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Is USB Midi the same as Midi I/O?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Phry, May 20, 2011.

  1. Phry


    May 3, 2010
    I'm looking into purchasing a midi keyboard soon and I'm just wondering what the difference is between USB Midi and Midi I/O. I'm familiar with the regular Midi I/O plugs and stuff, but I've never tried USB Midi. Will it act the same as the regular I/O? Such as, will it work fine with pro tools and such? Will it work the same with midi plugins such as Atmosphere or Reason, or drum programs like Battery or Superior Drummer?

    I know I asked a lot right there, but some help would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Yes, its exactly the same protocol. Usb MIDI is a lot more standard these days but its such a simple format there's not really anything in it. Just go with Usb MIDI for the simplicity! With old style MIDI you just end up having to have or buy an extra interface with MIDI io on it in addition to the keyboard itself!
  3. Phry


    May 3, 2010
    Crap, sounds good then. They seem to be a bit cheaper too, so that works for me. Thanks a lot man.

    Oh, and another thing. I read some places that Pro Tools 7.4 won't work with USB Midi, is that true or not?
  4. I've used Usb MIDI daily with 7.3 with no problems, there certainly isn't a global problem with MIDI in 7.4 but could well have been a few bugs at one point. Safe to say they will have been sorted out by now, and if you get the problems then there will be good support for fixing the bug! Usb MIDI is by far the most common way these days so all the major daw's have it down. Generally, most programs will never know if they are receiving usb or normal MIDI data, as the driver will convert it before it even reaches your chosen platform! As far as the program is concerned its all MIDI, give or take the odd bug or confliction!
  5. Phry


    May 3, 2010
    Awesome, you rock. Thanks man. Can't wait to share my horrible music with the world! Haha.
  6. Samsound


    Sep 28, 2010
    My only reservations with USB MIDI are with loading. Using one or two devices don't bother me, but with laptops particularly, running a numpad, iLok, a controller or two, plus a keyboard, that additional power draw off the bus adds up, and I sometimes see latency, lots of heat, or instability with connection. Using a powered hub can reduce the power draw issues, but most of my controllers don't work very well with the hub. Perhaps other laptops do better, but since my interface has MIDI I/O, I prefer to use it for most performance devices. Never any latency, never any driver quirks or additional software required, and I can hot swap devices all day long without even restarting the DAW app. In short, I look for both, if possible. Don't get me wrong, my Launchpad works beautifully over USB, but I have put it on it's own dedicated port, which only leaves me two for other things. I end up running a powered hub plus a numpad/hub to get everything connected reliably. My desk is a mess of cables. I'd rather have everything connected at the back of the rack, and using its own power.

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