Sunday, 11 February 2018
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I have a number of older and a few somewhat newer midi devices that I want to connect to my mac mini through an Alesis io14 Firewire audio/midi interface. I'm looking for advice on the best way to connect everything so that I can have different devices be the master in different configurations.


Hardware (DIN5 midi unless noted otherwise)


Mac mini
Alesis io14 Firewire audio/midi interface
DMC MX-8 6 in/8 out midi patchbay
Behringer BCR2000 control surface (USB)
Midisport 1x1 (USB)

Sound generators:

Yamaha DX100 synth
Roland JD800 synth
Roland JV1000 synth
Yamaha TX81Z module
Yamaha FB01 module
Roland SP404 beatbox
Roland R5 drum machine

Signal generators:

Roland RC-50 loop station
Alesis MMT-8 midi sequencer
Akai MPKmini keyboard controller (USB)
Korg SQ1 sequencer (USB)

Analog gear:

Korg MS20
Korg Mono/Poly
Korg Polysix
Roland SH101




Lexicon MX200

Okay, so that's a bunch of stuff in my studio. I'm trying to set things up so that I can do the following:

1. Have the DAW as midi clock master, but also be able to send midi from the MMT-8 and MPKmini to different sound generators/soft synths.

2. Have the RC-50 as midi clock master (it doesn't play well as slave, anyway), but be able to send midi from the DAW, MMT-8, and MPKmini to different sound generators/soft synths.

3. Have the MMT-8 as midi clock master, but be able to send midi from the DAW and MPKmini to different sound generators/soft synths.

4. In each of the above instances, be able to send midi note input from the JD800, JV1000 and MPKmini to the MMT-8 and the DAW.

Nice to have, but not essential:

1. R5 as midi clock master.

2. SQ1 as midi clock master.

3. SQ1 for midi note input to DAW and MMT-8.

Current setup:

Mac mini <-> Alesis io14 (Firewire), SQ1 (USB), BCR2000 (USB)
Alesis io14 <-> MX-8 (DIN5)
MX-8 <-> JD800, JV1000, R5, MMT-8, RC-50
MX-8 -> MX-200
SQ1 -> analog synths
BCR2000 <-> DX100
MX-200 -> TX81Z -> FB01
MMT-8 -> SP404

(Midisport not currently connected - running out of USB ports!)


I don't think this setup is optimal, but I'm not sure how to configure it better, so any advice would be most appreciated. In particular, I'd like to optimize [device1] -> MX-8 -> io14 -> mac -> io14 -> MX-8 -> [device2]. Can this work (i.e., essentially turning the io14 midi out into a midi thru), or do I need to use a second interface to the mac to do this (e.g., the BCR2000), so that the routing would be [device1] -> MX-8 -> BCR2000 -> mac -> io14 -> MX-8 -> [device2]? Or perhaps midi input to the io14 can be directly sent to out (i.e., it's out port functioning like a thru)?

In any case, grateful for any suggestions.
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