Multiple USB MIDI Outputs?

Hello all! Just got my Pyramid today. Woohoo! There will be lots of time spent with the manual in the coming days, but a quick question as I’m getting started about how the USB MIDI output works.

I am using an AKAI Force together with an iConnectivity MIO MIDI interface. All of my hardware synths connect by USB to the MIO. Presently, the Force is acting as a master clock/arranger/sequencer.

Previously, I was also using a Conductive Labs NDLR by plugging it into one of the USB A ports on the Force. It worked very nicely: There were 4 USB outputs from the NDLR that would show up on the Force as inputs that could be routed wherever you like. “NDLR 1” … “NDLR 2” … “NDLR 3” … etc. With the Pyramid, I only see one MIDI output from the Pyramid which shows up as an input source within the Force titled “PYRAMID MIDI USB MIDI 1”. I just have two questions.

  1. Obviously, the Pyramid has multiple MIDI channels on its USB MIDI 1 but for now, are we limited to just that one PYRAMID MIDI USB MIDI 1 as an output?

2). If there are not multiple outputs but a different sort of workflow when using the Pyramid that I am overlooking in this case, I would be grateful to know.


1 - there are 3 MIDI Output ports on the Pyramid: two DIN and one USB. Each MIDI Port can carry up to 16 MIDI Channels of data. There are DIN MIDI to USB MIDI converters available if you want to be exclusively USB MIDI

2 - I don’t understand the question. There are 3 MIDI Ports of 16 Channels each for a total of 48 MIDI Channels possible. If you’re handy with Event Processors, or possibly your MIO, you can actually put multiiple Channels of data on a single Channel (splits), so…wot? Workflow? What is it that you want to do?

Thanks for the quick reply @CreepyPants.

1 - Thanks for the clarification. It was convenient having 4 different “virtual” USB MIDI outputs with the NDLR - especially when they started showing up in the Force. Still, it’s not that big a deal - especially when you consider that each of the 4 virtual MIDI outputs on the NDLR is limited to just one MIDI channel each.

2 - Ah, this is simply a general question to see if there was something I have overlooked when looking at this issue. …or see if anyone had any galaxy brain workflow sorcery that they wanted to share. :slight_smile:

we probably need to clear up terminology here (its tends to get mixed up) to be precise.

midi has 16 channels on one ‘cable’, be it din, or usb…

however, USB supports multiple cables (unfortunately you guess it, 16 :wink: ) over one usb connection.
cable is the correct term, since the usb spec refers to ‘cable number’.
however, Ive also often seen them referred to as ports, often these ports are labelled A-F, to help not confuse them with channels (which are always numbered 1-16)
(I suspect port is used, since when we talk about cable, people are thinking of the physical usb cable)

so how is this relevant…

yes, the iConnectivity devices support up to 4 cables/ports (so A-D)

however the pyramid only supports one cable/port (A)

frankly, whilst I wish this was not the case… it is very common for hardware to only support ONE usb cable/port, and its even (surprisingly) common in software on computers!

I guess, no one thought we would need more than 16 midi channels !
(though those of us using MPE or multitimbral synths would beg to disagree :wink: )

so unfortunately back to OP.
no, you can only target USB A, DIN A , DIN B, thats the only options.


Interesting! I was completely unaware of that.

Yeah, this is where I’ve got to tip my hat to AKAI. Shortly after I got it, the USB MIDI capabilities on the Force got a MAJOR buff: the ability to connect class-compliant controllers and having “multi-MIDI” with up to 32 physical devices, 16 channels each by adding a hub. Some users were pretty salty having to wait longer than I did for this feature to be added, but so it goes.

It was such a treat, seeing new devices immediately identified in the display with whatever data the manufacturer is attached - very similar to the MIDI Settings in Live. I’m not sure that I’m ready to go DAW-less in the studio, but Force and Pyramid are now the center of my live setup.

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Yeah - it’s very useful … generally it seems to becoming more common on usb hosts.

I think with the pyramid it’s partly a reflection of it being a usb midi device , rather than a host.

( though there is no technical reason for that to stop it supporting multiple cables/ports)

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@dgadwa never heard of the NDLR before and I’m very intrigued! Looks like a really fun/different/interesting piece of gear. I think I may put it on a short list of future gear I pursue - curious how you end up using it in conjunction with the Pyramid after you play around a bit - cheers!

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