I’m re-designing my live setup, with my laptop USB-connected to a small rack containing my audio interface, MIDI interface, my VoiceLive Rack and a MIDI Expression pedal controller.
To minimize the number of USB connections between the laptop and the rack, I’m looking for the most stable USB hub I can find - ideally, I’d only like to run one USB cable to the rack,
ATM, I’m running two cables, one for the audio interface and another to a powered USB hub to connect the MIDI interface and the MIDI Expression back to the laptop. But this results in some interrupted connections to the MIDI interface, hanging notes and the like. So, for the moment, I’ve disconnected the MIDI Expression and use the second USB cable to drive only the MIDI interface (iConnect MIDI 2+) - no problems with this!
But of course I don’t want to run three USB cables to one rack if I can avoid it. I can live with two (it’s always better to connect audio directly without a USB hub), but if I can find a stable USB hub to drive my MIDI interface and the MIDI Expression, that would be a good step forward.
Can any of you recommend a stable and solid powered USB hub to drive my MIDI interface?
I really need one of these too now. I just bought a Nektar 88 and their web page support recommends this one:
Probably something you wouldn’t be interested in, but I gave this one a try, and run 1-MIDI controller, 1-FBV MKII control pedal, and 1-usb mouse transmitter. It is powered and I have had absolutely 0 problems with it. I use it in my small rig and mounted it very easily in an out of way place. Switches turn off any unused ports $13.99
I have 2 of these - one at home, and one in the rack. Like you, I plug the audio interface directly into the PC, and everything else into this hub. I also have a MIdi Expression plugged into this hub as well as a Roland keyboard, and various other devices. All works well. I’d recommend it.
I actually run 5 separate USB cables as well as 12v for the piano, HDMI for the portable monitor, and stereo audio out from the keyboard from the rack to my keyboard stand. All cable lengths are 5m. I preferred to do this rather than bring the USB hub and power to the stand. These are all loomed together in wrap, and colour coded so only take a few seconds to plug in. I’ve posted a pic of my rack in the “show rig” thread.
A couple of things I’ve found along the way.
My PC - a Gigabyte Brix-s Kaby Lake has both usb 3.0 (Intel chipset) and 3.1 (ASMedia chipset). USB 2 devices work fine when plugged into the Intel port but not when directly into the ASMedia port. USB 2 devices do work when plugged in to the ASMedia socket via this hub! This sems to be a known issue with 3.1 chipsets.
Most hubs (including this one) seem to cascade their ports in groups of 4. That means ports 1 to 3 will be provided by one “chip”. Ports 4 to 7 will be driven from a 2nd “chip” which is connected internally into the 4th port of chip 1. And so on. With a 13 port hub, that means 4 cascades which is the maximum you can have. The hub must therefore be plugged directly into a PC usb socket for all the ports to work. The PC must have a host USB socket not an internal hub. I have had issues before (not on this hub) where devices plugged into higher port numbers aren’t reliable. I diagnosed this with USBview software.
I got one of these for my live rig:
It worked so well that I got one for my home studio rig and one for my main desktop PC. Really solid, dependable, metal case, and good value. I’ve never had any problem running my MOTU Ultralite MkII audio interface with 8 channels of audio with it.
Great stuff - thanx, everybody!
I’m looking for one as well - can anyone who uses their’s with iPad recommend one which plays nicely with iPad (with lots of ports).