MIDI Cable

The standard language used between electronic instruments and computerized devices is called Musical Instrument Digital Interface or MIDI. This means that an electric keyboard or guitar can exchange data with a computer. MIDI technology was first developed in the first part of the 1980s. MIDI cables are the means for which to connect the instruments to the computer. These cables are easily obtainable almost anywhere in standard lengths. MIDI cables can be wired up for shorter or longer lengths by hand if you need other lengths. The maximum MIDI cable length is 50 feet. The connectors that are used are standard 180 degree five pin DIN connectors. A standard MIDI cable has a DIN plug pin 2 connected to the cable shield at both ends. A shielded twisted pair is used by professionals for their professional audio gear for balance.

The plugs in a MIDI cable are wired pin 2 to pin 2, pin 4 to pin 4 and pin 5 to pin 5. There is no cross over of pins as was done in the hi-fi equipment that was made in the 1970s and should not be confused. If you are making your own MIDI cable you will need 2 x 5-pin 180 degree DIN plugs and up to 50 feet of shielded twisted pair cable. You will also need a soldering iron, solder, wire cutters and wire strippers. The connection of the pins to the MIDI DIN plugs are the same on both ends, pin 1 is not connected, pin 2 connects to the shield, pin 3 is not connected, pin 4 connects to the positive signal and pin 5 connects to the negative signal. The wire pins are connected after the cable shell is pushed into the cable. The pins are then soldered.

If you are a musician you probably would like to connect your MIDI device to a computer to edit the sound of your music as it is being recorded. Newer computers do not have a port to connect the standard MIDI cable. However, you can adapt an MIDI cable so that it fits into the USB port on a newer computer. All you have to do is get a 5-pin MIDI cable converter. The converter will adapt the MIDI plugs into a USB plug. You can buy a MIDI cable converter from companies like Yamaha and Alesis. You can also find these converters for sale on many websites online.

Using one end of a MIDI cable connect it to your MIDI device. Then plug the male and female plugs on the other end of the cable to the converter cable and insert the USB end of the converter cable into the USB port on your computer. Your computer should be able to then identify the device as a USB device so you can access the MIDI data to do your editing, etc. You should be able to access your device from the computer menu. You will also need whatever music software is appropriate. There are some computers that have a soundcard with MIDI ports. Others allow you to connect the MIDI cable to a soundcard through a gameport. If you are not sure how yours is set up you can get the advice needed from a computer expert.

Using MIDI cables can allow you to hook up and transfer sounds from an electric drum machine, a keyboard or any other MIDI device. Almost any audio editing program can be used with the MIDI file format. This is the best and least expensive way for non professional musicians to compose and edit their own music. You can then upload your musical compositions and songs to websites online like YouTube to share with others.

This MIDI Cable Review is Written/Updated on Apr 26th, 2010 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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