[linux-audio-user] multiple MIDI interfaces

Clemens Ladisch clemens at ladisch.de
Fri Feb 13 09:33:20 EST 2004

Florin Andrei wrote:
> Soon i'll have to connect 3 MIDI devices to a Linux system (and also
> send MIDI between the devices themselves, not only device<-->computer):
> two hardware synths (keyboards) and an effects box. Possibly another
> device later, but we'll see.
> What MIDI box do you recommend in this case?

ESI Miditerminal M4U: http://www.esi-pro.com/viewProduct.php?pid=19

Edirol UM-4: http://www.edirol.com/products/info/archive/um4.html
  or UM-550: http://www.edirol.com/products/info/um550.html

> I'm looking at M-Audio USB MIDISPORT 4x4 which seems to be quite ok:

The MidiSport 4x4 requires that you install a separate firmware
download utility (<http://usb-midi-fw.sf.net/>), the others work with
ALSA out of the box.

> Can you route the MIDI signal in arbitrary ways?

Yes.  ALSA can route MIDI events from any port to any port.

(It's not possible to route commands depending on their command
type/channel/data etc., but it would be easy to write a program to do

Only the UM-550 can do routing in hardware.  (Usually, only 8x8
interfaces can do routing.)

> Can you route one input to all outputs, or do other similar
> things?


> What's the software that you use to control it?

ALSA's routing is controlled by the command-line utility aconnect, or
kaconnect for mousophiles.

I don't know if it's possible to control the UM-550 by software (try
asking Edirol), but it has a sixth port (labeled "Control" in the
Windows driver), so it may be possible to do something with SysEx's.

> Does it work with your sequencer?

Any device supported by ALSA works with any sequencer that supports

> If you have a sound card (or maybe two soundcards) on your system, can
> you use its MIDI interfaces in addition to the 4x4?

Yes. ALSA currently supports up to 8 cards at the same time.

> Can you do arbitrary MIDI routing in that case?

Yes.  ALSA can route between any ports, even if those are on different
cards, or are software ports (implemented by some application).

> On the ALSA website, next to the 4x4 it says "Firmware driver coming
> soon" - what does that mean?

That means that the website is out of date.


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