Midi Interface for Hapax?

While I wait for my Hapax (September batch), I am thinking about how I want to set up my studio once it arrives. I currently have an ESI Audiotechnik M8U eX midi interface, which I have never loved. It has a ton of ports, but it’s pretty limited in how it can be configured. I basically use it as a large midi splitter for my current primary controller (Korg Kronos). Once I have the Hapax, I will have four controllers (Hapax, Kronos, Linnstrument and MatrixBrute) going out to 17 total devices (including the four controllers). I have not found my current midi interface up to the task. Suggestions? Anyone using an iConnectivity mioXL? Am I missing something in how best to set up the ESI Audiotechnik M8U eX?

I edited my post to add my computer, iPad, two synths not currently connected, and two effects boxes to the total number of devices I’d like to have all connected to a single midi network.
Thanks for any suggestions.

I just use Hapax for MIDI. Plugged into my PC via USB MIDI.

What configuration would you need another MIDI interface for?

I think @michaeljk1963 use-case is having many midi devices (more than the 4 output of hapax)

@michaeljk1963 , your choices are (and Im sure you are aware of these)

  • use midi thru on devices , if they have them.

  • use a ‘simple’ midi splitter, if you really just need more physical connections

  • other theres a few midi routers out there.
    I use a mioXM, and it really is good for the job, Id assume the mioXL to be just as good , but bigger.
    I think only ‘downside’ of these, is at times it does ‘over complicate’ things… I quite often just unplug the hapax from it, and just plug things in directly to what Im using ‘now’. just to simplify life … and make music rather than ‘play with tech’ :wink:

be aware current the USB host/device port on the hapax (currently) only supports one USB ‘port’,
(see this post , but it is on Squarp’s roadmap… but no timeframe!)

Possible uses include when I don’t want to use my computer for one thing (which is most of the time) or when I want one of several controllers to talk to a very large amount of gear without having to do recabling or when I want to layer midi sounds from a wide variety of gear going into my mixer with different channel settings, many other ways of wanting to route the various gear.

Aaaah, I thought you meant getting a MIDI interface for your PC.

As @thetechnobear says, MIDI splitters and mergers will probably be a very good shout.

I use this to connect 3 devices into the main Hapax in - MIDI Solutions Quadra Merge V2 4-Input MIDI Merger at Juno Records.

And two of these to expand the MIDI outs for 8 devices - MIDI Solutions Quadra Thru V2 4-Output Active MIDI Thru Box at Juno Records.

And they all work absolutely perfectly for me.

i’m new to using USB MIDI, only just connected my first device (MPC One to Pyramid) this week. i can at least get the MPC Tracks to respond to Pyramid Tracks on discrete MIDI channel, which is largely all i need it to do. but does bi-directionality mean the MPC One pads can trigger anything that is also receiving MIDI Out from Pyramid? like, could I set up chords on the MPC One pads and have them trigger patches on my Alpha Juno for Pyramid/Hapax to record on the Alpha Juno’s Hapax track? or will MPC and Pyramid/Hapax still only talk directly to each other b/c the USB MIDI connection is just between those two devices?

yeah, be careful with the idea of dynamic routing on the likes of the mioXM/mioXL.
it has presets, but I find actually having different configurations, or changing the configurations of routing pretty tedious.

it works best when its ‘set up and forget’, and work within the various limitations that creates.

… thats why when I want to be more dynamic , I just plug things in directly…
4 dins + usb midi device/host on the hapax, is very often enough for what I need.

then if I really need everything connected, I plug it into the mioXM,
(unfortunately, to really make this work ‘perfectly’ we need usb virtual ports working… otherwise your basically limited to 6 midi ports , or 5 if your using a computer)

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For the moment, my plan is to simply have one of the midi outs on the Hapax go into the midi in on the M8U Ex, and then split things out from there and have the other midi outs on the Hapax going into synths not currently connected to my midi interface and my computer, but that is a really limited routing scenario

so usb midi is bi-directional , this means you can indeed send and receive midi on the same usb cable.

in your case, yes, this means the pyramid can both send and receive midi to the MPC ONE.

obviously, you need to configure on both the pyramid and mpc one things like ‘tracks’ to either listen or send on that usb connection. (you may also need to ‘enable’ the usb for receiving midi )

sorry, Im not being specific, I don’t have an MPC so I dont know the exact steps,
but its no different to how you would do it using any other midi controller/midi instrument.

note: when you are doing this becareful you do not create a midi loopback
e.g. mpc → pyramid → mpc → pyramid → infinity and beyond

note2: for others reading this, the same is true for the Hapax (as we are talking pyramid here), however even more options with Hapax since we have usb midi host and device :slight_smile:

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Yes, agreed. This is why I use my midi interface as a splitter, and then have a Kenton 2 in 2 out merger to add a controller to the mix, but even that seems overly complicated.

I can highly recommend the Conductive Labs MRCC! It is highly flexible/configurable, and yet very easy to use.

Truly :sweat_smile: For all the presets and apparent dynamic possibilities (MioXL here), I too spent a fair amount of time getting that one preset “just so”, and haven’t touched it ever since except when other gear changes. I also found the filtering is quite limited in the end - for example there’s no way to create a virtual buss for routing just the the clock.

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Thank you both for this point. I don’t foresee a lot of changes in my studio setup for the next few years. I am very happy with what I have and tend to keep things a long time (e.g. I still have and use a JV-1080 (plus all four filled 8MB ROM Slots) and a Korg TR-Rack that I bought new over 20 years ago), but I have accumulated quite a few new hardware synths in the past three years (Pandemic boredom was part of it) and I want an interface that will give me access to all of this without having to think about it (I already bought a new main mixer and a smaller used mixer that I use as a submixer so I can easily access audio coming from all the gear separately or layered as I please). So, now I just need to figure out midi. The midi interfaces I currently use are just too limited.

Throwing another great product into the ring:

BomeBox

I’ve used a MioXM together with BomeBox for about a year and half. It’s a dynamite combination of MioXM’s MIDI switch/router with the custom routing and translation of the BomeBox.

You can do literally anything you want with MIDI in a BomeBox. For example, you could route MIDI clock to BomeBox (through a MioXM or XL) and have it control where the clock is sent to, on a much finer-grained level than is possible with MioXM alone.

For all intents and purposes, the BomeBox acts as a tiny computer-less runtime device for the Bome MIDI Translator Pro “programming” tool. Because it has MIDI DIN In and Out, USB, 2 Ethernet ports and WiFi (it can act as an access point), you have many choices of connectivity built in. I connect the USB to the “To Host” port on my MioXM, so I don’t loose any of the precious DIN and USB connections.

There is a learning curve with MIDI Translator Pro. If you are technically inclined and live with MIDI as many of use keyboardists do, it’s a worthwhile investment of time. For those who want it to “just work,” BomeBox is not the ticket.

Bome support is absolutely first-rate, for a product that is super reliable and well-documented.

Search for “Bome” in this forum and you will find a number of others who use the product line in their MIDI networks.

I can’t recommend Bome’s products highly enough.

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Another choice could be the Blokas Midihub.

I bought one for my setup.
It has 4 midi in and 4 midi out din ports and USB.

I’ve got Pyramid, NDLR, Octatrack and Wavestate keyboard as midi controllers and a bunch of synths, that can be controlled/sequenced with every one of these controllers.

You can route everything as you want through a fairly simple graphic editor running on PC/Mac and store 8 different configurations inside the midihub, so not having to leave it permanently connected to a PC/Mac

You can also use any kind of Midi filtering/routing and adding a lot of midi Fxs, fairly similar to the one you can find in the Squarp sequencers.

I really can’t find anything* so versatile, easy to use, portable and cheap to route all the midi signal around complex setups, with the added value to be also a generative/creative tool in the music creation process if you want it to be.

Loopop’s video’s worth a thousands words, so here it is

*Another honorable mention goes to the Conductive Labs MRCC, that doesn’t need a pc to configure, but it’s more expansive and lacks the creative side of the Midihub

I am now leaning toward Conductive Labs MRCC. I had thought it was more than I needed (still wonder if it is) and it is pretty expensive for what I need ($439), but it might be the best solution for me in the long run. I first came across it in the following Loopop video about setting up matrices for lots of gear (audio and midi): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wbHlUZS4-M

For those of you who already have a Conductive Labs MRCC, do you think it is a good option for using with the Hapax (along with 15 to 20 other midi devices)? Reliable? Straightforward UI? Good support?

My Hapax doesn’t arrive until tomorrow, but as I posted above, I’ve had the MRCC for months and its really flexible and easy to use (I use it with 5 synths plus pedals, PC, etc). Very highly recommended, and I see no reason why it wouldn’t play nicely with the Hapax. I look forward to playing with them together soon!

I am very interested to hear your feedback once you have the Hapax and are using it in various ways with the MRCC. I have been perusing the forums over at Conductive Labs and am somewhat concerned about compatibility issues with connecting devices over USB with the MRCC (for instance, several people have reported their Elektron devices are not “detected”). One of my hopes for the MRCC is that I can finally and easily navigate Midi, including the use of Hapax, both when I am using my DAW (Logic Pro or Bitwig) and when DAWLess (not using my Mac at all).

One of the highlights noted by the developers of the MRCC, which I really like, is that the MRCC is completely programmable without having to use any computer software (although that is one very tiny screen on the MRCC). I am making my way through a demonstration video by the two guys who made the MRCC (along with their development team). It is long, quirky, but also kind of fun to watch (due to it’s unpolished vibe).

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Will let you know when I’ve had chance to dig in. My Hapax only arrived about an hour ago though! Might take me a while to find some time to play with them properly. Also, bear in mind that I’m no MIDI power user - my use cases are pretty straightforward, but I have plenty of MIDI devices and I love the simplicity/convenience of routing them all via the MRCC, so I’ll let you know how it goes in due course. I should be able to test a Hapax to MRCC USB connection soon though.

Very exciting! Thanks.