USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

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jsterne
KVRist
69 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:32 am

Is there a way to control two different instruments with the Linnstrument via USB? I know the IConnectivity boxes make this possible, but I’m looking for something smaller. Alternatively, is there a way to send MIDI over USB and DIN at the same time?

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1125 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:40 am

Hi jsterne,

Sorry, LinnStrument permits of either USB MIDI or the round MIDI jacks, but not both simultaneously. This is fundamental to the hardware design and cannot be changed. However, it certainly is possible to connect two different instruments to LinnStrument via USB. Simply assign them to different MIDI channels. For example, the left split could send MPE with a Main channel of 1 and Per-Note channels of 2-8; and the right split could send MPE with a Main channel of 16 and Per-Note channels of 9-15. Or in One Channel mode, the left split could send on channel 1 and the right channel on another of the 16 channels. Or MPE on one split and one-channel on the other.

jsterne
KVRist
69 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:51 am

Thanks Roger. No need I apologize for limitations. Linnstrument is really well designed in terms of compatibility with old and new gear and I consider it the most reliable piece of digital hardware I own.

So...are you saying I could plug the USB out into a powered hub?

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1125 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:02 am

I'm not sure what you mean by powered hub, but any USB device that you insert between LinnStrument's USB port and your computer's USB port will pass all channels and cannot block some of them. So any such device is irrelevant for the purposes of discussing MIDI channels. Think of the USB cable as a standard MIDI cable, sending all 16 MIDI channels from LinnStrument to your computer, iPad or hardware synth. In other words, it doesn't matter whether you use USB or the round MIDI jacks; in either case, LinnStrument can send over all 16 channels.

jsterne
KVRist
69 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:18 am

Sorry to be confusing. Here's a very specific answer: I've got an Expert Sleepers FH-1 in a small Eurorack and an iPhone, both with USB-A inputs. I want to send MIDI to both. I could do MIDI-through on the iPhone I suppose but I'm wondering if I can just plug into a USB-A hub from the Linnstrument, and have each device listen on different channels.

The powered part is just so power gets to the Linnstrument and doesn't drain my phone.

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Roger_Linn
KVRian
1125 posts since 8 Jun, 2010
Roger Linn Design

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:33 am

I understand now. You're seeking a USB equivalent of a MIDI one-in/two-out box. Unfortunately, to my knowledge this doesn't exist for sending from one USB-B (peripheral, square jack) device to two USB-A (host, narrow jack) devices. To do what you wish, I think you'd be better off using the round MIDI jacks and a MIDI one-in/two-out box.

Regarding supplying USB power to LinnStrument, it's important to use a USB hub that provides sufficient current, which many don't. It will need to consistently provide about 350 mA. If you notice LinnStrument's lights occasionally flickering, it's probably due to the hub not supplying enough current.

jsterne
KVRist
69 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:44 am

Thank you Roger!

John the Savage
KVRist
215 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:17 pm

Ah, I've been down this road before (grin). I reckon this is why iConnectivity has market share. When I was looking for routing solutions for audio and MIDI in my LinnStrument rig (which includes an iPad and various other bits of external hardware), the iConnectAudio4+ proved to be the only device of its kind on the market that was able to do what I needed it to do. I was in denial of that for months as I shopped around. It seems like something that would be more common, but alas, nope.

In your case, however, the MIDI4+ might also work; but only if you don't also need proper balanced audio outputs.

Cheers!

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c0nsilience
KVRist
72 posts since 17 Oct, 2005 from Edmond

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:38 pm

+1 for iConnectMidi4+. Great little box. Extremely versatile and well-built. I've had mine for going on 3 years now and it's never let me down. Well worth the $129 or so they cost. :tu:
Duality without regard to physicality

jsterne
KVRist
69 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:49 am

I have come up with another solution, which I'll post pictures of once I've confirmed it. This is for a modular synth setup. Obviously, if you're not using modular, this is a stupid solution compared to the iConnectivity option.

Connect iPhone to camera connection kit and connect kit to power (this is a lightning based phone, but I bet a powered USB-C hub would work for newer models). Connect Linnstrument to USB hub. Connect USB hub to Expert Sleepers ES-8 for audio, and FH-2 for MIDI. For the next part, I used AUM, but any MIDI routing utility would work.

AUM allows me to route the Linnstrument both to my phone (for piano sounds, which come out the ES-8) and out to the FH-2 via a USB-A to USB-C cable, with which I can now control my Eurorack hardware. And just like that, I have piano sounds going through my modular with no computer present.

If you used a computer, this would be even easier: hook up the computer to the ES-8 and the Linnstrument, route the Linnstrument into Bitwig (or another host and use the Silent Way plugins) and send audio and CV out the ES-8 into the modular. I may yet do that and just hide the computer.

Once Auria 4 comes out (probably still a year away), this will also be possible in iOS, obviating the need for a MIDI interface in the Eurorack setup.

This is not a solution for everyone--there are few situations in which can be said Eurorack is more practical or cost efficient, except maybe in terms of interface.

SteveElbows
KVRist
103 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:52 pm

The FH-2 supports midi forwarding, so you should be able to simplify that setup. You could plug the Linnstrument into the FH-2 USB A Host port, and set FH-2 forwarding to send midi that comes from USB A to the USB C port. And then connect iphone, ipad or computer to the FH-2 USB C port. Could also send from FH-2 to midi din if the right expansion for FH-2 is purchased.

Another option may be the RK005 from Retrokits. Its rather small and has a USB host port, midi dins and a microusb port which it needs for power, but that also makes it show up as a midi interface device when plugged into a suitable host. I think it does some forwarding but I would need to check what exactly. If you plug the linnstrument into its host port, it will forward the midi to the midi din out. Hopefully it will also send it to the other usb too, which you could plug into FH-2 A port, giving you eurorack + midi din without an ios device or computer. Or into an iphone,ipad or computer for Linnstrument to midi din + computer without any routing software running on the ios device/computer. I will test this sometime myself over the weekend and report back.

edit - oops I accidentally typed the wrong company name in relation to the RK005, fixed now.

jsterne
KVRist
69 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:46 pm

Thanks. Either way I'd need the same number of cables, but I could pull power off the Eurorack system then for the Linnstrument.

SteveElbows
KVRist
103 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:02 am

You wouldnt need the usb hub connected to the ipad (unless you needed more stuff like audio interface connected to ios device), but really the main advantage to the setup I proposed is not needing to have midi routing done by software, and if the iOS device crashed, was misconfigured, ran out of power etc then it wouldnt stop the eurorack part of the setup working.

jsterne
KVRist
69 posts since 25 Jul, 2010

Re: USB MIDI to hub? Or simultaneous USB and DIN?

Post Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:48 am

Thanks, but I'd still need the hub since I'm also running sound out of the iOS device. But you're right about relying on the FH-2 software vs iOS.

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