Sometimes, not even 32 channels is enough


#1

Some (relatively) modern gear uses multiple MIDI channels - the Octatrack can use 9, the Nord Drum 2 can use 7 (one for each channel on each device and one global in each case) - this has used all 16 channels up!

Thankfully, the glorious Pyramid has two MIDI outs (and a USB out, but we’ll come to that).

But, after adding a few more devices, even the number of channels on the second MIDI port is running low.

I do not want to use the Pyramid with a computer - I have Ableton Live and a Push 2 for that sort of thing.

So to the question…

Has anyone ever used a USB to DIN converter to scrape another 16 channels of MIDI from the Pyramid without using a computer?
You can see where I’m going - It would be excellent if the Pyramid had a third (non-computer) MIDI output and I wondered if anyone has ever done it.


#2

https://www.iconnectivity.com/products/midi/mio4 seems to be a popular choice around here. Planning to get one myself when budget permits.


#3

Thank you.
At first, I thought it was just a PC MIDI interface, but It “works without a computer”.
I couldn’t find anything on the forum about what I wanted to do, but it seems others have done it - probably for the same reason as me.
I shall investigate pricing immediately.


#4

MIO4 is about 200€ on Thomann, but then it’s a Rolls Royce of these things, AIUI. Another possibility would be Kenton MIDI host box which is about half the price but which is just that and nothing else, whereas in the MIO you get all manner of advanced filtering and whatnot.


#5

I already use a MOTU to route and fiter the MIDI to all my devices so I just need a USB MIDI out to DIN converter really. I will check out the Kenton box too.
Thanks for the info.
Was clearly worth asking.


#6

I found one or two online, but I wanted confirmation that it would actually work with the Pyramid.
Googling USB to MIDI does not return the required results! You have to be a bit more technical, I found.


#7

Basically the magic word is “USB host”, other kinds of converters will not work. It’s a bit unfortunate that the Pyramid itself is not an USB host but just a device.


#8

I havent run into problems yet with my configuration, but i have not gigged with the current rig.

My Pyramid is powered via a USB Hub that is plugged into a BomeBox. The 16 USB MIDI Channels are controlling my OT and a Prophet 12 so far.

Note: in my rig im using the USB also as input to control the Pyramid with an external controller. The BomeBox also translates the PgmChg msg from the Pyramid to the OT so that OT Patterns start on the “1”, bypassing the PLEN thing. (Just sticks a Sequencer Stop and Sequencer Start on either side of the PgmChg msg)


#9

Thanks both. Great information.
I am now looking at replacing my MOTU MIDI Express XT with a mio10.
The MOTU is great and has served me well, but I am thinking that the mio will give me 11 connections (10 MIDI + 1 USB) as opposed to 8, and give me 48 Pyramid channels to play with, future-proofing my setup nicely.

Then I can buy another five synthesizers :grinning: - once I have saved up enough :slightly_frowning_face:

… and bought a bigger house :unamused:


#10

I am using a similar setup but instead of a bome box an iconnectmidi4+ is the center of my midi hub.
I have connect all three midiouts of pyramid to iconnectmidi4+ and I can manipulate all 48 midi channels the way want to.
I have Octatrack, yamaha RS7000, roland XV5050, Yamaha TG77, Volca Keys, Volca FM, Novation Nova Laptop, korg Electribe ER-1 and DREADBOX Erebus V2, all of them sequenced by pyramid thru ICM4+. very flexible.
Pyramid is brilliant and with the last update even more!!


#11

MIO10? I hadn’t noticed such a beast even exists, thanks for the pointer!
Except that… oh crap, now I want one too ! :joy:

Know the feeling :grin:


#12

I’ve made myself a “magical USB hub” of sorts, using a Pi Zero W as a host, running PatchOS and having installed and set up QJackCtl to run automatically with a setup routing the midi ports, and keeping them connected in case of device dropouts.

Works ok, but doesn’t interface very well with the chinese USB 4x4 midi box I have - some notes sent from the ins in the 4x4 to the outs via USB get stuck or don’t appear at all, so the 4x4 is relegated to just 1to4 DIN and powered by USB.

Bah, I’m rambling, but my point is that you can make a small USB hub/host for relatively little if you hack about with raspberry pi’s and similar devices.


#13

So the mio has like separate spots for a set of midi channels 1_16? Like the cirklon?


#14

I use a Blokas midihub , which though has not been released yet - should be fairly imminent by now.
So if you don’t need today, but in near future might be worth keeping an eye on.


#15

I would buy it just based off the name haha thanks for the tip my dude/gal