do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

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b3groover
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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by b3groover » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:14 am

In this modern age of "standards" that come and go almost as fast as Moore's Law, I think it's actually refreshing that MIDI is still around. It's comforting to know a modern workstation will still "talk" to my Yamaha SY77 from 1989 and vice versa. Yes, MIDI has it's limitations and I would love a replacement as long as it's fully backwards compatible. But to introduce a completely new format would be a much bigger pain in the a*s than MIDI itself.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by Spadz » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:25 am

Music Maven wrote:There is another issue that I don't believe members have fully addressed: Timing

I know what you are thinking, "Yeah, MIDI timing sucks and the latency is awful in a multi-port interface."

But in reality, MIDI over USB is even worse - especially when trying to sync the LFOs or arpeggiators from your synth. With USB MIDI, the LFOs often drift out of sync because of dropped USB data packets. The Access Virus TI support forum is littered with rants from irate users who are unable to reliably sync their TIs.

But if you simply connect the Virus to the computer via standard MIDI, all of these syncing problems go away. The Dave Smith Tetra supposedly has the same problems with its USB MIDI.

So I'm sticking with MIDI because it just works. The only thing that works as reliably is something like Vienna's MIDI/audio over LAN system (as featured in their Ensemble Pro software). That works flawlessly. It's really pretty amazing.

It would be awesome if you could connect all of your synths to an inexpensive Gigabit Ethernet switch via standard CAT5 cable and access them from any other computer or other device on the system.

Sadly, that's never going to happen. :-(
It's pretty close to what I was proposing. It is doable. Maybe not a specially made hardware, but you could just use a PC running Linux and virtualizing each connected MIDI ports with a socket listening to a specific port number. There are softwares, and OSC standard, to stream audio and midi between computers. It doesn't take much to made those midi connectors available on the network.

I'm actually looking into it, in case I find a quick way to do this, with stuff already made. If I ever have more free time, I might actually program something. Big if. Might actually be done with Java on any platform.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by DLovas » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:27 am

I have yet to use any MIDI over USB synths - but my guess is that the longer they're out - the more reliable they will become

And i wouldn't be too sure that something like MIDI over LAN will never happen for the future of synths - heck i remember thinking back when i had an ipod mini, that one day, there would be a cell "iphone" that had a clickwheel and allowed you to listen to songs ! ha! I was sort of on the ball - yet also way off.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:34 am

DLovas wrote:I have yet to use any MIDI over USB synths - but my guess is that the longer they're out - the more reliable they will become
They're already totally reliable, any unreliability you may have heard of was most probably people who don't know how to configure their computer for making music.
And i wouldn't be too sure that something like MIDI over LAN will never happen for the future of synths - heck i remember thinking back when i had an ipod mini, that one day, there would be a cell "iphone" that had a clickwheel and allowed you to listen to songs ! ha! I was sort of on the ball - yet also way off.
Midi over LAN already exists and has done for years, it's called OSC.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by DLovas » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:38 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
DLovas wrote:I have yet to use any MIDI over USB synths - but my guess is that the longer they're out - the more reliable they will become
They're already totally reliable, any unreliability you may have heard of was most probably people who don't know how to configure their computer for making music.
And i wouldn't be too sure that something like MIDI over LAN will never happen for the future of synths - heck i remember thinking back when i had an ipod mini, that one day, there would be a cell "iphone" that had a clickwheel and allowed you to listen to songs ! ha! I was sort of on the ball - yet also way off.
Midi over LAN already exists and has done for years, it's called OSC.
ah - thanks for clarification

I think what i meant to say was - MIDI over lAN Built into new off the line synths wouldn't be impossible - almost as if the new synths will have Wi-Fi :)

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by Horace » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:27 am

Music Maven wrote:
But in reality, MIDI over USB is even worse - especially when trying to sync the LFOs or arpeggiators from your synth. With USB MIDI, the LFOs often drift out of sync because of dropped USB data packets. The Access Virus TI support forum is littered with rants from irate users who are unable to reliably sync their TIs.

It would be awesome if you could connect all of your synths to an inexpensive Gigabit Ethernet switch via standard CAT5 cable and access them from any other computer or other device on the system.

Sadly, that's never going to happen. :-(
This. Spot on.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by Music Maven » Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:42 pm

They're already totally reliable, any unreliability you may have heard of was most probably people who don't know how to configure their computer for making music.
I would expect the moderator of this forum to be a little less condescending. Claiming that users who experience syncing/timing issues with USB MIDI "don't know how to configure their computer for making music" is patronizing at best. Moreover, it's flat out wrong and displays your apparent lack of understanding (or at least appreciation) regarding the complexity of the issue.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:32 pm

Music Maven wrote:
They're already totally reliable, any unreliability you may have heard of was most probably people who don't know how to configure their computer for making music.
I would expect the moderator of this forum to be a little less condescending. Claiming that users who experience syncing/timing issues with USB MIDI "don't know how to configure their computer for making music" is patronizing at best. Moreover, it's flat out wrong and displays your apparent lack of understanding (or at least appreciation) regarding the complexity of the issue.
Actually I'm a mod in Sound Production, not this forum, but anyway.

I've had syncing issues with midi clock output from Live v6 which was down to Live putting out bad sync, it happened over USB or over midi cables, didn't make a difference. It seems to be fixed with the current version. I've never had an issue with sync or latency with a properly set up USB midi keyboard. Which one are you having problems with?

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by DLovas » Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:29 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:
Music Maven wrote:
They're already totally reliable, any unreliability you may have heard of was most probably people who don't know how to configure their computer for making music.
I would expect the moderator of this forum to be a little less condescending. Claiming that users who experience syncing/timing issues with USB MIDI "don't know how to configure their computer for making music" is patronizing at best. Moreover, it's flat out wrong and displays your apparent lack of understanding (or at least appreciation) regarding the complexity of the issue.
Actually I'm a mod in Sound Production, not this forum, but anyway.

I've had syncing issues with midi clock output from Live v6 which was down to Live putting out bad sync, it happened over USB or over midi cables, didn't make a difference. It seems to be fixed with the current version. I've never had an issue with sync or latency with a properly set up USB midi keyboard. Which one are you having problems with?
He said that the Virus TIs gave people issues - specifically syncing LFOs

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:47 am

I owned a Virus TI for a while and had zero problems with either audio or MIDI over USB. I used to be on the Virus forums and I was always wondering why all these people were having trouble. Maybe because I'm on a Mac?

I have owned two Yamaha Motifs (ES and XF) and a Korg Radias, all supported multi-port MIDI over USB and I've never had clocking issues...both had sequencers and arpeggiators on top of syncable LFOs and FX.

Now using the XF with multi-port MIDI over Firewire (plus 16 in/6 out audio!) and it's rock solid.
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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:00 am

DLovas wrote:
Stab Frenzy wrote:I've had syncing issues with midi clock output from Live v6 which was down to Live putting out bad sync, it happened over USB or over midi cables, didn't make a difference. It seems to be fixed with the current version. I've never had an issue with sync or latency with a properly set up USB midi keyboard. Which one are you having problems with?
He said that the Virus TIs gave people issues - specifically syncing LFOs
That sound like a Virus Ti issue not a midi over USB issue.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by madtheory » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:04 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:That sound like a Virus Ti issue not a midi over USB issue.
Yes, that seems logical given that the MIDI interface is connected to the computer via USB. So it doesn't make sense to blame USB for the Virus problems. Sounds like they wrote bad code for their USB port, and stuck the the standards for the MIDI one.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 7:12 pm

Music Maven wrote:
They're already totally reliable, any unreliability you may have heard of was most probably people who don't know how to configure their computer for making music.
I would expect the moderator of this forum to be a little less condescending. Claiming that users who experience syncing/timing issues with USB MIDI "don't know how to configure their computer for making music" is patronizing at best. Moreover, it's flat out wrong and displays your apparent lack of understanding (or at least appreciation) regarding the complexity of the issue.
midi over wifi, midi over lan, or midi over wifi have all been reliable in my humble experience. the protocol isn't the problem, it's (like it always is) the individual implementation on the manufacturer's side. To suggest that package drop over a usb connection is the cause for midi timing issues is a lack of knowledge of the respective protocols. Midi messages are a few bits whereas the standard usb connection is 400+ mb/s. if the protocol couldn't handle decoding,transferring, and re-encoding a few bits, it wouldn't be used on every device on the planet.... Additionally, I've never known any of the mods here to hand out bad knowledge, even if it is a bit short-tempered because of the abundance of questions that show a lack of initial work ethic.

ANYWAY :) a cord is a cord is a cord. IDC if you give me a din or a usb type a, b, c, hdmi, whatever. if it ain't wireless, it's not going to push any limits. Additionally, as much as I love midi over wifi - it's limiting because you have to set up a network or it's kaputzkies. give me a pci card with a proprietary midi network and let me know where to sign. There is someone out there working on this (or at least that proposed it) but it'd require a powered dongle on anything you want to run so it's kinda meh (and expensive). wires is where it's at atm because it's cheap and reliable.
I AM waiting for a cheap and good usb/midi patchbay though as the motu one is still just a little too salty. I want a virtual mixing console where I can patch in and out of all available midi connections like BUTTA.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by clubbedtodeath » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:33 pm

samuraipizzacat29 wrote:I AM waiting for a cheap and good usb/midi patchbay though as the motu one is still just a little too salty. I want a virtual mixing console where I can patch in and out of all available midi connections like BUTTA.
A MIDI selector, together with some MIDI thru units and a MIDI merge box would do the job. I bought the 5S, V4 and 2M from Philip Rees. They've always worked faultlessly, and doubtless I'll keep using them for years to come.

Philip Rees is sadly ceased trading in 2006, perhaps indicative of the fact that purely MIDI-only products are no longer in as much demand as they were.

MIDI over DIN cables is slow - the range of baud rates for traditional dial-up modems - but it's enough for sending notes and controller messages. It took long enough to agree on the standard, and now that we have it, it means any synth, drum machine, or effects rack using the standard DIN connectors and protocol can be used for decades to come. So I don't see it disappearing anywhere soon.

What I'd like to see, though, is battery-powered transmitters that plug right into the MIDI ports in the back of my keyboard and transmit to similar on my PC MIDI interface. That would certainly save me one or two rats' nests I've got lurking behind keyboards.

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Re: do you think MIDI interfaces are going obsolete?

Post by orlando56 » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:34 am

nogginj wrote:I think MIDI will go the way of the analog synth.

It's funny too when you think about it like that - analog synths being what they are to digital synths and MIDI being what it is to USB/etc Controllers. :]

Personally the thing I love most about MIDI is the standards and no-nonsense of it. I don't think I'd get as far 'accidentally' sending OSC messages intended to one to device to another device. With MIDI, it's literally as simple as swapping cables.
Agreed. Your first statement is ironic, though, right? Analog synths, like rock and roll, will never die, and are in fact stronger than ever. They sound good, like tubes do.

I use my Little Phatty Stage II as a MIDI controller over USB. I've noticed a little latency. In fact, I think that MIDI through my MOTU Micro Lite is a little faster. But both are workable. The still great thing about MIDI is its portability over a wide range of gear.

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