MIDI

On this page you will find general information about MIDI and how the manikk modules are using MIDI.

Overview

Modular synthesis is mainly controlled by analogue signals, like gates, triggers and control voltages.

MIDI is a digital protocol that has been used a long time now in the music industry. The most common way to use MIDI with eurorack modular systems is to use a MIDI to CV/Gate interface, like the manikk OUTBREAK.

Some of the manikk modules can also be controlled directly by MIDI, but this requires an optional manikk MIDI dongle.

With MIDI you can remote control functions and parameters in the modules from your music software (DAW). You can automate and sync parameters with your music project.

MIDI connector

We have decided to attach the MIDI connectors on the backside of the modules via pin strips. This is because the MIDI connectors are bulky and not the main interface for most of the modules.

The MIDI connector that comes with some of the manikk products can be one of two types. Both types are female DIN connectors. One is cable-based with a plastic housing. The other is a chassis-variant.

Cable variant to the left and chassis type to the right

You can drill a hole on the backside of the case and mount the chassis connector there, mount it on a blind front panel, or just mount it with a screw inside your case.

The cable-based connector can be used directly. You can of course change this connector to a chassis-variant, or vice versa, if you want.

The OUTBREAK and the MIDI dongle comes with one internal MIDI cable- 3 position female header to a 5 pol female DIN MIDI connector. Note that the pinout of the pinstrips for the outbreak and dongle differs.

You can also use a manikk Otto Passive Stereo module as your single MIDI-TRS module with up to 8 MIDI-TRS jacks. Read more below.

See here how to solder a MIDI cable for the MIDI dongle.

Here is a list with connectors, suppliers and article numbers, if you want to change the connector or buy more:

VariantSupplierArticle number
ChassisElectrokit41002835
CableElectrokit41003342
ChassisMouser568-NYS325
ChassisMouser161-0005-E

Strategy

The manikk main strategy is to have one MIDI-connector to many modules.

This single MIDI input connector can be a chassis connector mounted on the backside of the case or on a blind front panel. It can also be a female cable-based variant as described above. It can also be the manikk Otto Passive Stereo module that have 8 stere jacks that can be used as MIDI TRS connectors.

This connector is connected to an opto-coupler built into a MIDI dongle, the OUTBREAK or a manikk MIDI THRU module.

The MIDI dongle and the THRU-module have buffered MIDI THRU ouputs, that you can connect directly to other manikk modules.

A manikk MIDI dongle can serve up to 4 other midi inputs. You can also chain multiple MIDI dongles to get more thru-outputs.

A manikk MIDI THRU module can also serve a number of other modules via thru-pin-strips on the backside.

The OUTBREAK has an opto-coupler onboard, but can also be fed with an external MIDI/RX-signal from a dongle or the THRU-module. You need to change the jumper on the backside on the OUTBREAK to select internal or external MIDI optocoupler.

So, if you have 16 MIDI-capable modules, and each module uses one MIDI-channel, then you could have one MIDI-connector serving all the modules, without any MIDI-cables on the front-panels.

manikk Otto Passive Stereo

This is a completely passive module with 8 stereo jacks. You have access to all tip and ring signals from the pinstrip on the backside.

If you use it for MIDI-TRS applications, you have 8 stereo jacks at your disposal.

Connect the jack to your optocoupler inputs with female dupont cables.

There are two types of MIDI-TRS connections, type A and type B. The difference is how the tip and ring are connected. As you connect the tip and ring freely yourself using dupont-cables, the Otto Passive Stereo supports both types.

Baudrate, speed and RX-parameter

The speed at which the data i sent on the MIDI cables are measured in baud. It’s called the baudrate.

Standard MIDI speed is 31.250 baud.

The manikk modules have a parameter called RX. You can select the baudrate with this parameter:

  • OFF – Some modules can turn MIDI off completely to free up some CPU usage.
  • 31.250 baud – Normal MIDI baudrate. This is the normal setting that you should use.
  • 115.200 baud – Higher speed if you can send MIDI to the devices from a serial interface on the computer at this speed. Not used today. Experimental!
  • 230.400 baud – See above
  • 250.000 baud – See above

When you do a factory reset on a module, you may need to look over this RX-parameter to get MIDI working.

MIDI channel

MIDI has 16 channels.

You need to set this base midi channel on the module.

See here how to set the channel on the OUTBREAK.

For other modules, see the manual.

Some modules have a MIDI-learn function. When you activate this, and then press a key on your keyboard that sends a note on message, the midi-channel and the pressed key will be set and stored automatically. See the manual for each module for more information.

MIDI pin-strip

The manikk modules that have MIDI capabilities have a pin-strip on the backside.

Here you will connect the MIDI dongle to get MIDI input to the module.

Most (or all) modules will only use MIDI input and no MIDI output.

Pin mapping:

NOTE! See the manual fore each individual module. This is a general description.

1TXTransmit output
2GNDGround (for TX)
3RXReceive input
4GNDGround (for RX)
5+5VPower to the MIDI dongle

The RX and TX signal are serial signals connected directly to the microprocessor. Therefore you can not connect MIDI directly to these pins. You need to use the MIDI dongle or the thru-outputs from another MIDI dongle.

The RX and TX signals requires 0V or 5V.

The OUTBREAK has a jumper above these MIDI-pins where you select if your are using the internal MIDI interface or want to use an external signal. Put the jumper in the INT or EXT position. If you use internal MIDI interface then you also need to use the supplied MIDI cable and attach on its three dedicated pins on the backside of the pcb.

Ableton Max for Live Panels

Some modules have ready-made Max4Live panels on the website for downloading. With these panels you can remote control the module and set its parameters from Ableton in a simple way.

They all have a on/off switch in the corner that is off when you load the panel. This is beacuse Ableton sends all initial values out at startup out to the module. The on/off switch prevents this when it’s off and you need to turn it on before you change any values.

Feel free to try them out.

You can also create your own panels. Its fun and relatively simple!