Using MuMidi HubLink to connect USB-MIDI Devices

With the advent of USB-MIDI, connecting together MIDI Devices is not as easy as it once was.

Let's take a quick look at the history of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI).

Early MIDI - Serial Communications

When the Musical Instrument Digital Interface was first used to connect MIDI devices, the messages were transmitted over a serial communications link.

One end of the cable would be plugged into the MIDI Out connector on one device. The other end would be connected to the MIDI In connector on the other device .

USB-MIDI

With the development of the Universal Serial Bus (USB), an opportunity arose to improve on the rate of transfer of MIDI messages. MIDI was added to the USB Audio Class and became a standard on desktop computers. We often refer to the transmission of MIDI messages over USB as "USB-MIDI".

USB-MIDI overcame some of the throughput limitations that were becoming apparent with the serial communication of MIDI messages.

But as a result of the "asymmetrical" nature of USB (one end of the cable connects to a "USB host" and the other end connects to a "USB Device"), it was no longer possible to connect the USB-MIDI Keyboard directly to the USB-MIDI Sound generator.

MuMidi HubLink

The computer can form the centre of a desktop USB-MIDI music production system with its ability to run software that can record and playback MIDI messages.

But sometimes (e.g. on stage), musicians want to connect a USB-MIDI Keyboard directly to a USB-MIDI Sound Module. In this case, the computer becomes a liability. It can also add delay to the transmission of MIDI messages, which impacts both on the musician and the audience.

MuMidi HubLink overcomes this problem. Both USB-MIDI Devices are plugged into MuMidi HubLink and MIDI messages are speedily transfered from one device to the other.

MuMidi HubLink can also provide power to the connected USB-MIDI devices over USB so these devices may no longer need a separate power cable.