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Midi patchbay???

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:06 pm
by zoomtheline
I thought I'd ask this on vintagesynth as its more likely people on here will work smilarly to me (just hardware)

I brought a patchbay a few weeks ago and its the best thing I have ever brought because I hated all the wires snaking about and moving certain things around because they wouldn't reach each other... anyway...

I have searched but I can't find anything simple enough, Is there a similar sort of thing for Midi? A patchbay to do exactly the same thing as a normal audio patchbay?

I'm open to ideas! bearing in mind there is no computer involved and the master clock will solely come from a zoom hard disk recorder

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:17 pm
by Z
I do not think there are any "new" MIDI patch bays that work without a computer. There are many that were made in the late 80s and early 90s. I use a JL Cooper MSB-1 which is quite rare. I like it because there are knobs to turn to assign which MIDI INs go to which MIDI OUTs (or vice versa, I can't remember). However, the MSB-1 does not do any merging or filtering.

I used to use a JL Cooper MSB+ Rev 2 which has patch memory of your MIDI patches. It will also merge 2 inputs and it may have some filtering abailities (I never used them).

The Roland A-880 is an easy patch bay to use. It also has 2 MIDI INs and 2 MIDI OUTs on the front panel (where as most patch bays' ins & outs are on the rear) along with additional INs & OUTs on the rear.

Kawai made one that is pretty inexpensive - I forgot the model number (MAV-8, maybe). JL Cooper also made some smaller patch bays under the "Nexus" model name.

My MSB-1 is in the bottom left corner of my rack:

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:22 pm
by Yatmandu
I'm in exactly the same situation. I recently picked up an audio patchbay to clean up my audio in/out connections, and now I'm looking for a midi patchbay. I think I'll stick with a 3-up-to-8 in by 8 out, as I won't need as many combos as the audio patchbay. I also don't want the thing to rely on a PC, so I'm looking at Kawai MAV-8 (4in-8out), JL Copper NExus (3in-8out), Digital Music Corp. MX-8 (6in-8out). I didn't like any others due to their requirement of a PC connection.

If anyone here can recommend some devices, I'm all ears!

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:42 am
by pricklyrobot
I can vouch for the Digital Music Corp MX-8. It's easy to figure out for basic use, but it also has some more advanced options (filtering, merging, and such) available if you need them; very handy for dealing with older MIDI synths (like the Prophet 600, which receives MIDI in Omni mode only.) They come up on Ebay for $50-$100 on a fairly regular basis.

For something much simpler (2 Ins, 8 Outs, no fancy features) the Casio TB-1 is a good choice. I use it basically as an expander for the MX-8. Plus, it can run on AA batteries!

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:06 pm
by Altitude
+1 on the MSB (MSB 2+ is more common) the the MX-8, both great units. Make sure what ever you are looking at has the ability to merge (some will only route). Filtering is also an excellent function to have

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:33 pm
by dumeril7
I have an JL Cooper MSB Rev II. I gotta say, it works but it has one of the most arcane user interfaces I've ever had in a piece of gear. The owner's manual is a must. Its not difficult per-se, but its not at all intuitive either. OTOH, once you get a number of presets programmed into it, you don't have to delve into it very much and it works like a champ.


Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:47 pm
by xpander
a high-end interface like the MOTU MTP A/V will also work stand-alone.

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:58 pm
by rockmanrock
If you'd like to patch things manually then DACS made one which has DIN on the back then jack connections at the front, they crop up on Ebay from time to time.

Another manual one is made by Signex, a basic DIN patch panel called the CPM22, 22 DIN on the rear and 22 DIN on the front.

No merge/filtering processing with these though. I've read that some of the older programmable ones foul up with heavy sys-ex and so on.

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 7:20 pm
by guillermotin
Here, I use an old midi interface from Opcode for this job. It's a 4-in 6-out midi interface, that also works as a patchbay, with presets available on the front panel. My model is the Studio 64x, but i'm pretty sure that other Opcode models will work as a standalone unit the same way.

Yamaha has also an old midi patchbay that seems to be pretty usable, the MJC-8. But I'm not sure about the specs.

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 1:09 pm
by mercybox
I use a JL Cooper Synapse (16 in/20 out) in my studio and I can tell ya, I'll never be without one. It may be the most vital piece of gear in my studio from a usefulness viewpoint. I really don't know why no one makes things like this anymore. :-(

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 1:27 pm
by harness
Also have a JL Cooper Synapse and love it. Its the glue of my setup.

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 4:41 pm
by pflosi
i have a m-audio midisport 8x8. it's great, i like that it's a midi interface as well as a patchbay (also standalone). one has a small app that allows you to set the routings, everythings possible. and it has smpte...

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:38 pm
by taskoni
I have Motu micro express - the old parallel version. It is 1/2U with 6 Midi Outs and 4 Ins. It re-channelize on input and output and merge the inputs! It has SMTP as well. The old Timepiece have more outs and ins and do the same stuff

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 10:55 am
by darkbill
I just got a Motu Express 128. You would be surprised how cheap you can pick these up second-hand, (under $150) but it has been a good unit so far.

It powers via USB, so no extra cable. Has 8 Midi In, 9 Midi Out and offers 128 Midi Channels for routing. Compatible with PC and MAC. I use a PC so can't attest to how well it works with MACs. You can also chain another Express 128 if you want to keep adding more MIDI gear.

My set up is MIDI-intensive, but tends to work in clusters, so I can still chain certain synths or MIDI gear before I go into the patchbay.

Vince Clarke and other people who think MIDI is sloppy when it comes to timing would go nuts at this set up, but actually I don't mind a microsecond or two of drift (musicians do it all the time.) :wink:

I looked at the MIDIsport units which are very cheap - but I saw too many negative reviews saying they were buggy and the customer service sucked.

As with any piece of gear I guess it all comes down to how it works for you.

Re: Midi patchbay???

Posted: Tue May 26, 2009 1:21 pm
by pflosi
darkbill wrote:I looked at the MIDIsport units which are very cheap - but I saw too many negative reviews saying they were buggy and the customer service sucked.
no problems here so far (with mac). but i guess the 8x8 is better than the smaller ones...