A question about Disting MIDI breakout

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synkrotron
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A question about Disting MIDI breakout

Post by synkrotron » Sat May 23, 2020 2:34 pm

Hi os,

I fancied having a go at making my own MIDI breakout for my Disting EX.

I am only interested in MIDI in to be honest, but I thought I'd check out something with regards to using a TRS jack.

I only have to hand 3.5mm mono sockets. I use the plastic version so, because of that, I think I am going to be okay as the sleeve portion of the TRS plug doesn't actually make any connection.

I have a Beatstep Pro and that comes with two 5 pin DIN to TRS converters so that is what I intend to use to plug into my mono socket.

Anyway, my question is, according to the MIDI Associated website, which you link in the manuals, the MIDI out connection has pins 2, 4 and 5 wired. When using the TRS converter MIDI pin 2 connects to the sleeve.

From your manual, pin 2 does not connect to anything on the Disting (Mk4 or EX).

This is why I am assuming that the plastic mono socket is going to be okay. But I would like you to confirm that, if you don't mind. Like I said, I am only using MIDI in, which doesn't use pin 2 anyway, but I may use MIDI out from the Disting in the future.

Okay, the following is just for info really.

This is the socket I use:-

Image

Not the best, but not too bad, I don't think.

I had a look in my computer junk box and managed to find a cable that has a suitable plastic connector that matches the Disting header:-

Image

The Doepfer A-180-1 multiple is what I am going to use to house the jack which will be connected to the Disting.

I will end up losing one of the multiple sockets but that doesn't bother me as I have plenty of spare multiples.

That means that I won't be wasting 2 or 4 HP on just one jack socket.

The downside is I could accidentally connect a CV or gate into the Disting via its MIDI header. And now that I have typed that I realise that that is probably a more important question. Can I damage the Disting by sending CV/gate into its MIDI header?

I'm sure I won't, but there's no absolute guarantee...

This is the Disting EX hooked up to the A-180-1 jack socket:-

Image

Bottom line is, I put everything back together and it worked a treat. I tested it with MIDI from REAPER and by using the MIDI out from my Keystep.


cheers

andy

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os
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Re: A question about Disting MIDI breakout

Post by os » Sun May 24, 2020 4:01 am

That all sounds fine. The bottom line is that it works, as you say!

For reference, a CV of more than about 6V (positive or negative) into the MIDI port runs the risk of damaging the opto-isolator.

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synkrotron
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Re: A question about Disting MIDI breakout

Post by synkrotron » Sun May 24, 2020 4:34 am

Hi os,
os wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 4:01 am
For reference, a CV of more than about 6V (positive or negative) into the MIDI port runs the risk of damaging the opto-isolator.
Ah, right, I will take note of that. Perhaps a 5 pin DIN is the safest so I may consider that as a safer option. In the meantime I need to be very careful when patching up. It might be a good idea to leave the converter left plugged in when stripping down a patch...

cheers

andy

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fitzgreyve
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Re: A question about Disting MIDI breakout

Post by fitzgreyve » Sun May 24, 2020 5:28 am

It looks like you are using the correct inputs on the disting EX 4 pin midi connector:
- pin 3 - midi in DIN socket pin 5 (your yellow wire) - midi current loop source
- pin 4 - midi in DIN socket pin 4 (your red wire) - midi current loop sink

You are correct that there is no connection to a midi in din socket pin 2, this is only used on a midi out socket (cable screen is connected at midi out only).

You appear to have connected the red wire to the jack socket "tip", and the yellow wire to the jack socket "screen".

Not clear from the picture and description:
Have you fully disconnected both of the jack socket connections from the Doepfer PCB (i.e. cut the PCB tracks to both socket connections) ?
I see now you have cut the PCB, and fitted a new socket - OK

Are you using a standard midi TRS cable (jack plug with 3 connections), or have you changed the jack plug to a "mono" one to fit the "mono" socket ?

If you are using a standard TRS cable, if may work, but is not to midi specification, will probably not be reliable for all midi devices, and possibly runs an elevated risk of damage ? (midi works using a current loop, not "voltages").

You need to ensure that the TRS cable "ring" and "tip" connections are both connected, but not the cable screen. Also neither of these must connect to 0V (aka "ground") at any point.

I would personally recommend that you:
- check you have a mono plug on the adaptor cable (two connections needed, but neither to cable screen)
- ideally look at fitting a stereo (TRS) socket and wire that up instead, as that will work with a standard TRS adaptor cable.

(no connection to expert sleepers)
Under developement:
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Re: A question about Disting MIDI breakout

Post by synkrotron » Sun May 24, 2020 3:36 pm

Hi :)
fitzgreyve wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 5:28 am
Are you using a standard midi TRS cable (jack plug with 3 connections), or have you changed the jack plug to a "mono" one to fit the "mono" socket ?
I am using the TRS to 5 pin DIN cable that comes with the Arturia Beatstep Pro.
will probably not be reliable for all midi devices
I am only using this hack to play the Disting EX, nothing else.
You need to ensure that the TRS cable "ring" and "tip" connections are both connected, but not the cable screen. Also neither of these must connect to 0V (aka "ground") at any point.
The only cables that are connected at the red and yellow ones. I have snipped, and insulated the shield and white cable as they emerge local to the jack on the modified Doepfer multiple. So there is no chance of them connecting to 0V.
I would personally recommend that you:
- check you have a mono plug on the adaptor cable (two connections needed, but neither to cable screen)
- ideally look at fitting a stereo (TRS) socket and wire that up instead, as that will work with a standard TRS adaptor cable.
I will not be butchering my Arturia adaptor cable.

The current mono socket will be fine. The body is made from plastic and the connection to the "sleeve" of a mono jack plug actually connects to the "ring" of the stereo jack plug. You can see that in the following picture:-

Image

As I am only interested in going into the Disting EX with MIDI, not out, I don't need the connection to pin 2 of the 5 pin DIN. And there is no corresponding connection on the Disting EX header. There are only four pins on that header, two for MIDI in and two for MIDI out.


cheers, and thanks,

andy

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