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Topic: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

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  1. #1

    Question MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Is there any reason not to use a USB MIDI IO box, vs. built-in MIDI ports e.g. on a sound card? Salesman seemed to indicate it's better to not use the USB, but I wasn't sure why, and it's certainly easier/cheaper...

    Thanks!
    TCOVEM

  2. #2

    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    if you can avoid a USB connection for your MIDI you will get less latency.

    ben

  3. #3

    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Quote Originally Posted by soxfanben
    if you can avoid a USB connection for your MIDI you will get less latency.

    ben
    Is this true for USB 2.0?

  4. #4

    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Ah, well, that's a good reason then! I never think of MIDI having latency, just audio...
    I'm interested in whether USB2.0 doesn't have this issue, but supposing it does, what's a good way of adding MIDI without USB, short of changing my audio card (which is currently a frontier wavecenter with which I'm quite happy)?

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Some USB MIDI devices have really horrendous latency. Some of the M-Audio Midisport devices in particular are just devastatingly slow.

    It's something to be careful about, and certainly ask the questions about any device which interests you.

  6. #6

    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Plus, you're dependent on efficiency or inefficiency of yet another hardware device -- one that potentially steals bus cycles from more important devices like your sound card, depending on the mobo and driver implementation. If you're like me, you turn off as many devices as possible in the BIOS to avoid potential conflicts and unnecessary bus chatter.

    - Keith

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Right on.

  8. #8

    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbaccki
    Plus, you're dependent on efficiency or inefficiency of yet another hardware device -- one that potentially steals bus cycles from more important devices like your sound card, depending on the mobo and driver implementation. If you're like me, you turn off as many devices as possible in the BIOS to avoid potential conflicts and unnecessary bus chatter.

    - Keith
    USB midi could eliminate a Midi card though, which would make it a wash - well not even that since USBs interface with the motherboard not the PCI bus. I still wonder why a USB 2.0 interface, as fast as it is, can't handle midi well. Is it a polled rather than in interrupt driven interface? Like you said though, it is a smart thing to disable USB and other nonessential drivers on your PC.

  9. #9

    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    Quote Originally Posted by tcovem
    Is there any reason not to use a USB MIDI IO box, vs. built-in MIDI ports e.g. on a sound card? Salesman seemed to indicate it's better to not use the USB, but I wasn't sure why, and it's certainly easier/cheaper...

    Thanks!
    TCOVEM
    I only use USB with USB powered midi controllers only because finding room to plug in an adapter to a power strip can be a hassle.

  10. #10

    Re: MIDI: is built-in better than USB?

    USB giving much latency is outdated; they used to, but don't anymore. My midisport 2x2 isn't giving any problems. I never notice any latency. Just make sure you have a quality chipset that manages all the traffic well.

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