I’m looking for a box that will swizzle MIDI channels around and route notes and sysex messages to various boxes (Pianos, Synths) on the MIDI Out pots, from a variety of MIDI controllers (drum pads, Novation launchpad, computers, etc.). I’m handy with a soldering iron, so am not averse to building a kit for this function.
Has anyone found some good DIY resources on this? 8 IN and 8 OUT would be a basic requirement, based on the amount of equipment I have.
I assume you’re referring to a MIDI patch bay? All MIDI patch bays pass & reroute all MIDI messages, incl. sysex like you said you want.
I don’t know of any DIY kits. But if you’re open to buying an existing product, in my opinion the MOTU MIDI Express 128 8x8 (8 in/8 out) is the best patch bay on the market right now. I have a JL Cooper MSB+ Rev 2 8x8 MIDI patch bay (bought it in 1993) which I think is even better, but it’s out of production and doesn’t have USB, so syncing it to a DAW is a huge pain in the butt.
You might also find some interesting products on the MIDI Solutions site. They make all sorts of racks & boxes for manipulating MIDI, like mergers, routers, thru modules, almost anything one would need:
I used a Digital Music MX-8 when I was touring, and it did the job beautifully. I would program ‘songs’ in the sequencer of my master keyboard, and the song was really just a title that would send a program change to the MX-8. Then the MX-8 would send program changes to every keyboard and rack unit, layer what needed layering, etc., all with a single button push.
Sam, I had a similar setup with my old band. I bought an Alesis Datadisk around 1992 to store all my sysex dumps, then Alesis released an upgrade that allowed the Datadisk to be the master program changer and store/play back sequences for a MIDI rig (re: sequences, that’s if I remember correctly…i had an MMT-8 at the time but don’t’ think I used it live). I would just load a file from the Datadisk and it would load all the sequences for a song and change programs on my MIDI patch bay, JX-3P, DW-8000 and our two guitarist’s Quadraverb GTs, all just by pressing my little foot pedal. In 1993, on my limited budget, that was awesome!
MOTU Midi Express XT
JL Cooper Synapse
Rocktron Prophesy II Rack Preamp Multi-Effects Unit.
Digital Music Corp MX-8
MOTU MTP A/V
Studio 64 Xtc Midi Patch
JL Cooper MSB+ Rev 2 Midi Patch Bay
MIDIman Midisport 8 x 8
OMS Opcode Studio 4 (MIDI PATCH BAY)
AKAI Pro ME30PII MIDI PROGRAMMABLE PATCH BAY
Steinberg Midex 8
@ralphw: I just came across an old article from the September 1987 issue of Sound On Sound which discusses modding or creating MIDI patch bays per your original post:
The above link is for pt.1 of an 8 part series of articles. Links to all parts are on the right side of each page.
Hope this helps.
Edit: fixed URL
I’ve used a JL Copper Synapse for the last year and it is quite easy to use as a patch bay. It has other capabilities including filtering and sending realtime note transposition, which are probably negated by most moderately powerful standalone sequencers (and DAW setups, of course). Here’s a quick overview and demo of the basic features: