OT: Recommendations for modest stand alone midi mgmt


With my revived use of hardware synths (much thanks to MI) the midi situation is getting out of hand. Ideally I want a setup that:
A) let me control my synths from a single keyboard without turning on the computer
B) let me control all my synths from the computer when using a DAW

As far I can see the only devices that enable this kind of different routing schemes are legacy patchbays like Edirol UM-550, and possibly some of the high end MOTU midi interfaces.

Any other thoughts or recommendations from the MI crowd?


I could throw in the Machine with the big C in the Name…

I think you’re on commission, Frank. By the way, the next run of Big C machine is due in April, I spoke to Colin yesterday…

@ fcd72 He he, I knew you would suggest that, but I’m not really after a hardware sequencer, I just want to be able to play ‘live’ without the PC at times


I don’t class the C as “MODEST” :wink:

Sorry for ignorance but what is a DAW?

DAW = Digital Audio Workstation (read Cubase, Logic, Live etc.)

Do you have more than 16 synths? Do you need routing possibilities? If not, you can just build a Midi Thru box. Very inexpensive also…
Heres a schem for example: http://m.bareille.free.fr/midithrubox/midithrubox.htm

Thanks for the tip. I do need to be able to switch between two different routing modes though.

Squeezing data for all 16 possible synths thru a single MIDI channel will wreck all of your timing…

What exactly are those two? If its just computer->synths and midi keyboard->synths then a Midi Thru Box with two inputs would do the trick.

@fcd72: Umm, why one single Midi channel? That wasn’t mentioned anywhere before.

@fcd72 What is this big C ?

@fcd72: Ah OK, I understand what you mean. I built a 1->15 Midi thru Box and its working fine. I mostly use it to send clock and on some channels note on/off and velocity. It works absolutely fine. If you want to send very complex things on all 16 channels at the same time, it might not work, thats true.

@cereyanlimusiki: He’s talking about his Sequentix Cirklon. Which might be a little overkill here :wink:

This is the big and mighty C

I meant port… but it would be the same with channel. The good thing about MIDI is its a well designed, isochronous protocol thats been around for 30 years (can you think of any other I/O Protocol thats been around for so long except RS232?). The bad is the limited Bandwith with 31.25 kBaud which is glacieresque by todays means. Personally i prefer isochronous behavior over more bandwidth per port, as ports can be added easily and i like to know that the event is triggered when its meant to be triggered and my command hasn’t to percolate thru a zillion layers of OS, Drivers and other things that run on a Computer nowadays. SInce i use a Hardware Sequencer everything is fine now, timing wise. No Jitter, just pure Tightness.

Maybe theres real the need for some new MIDI Patchmatrix like the MJC-8

These threads offer some solutions - mostly older stuff though:

Home Recording

Any MIDI patch bay should work for this, that is what I use. Where are you located Bjarne? The reason I ask is because I have a Yamaha MJC8 MIDI patchbay that I’m not using because I recently upgraded to the mother of all MIDI patchbays (at least that I’ve seen), a JL Cooper MSB 16/20. The Yamaha has one dead port and one flaky port so it’s a 6 1/2 x 8 instead of 8 x 8 but if you’re handy with a soldering iron you could fix it or just use it as a 6 x 8. I paid $70.00 USD plus shipping, we could talk about a price if you’re interested. Shipping from Canada could be pricey 'though.

@flip I have a Shruthi, Ambika, Blofeld, Nord Modular, ASR 10, and use a Mopho as keys for all (because I really don’t have room for another controller keyboard).

fcd72dnigrin Thanks for the tips. These confirm my need for an old school patch bay a la Edirol UM-550/880 or the MJC-8.

@piscione I’m interested, but I know about the pricey shipping from Canada. I live in Stockholm, Sweden and have an old friend in Toronto.