Raspberry Pi as USB Midi Interface


#1

Hello All,

I would like to ask for some opinions from the group. I recently had the thought that maybe I could instead of using all my USB ports for my instrument devices I would use a Raspberry Pi as a Powered Hub. Currently I have the following: Novation Impulse 61, Roland Juno-Di, Zoom B91.ut Bass Effects Pedal, Keith McMillian 12-Step controller and Steinberg MK11 AI. All my USB slots are filled. I am thinking to use the Raspberry to connect all but the AI and Roland (because the AI has 5-pin Midi) and the other could share one USB 3.0 slot which I think would be sufficient. Any thoughts, help advice, suggestions for resources?

-Christopher


#2

I think a lot of people here (myself included) use powered USB hubs. They seem to “smooth out” issues with USB power and provide enough wattage to support all of your devices. Also, you can use it to make sure all of your MIDI devices are plugged in exactly the same way to the same port each time. Keeping them the same keeps Windows from creating multiple Registry entries to the device sometimes causing confusion where software can’t find a device. On older versions of Windows there was a limit to the number of MIDI devices Windows could have; that was real mess.


#3

This really surprises me— do people not have issues with latency on a powered hub? I tried a couple of times and really had a hard time keeping performance consistent.


#4

Hello RB,

thanks for the reply and your opinion. To mitigate the “same port every time” issue I use colored tape on my computer and one the cables I use. I have two set-ups currently. one at home and one in our bands rehearsal space. Two sets of cables so I just have to transport the instruments and controllers. I am using windows 7 OS now which I recently reinstalled and followed the Glitch Free guide, but I am noticing booting up and starting Cantabile is taking longer and long. Maybe I will upgrade to Windows 10 (LTSR so I don’t have to contend with crap like Cortana) and see how that works. Thanks again… I am leaning more towards a powered hub I think.


#5

Hi JT,
thanks for the reply. We’ll see if we get some more responses here. I would hope that plugging mostly USB 2.0 devices into a USB Hub (powered) would prevent most glitch situations. I have only had one problem with my controller (Impulse) sometimes glitching the first note(s) of a song but quickly recovering. This has never happened live because I (as a habit now) will step on the sustain pedal to “wake-up” the MIDI network and then everything performs as expected. I’ve always considered this a bug with my set-up more than with the software which continues to impress me and make my musical life so much easier (and fun).


#6

do people not have issues with latency on a powered hub?

I don’t have (haven’t had) issues with a powered hub. I even use a USB 3 hub (with colored tape! :grin:). I’ve used an un-powered hub (USB 3.1 to USB 3) and that works, too albeit for only 3 devices (Babyface Pro, Novation SL, footswitch). I hear people griping about USB 3, but it’s worked for me so far (touch wood). Of course, even with Win 7 as long as you plug in the same way, no problems. Knowing how to recover from plugging in wrong is also important.


#7

I’ve been using powered hubs for several years now. No latency issues whatsoever. I don’t use the cheap plastic ones. Always get one with a metal (aluminium for me) casing. There have been several discussions on this in the past. If you would like to review them, you can search the forum.

Regards

Corky


#8

I’m using D-Link USB 2.0 4 port ones in rectangular aluminum cases that come with a power supply. I had to scrounge on ebay to find the last one I bought :grinning: