Old 10-13-2011, 06:27 AM   #1
Brent Hutto
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Default MIDI Keyboard: USB vs. MIDI Connection

I'm getting a Roland A-500s keyboard/controller that will be hooked up to my Win-7 laptop running Reaper. I also have an E-MU 0404 USB audio interface which brings my microphone's signal into Reaper.

Apparently the usual way to attach the MIDI keyboard is with a USB cable from the keyboard to a port on the laptop. I also have the option of running an MIDI cable from the keyboard's DIN connector to the MIDI input on the audio interface.

Is there any reason or advantage to doing a MIDI-to-interface connection instead of USB straight to the computer?
Brent Hutto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2011, 06:47 AM   #2
philait
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Newcastle - UK
Posts: 567
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
I'm getting a Roland A-500s keyboard/controller that will be hooked up to my Win-7 laptop running Reaper. I also have an E-MU 0404 USB audio interface which brings my microphone's signal into Reaper.

Apparently the usual way to attach the MIDI keyboard is with a USB cable from the keyboard to a port on the laptop. I also have the option of running an MIDI cable from the keyboard's DIN connector to the MIDI input on the audio interface.

Is there any reason or advantage to doing a MIDI-to-interface connection instead of USB straight to the computer?
USB powers the Keyboard so if you use the Midi connector you will need another 9volt power adaptor for the keyboard.
There's other reasons but that's a major none technical one.
philait is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2011, 07:25 AM   #3
Brent Hutto
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Default

Yeah, I'm hoping there's no compelling advantage to the MIDI ports because having one wire dangling off the keyboard is always better than two!

Of course this particular keyboard will run off AA batteries but I'll bet it will drain them in no time at all. I'm not big on buying batteries and then dumping them into the landfill a couple days later...
Brent Hutto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2011, 08:36 AM   #4
mymymetrocard
Human being with feelings
 
mymymetrocard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 220
Default

there should be no advantage from running it from midi latency wise, the only real advantage is that it doesn't use up a usb port. if you've got usb ports enough, i'd say its a best bet to go usb.
__________________
------

mymymetrocard - PHYCOLOGY
mymymetrocard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2011, 09:16 AM   #5
Brent Hutto
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Default

Yeah, hadn't thought of that. I have one computer that just sits and runs Reaper when I'm recording so no competition for its ports. Thanks for reminding me, though.

My "main" computer always seems to be one port short which is part of the reason I just got a separate one that I leave the audio interface attached to. I used to have to unplug a camera to use a scanner or what have you.
Brent Hutto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
lutzy
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 11
Default

i had a powered usb hub that powers my midi controller (4 ports) the hub itself isnt plugged into the laptop, just used for power. I use a midi cable from the controller through my soundcard/audio interface.

This stopped lots my midi controller dropping out when connected straight to the computer through usb - when I was using ableton

now i am with reaper, doing all that mojo aint necessary
moral is, reaper rox
lutzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2011, 05:40 PM   #7
Brent Hutto
Human being with feelings
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 8
Default

I guess I've stumbled on a situation where the MIDI connection and USB are not six of one, half-dozen of the other. I have a little netbook computer that sits in my music room just to run Reaper. I use it for recording one track at a time and for monitoring the first track while I record the second, that sort of thing. Works fine.

Anyway, I wasn't particularly surprised when it didn't handle the MIDI keyboard and running a piano or bass VSTi. As soon as I played a whole bunch of notes quickly it fell behind and crackled. I put a second GB of memory in it and removed a bunch of bloatware but it still couldn't keep up.

So today I tried plugging a DIN cable between the keyboard and my E-MU 0404 USB interface. So now both audio from the microphone and MIDI data from the keyboard come in on the single USB 2.0 connection from E-MU to the netbook instead of having two USB cable plugged in.

Voila! Works a charm. I can play a MIDI piano accompaniment while monitor a recorded audio stream or vice versa with no problem. I guess each USB connection entails some extra time-critical demand on the wee processor in the netbook. Or maybe it's just random. But now I have a $175 netbook that does everything I need both audio-wise and MIDI-wise.

P.S. Although I will say that Atom CPU makes for some sloooooow rendering.
Brent Hutto is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:32 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.