USB-B to MIDI?

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Freddy V-C
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USB-B to MIDI?

Post by Freddy V-C »

We use a very specific keyboard sound in Beige Palace which basically only exists on an old Yamaha PSR210 or PSR310. Unfortunately both of those models are pieces of shit and the keys get fucked up really easily, so we basically have to find another one on eBay every 18 months. Not a massive deal because they're quite cheap to find, but it does feel quite wasteful and presumably there's a limited number of these keyboards in the world.

So, we've decided to start using an external MIDI keyboard with our existing PSR310. I got hold of a Nektar Impact GX49, which is about the right size for us and seems sturdy enough. But what I didn't realise is that it only has a USB out, not a MIDI out. I've been told to buy a USB to MIDI cable, but it seems like only USB-A to MIDI exists, and annoyingly the USB port on this keyboard is USB-B.

Any ideas where I might find a USB-B to MIDI cable? Or have I basically just bought a useless MIDI keyboard?
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by BearBoy »

Probably not ideal but could you use something like this:

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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by BearBoy »

I think they're a bit smaller in real life :D

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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by NickS »

Fred, I think the issue is that the USB-A-to-MIDI cables expect to plug into a host, usually a PC, and so does the keyboard with the USB-B connector. So what you need is a smart little box that pretends to be a host to the USB side and talks MIDI the other side - look for "USB MIDI host".
e.g.
http://www.thomann.de/gb/miditech_usb_midi_host.htm
http://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... t-Devices/


The main gotcha here is that the kind of box that does this usually expects the USB keyboard to be what's called class-compliant. I bought a box to do this and then found that my Yamaha NP-V60 is not class-compliant, it needs Yamaha drivers to talk USB (plus you can't actually select performance parameters via MIDI like you can with my old Yamaha PSS680). I'll have a look for it.
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by NickS »

20211224_075220.jpg
20211224_075220.jpg (76 KiB) Viewed 968 times
Found it. PM me your details if you would like to try it, Freddy
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by Bacchus »

We use a load of Yamaha PSR's as our classroom keyboards, and then also run MIDI out of them into Ableton. I might have completely misunderstood how MIDI works, but I always assumed that they could only send MIDI and that they couldn't be controlled. I assumed they were basically keyboards that would output audio, but with a cheap bit of circuitry somewhere that would convert whatever you were playing to MIDI.
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by NickS »

I think the PSR range will accept MIDI input for playback as sound sources. My PSS-680 also allows you to change performance parameters such as the active voice, but my more recent Yamaha NP-V60 Piaggero doesn't which is rather annoying - our keyboard player's Korg Krome does and he uses a set manager app on his tablet that also sends MIDI to select the appropriate patch for the song.
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by NickS »

I just looked at the PSR e370 MIDI reference manual and it says:
By default (factory settings) the instrument ordinarily functions as a 16-channel multi-timbral tone generator,
and incoming data does not affect the panel voices or panel settings.
However, the MIDI messages listed below do affect the panel voices, auto accompaniment, and songs.
• MIDI Master Tuning
• System exclusive messages for changing the Reverb Type and Chorus Type


I suppose if you wanted all the keyboards to be configured the same you could download a standard sysex dump to them?
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by lorez »

I need to explore a better solution to my midi situation. I've so many USB connectors I have them all going into a couple of USB dongles into my laptop but I don't think this is the most optimal solution. I think I need to look at some kind of midi hub which allows usb & din5 connectors, allows powered usb as well. I'm up to 10 connectors at the moment so daisy chaining would probably give some issues. Anyone had any experience with USB/Din 5 midi hubs with this many connections? Any recommendations?
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Freddy V-C
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by Freddy V-C »

Sorry folks, I keep forgetting to come back to this thread. Thanks for all the sagely advice.

Ultimately I think I've decided to just use this MIDI keyboard at home, and get another one with an actual MIDI output socket for live use with Beige Palace. I don't think I trust MIDI enough to try using an elaborate setup with multiple cables/connectors in a live context (our live setup is already pretty ramshackle as it is).

It wasn't my original plan, but at least now I have a dedicated keyboard for home use, which is nice!
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by Bacchus »

A fun (read: horrendous) long term solution might be to buy another keyboard and sample it yourselves, that way you always have it as a virtual instrument.
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Re: USB-B to MIDI?

Post by Freddy V-C »

We did look into that, but couldn't figure out a cost effective way of doing it! Like you basically need to use a laptop or an expensive hardware sampler, I think.

A local guy who builds his own homemade synths also offered to convert the Yamaha into basically a rack synth module (i.e. removing the keyboard and built in speakers) which could be controlled with an MIDI keyboard, without us having to carry two massive keyboards everywhere. But every time I've actually tried to arrange to give him the Yamaha, he's flaked.