edit. Come on :x it’s a quirky 25yr old 8bit binary language and its 2007!

Rant over! :P
Last edited by Soundwave on Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by StepLogik » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:21 pm

Altitude wrote:The DCB I had on my JU60 was a D-sub connector so it was not even the same type of connector as midi
DCB was a proprietary interface before MIDI became standardized. They are completely different.

5 pin DIN connectors are much cheaper than the DCB connectors (I think they are Centronics type, but I can't recall) and are cheaper to manufacture and cheaper to utilize (even when making patch cords). Imagine if MIDI cables were $50 instead of $15....

Only two pins are used because MIDI is a serial line.

DCB is not a good protocol.. the JU-60 docs explain some of it. Besides the hardware design flaws (its prone to ground-loop since its not opto-isolated) the protocol itself does not lend itself to expansion. Also, if memory serves, there was no provision for sync in DCB, you would have to run a Sync24 line in addition to the DCB line.

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Post by StepLogik » Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:24 pm

Soundwave wrote:I think MIDI is a dated tired interface, which has been holding back the potential of solid reliable and flexible control medium for synths especially for live/performance use for far too long. I think the reason for this is that the big manufactures think the vast majority of users won’t need any more so why waste money on developing something new which may not take off (like most new hardware these days). Maybe it’s time to use all five pins or something in a 16/32bit resolution or maybe dump the whole thing and use something else. I know we have NRPN's on stuff like the Ion but it isn’t very user friendly to edit. Come on :x it’s a quirky 25yr old 8bit binary language and its 2007!

Rant over! :P
actually 7-bit :lol:

I agree though. MIDI is really starting to show its age.

Maybe its time for everyone to embrace mLAN?

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Post by joerg721 » Wed Jun 20, 2007 5:08 pm

I am happy with MIDI, and I´m glad it´s still around.
You can connect a brandnew synth to an 80ies synth, and you can connect your 80ies synth to your computer... wonderful!
And it is reliable, which can not be said of all protocols.

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Post by MrFrodo » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:24 pm

Well, it would be nice if someone could resurrect one of the old ibuss systems from the late 70's and early 80's. It does boggle my mind how [what's widely considered to be] a sluggish interface evolved from (at least) half a dozen independently-developed systems that were much faster. I've got to tell you, the scheme designed by Line 6 is truly awesome!
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Post by Sweetnothing » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:28 pm

MrFrodo wrote:I've got to tell you, the scheme designed by Line 6 is truly awesome!
What, using (on their pedalboards) net cables? if not, please explain :oops:

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Post by MrFrodo » Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:45 pm

Sweetnothing wrote:
MrFrodo wrote:I've got to tell you, the scheme designed by Line 6 is truly awesome!
What, using (on their pedalboards) net cables? if not, please explain :oops:
Hey, it's a fast system!
The greatest thing we ever have is the will to survive.

Rest in peace, Dr. Robert Moog.

http://www.ericbenjamingordon.com
http://cdbaby.com/cd/ebgordon
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