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Re: MIDI-to-USB on Debian?




On Tuesday 13 February 2018 16:00:20 Nicholas Geovanis wrote:

> Does anyone have a MIDI-to-USB adapter they could recommend for Debian
> and/or linux?
> This is just for a point-to-point connection from a Yamaha keyboard to
> a laptop. Software on the laptop remains undetermined, probably some
> combination of Rhythmbox, CSound, Supercollider and god knows what
> else. Thanks......Nick

There may be such a critter, but expect to pay thru the nose for it, and 
that the midi timing may suffer critically.

The usb chips are all optimized for std serial port speeds, but midi is 
not a std serial port speed, its 31,250 baud falling smack in the middle 
between 19,200, baud and 38,400 baud. I do not know of a usb chip that 
would recognize a 31,250 baud signal as anything but noise to be 
ignored.

You would, for performance reasons, be far better off to search for a 
card that was designed from the gitgo, to run at midi speeds. And expect 
that its going to need a desktop to house it, primarily because the full 
sized din connector is going to use the full width of a cards back 
panel.

Frankly, as an operating electronics technician involved in television 
broadcasting since back the '60's, I am amazed at the longevity 
exhibited by midi. It should have been replaced with better, faster ways 
of doing it several times over the last nearly 60 years. Modern RS-485 
hardware can be bidirectional, is a low voltage differential signal on 
two wires that do not within reason, need a ground reference, and can 
run at several megabuad for signal rates.  And I can buy them on fleabay 
for less than 10 bucks for 10 of them. Sure, midi still manages to get 
the job done, but when you have the equ of a 40 piece orchestra being 
played, you cannot get away from the impression that Floyd Cramer is 
playing every instrument. And that is not how the original paper copy of 
the music was written.

So find a real midi card, and forget about the effects of usb's latency 
(which can be tens of milliseconds) as it translates the speed 
differences.


-- 
Cheers, Gene Heskett
--
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>