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Viewing topic "Gear Recommendation: MIDI Central Control/Interface?"

Posted on: March 06, 2020 @ 01:32 PM
Total Posts:  3
Joined  10-13-2013
status: Newcomer

It seems to me that it might be easiest or “cleanest” to have some kind of MIDI device in the middle of a setup, to which everything is attached and through which everything is controlled, rather than trying to keep the daisy-chain organized and working.  (Not every MIDI device has a “thru” jack.) I envision something like a MOTU MIDI Express 128—something with a bunch of MIDI ports where everything is one step away from center as opposed to five steps down the chain (if that makes sense). 

It would be nice to be able easily to switch between having my XF8 control everything for playing, and my laptop control everything for DAW work and interface with everything for data-storage and patch-librarian-ing.

So, I’m curious what others are using for this kind of thing—or am I just overthinking the drawbacks of simply daisy-chaining everything?

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Posted on: March 08, 2020 @ 08:33 PM
Total Posts:  1039
Joined  07-01-2013
status: Guru

I’ve been using MOTU midi interfaces for the best part of 25 years and I can’t recommend them enough. 

I’m confident that I’ve used most of their interfaces in that time period from their flagship MIDI Timepieces down to what I have now which is the smaller MOTU Micro Lite with 5 INs and 5 OUTs, which is enough for the small amount of gear I have left with MIDI jacks.

You can’t possibly go wrong with something like the MIDI Express which will give you eight independent banks of MIDI inputs and outputs with 16 channels on each bank.  They even have one bank of INs and OUTs on the front panel, which is very handy if you need to keep swapping gear around.

The problem with daisy chaining MIDI devices is that you have to share a maximum of 16 channels of MIDI between all your MIDI devices, and as you’ve said, if you have a few devices that don’t feature a THRU, they can feel a bit left out.

Each device will get its own bank of 16 channels on the MIDI express.

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