Is it OK to connect midi controller via USB?


#21

What kind of keyboards are they?


#22

For my 2-keys rig it’s an Alto Live 88 and a Roland A-800.

My 6-keys rig is: Alto Live 88; Roland A-800, Korg Kronos; Roland JP-80; Roland System-8; Elektron Analog Keys.


#23

Hi Elf,

I’ve been thinking about it more from the IT guy perspective. If you’re connecting those six keyboards to a powered USB hub and its not only powering the keyboards but Cantabile is seeing them all that’s a clean setup! I’m going to experiment.


#24

The hub makes all the difference, apparently. Another reason I do MIDI and not USB is if I do a gig where the keyboards are rented back-line I can be way more forgiving on what they get for me- I don’t have to worry about loading new drivers and configuring, all I need is to be sure I can get each one on the appropriate MIDI channel.


#25

The Live 88 and the A-800 are the only boards taking USB power, as was my MBox2 audio interface (which I’ve now ditched for a Zoom L-12). I didn’t even use a hub until now - the only thing I had powered on was the laptop and it supplied the three bits of hardware.

All I can tell you is that I’m using Orico USB3 powered hubs. I run a 12-input hub in the studio and a 10-input hub live - since it seems the 12-input is no longer available (not that I’d need that many for live, but I knew I could trust it).

I did consider one of the Elektron Overhubs, but it is double the price, has fewer inputs and doesn’t even arrive with a power supply!

The only synth I’ve had to load drivers for is the Kronos. And Korg should be ashamed of themselves that they don’t provide ASIO drivers for the Kronos.


#26

FredProgGH1d
The hub makes all the difference, apparently. Another reason I do MIDI and not USB is if I do a gig where the keyboards are rented back-line I can be way more forgiving on what they get for me- I don’t have to worry about loading new drivers and configuring, all I need is to be sure I can get each one on the appropriate MIDI channel.

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#27

The only board I’ve had to load drivers for is the Kronos. All the rest have just been plugged in and worked. I’m not even sure that the Kronos actually needs special drivers.

No configuration to do, beyond allocating boards to Cantabile, which you’d have to do anyway.


#28

Fair points above, if the gear is not your own, then DIN MIDI is a lowest common denominator. I went for USB MIDI on my new rig as I would have struggled to fit the required IO count in if I doubled up for all devices (DIN MIDI IN and OUT). So far USB has been as reliable, but I am no longer a heavy gigger.


#29

My < USD$0.002. I have had absolutely no trouble with the Novation keyboards being USB powered. They even have MIDI in where I can attach the 2 Kurzweils. If EWI is required, it has to get plugged into the RME or the Saffire Pro40 (if I’m using it). If it’s house keys, I bring the Novation SL Zero. Same drivers, same SYSEX. In events where my rack needs to be off-stage, I use a powered hub for the Novation (Keys or Zero), touchscreen, pedals, etc. For practice and small stuff, a single Novation SL 64 works great. I wish it had one more fader, but … OTOH it sure is reliable.


#30

Thanks for all the great feedback. I repaired the Axiom 61 1st gen and plugged it into my Windows 10 Dell XPS laptop and it showed right up in Cantabile - I didn’t even see it install a driver. The Axiom powers up fine directly from the laptop USB power but I will use a powered hub when performing.

I like the feel of the Axiom 61 for playing VB3. The mod wheel can do slow - off - fast which is fun. I replaced the fader knobs with some “Hammond Style” ones a guy on ebay is selling. It was actually less expensive than buying the missing original knobs from Syntaur.

I discovered that the Axiom 61 Pro is almost identical except that 1.2 gram weights are glued into the white keys. I imagine they add weight for the black keys also for the Pro model.

I took it apart and cleaned the switch contacts, and repaired a broken key that sheared the bumpers off the keybed chassis when it broke. The previous owner must have dropped something very heavy on that key! I used plastic welding and a steel pin to fix the bumpers.


#31

Woah, the drawbars are brilliant! I need those!


#32

They are made for the Kronos and PC3 - I had to route out the slot a bit for the Axiom.

Here’s the listing - the guy who makes them got right back to me when I asked a question. (Update - the seller is Dave from Ocean Beach - maker of the discontinued Ocean Beach drawbar controller)


#33

Once I started using a hub with each keyboard marked so that I didn’t swap them around back and cause issues, and that solved the weirdness… Until last week…

Last week I setup a “B Rig” at the house so I didn’t have drag my rack back and forth. Unfortunately my MOXF8 connection started acting funny. When I went directly into the PC, it enumerated and worked fine. Through the hub it would drop in and out regularly…

The issue = the hub…

Lesson learned…

Pat


#34

Was your hub a powered hub?


#35

Indeed it is - it’s a USB 3.0 hub, with external power with the more impressive powerbrick (as opposed to wall wart) as well as the sturdier USB A connector.

Link to hub on Amazon.com


#36

Hi Fred,

Interesting development in the drawbar fader knob story. I communicated more with the seller and it turned out he is Dave from Ocean Beach. He discontinued production of his drawbar unit and has the knobs left over.


#37

Ah, interesting! Thanks for the info…


#38

MeToo. I have to say, my Novation SL USB drivers are absolutely ZeRO problems. I use the SL’s MIDI inputs to connect my Kurzweil. Has worked perfectly through Receptor, Cubase 6, Finale, and C3. (Watch it blow up tomorrow)


#39

Thank you so much for the inspiration! I actually had one of those drawbar controllers from Ocean Beach – originally designed to complement a Nord keyboard – but didn’t use it any more because I have the Arturia Laboratory 61 which has a set of 9 slider controls. But this gave me the idea to remove those plastic slider knobs from the Ocean Beach controller and use them on my Laboratory 61 (like they advertise doing on a Kronos or PC3). Especially useful since I had already lost 4 of the 9 knobs of the Arturia!

I also ordered the set of drawbar knobs off eBay just to have a spare set since they are reasonably priced.


#40

That looks great!
I have a couple of Axiom 61’s and one fell off the stand and hasn’t quite been itself. The knobs fell off and it’s possible that some of the pins which the knobs click onto have been broken. I’m thinking that may need a new board?
One of the best things on these keyboards is the pads, which also have aftertouch! Great for massaging controllers!