Anyone invented a midi usb host cable yet?

Because id really love one…

Cant be bothered with a clunky Kenton box and power cables etc

Anything out there?

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It requires a USB host, which will require power from somewhere. The midi spec says midi ports should supply power on midi out ports, but I don’t have confidence that this is true. It’s theoretically possible, just difficult to squeeze it all in a cable sized housing. Smallest might be the same as a usb-midi cables that exist already.

Concur with GCF. There will be bulk due to need for power and configuration. I just got the Retrokits RK006 and it’s almost what you’re looking for — simple, effective, and small. I paired it with a small USB hub and stacked together they’re about the size of a pack of cards. A little velcro cable management and, boom, perfect!

Honestly super impressed. When something with that much capability just works out of the box, it means that the creators know how to do it right!

Not exactly, but you can get a RaspberryPi and run PatchboxOS to patch 4 USB-MIDI devices any way you like (or more with a USB hub). Since USB-DIN MIDI cables are class-compliant, you can also use that. This can handle any crazy MIDI connection you can think of.

More info here:

The specific app you’re looking for is called Patchage and comes installed by default:

There’s also a way to run in headless mode (no screen) if you take some time to wrap your head around the terminal, scripting and so on. You can set up a startup script that automatically connects your midi gear the way you want when you power up the Pi. You’d use aconnect for that (also included):

I should really get off my ass and write a quick tutorial about this!


Thanks for both suggestions

fzero - Sounds promising but a little techy for me!

Austonianb - Actually never heard of Retrokits. I used to have a Kentron box but was too bulky/not portable but this RK006 looks promising. Shame the USB RK006 is sold out atm!

I got the 1010music Blackbox connected up to the OP-1 as a midi usb host yesterday which works ok. Obviously not as slim lined a host as id want but it works. However I find the OP-1 freaks out on the sequencers/appeg with the Blackbox connected (and occasionally crashes). Maybe the RK006 filter options would help fix that?

this will get you sorted and you can‘t go smaller without sacrificing :umbrella:


hobbytronics used to sell the lil usb host boards that were super small
now i think they just sell the chips

edit: looks like they are selling the boards again now

I have been considering assembling and configuring a usb host device for people who don’t want to mess with the tech details and scripting if there is any interest. I was planning to sell just a circuit board without a case to keep the cost down.

Would many people be interested in buying that?

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