how to connect: OP-1, Ableton, MacBook, sound interface, external MIDI keyboard (or synth with MIDI)

Hi all,

I had a chance to get M-Audio KeyStudio 49 for few days from my friend. It was connected to MacBook Pro and Ableton via USB together with OP-1.
Such setup worked quite well for me and I started to think about external midi keys (using more scales (than standard 2) to play on OP-1 was simply awesome).

I also plan to get an audio interface for my mac - was thinking about Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 2nd gen, as I want to connect some other devices like pocket operators together with OP-1 to it.

I’m looking for any suggestions or recommendations for such setup (interface audio + mac book pro + op-1 + midi keyboard + other external devices (PO-12, PO-20 now, later maybe +volca keys or different))

The possible challenges I see are:
Mac got only 2 usb ports - if midi keyboard will be midi-usb (like m-audio keystation), will standard usb-hub connected to mac do the trick to multiply usb ports?
Should I look for classic midi-interface keyboard instead and connect it to the audio interface?
If yes, will it work with focusrite scarlett+op-1+ableton? will I be able to play on ext midi keys to get sounds from op-1 and record that on ableton?

I look for any recomendations on sound interface - should I check something different than focusrite scarlett 18i8?
Any suggestions about midi keyboard (I also don’t mind any synth with midi output) are more than welcome - nice ARP with many options is a plus for me

Many thanks for any suggestions!

USB hubs work, I’ve tried passive and powered. Powered = fewer problems. Beware of the OP1’s limitations, they become very apparent with other gear around it. It’s a sloppy clock, so you will want your computer as master. It’s not a host, so you will need the laptop or a special box. It’s not properly filtered so you might end up having to buy a ground loop isolator. It spits out MIDI even when you don’t need it to, so you’ll need some filtering on the host. The answers are all over this forum. Enjoy.

@eesn Many thanks

You may also want to consider connecting your POs via a little mini-mixer from @darenager in which case you could do with an interface with fewer inputs.


Try iConnectMidi

@cloudburst @benjie Thanks!!!