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Old 07-13-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
plamuk
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Default diy/electrical question: merge midi output from 2 devices?

yo.

if i have 2 midi devices and splice them together, will this in effect combine their midi signal?

normal ol 5 pin midi cables. should be a pretty straightforward answer - i'm leaning heavily toward "it'll work."

thanks
nym
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:56 PM   #2
sstillwell
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As far as I know, no, it won't work. The two signals are clocked with start and stop bits, essentially like from a serial port (unless I'm REALLY spacing out more than usually)

Go see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI_1.0 for more details.

You'll need some form of active device to merge the MIDI signals together and route them out.

Sorry...

Scott
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sstillwell View Post
You'll need some form of active device to merge the MIDI signals together and route them out.
this is correct

fyi though, ebay and pawn shops are all full of excellent midi gear for cheap.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:25 PM   #4
plamuk
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Quote:
As far as I know, no, it won't work. The two signals are clocked with start and stop bits, essentially like from a serial port (unless I'm REALLY spacing out more than usually) You'll need some form of active device to merge the MIDI signals together and route them out.
i see...so even if there's no actual start/stop info being triggered, it won't work? say just note on/note offs and ccs?

this is far in advance for what i'll be doing, so there's plenty of time for me to buy a cheap merger from ebay.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
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midi is a serial protocol (like modems serial port stuff). it'd be like trying to splice two CAT5 network cables together - electrically it'll be weird and the two data streams will get all mashed up and corrupt.

hmm... you could potentially split a single midi out into two midi outs but even then you might run into impedance problems. not worth risking damage to your gear if you do it wrong.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:58 PM   #6
sstillwell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nym View Post
i see...so even if there's no actual start/stop info being triggered, it won't work? say just note on/note offs and ccs?

this is far in advance for what i'll be doing, so there's plenty of time for me to buy a cheap merger from ebay.
No, won't work. This is digital data, carried in the form of analog current pulses. You can't simply hook the cables together like you could for an analog signal. Splicing together analog signals creates a crude mixer (although merging output signals without some kind of resistor network or isolation = bad juju)...Splicing together MIDI output cables just makes garbage. And that's ignoring the electrical compatibility issues.

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Old 07-13-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
plamuk
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much thanks, dub and scott.

i'm building a midi based turntable controller that allows me to trigger patches/samples from a homemade midi controller whilst scratching them from the turntable surface...i'll be able to create multisampled turntable soundfonts from vstis, reason, and chopped phrases and trigger them at leisure while manipulating their playback speed and rate. this removes the most limiting bit about turntablism - the linearity of a record as a sample playback medium.

i'll be having to use 2 midisense units as control in conjunction with each other and i'll have to find a merger unit to get those 2 streams in line with each other.

peace
nym
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:19 AM   #8
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MIDI merger

or if you prefer DIY: DIY MIDI merger

Last edited by Blechi; 07-14-2009 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:47 AM   #9
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Maybe not an ideal solution for you, but amazingly it's cheaper to buy a MIDI interface than a MIDI merge box!
http://www.thomann.de/gb/midi_interfaces.html
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