Wireless MIDI - experiences?

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Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Arjan » 00:01, 8 December 2010

Hi,

So far I have found three wireless MIDI solutions:

CME Widi-X8
Not available in the USA it seems (I'm in Europe though so no problem). Could this be because of recent changes in public frequency bands?
Do they actuall sell them _not_ as a pair, ie you need to buy two to get a receiver and transmitter?

M-Audio MidAir

MIDIjet pro
Anything truly special about this one?

Kenton Midistream
The most expensive but also the only one with a diversity receiver which should increase reliability if implemented properly.

Please share your experience if you have used either of these systems or any others that I missed.

I'm looking for a solution that does not (have to) terminate in a USB connection at the transmitter end but can plug into an actual MIDI port. I'm not entirely clear if all these devices support that.

Bi-directional would be nice and it seems the Widi-X8 is the only one to offer that but I may not need it that badly. It does seem to have the best range though but it's more expensive than the M-Audio offering.

First and foremost it must be totally reliable.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby donutninja » 04:36, 8 December 2010

I have the CME Widi-X8 and it works flawlessly. I'm in the US, and had no problem getting it. I've heard nothing but bad things about the M-Audio, and have no experience with the other two.

Two thumbs up for CME, hope it helps!
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Arjan » 22:01, 9 December 2010

Thanks donutninja. I did see one negative opinion about M-Audio offering but that was in a testimonial for the MIdijet. I'm sure the testimonial is real but it's just one user's opinion on a product vs. another product that is three times its price.

Since you have the CME Widi-X8, can you tell me if I need to purcahse separate units in order to make a MIDI OUT port -> wireless -> MIDI IN port connection? Or do they sell them as a pair in a single box?

I get the distinct feeling that they are sold separately and that transmitter and receiver are in fact identical boxes. The Thomann website does show two but the specs on the CME website say 1 MIDI IN / 1 MIDI OUT and since it's a duplex system that would refer to just one single unit (sender or receiver).

http://www.thomann.de/gb/cme_widix8.htm
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby donutninja » 07:33, 10 December 2010

They are identical units. I know they used to be packaged as a pair, but a retailer informed me that they are now offering them separately as well, so I'd ask to make sure which you are getting. I think the single unit was marked X8s, but i could be mistaken.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Arjan » 08:59, 10 December 2010

Thank you, that is very helpful.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby gius.prenc » 21:16, 11 December 2010

Hi,

I tested both WidiX8 and the MidiAir. I prefer the WidiX8, and never had a problem with it.

Regards,

Giuseppe.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Arjan » 22:54, 11 December 2010

Thanks gius.prenc. Sounds like the EMC WidiX8 is a winner.

Thomann confirmed that they sell them as a pair (see link in one of my previous posts). Pretty good deal. Now I just need to figure out if I'm going to use its internal sounds, MIDI it to my modules or do both.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Blues4dog » 11:44, 27 December 2010

Just to give a bit of support to the other side. I have been using the M Audio Mid-air for a few months now and have had no problems other than forgetting to change the batteries.

Cheers

B4D
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby firstlovedan » 19:43, 28 December 2010

I would love to go wireless midi, but what scares me is the inability to control volume. The manual states that the AX can send CC-7, or CC-11, but I cannot get it to happen, and no one seems to know how. My goal is to humorously walk up to tables "mocking a violinist". It would be a great addition to my show, but unless I only use internal sounds, I'm scared to death of having volume issues away from my rig.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Arjan » 18:41, 29 December 2010

The manual states that the AX can send CC-7, or CC-11, but I cannot get it to happen


I think the only physical controller you can assign these to is the D-beam, which does not seem very useful.

The Aftertouch control knob seems to be hardwired to the channel aftertouch message. I suppose you could program your remote synth to respond to channel aftertouch by changing it's actual volume or perhaps you could use some kind of midi message mapping hardware box such as http://www.midisolutions.com/prodevp.htm to map the channel aftertouch to a volume message. Keep in mind that it will only transmit if you turn that knob a bit, it is not continuously sending channel aftertouch message I suppose.

Maybe you can ask Roland to come up with an OS update that allows assigning something other than Channel Aftertouch to the aftertouch control know. Yeah right.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Arjan » 14:44, 14 May 2011

I'm now using the CME WIDI-X8 wireless midi interface and so far I like it a lot. I'm actually tempted to build the unit into the AX Synth, there is plenty of space in there, especially if you take the WIDI-X8 out of it's case and remove the MIDI and other sockets. It appears that all that will be left then is a fairly flat PCB and it can't be that difficult to get power from somewhere inside the AX (either 3 or 5V would do). Anyone have a service manual for the AX Synth? :-)

The main reason for not doing it would be that you don't have access to any of the WIDI-X8's controls so there would be no way to change channels if you find that the default channel is getting or causing interference. I suppose it might be possible to hi-jack the ATT and wire it to one of the dip switches so you can at least choose between two channels. Or perhaps the unit inside the AX could be set to automatic channel selection and the other unit could be used to actually set the channel but I don't know how reliable that is. Both units are now on their default channel and that is working perfectly.

Of course the brute force approach would be to cut holes in the AX Synth to mount some additional switches for the Widi-X8 but I don't think I'll ever be willing to do that.

I guess I should try this automatic channel selection mode first and see what it does if I change (fixed) channels on the other unit. If this mode requires pressing the button on the case that would be a problem, I'm hoping that it will auto-scan on power up.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby comradec » 16:30, 11 June 2011

I've been using M-Audio's MidAir system for a few months now, at first with a Behringer UMA25s and an Alesis Fusion, and more recently with a Roland Lucina AX-09 and both my SonicCell and Fantom-G.

I've found it to be a pretty good system, very reliable. Only criticism would be that the receiver has to use a mains power adaptor when I don't see why it couldn't have worked from battery power as the receiver does. That adds to the number of cables and things I need to set up at gigs, where making it battery-powered would have been a lot more convenient.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby comradec » 22:40, 21 January 2013

Just read my assessment of 18 months ago again. I have to admit that my opinion has changed since then. At home the M-Audio MidAir works perfectly every time. At gigs, however, I have found it unreliable. Even when I am standing right next to the receiver, I find it regularly misses notes. I mean at every gig. If it misses an end-note event, as sometimes happens, the sound could sustain until the patch is changed.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby synthfan » 07:54, 7 December 2013

Another new solution is midiBeam from PandaMidi, check it at www.pandamidi.com, seems good.
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Re: Wireless MIDI - experiences?

Postby Tuomas Easton » 21:34, 9 March 2014

I have used the MidiJetPro for about a year now, and I have never had any problems with it. The range is amazing (we tested at practice, and I walked about 2 blocks away from the house and it was still receiving in real time). It worked right out of the box, and the battery life has been about 20 hours, I feel comfortable with NOT changing the battery before every show (unlike most wireless transmitters). It was well worth the money!

- Tuomas Easton
The Keytar Guy
http://www.tuomaseaston.com
http://www.youtube.com/user/TuomasEastonOfficial/videos
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