Separate power and MIDI via USB?

Hi. A new Play owner here. I am wondering if it is possible to power the Play via USB whilst sending MIDI out over USB. Would something like the Kenton USB Host work? I currently just use USB for power.

Hi @PGRM, the USB cable that comes with the Play (just like most USB C cables) is good for powering the device and send/receive MIDI at the same time. Is this what you are asking?

To add to @icaria36 answer. Yes you can run the Play via a UBS Hub, as long as the Hub provides Power as well to the Port. I personally power the Tracker and the Play via a USB Hub, which is of course connected to the Computer in the end :wink: . Allowing me to use MIDI for both devices via USB.

Apologies, I will try to be clearer.
Currently I power the Play via USB from a USB charger.
I would like to send MIDI via USB to hardware synths if possible, but the USB is already in use for power.
I would like to know if there is a way I can power the play via USB and utilise USB MIDI at the same time, for example would the Kentin USB MIDI host (or something similar) accomplish this?

Sorry, on my phone and missed you reply initially. I wish to power external MIDI gear, no computer connected.

No worries. :blush:

First, to answer your question. The Kenton USB Host - yes that would work. It provides enough power to power the Play and it seems to route midi properly.

Now i’m curious though…

  • Why exactly does it need to be USB?
  • Why not keep the current charging via USB and connect your devices via MIDI cables?
  • If you don’t want to use a powerbank, there are usb power strips.
  • Especially since there is no computer.

Thanks for confirming about the Kenton box.

I want the possibility to power by USB charger or power pack. I also want to be able to address up to 32 MIDI channels, 16 via 5 pin, and 16 via USB. I have several multitimbral synths I want to make use of.

(And how I would love more pages of MIDI tracks!)

For you to use USB midi, the other end of the USB cable (the non-Polyend end) must be attached to some form of USB host, such as Kenton midi host, standalone devices that can act as host such as Akai Force or MPC, mobile phone, tablet, or computer. So just connect a powered USB hub to the phone/tablet/computer/standalone device end, and then connect the Play to the USB hub.

You CANNOT directly connect the Play to a device that cannot act as a usb host, e.g. Roland Aria devices, Digitakt, etc. Not that it would explode, it won’t just work.

@xjazzdummy I understand all that thanks.
Knowing the Kenton box would power the Play provides me with a useable solution when I need it.
I’d be interested to know if there were any other solutions too (avoiding computers/tablets etc). I have a Maschine+ which I guess I could use but it’s a bit big if just used as a USB Host. :slight_smile:

I use the iConnectivity MioXM as a MIDI patchbay. It has USB host capabilities.

I am currently trying to control my GAS over the Retrokits RK-006 as a portable USB host and splitter.

I have also used this simple 1-in 1-out USB Midi host in the past.

@xjazzdummy Thanks for those suggestions.
The mioXM looks extremely useful, but more than I need at this time. Same for the RK006. Both I could see being very handy for me down the road. The MIDIPLUS is probably all I would need for now (or the Kenton version).

Slight opinion and word of advice. The price difference between the RK-006 and the Kenton seems to be small. If i were you, i’d go with the RK-006 and future proof yourself right away.

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@Sandroid Thanks for your thoughts. I will give the RK006 some thought and do some more research on it.

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Thank you all for your advice.

I am no novice, been using MIDI since it’s inception, but mostly the 5 pin variety, USB Host devices are new for me and I appreciate the comments. My main query was I just wasn’t sure if they would be powerful enough to power the Play, but interesting to find out about these other devices too.

Looking forward to hear what you finally settle for! I love to hear about other peoples setups!
I too have used DIN MIDI for far too long. On that note - i’m still not a big fan of TRS MIDI :laughing:

I personally also been eyeing the RK-006 for a long time, but eventually decided to use a Blokas Midihub in my setup. Which i don’t think would work for what you are going for. Still a pretty powerful MIDI solution.

Long story short - keep us updated :blush:

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this could also be a solution for you :slight_smile:

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@toptib I can’t find this in the UK, but looks interesting.