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Strange Midi Cable Question

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Kelly Lee, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Many insane ideas swirl within my fragile little mind so bear with me. I was wondering if a standard midi cable can carry an instrument signal like a guitar cable? Please don't think I'm going to hook up an instrument to a midi device! Its just a crazy idea I'm conjuring up at the moment. BTW, if it can, anyone know who sells the midi sockets? Thanks for putting up with strangeness!
  2. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I suppose one could if you wired the jack correctly. It is just a wire.
  3. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Thanks. I guess I should also ask do you think it would pick up noise more than a guitar cable if about 18ft long?
  4. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    My understanding is that a midi cable has many strands of copper wire running through it (from memory it's 5 but I'm not sure). Compare that to a instrument cable which has 2, one for positive and one for negative. you'de have to be very careful when wiring it up that you keep track of which of the 5 wires you're soldeing up.

    I'm not explaining this very well am I?

    OK pretend you toop pin 1 of the midi cable and wired it to the positive terminal of the 1/4 jack. You'd have to be very careful at the other end of the cable to make sure you correctly identify pin 1 and also attach that to the positive terminal. Hook it up to any other pin and the signal won't get through.
  5. Midi sockets are one of the European DIN hi-fi sockets, so any of the larger electronic component suppliers would probably carry them. They range from 2 pin (for speakers) to about 8 pin, and the one you want would be a 5 pin spaced out around 180 degrees. (Half a circle - be careful, they also make one with the pins spaced out around 270 degrees.)
  6. I would think that the longer the wire, the more susceptible you would be to RFI. Consider that Ethernet cables use CAT-5, which is four twisted pairs of copper wire... the twisting helps to cancel out the radio frequencies that the copper might pick up.

    I would think you could get the DIN jacks at your friendly neighborhood Radio Shack.

    Petebass, your explanation works for me.
  7. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Thanks guys. I have been trying to find the right sockets put haven't been able to so far.
  8. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    You could also use DIN 7 if DIN 5 is not available.
  9. Socket - yes, plug - no.
    If you want to make a lead from your instrument to your gadget, the sockets on the instrument and the gadget can have 7 holes, but the plugs need to have that number of pins or less.