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Midi Cable connection problem

Discussion in 'Recording' started by jeff2012, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. jeff2012

    jeff2012 Active Member


    I am using a Emu 1616m interface and for the first time am looking to hook up a midi drum kit via it. The problem I am having is the midi port on the breakout box is not a standard midi port and it did not come with the required adapter. Where would I be able to find the right adapter which should be the serial? into the breakout box with a standard midi in and out cable?

    Here is a link to a picture of the back of the emu box:

    Google Image Result for http://www.dancetech.com/aa_dt_new/hardware/IMAGES/EMU_1616M_PCI_main.jpg

    I think I know the cable/adapter I want I just dont know the name of it or where to get one. Please help.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately with a device that you have, it doesn't matter WHAT midi cable you want. You have to have the MIDI cable from the company in which you purchased your computer audio interface from since it is a specialized cable that includes MIDI in, MIDI out and probably MIDI through connectors. From that breakout adapter cord, you can purchase anybody's MIDI cables you want. But you have to purchase the dedicated specialized adapter cable designed to work with your computer audio interface. Otherwise you can sit down with a couple of the MIDI cables you want, soldering iron and a connector that matches your computer audio interface and build your own. But if you're asking this question? Chances are, you don't even know what a soldering iron is. So buy the adapter because you have no choice.

    MIDI in. MIDI out. MIDIdiot
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. jeff2012

    jeff2012 Active Member


    I do know what a soldering iron is. I build my own guitar effects pedals.

    But thanks for the reply, I was just wondering what the specific name of that type of connection was or if a generic one was available from somewhere.
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    The connector in use is part of the D series of connectors. They have been used for computer serial connections with 9 pins, VGA outputs with 15 pins. Just contact Newark Electronics or, Digi-Key and tell them you need a 9 pin D connector, with gold pins, male side. And then wire up your MIDI cables according to the schematics for your device. So you'll need a schematic for your device. You might be able to figure it out for yourself with a volt meter/ohm meter. You're probably looking for 3 chassis ground connections and 3, low impedance, low resistance, emitter follower output which should show a very low reading on your ohm meter. The input side might be more like 10,000 ohms? And through may indicate nothing on the high side which may simply be a parallel connection from the incoming side? But you won't know anything for sure without a schematic. All you need is a schematic to the factory wired breakout cable. And they shouldn't have any problem supplying that for you?

    Looks like you're progressing nicely?
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    May try the following, found here:

    Multimedia Production Forums - View topic - E-MU 1616 Midi Breakout Cable Wiring

    EMU 1616M Midi Octopus Pinouts

    DB-9 Male, DIN5 Female
    1 -- NC
    2 -- 1-OUT, PIN-4
    3 -- 1-OUT, PIN-5
    4 -- 2-OUT, PIN-4
    5 -- 2-OUT, PIN-5
    6 -- 1-IN, PIN-4
    7 -- 1-IN, PIN-5
    8 -- 2-IN, PIN-4
    9 -- 2-IN, PIN-5



    Note that they put the 9-pin cable on there to facilitate a 2-in-2-out MIDI capability. (Otherwise, they would have to had put four large round MIDI sockets on it).

    Just prepare your four cables, and do one at a time...DB9 Pin2 to first one (1 out) Pin 4, DB9 Pin3 to the same one (1 out) Pin5, and then connect Pin2 of the same DIN5 to the metal shield of the connector. And then, LABEL each one as you finish!

    Then, work your way through the rest of them.

    By the way, note the unusual numbering of the pins on the MIDI connector:

    this video of a guy controlling a whole bunch of parameters with one

    They don't start at one end, and count through to the other 1,2,3,4,5. Note that they only use the middle three pins, and those are 5,2 and 4. Don't confuse those, or it definitely will not work!

    I can't verify the correctness of this! Use this at your own risk! This is the only thing I found through a quick search.

    If you are ONLY concerned with using one single MIDI in/out, you COULD probably just connect the stuff for MIDI 1, and skip the MIDI 2 stuff. In fact, it may be a good idea to just do one, and see if it will connect successfully to another unit, before continuing, if you did want two.

    Make sure you put plenty of strain-relief on that connector, somehow. Obviously, four MIDI cables won't fit inside the hole left for the DB9 cover, so you'll have to figure out a way to cut the jackets up to a certain point, so all the wires will pass through the opening, and provide enough support for the two or four dangling cables to get tugged on without continually breaking off wires at the DB9 connector. I don't know if a small zip-tie to clinch down the wire bundle will fit inside the DB9 shell, to prevent pulling? And then, maybe a few layers of progressively larger heat shrink to take care of the "bending/broken wire" situation that will occur right at the shell opening, without it? The heat shrink could go an inch or so out to meet the jackets of the MIDI cables, and then you'll have to bundle those two or four together for a couple inches, overlapping the heat shrink from the wire bundle.

    Let us know if it works?

  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Why don't you save yourself the time, frustrations, by simply purchasing the right freaking adapter? There is just no reason not to. I mean unless you are using all goldplated 5 pin DIN, there isn't any reason not to buy the already made one. Unless you just plain every day enjoy DIY projects? In which I would recommend that you look for goldplated DIN connectors, if you want to do it up really well? Not being a MIDI person myself, not sure that I've ever seen any goldplated DIN connectors?

    Do it up right.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. jeff2012

    jeff2012 Active Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I would obviously much prefer to just buy the right adapter from somewhere. The problem is I cant seem to find one anywhere. That was what I was hoping maybe you guys could help with. Though obviously I do appreciate the responses about building my own one.

    I cannot find the right adapter online anywhere, I didnt actually know the precise name for it so was just trying 'emu midi breakout cable' and other similar searches. The only thing near I found was the breakout cable for the Midi 1010, although when I asked the seller about its compatibilty with the 1616 he said he wasnt to sure it would work as it also includes digital i/o and may fry my 1616 box.

    If I cant find one its not the end of the world. I can always get a usb to midi cable for now. As I said in another post I am looking to upgrade my gear in the new year anyway. But that is all depending on a couple of things with the studio I own at the moment.

    Anyway thanks again for the replies, hope one of you can help me find the cable soon.

  8. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    I was going to suggest the similar thing, but after a quick search, found they are apparently difficult to find. Those are "Creative Labs" products, and even their website doesn't seem to list the cable anywhere (which isn't surprising). I generally try to find out more about the problem and solution, before suggesting anything.

    That's why I suggested the build...if he really needs it.

    If that will work, I'd just do that, though I'm not sure how you'll incorporate the EMU. It doesn't appear to have USB?

  9. jeff2012

    jeff2012 Active Member

    Yeah I couldn't find one anywhere just the one for the 1010 which I don't know will work.

    The usb wouldn't go into the emu, just into the pc. I am using it to hook up an electronic drum kit to superior drummer.

    I don't know if they are any good. But I guess it could run alongside the emu ok?
  10. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Should be fine, if your E-drums have that capability, and all you need to do is get the MIDI notes from the pads into the sequence, to then trigger the samples on playback. If your E-drums have a sound module, you could even route the MIDI out from the sequence's drum tracks (or, maybe even copied tracks...ones to the Superior Drummer, ones out to the E-drum module) to trigger all those sounds, and run the E-drum sound module's audio outs back through the EMU's audio ins, to record (to mix/match sounds and velocities, etc.) Note that some latency may be apparent through all that, though.

    Actually, may be just as good to "skip the middleman" of the EMU. You'd have drum module>computer. Otherwise, you'd have drum module>EMU>computer, and every additional step and circuitry that MIDI has to go through increases the likelihood of more latency, and more problems...not to mention more setup and routing headaches.

    It's nice to have all the options available, but no sense using things just because they are there. Now then, if you had more keyboards/modules to use for input/playback...then you might consider using the additional I/O capabilities of something like the EMU's dual MIDI I/O.

  11. jeff2012

    jeff2012 Active Member

    Thanks for that.

    Though that alternative routing scheme lost me a little bit. Could you please explain again in more detail. I am using a yahama dtxpress iii box with emu 1616m as audio interface. Cubase 5 and superior drummer.

    I did find this cable, but I think the dpin is different. I think its for an maudio box:
    RME BO9632CMKH - Babyface/HDSP 9632/HDSPe AIO Analog Breakout-Cable

    Thanks again for your time.
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If you are stuck, I'm willing to make up a 1616M breakout cable for you and just charge you for the connectors and UK postage.
  13. jeff2012

    jeff2012 Active Member

    Boswell that would be brilliant if you can. Just let me know the details and total cost. I will pneumonia you my email.
  14. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that really had nothing to do with MIDI, per se...it was just an extra idea for you to get extra sounds.

    It's simple. Apparently, you can get MIDI from the drum module into the computer sequence via USB? The drum module likely responds to MIDI via USB?

    IF you wished to possibly use any sounds in the drum module, along with the Superior Drummer, you could just copy a particular drum track to a new track, and assign its MIDI out to route to the drum module. Say you have a snare drum in Superior, and you wanted to mix'n'match a different one in the Yamaha? They'll both respond at roughly the same time, since they are triggered from, essentially, identical MIDI notes...because it is a copied track.

    Now, just run the Yamaha's audio outs through your EMU's audio ins, and record the Yamaha's sounds along with Superior Drummer. if you add a bit of velocity variation, etc., to the MIDI tracks, it could make, say, the snare drum, sound a tiny bit more varied and realistic. As stated, the only problem MIGHT be some latency-caused timing difference, but that can be remedied by nudging a track a tiny bit to line up with the other.

    I've used 2 or 3 different snare sounds, a couple different cymbals (for each cymbal), etc. It can liven things up a bit, and make it sound less like a drum machine, or just static samples.

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