The Hardware Megathread


Short version: Better workflow :slight_smile:

The benefit of good workflow cannot be overstated.


Absolutely. I’m really jazzed to be able to just jam cables in the thing and have the routing already done. It’s a stereotype, but I really do sit and think “I’ll just connect up this thing and record it” and then look at the mess of cables and having to drag equipment around and then go find something else to do instead.

Not having to think about the boring, tedious crap opens up a lot of time for creativity.


There is absolutely a point at which you need one or rerouting shit basically means changing your whole setup. Which let us be honest, no one wants to do that too often…that isn’t even laziness. Dunno how you are doing for MIDI, but I might also suggest a MIDI patchbay at some point. Would recommend a used MOTU MIDI XT. It can literally do anything you need, programmable routing presets can be made on your computer and accessed from the front panel sans CPU.


I’m getting more and more interested in the chase bliss blooper pedal, theres a good chance it will be my next purchase…

Not hardware but Valhalla just released a new reverb plugin today for free, i suggest you head over there as it sounds bloody gorgeous.


I honestly don’t use a lot of MIDI outside the box. Most everything is analog sound source stuff - tape decks, outboard gear, homemade electronics, etc. Most of my problems stem from getting signal from one place to another.

That said, I do have an old ass MIDISport 4x4 left over from the olden days that I’ve leveraged from time to time. Not nearly as fancy as that MOTU, but gets me by in a pinch.



Honestly I was mostly just bored this afternoon and it was my way into the conversation lmao


lol no worries! It’s good advice for most people, and for me about 10 years ago. I honestly had no idea that MIDI boxes had gotten so cool since I last looked into them. I can imagine that’d be incredibly handy if you’ve got a room full of synths to rig up.


Hey, with all the goofy 1/8 inch midi connections, is it possible to plug 2 synths together via midi with only 1/8 inch jacks or do we still need the adapters and midi cable? Seems very redundant.


Depends on how the 1/8 jacks are wired. There are I think 2 or 3 standards right now, and they send different info over different pars of the TRS jack. You’d have to look up which standard each bit of gear is on, but as long as they’re all the same you should be good AFAIK.

But, it is so messed up right now that you can legitimately have 2 very different 1/8 inch to to DIN adapters that look the same but map the signals completely differently, so you can’t swap adapters in some cases. That’s why 99% of stuff that has a 1/8 midi port comes with the DIN adapter.


The wiring Korg used for their mini jack midi adapters became part of the official midi standart.
Akai, Make Noise, IK Multimedia also use this type. Now known as ‘Type A’ in the midi 2.0 specification.
Arturia, Novation, 1010 Music and others use ‘Type B’
Then there are also mono jacks ‘type c’, IIRC the old Beatstep uses them.

Retrokits have [this cable] ( to adapt from one standart to the other.

So if it doesn’t work with a regular stereo jack cable, you can try this cable, if it doesn’t work, you can try to swap it around. Aren’t adapters nice? :stuck_out_tongue:

Retrokits also make these neat Din adapters
with a switch to change the polarity for both types.


So in theory 2 products from the same brand might work together, but no guarantee. Sounds great.


'tis a small price to pay for progress. No but seriously this should’ve been decided way sooner, we’re probably going to be dealing with this for 10-15 years now at least, until all this stuff dies off. And heaven forbid any of it is actually well-built and becomes desirable as a collector’s item down the road.


I always thought there were only two types (trs cables, just wired differently), but there are actually three types and it’s not only the original Beatstep that uses a ts cable, Expert Sleepers use them, too. The MFB Nanozwerg Pro also has midi over ts, not sure about other MFB stuff, though.

Kinda weird actually if you think about it…

Anyways…I just ordered a Bass Bot v2. No mini jack midi :stuck_out_tongue:
Geez…I wanted to get a 303 (or proper clone) since Rebirth days. Thomann had a b-stock of the black version (which already is 50 bucks cheaper than the silver one), so I saved 100 bucks. Couldn’t resist…


If you are looking for a cheap solution to simply sync several devices to one master device the MIDI Solutions quadra thru is still the best, cheapest option. The only problem is the master device has to have bus power via MIDI (I never ran into a problem with a master device powering mine, I’m sure the MPC would).


I really like iOS Ruismaker Troublemaker 303 but I’d like to have a dedicated clone of 303 some day for sure. There are so many now I’m kind of waiting on one to go on a stupidly priced no-brainer sale.


Oh yeah, I think I have one of those buried somewhere. I was just musing about those goofy 1/8th inch midi dangly dongles. Seems like they are everywhere now but seem a little ridiculous.


Ah ok. Yea, a lot of the gear I’ve had recently uses those. I don’t have a problem with it as long as the gear comes with an adapter for ea physical MIDI I/O. I really like small form factor of some of the gear now and those help with that.

I still want full quarter inch audio I/O though.


Yeah the audio I/o is something I wouldn’t want to have shrunk ideally.
I have been watching videos of the new Arturia mini synth, that’s what got me asking. They seemed to have nailed it with that one. Even has full sized audio out!


The Volca FM only has 1/8 out headphone socket, but the good thing that I’ve recently found is I can use either 1/8 stereo to 1/4 left and right for stereo, or an 1/8 to 1/4 ts for mono. As I use it a lot for bass I prefer the mono. Midi on the other hand I don’t like the non din midi i/o, so I steer clear of stuff that doesn’t have it.


That’s neat for the volca, it’s funny tho how I see it the opposite and would likely steer clear of mini jacks for audio!