1. Stuart
  2. Getting Started with MIDI
  3. Wednesday, 17 May 2017
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Hi
While my main instrument is guitar, I have recently become the proud owner of a Yamaha PSR EW400 keyboard which I hope to use at band gigs for keyboard backing (probably playing from midi files stored on a USB stick). I also own a much older (20 years plus) Yamaha DD12 Drum Pad Box with in/out midi connections. I am hoping to link the two up and I have a few questions:
1. The keyboard has a USB socket and the drum machine has old style midi sockets. I have a Midi to USB cable but the USB plug is the wrong gender. Should I be able to link it to my keyboard by connecting up the USB-to-USB cable I have for that to the drum machine’s MIDI to USB cable using a USB gender bender?
2. I am interested in using the pads on the drum machine rather than keys on the keyboard to generate occasional drum sounds but would I be correct in assuming that the drum sounds from the keyboard are likely to be superior to the ones produced from the much older drum machine itself and, by linking the two I can achieve this?
3. Finally, in a live gig scenario while I am playing guitar, it would be good if the drummer or I could tap a pad on the drum machine to initiate playback of a pre-recorded MIDI file on the keyboard’s USB stick. Is that achievable and, if so, how would I go about it please?
Many thanks.
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The USB protocol makes a strict distinction between a USB host (typically a PC) and a USB device, and communication is possible only between a host and a device.
To be able to connect the USB keyboard to 'real' MIDI devices, you have to connect it to a PC, and then route the MIDI data to other devices connected to the PC. (Or buy the Kenton MIDI USB Host.)
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Getting Started with MIDI
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I second the suggestion for a Kenton MIDI USB Host. Another possible solution might be one of the iConnectivity MIDI interfaces, but you'd need to be sure to get one that can act as a USB host. I currently have my PSR-E keyboards connected to a computer, which lets me route MIDI data between various MIDI controllers and my keyboards, but I'm on the verge of getting a Kenton MIDI USB Host and/or one of the iConnectivity interfaces.

Once you've got your PSR-EW400 and DD12 connected together properly, I think you should be able to use the DD12 to trigger sounds on the PSR-EW400.

As for your third question, I think the simplest solution would be to start the MIDI song file playback from the PSR-EW400 itself. Although the PSR-EW400 recognizes the MIDI "Start" and "Stop" messages, there's no way to remotely select which MIDI song file you want to play next, so you're going to have to select it from the keyboard anyway. However, once you've selected the desired song from the USB drive, it might be possible to start the playback remotely by sending the "Start" message ($FA) to the PSR-EW400.

By the way, the easiest way to navigate through the list of songs would be to prepare the USB thumb drive ahead of time such that the song files are named something like "SONG0001.MID," "SONG0002.MID," "SONG0003.MID," etc., with the names reflecting the order you want to play the songs in, so all you need to do is press the "plus" button while the keyboard is in SONG mode to advance to the next song in your set list. Or if you prefer more descriptive file names, just add numbers in front of the song names, such as "01PaperbackWriter.MID," "02YellowSubmarine.MID," etc., so they'll be sorted in the desired order.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Getting Started with MIDI
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Thank you both for the replies and suggestions. It appears I was being a bit optimistic. Ah well.

Understood re remote song selection and the naming of the songs. That makes good sense.

I will investigate the Kenton option.

Thanks again.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Getting Started with MIDI
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A good solution is USB HOST MIDI ROUTER UHMR by Sevilla Soft.
References
  1. http://compasflamenco.com/midi-c-3/usb-host-midi-router-uhmr-p-8.html?language=en
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  2. Getting Started with MIDI
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