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Opinions on the 1/4" MIDI pedal connections?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear  
Author Opinions on the 1/4" MIDI pedal connections?
SPIKE the Percussionist
So I posted about a week ago about my dismay of the Ottobit Jr.

It seems like there is a push to use 1/4" TRS MIDI connections on pedals but they need the additional purchase of a $50 or $60 MIDI to TRS box for those connections.
(Empress and a few others are releasing them)

Also after talking with Meris with my concerns with the Ottobit Jr., they said there is no standard for TRS MIDI connections and in some cases even those TRS MIDI boxes need adjustments made to them to work with some pedal designs.

Anyone else have any more insight on this growing issue?
PISS.EXE
Yeah, it's stupid as fuck. If it was a good idea in any way then they would have used 1/4" instead of 5 pin DIN. The only people who want you to use 1/4" for MIDI are

a) trying to separate you from your money
b) not aware 1/4" phone plugs and 5 pin DIN existed at the same point in history
c) only doing it cause "it's different"


Hope we can all agree if your MIDI isn't going over 5 pin DIN it's dumb as fuck. thumbs up


3.5mm for MIDI i can kind of allow because you might have a lot of modern devices that can accomodate a 3.5mm jack but trying to fit a 5 pin din would fuck up the whole aesthetic, that said, at least standardize it. On the Ottobit Jr there is obviously room for a 5 pin DIN.... so...... fuck em. meh
meris
PISS.EXE wrote:
Yeah, it's stupid as fuck. If it was a good idea in any way then they would have used 1/4" instead of 5 pin DIN. The only people who want you to use 1/4" for MIDI are

a) trying to separate you from your money
b) not aware 1/4" phone plugs and 5 pin DIN existed at the same point in history
c) only doing it cause "it's different"


Hope we can all agree if your MIDI isn't going over 5 pin DIN it's dumb as fuck. thumbs up


3.5mm for MIDI i can kind of allow because you might have a lot of modern devices that can accomodate a 3.5mm jack but trying to fit a 5 pin din would fuck up the whole aesthetic, that said, at least standardize it. On the Ottobit Jr there is obviously room for a 5 pin DIN.... so...... fuck em. meh


Hi there,

Reasons A, B, C as listed above are not the case at all.
The main reason for using MIDI over TRS, 1/4" in pedals or 1/8" in synth products is space constraint in a compact form factor. Traditional 5 pin DIN jacks are huge. We do Midi Input and Output[/i]. There's no room on our box for a single 5 pin DIN let alone 2 DIN jacks for in and out.

A TRS to 5 pin DIN breakout box let's pedal makers keep a compact form factor for the majority of customers who don't use midi and let's advanced midi users conform to the midi standard with all of it's benefits (ground isolation, etc.)

And on our pedals, the 1/4" EXP jack is multi-function. One of the 4 things it can be configured to do is MIDI I/O.

-terry
meris
SPIKE the Percussionist wrote:
So I posted about a week ago about my dismay of the Ottobit Jr.

It seems like there is a push to use 1/4" TRS MIDI connections on pedals but they need the additional purchase of a $50 or $60 MIDI to TRS box for those connections.
(Empress and a few others are releasing them)

Also after talking with Meris with my concerns with the Ottobit Jr., they said there is no standard for TRS MIDI connections and in some cases even those TRS MIDI boxes need adjustments made to them to work with some pedal designs.

Anyone else have any more insight on this growing issue?


Hi Spike,

Good talking to you when we spoke on the phone.

I'd love for there to be a standard for MIDI over TRS. That said, there isn't one. So there is just friendly cooperation among us manufacturers who are implementing midi over TRS.
And we're doing so for one basic reason as stated above: Space constraint in compact designs.

-terry
JohnLRice
Hi meris / Terry, welcome to Muff's! w00t

Sorry it's over some concerns about your products but I hope you stick around. thumbs up
meris
JohnLRice wrote:
Hi meris / Terry, welcome to Muff's! w00t

Sorry it's over some concerns about your products but I hope you stick around. thumbs up


For sure I will!

I currently have a three teir Moog eurorack case waiting to be filled with more modules thumbs up
I used to have a monorocket case with a ton of doepfer and analogue solutions modules but that stayed at the old company.

-terry
JohnLRice
Just food for thought I like 5 pin miniature XLR connectors for this since they have a slightly similar look but only need a slightly larger hole than a 1/4" jack.

meris
JohnLRice wrote:
Just food for thought I like 5 pin miniature XLR connectors for this since they have a slightly similar look but only need a slightly larger hole than a 1/4" jack.



Those are cool! Who makes them?

-terry
JohnLRice
meris wrote:
Those are cool! Who makes them?
-terry
I got them off of an eBay seller. I'll look it up later tonight. Switchcraft makes similar ones. If you have a small Mackie VLZ mixer around like the 402 or 802 you'll see they used 3 pin mini XLRs for their power inputs.
http://www.switchcraft.com/Category.aspx?Parent=806
calaveras
I am concerned about midi being optoisolated with these non standard connectors. I've seen a few DIY kludges and such that use any old connector to get midi in and out, using the UART on a microcontroller chip.
This works just fine on a bench when you are making robots dance the polka. But commercial MI products need to stick to the standard at least electrically.
If they use a non-standard connector, what else did they do non-standard?
chvad
I also stray from anything but 5pin din. I don't even like midi VIA USB as I grew tired of whatever computer I was on having to recognize another midi device if I was mid session. Gimme an old 8x8 interface with a bunch of synths connected with 5pindin and im happy. turn them on. all works. turn them off. all works. no DAW screaming about missing devices. no wacky adapters. all is well. im old though so whaddya gonna do?
SPIKE the Percussionist
meris wrote:
SPIKE the Percussionist wrote:
So I posted about a week ago about my dismay of the Ottobit Jr.

It seems like there is a push to use 1/4" TRS MIDI connections on pedals but they need the additional purchase of a $50 or $60 MIDI to TRS box for those connections.
(Empress and a few others are releasing them)

Also after talking with Meris with my concerns with the Ottobit Jr., they said there is no standard for TRS MIDI connections and in some cases even those TRS MIDI boxes need adjustments made to them to work with some pedal designs.

Anyone else have any more insight on this growing issue?


Hi Spike,

Good talking to you when we spoke on the phone.

I'd love for there to be a standard for MIDI over TRS. That said, there isn't one. So there is just friendly cooperation among us manufacturers who are implementing midi over TRS.
And we're doing so for one basic reason as stated above: Space constraint in compact designs.

-terry


Hi Terry!

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the response.

I wish the Arturia Beatstep Pro approach would have been implemented.

1/8" stereo connections for separate MIDI I/O.
Plenty of room for two 1/8" connections on a pedal.
JohnLRice
JohnLRice wrote:
meris wrote:
Those are cool! Who makes them?
-terry
I got them off of an eBay seller. I'll look it up later tonight. Switchcraft makes similar ones. If you have a small Mackie VLZ mixer around like the 402 or 802 you'll see they used 3 pin mini XLRs for their power inputs.
http://www.switchcraft.com/Category.aspx?Parent=806
The female 5 pin mini XLR connectors that are in the picture I posted were purchased from here:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-XLR-Panel-Connector-Female-5-Pin-/3115790 52842
^ EDIT March 2019: Do Not Buy These Ones, They Suck And Fall Apart! v


I liked these because they are female chassis mount and receive male cables (like 5 pin DIN MIDI) and look pretty cool I think but the down sides to consider are that the do stick out a ways from the panel and have no locking mechanism like the male panel mount connectors + female cable connectors do.


And be aware that all 5 pin mini/tiny XLR connectors are not comparable with each other! meh cool I "think" the Switchcraft and Neutrik-Rean ones are compatible but . . .
squatch
The Voyetra Eight rack synth I had years ago was standard XLR midi in & out
I can understand them trying to change the standard. Back then, serious studios considered din plugs a bit naff
meris
SPIKE the Percussionist wrote:
meris wrote:
SPIKE the Percussionist wrote:
So I posted about a week ago about my dismay of the Ottobit Jr.

It seems like there is a push to use 1/4" TRS MIDI connections on pedals but they need the additional purchase of a $50 or $60 MIDI to TRS box for those connections.
(Empress and a few others are releasing them)

Also after talking with Meris with my concerns with the Ottobit Jr., they said there is no standard for TRS MIDI connections and in some cases even those TRS MIDI boxes need adjustments made to them to work with some pedal designs.

Anyone else have any more insight on this growing issue?


Hi Spike,

Good talking to you when we spoke on the phone.

I'd love for there to be a standard for MIDI over TRS. That said, there isn't one. So there is just friendly cooperation among us manufacturers who are implementing midi over TRS.
And we're doing so for one basic reason as stated above: Space constraint in compact designs.

-terry


Hi Terry!

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the response.

I wish the Arturia Beatstep Pro approach would have been implemented.

1/8" stereo connections for separate MIDI I/O.
Plenty of room for two 1/8" connections on a pedal.


1/8" jacks can be cool but I find them far too delicate for touring pedalboards.

The vast majority of our users use the EXP jack for expression pedal control, where 1/4" trs is the defacto standard. We could have just stopped there and only supported expression pedals but we wanted to provide a way for power users to access midi control... which is why we conform to the 5 pin DIN midi standard via a breakout box.

-terry
PISS.EXE
The only thing i don't get about the space constraint argument is mini-DIN has been around as long as DIN. So I don't get why the choice was made by anyone to use 1/4" or 1/8" instead of mini DIN. You could just get a common mini DIN to DIN adapter and if you can fit a 1/4" you can fit a mini DIN

hmmm.....
meris
PISS.EXE wrote:
The only thing i don't get about the space constraint argument is mini-DIN has been around as long as DIN. So I don't get why the choice was made by anyone to use 1/4" or 1/8" instead of mini DIN. You could just get a common mini DIN to DIN adapter and if you can fit a 1/4" you can fit a mini DIN

hmmm.....


1/4" trs allows expression pedal compatibility.

-terry
SoundPool
meris wrote:
PISS.EXE wrote:
The only thing i don't get about the space constraint argument is mini-DIN has been around as long as DIN. So I don't get why the choice was made by anyone to use 1/4" or 1/8" instead of mini DIN. You could just get a common mini DIN to DIN adapter and if you can fit a 1/4" you can fit a mini DIN

hmmm.....


1/4" trs allows expression pedal compatibility.

-terry


I always found mini-DIN connections dodgy as hell- bent pins, falling out, not fitting particularly tight... def wouldn't consider them long-term road worthy for something like a pedal board.
SPIKE the Percussionist
meris wrote:


1/8" jacks can be cool but I find them far too delicate for touring pedalboards.

The vast majority of our users use the EXP jack for expression pedal control, where 1/4" trs is the defacto standard. We could have just stopped there and only supported expression pedals but we wanted to provide a way for power users to access midi control... which is why we conform to the 5 pin DIN midi standard via a breakout box.

-terry


How about...a desktop version?

All connections on the front face with standard MIDI since most noizicians aren't interested in Exp Pedal inputs.
Mr. Green

maybe something like this?
(and access to that magical reverse on command)
JeffCrossSF
meris wrote:
SPIKE the Percussionist wrote:
meris wrote:
SPIKE the Percussionist wrote:
So I posted about a week ago about my dismay of the Ottobit Jr.

It seems like there is a push to use 1/4" TRS MIDI connections on pedals but they need the additional purchase of a $50 or $60 MIDI to TRS box for those connections.
(Empress and a few others are releasing them)

Also after talking with Meris with my concerns with the Ottobit Jr., they said there is no standard for TRS MIDI connections and in some cases even those TRS MIDI boxes need adjustments made to them to work with some pedal designs.

Anyone else have any more insight on this growing issue?


Hi Spike,

Good talking to you when we spoke on the phone.

I'd love for there to be a standard for MIDI over TRS. That said, there isn't one. So there is just friendly cooperation among us manufacturers who are implementing midi over TRS.
And we're doing so for one basic reason as stated above: Space constraint in compact designs.

-terry


Hi Terry!

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting the response.

I wish the Arturia Beatstep Pro approach would have been implemented.

1/8" stereo connections for separate MIDI I/O.
Plenty of room for two 1/8" connections on a pedal.


1/8" jacks can be cool but I find them far too delicate for touring pedalboards.

The vast majority of our users use the EXP jack for expression pedal control, where 1/4" trs is the defacto standard. We could have just stopped there and only supported expression pedals but we wanted to provide a way for power users to access midi control... which is why we conform to the 5 pin DIN midi standard via a breakout box.

-terry


Thank you for your patient replies about this. I'm working on a custom cabling situation and don't want to buy your MIDI hub to run one pedal.

Can you discuss what the pin mapping is to obtain the full I/O capability of the pedal? I'm using a Polymoon.

Thanks!
JohnLRice
SoundPool wrote:
I always found mini-DIN connections dodgy as hell- bent pins, falling out, not fitting particularly tight... def wouldn't consider them long-term road worthy for something like a pedal board.
I have to at least partially agree with you now, at least for these particular ones:

Very poorly made and the plastic body pushed out of the back of the metal shell after very little use! d'oh! angry I apologize if anyone followed my suggestion and bought those particular ones. (hides)

On the other hand I have't had an issue yet with the mini DIN jacks Mackie use on their little VLZ mixers but I do tend to leave those connected most of the time.
JohnLRice
JeffCrossSF wrote:
Thank you for your patient replies about this. I'm working on a custom cabling situation and don't want to buy your MIDI hub to run one pedal.

Can you discuss what the pin mapping is to obtain the full I/O capability of the pedal? I'm using a Polymoon.

Thanks!
I may be wrong but I believe that the signal output from the Meris jack is not actually a MIDI signal, but some other type of signal with the MIDI data encoded into it so you need the special box to decode it and convert it to a proper MIDI stream, that's why a simple custom wired cable wont work.
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