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Replacing the MIDI Connectors on all the Factor Pedals

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jb4674
Joined: Aug 15 2011
Posts: 32

Replacing the MIDI Connectors on all the Factor Pedals

jb4674
April 23, 2017 - 01:36 pm

Hi Folks,

I have an idea for replacing the midi connectors on all my factor pedals.  I've been looking around at a better solution because I can't seem to fit all four pedals on a single drawer in my rack because of the midi connectors.

So, I started brainstorming and I thought to myself, why can't I just replace the midi connector with a different low-profile connector that has up to 5 lines of connections for data transfer?  So, it came to me that I could possibly replace it with a USB Micro type B connector like this one:

 

There's nothing that would cause the pedal to freak out because the information is still being transfered, just not with a bulky midi connector.  Once you go out of the factor pedals into a midi controller for example, all you would have to do is outfit the other end of the cable with a midi connector and presto.

Thoughts?

actioncamp
Joined: Mar 15 2017
Posts: 13
actioncamp
April 23, 2017 - 04:06 pm

well i don't believe the make a right angle micro usb cable so i'm not sure how much space you are actually saving.

why not just get right angle midi cables? they wouldn't take up more space than a straight usb line

nickrose's picture
Eventide Staff
nickrose
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 4598
nickrose
April 23, 2017 - 05:23 pm

actioncamp wrote:

well i don't believe the make a right angle micro usb cable so i'm not sure how much space you are actually saving. why not just get right angle midi cables? they wouldn't take up more space than a straight usb line

There is something in what he says.

If space is really tight, remove the casing from the DIN plugs and just use the pin inserts. Fill the cable area with epoxy if you want to make it more rugged.

 

jb4674
Joined: Aug 15 2011
Posts: 32
jb4674
April 24, 2017 - 08:54 am

I want to do away with MIDI altogether.  The expoxy idea is not bad but, I want to have a super low-profile connector and no one in the guitar effect business seems to understand that MIDI needs to disappear for good.  We have so many options these days and with lower profile connectors.  I love my Factor pedals and everything Eventide makes but, MIDI is like stepping back in time.

What say you Eventide dudes?  Could we collaborate on a mod solution so you guys could market it, sell it and kill MIDI all at once?

actioncamp
Joined: Mar 15 2017
Posts: 13
actioncamp
April 24, 2017 - 12:25 pm
jb4674 wrote:

I want to do away with MIDI altogether.  The expoxy idea is not bad but, I want to have a super low-profile connector and no one in the guitar effect business seems to understand that MIDI needs to disappear for good.  We have so many options these days and with lower profile connectors.  I love my Factor pedals and everything Eventide makes but, MIDI is like stepping back in time.

What say you Eventide dudes?  Could we collaborate on a mod solution so you guys could market it, sell it and kill MIDI all at once?

i would argue most users of gear, especially those of us that sync tempos with keys/spds pads still use it for everything.

how would adding a 2nd usb port to a device be stepping into the future? the h9's are already bluetooth switcheable in addition to midi and a smaller profile than the factor pedals so i'm not sure what jump forward you are imagining happen. you can't really get mad that you bought a pedal you got a ton of use out of then something new and improved came out and you are "stuck with it". it doesn't do any more or less than what you desired when you decided to buy it. that's the nature of technology.

the only alternate port is whatever it is chase bliss did to make a combo midi or tap tempo port on a 1/4 jack which, if you know how midi trasmits. the last thing you want is your pin contacts to be able to spin 360 in the port because it could potentially misfire information.

jb4674
Joined: Aug 15 2011
Posts: 32
jb4674
April 25, 2017 - 06:49 am

actioncamp wrote:
jb4674 wrote:

I want to do away with MIDI altogether.  The expoxy idea is not bad but, I want to have a super low-profile connector and no one in the guitar effect business seems to understand that MIDI needs to disappear for good.  We have so many options these days and with lower profile connectors.  I love my Factor pedals and everything Eventide makes but, MIDI is like stepping back in time.

What say you Eventide dudes?  Could we collaborate on a mod solution so you guys could market it, sell it and kill MIDI all at once?

i would argue most users of gear, especially those of us that sync tempos with keys/spds pads still use it for everything. how would adding a 2nd usb port to a device be stepping into the future? the h9's are already bluetooth switcheable in addition to midi and a smaller profile than the factor pedals so i'm not sure what jump forward you are imagining happen. you can't really get mad that you bought a pedal you got a ton of use out of then something new and improved came out and you are "stuck with it". it doesn't do any more or less than what you desired when you decided to buy it. that's the nature of technology. the only alternate port is whatever it is chase bliss did to make a combo midi or tap tempo port on a 1/4 jack which, if you know how midi trasmits. the last thing you want is your pin contacts to be able to spin 360 in the port because it could potentially misfire information.

I think you're missing my point.  I'm not mad, nor am I trying to bring the pedals forward in terms of features.  All I'm trying to do is use a lower profile connector that protrudes out very little, if any.  The low-profile midi connectors that are made are still clunky and big.

Additionally, you must not have read my post because I said you could still put a midi connector on the other end of the cable and communicate with any midi device.

actioncamp
Joined: Mar 15 2017
Posts: 13
actioncamp
April 26, 2017 - 03:39 am

right - and as i pointed out a) there is already a usb port on top of the factor pedals so why add a 2nd one on the side? you could just as easily program it to communicate midi (it may do this already, i don't own one).

and b) what you are proposing is already on the H9, on the top of the device with the inputs and outputs which for all intents and purposes is a more powerful factor pedal in a smaller footprint.

you are suggesting something eventide had already done, it's just happens to not be on the factor pedals but the next generation pedal.

camn
Joined: Sep 19 2016
Posts: 433
camn
April 30, 2017 - 11:47 pm

Totally esoteric side thought- 

I use an Arturia Beatstep.. and they send midi out on a single, MONO 1/8" plug. 

Then there is a little dongle-cord adapter that converts it to 5-pin. 

This thing: 

Maybe this is a known standard? It seems like you could send bilateral midi messages on a stereo 1/8" this way.. but I have totally not looked into it.

camn
Joined: Sep 19 2016
Posts: 433
camn
April 30, 2017 - 11:59 pm

Actually- I did a little research--and this is totally what should happen.

Its from this post:

http://cdm.link/2015/08/used-stereo-minijack-cables-midi/

 

It turns out that although MIDI uses a 5-pin connector- it doesnt UTILIZE all 5. Only 3. So do this:

 

Put that jack on your Factor pedals and start using 1/8" jacks. They make THOSE in right angle!

 

And for your USB midi gear- this thing: http://www.hobbytronics.co.uk/usb-host-board-v2

will certainly wire up to an 1/8" jack just fine.

BokononBass
Joined: Jan 17 2019
Posts: 1
BokononBass
January 24, 2019 - 02:28 pm

I've also been thinking about doing something like this, here's a couple of thoughts.

If you break apart the MIDI connector and insert the pins in the socket individually, rather than using permanent epoxy, I'd use E-6000, which is a good silicon adhesive that sticks to almost everything but it doesn't dry out. Years later you can unpeel the silicon and remove/replace the cable. I've found it at Ace Hardware and Hobby Lobby.

You could bring the MIDI in via the USB connector. According to the latest rev of the ModFactor manual, v5.2.0[6] p.33 : "ModFactor automatically selects either USB or DIN5 as MIDI Inputs and Outputs. If USB is connected, DIN5 MIDI activity (including MIDI thru) is ignored."  But if your setup is otherwise all MIDI, you'd need a MIDI-to-USB converter.

But, the MIDI association has defined an official specification for MIDI over small phone connector:

MIDI_over_TRS.png

They also recommend using one of the extra small 2.5mm connectors instead of the 1/8" size.  Those are definately available in a lo-profile right-angle type and it would only require drilling a very small hole in the case and soldering three wires.

{Note that the source and sink are reversed from that shown in a previous post}

 

Attachment
camn
Joined: Sep 19 2016
Posts: 433
camn
January 25, 2019 - 09:56 am

Do it Bokon!  

1/8", 2.5mm.. I think it is immateril which. I would use 1/8" just cuz the cables are so dead common.. but for your own project whatever works, works.

 

I had also considered sacrificing a 1/4" jack on the back for this.. but that sounds like trouble.

studiodc
Joined: Dec 12 2017
Posts: 14
studiodc
January 25, 2019 - 04:26 pm

For all of you pulling your hair out about MIDI connectors, I have a solution for you that will cost you not too much money and will be far far more elegant:

Get an iConnectivity MIO4 or Midi4+ and use the USB host feature to connect to your H9 via USB MIDI. That's what I do with 2 H9s and a stack of other gear. Clock and control signals go easily where they need to, and I have no problem using the H9 Control app to manage my H9s over the MIDI connection from a computer. Reliable (so far!) as standard MIDI, and iConnectivity's stuff is now used in major touring rigs so I'd trust it as much as the other pros do.

No more MIDI cable madness, only one cable per unit, and super smart MIDI routing / filtering all at the same time, for a very affordable price. And you can ditch the clunky DIN connectors too. 

camn
Joined: Sep 19 2016
Posts: 433
camn
January 25, 2019 - 05:19 pm

That would robably work for the OP, who uses a rack.

 

Me, I was brainstorming ways to SAVE space... Not take up more. I was living in Seoul for a couple years, usually taking the train to gigs with my pedal board in a backpack. Obviously ADDING gear wouldn't have helped me. 

 

Now, I'm back in the states and have a car, so I can spare the 1cm for a Din. But I still agree- 5-pin MIDI Jack's should go away forever!

 

 

llemtt
Joined: Oct 14 2011
Posts: 52
llemtt
January 31, 2019 - 05:29 am

What about midi over bluetooth?

One can also put a BT (& usb) SOC like the ESP32 or nRF51 inside effects pedals, I'm going to do that to some of my "micro" pedals (Mooers,...)

cables no more!

question
Joined: Jan 5 2018
Posts: 39
question
January 31, 2019 - 09:38 am

I also want every microphone in the market to be shorter by 1 inch, so I could fit more in my very personal mic case… Also what are those huge XLR plugs? Same goes for the batteries…

Jokes aside using right angle plugs should be much cost effective than a tedious soldering job.