DIN vs USB MIDI timing on dedicated hardware

I am trying to work out how to best integrate my Pyramid and Hermod with a E-RM multiclock and Mio10 interface.

I’m using either my DAW -> E-RM or the E-RM internal clock as master (when no computer), which then goes into the Mio10 (via DIN) to distribute to the other devices.

It is more convenient to connect both Pyramid and Hermod via USB to the Mio, but I’m wondering if I should expect less accurate MIDI timing then.

I know that USB MIDI from a general purpose computer OS is usually not very reliable, but since all devices involved are hardware with dedicated firmware I am wondering if the same issues exist.

Has anyone experienced less accurate timing when using USB vs DIN on either the Pyramid or Hermod?

I made a quite long post about this before, so I wont repeat the details, you can find them here

main upshot is that with general purpose computers there can be issues with jitter, as they don’t prioritise usb serial traffic (for good reason)

BUT this does/should not apply to hardware devices using things like micro-controllers (like the pyramid/hermod) , in this hardware you have much more control over IO timing and prioritisation.

similarly there is no guarantee that DIN will be better than usb, it may or may not be, comes down to how it’s coded etc.

so imo, id say generally the issue should not exist…( assuming its been programmed well!)

in practice, Ive not noticed an issue (but only had by hermod for a short time), and generally i dont going looking for trouble (so whilst I know how I could measure / test it, im not going to :wink: )

the cool thing about your E-RM, is that you can add latency offsets… ALL midi devices introduce latency, and unfortunately neither hermod nor pyramid have any latency compensation features.
(its not bothered me at all, but for those after really tight sync its useful)


Thanks! I will stick to USB then until I run into noticeable problems :smile:

I’ll chime in here.

Technically we are not using the computer’s USB bus lanes arn’t we? We are going direct to to and from the Mio10. The computer is only connected to the software so we can make patching changes to the MIDI I/O.

it depends, if your doing
DAW <-> mio10 <-> Pyramid,
then a computer is connected in this setup.
(which OP mentioned)

f your doing :
Pyramid <-> mio10 <-> hardware synths.
then of course no computer is involved :wink:

(I do both at different times)

and as I said, really with an MCU it should have accurate timing, as they generally do not suffer same issues as a general purpose os.
(that said, they still have IO and cpu limitations, so there are limits)

Actually no they didn’t. They are using the DAW only to send Audio Pulses to the E-RM multiclock. So the DAW is not involved with USB. Only Audio Pulses.

This is exactly how mine is used but I use a Sync Gen Pro II (original audio pulse machine). No MIDI is handled by the DAW/Computer.

Hello…I utilize midi 5 pin connector between a regulator and the XK3c and USB between the regulator and PC, which is the thing that I gig with. Zero disappointments with both.

The main feeble point with USB is as RK brought up - the ‘B’ connector. There are choices, smaller than expected or miniature USB as utilized in telephones, outside hard drives, cameras and so forth which offer a tight and secure association, however the MI business appears to remain 20 years sub-par .