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If a USB device receives on port Y from a DIN device

edited September 2015 in MIDI
...does the USB device send back through port Y to the DIN device, or directly to the DIN device? Does that constitute bi-directionality using such a port-type mix on the ICM4? Or does ICM4 even NEED an explicit return connection once a DIN to USB relationship is made? I'm still not comfortable in my understanding on this point, and whether I'm creating potential feedback loops. I can make a logical case either way, depending on how the ICM4 makes ports available to apps.

Mac-editors for DIN and USB attached devices, and MIDI i/o record/playback
iPad-sound generation, and MIDI i/o record/playback
USB Host - nanoKontrol x 3, Launchpad x 1
DIN devices x 3



  • Thomas, I hope I understand your question, but the basic answer is that MIDI DIN is not bidirectional - which of course is why there are separate ins and outs. You can only create a feedback loop if the device itself is echoing MIDI in to MIDI out.

    No MIDI interface, iCM4 or otherwise, requires a "closed MIDI circuit," i.e. a return path. The only potential issue I see is that your Mac editors could get mad if they don't see the instrument you're editing.
  • The more accurate answer: there's a relatively obscure message in the MIDI spec called Active Sensing, which is a "Yo, you still hooked up?" code.

    Also, some MIDI control surfaces like the Mackie HUI used a "Marco" note message every few seconds, expecting a "Polo" response from the computer.

    (To be honest, I found that really annoying, because the DAW software would throw up a dialog if you didn't have it connected for whatever reason. :) )

    Hope this helps. If not, we'll try again!
  • edited September 2015
    We're almost there, Nick :) Thanks for the response.

    So, referring to my original scenario, if a DIN i/o pair, in iConfig, is routed to USB port Y (any specific one), is that the ONLY designation I need to make for those two devices to speak to each other? IOW, for bi-directionality (required by the editors) I don't need to explicitly tell the USB port to return MIDI to the DIN jack?

    If the answer is 'Yes' I do need to explicitly return MIDI from the USB port to the DIN jack, then I'm on my way: Select the DIN device under the Source-side USB-jack dropdown menu DIN device in the Destination-pane, correct?

    If the answer is 'No', I don't need to explicitly return MIDI from the USB port to the DIN jack, then my confusion with all this is, what is the purpose of the device dropdown list under each USB-jack in the Source-pane?

    What I've been missing is more real-world examples of how others set iConfig for a given situation. The blog here shows me what gear other artists use with ICM4, but not how they're represented in iConfig. And I have gone to your Youtube page and watched most of those setup videos, but still nothing that absolutely *nails* what the relationship of the Source-pane dropdown menu is to the associated USB jack, and how it is expected to be used.

    As you can see, for me, this mixing of DIN i/o jacks and USB ports on the same grid is highly confusing.

    PS: one of my device editors has that 'Active-sensing' switch. I was able to monitor the query/response you speak of, on my Mac. Needless to say, I turned it off once I realized I didn't need it.
  • Ah okay. The answer is yes - you need to route MIDI wherever it's going (leaving aside that everything goes everywhere practical in the default setup). And yes, that's how you route the return.

    The reason it's confusing is that the interface is supporting MIDI and audio on three computers, so the kind of user interfaces we've all become accustomed to won't quite work! We're working on some setup examples, so please stay tuned.

    Unfortunately I'm away from my studio this weekend and haven't memorized how iCM4+ appears in the iConfig software, but if you still have problems I'd be happy to help configure your system next week.
  • Thanks, Nick! You've already helped a lot. I'm going off to try some things... I'll report back how I'm coming along with my setup.

    And once I get everything sorted, I'd be happy to donate my setup (a DAW-interfaceable, ipad-centered mobile rig with multiple controllers) as one of those setup examples, with screenshots and routing insights.
  • That would be fab. Thanks.
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