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Cross-stage MIDI with Mio4

edited February 11 in MIDI
Hello I have a couple of questions regarding RTP-MIDI and MIO4.

We have a MIDI keyboard on stage which controls two macbook pro laptops at the side of the stage running Ableton. The laptops are identical main and backup and will be sharing a PlayAudio12 for audio output.

The plan for MIDI is to use one MIO4 on stage next to the keyboard which will be plugged in/out via MIDI. Then we'd run a CAT5 cross-stage to the laptops. We would put a network switch in line here to split the CAT5 to the main laptop and backup laptop.

As I have not tried this system my questions are:

1. Will this work?

2. Is there any additional latency when running RTP-MIDI with MIO4 as opposed to running a long MIDI cable into an interface connected by USB?

3. How long can the CAT5 cable be? Is there any length that would add latency?

4. Would it be better to put the network switch in the stage rack with the MIO4 and then run two CAT5 cables cross stage, one to each laptop for extra redundancy?

5. If in the future we wanted MIDI in a second position on stage would it be as simple as adding another MIO4 and a switch?

Any help much appreciated!

Thanks

Archie

Comments

  • edited February 11
    We would put a network switch in line here to split the CAT5 to the main laptop and backup laptop.

    You are making a common error here, in assuming you need to "split" the signal. Ethernet signals, unlike conventional MIDI or USB, are not "point-to-point" connections that need "splitting". Once your Ethernet cable goes into a switch, from there the signal can go anywhere to anything.

    In this case, you would probably want the Ethernet signal to go to the PA12, and from there to be distributed to the laptops via the PA12 USB connections.

    Is there any additional latency when running RTP-MIDI with MIO4 as opposed to running a long MIDI cable into an interface connected by USB?

    There should be less latency on playback, since RTP-MIDI is time stamped. And much less chance of dropped notes etc. which you can get when using long MIDI cables. In terms of real-time control there might be a tiny bit more latency, but you would be very unlikely to notice it.

    How long can the CAT5 cable be? Is there any length that would add latency?

    100 metres. Which should be long enough :-)

    Would it be better to put the network switch in the stage rack with the MIO4 and then run two CAT5 cables cross stage, one to each laptop for extra redundancy?

    You are still thinking in point-to-point terms. It doesn't matter at all where the switch is located.

    If in the future we wanted MIDI in a second position on stage would it be as simple as adding another MIO4 and a switch?

    It's simpler than that. You don't even need another switch. Just plug them all into the same switch. Ethernet doesn't care what it's plugged into. Once it's on the network somewhere, that's all that counts.
  • Hi Rodney,

    thanks so much for your quick response!

    I didn't realise the PA12 has an ethernet socket and can handle the MIDI signal, that's great.

    In that case, if we only have one MIO4 could we plug it straight into the PA12 via long CAT5 without a switch at all?

    Thanks again

    Archie
  • In that case, if we only have one MIO4 could we plug it straight into the PA12 via long CAT5 without a switch at all?

    Yes, you can. Lots of people run exactly this setup.
  • That's great. Thanks for your help Rodney.
    Cheers

    Archie
  • Hi Rodney,

    I now have both the MIO4 and PA12 units and have connected them by CAT5. The MIO4 is powered off the wall and the PA12 is plugged into the computer.

    Is there any instruction online about how to get MIDI signal plugged into the DIN1 on the MIO4 to send to the PA12 and appear on the computer?

    I looked in Auracle in the RTP Midi Manager and it displays the error "Your initiator device PlayAudio12 could not be found on the local network". Same error for the MIO when I plug that into the computer.

    I looked in iConfig and changed both devices to Static IP then assigned them 192.168.1.100 and 192.168.1.110 - I have tried routing the DIN1 port on the MIO4 to the Ethernet Jack 1 and then routing the Ethernet Jack 1 on the PA12 to USB Device Jack 1.

    Please let me know if I'm going the wrong way about this.

    Cheers

    Archie
  • If you are using Auracle there should be no need to mess with the IP adresses, since Auracle uses the Apple Bonjour system for automatic discovery.

    Did you follow the Using the RTP-MIDI Manager procedure given in the Auracle User Guide? In general if you follow that exactly it should just work.
  • Note:

    "...setting this up requires an Ethernet switch and one Ethernet cable connected to each of your devices: your computers, your PA12 interface, and your MIDI4+ (or in your case mio4) interface."
  • Thanks Rodney. Can I clarify you are saying I do need a switch? I think I misunderstood you in February and thought you said I could plug the MIO4 straight into the PA12.

    I'd read the MIO4 and PA12 manuals - I will read the Auracle manual now and try it with a switch.

    Cheers

    A
  • I've found the part you're referring to in the Auracle manual. Thanks Rodney I think I have it from here. 

    Cheers

    Archie
  • You need every individual unit (including the computer!) connected to a switch to configure it correctly to begin with. Once it's configured you can connect the interfaces directly to each other for live use if you want.

    In general I would recommend anyone using Ethernet to use a switch by default. Most audio people are used to cables that go from point A to point B, but that's not how Ethernet works. It's not a point-to-point protocol, it's a distributed network with virtual destinations, so a signal can go from A to B to Z and anywhere in between.
  • Thanks Rodney, that's cleared it up.
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