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Topic: Need advice on MIDI setup

  1. #1

    Need advice on MIDI setup

    Yet, I have another question I've been meaning to ask. I've been looking at this financially and logically. I have two computers, both with M-Audio cards, and both have the same motherboards as well. They are last generation models...being nforce2 Athlon XP's. The motherboards also have 10/100mbps LAN. I use programs like Sonar 3 PE, QLSO Gold, and Gigastudio. Here's the big question,

    Should I go MIDI, or LAN?

    I've heard from a professional standpoint, it is better just to use MIDI and a 4x4 or 8x8 MIDI rack. Sure it's more wires, but less room for error. But, I've seen upgraded models of my same motherboard that come with gigabit lan. They are $90 a piece. If I sold both of my existing ones together, I'd end up only having to pay for one of the boards. Problem is, I'm *upgrading* to an outdated generation of technology. I'm paying money barely advancing at all. I've used FXTeleport on 10/100, and I was either doing something wrong, or it just wasn't fast enough. I had to crank my buffer to 4000ms because I was getting dropouts during mixdown, and it barely worked even then!

    I could snag an 8x8 MIDI rackmount for around $250. Presumably the M-Audio one with USB connection. I could run all the programs I said through MIDI right? I plan to have at least 4 computers in the coming future. Wouldn't a LAN setup cause problems down the road?

    What is your take on this? Need help.


  2. #2

    Re: Need advice on MIDI setup

    The Bumpmaster Returns

  3. #3

    Re: Need advice on MIDI setup

    hi jared- i'm a newbie 'round these parts.
    GPO arrived yesterday, i'm loving it already.

    personally, i stick w/ the tried and true.
    you know midi will work, sonar works very well w/ midi
    (i've been w/ cakewalk since pro audio 5, now on S4 PE).
    IMO-going w/ the latest hi-tech isn't always best,
    and can actually be a detriment to the creative process.

    w/ asio, the latency issue's almost non-existent, around 20 ms.
    i get a few pops on occassion, mainly after the computer's
    been running for a long period. a restart usually cures it.

    btw- where are you located in hoosierland?
    i'm originally from connersville, about 25 miles from richmond.
    i relocated from zionsville (northside of indy) to seattle 4 years ago.

    p e a c e kirk/zenpool
    IOMA award for "best producer" 2004

  4. #4

    Re: Need advice on MIDI setup


    FWIW I don't use a lan audio driver or a lan midi driver, but it sounds like something is wrong with your network setup or computer config. Gigabit networking shouldn't be necessary, and if your system or network is broken in other ways gigabit won't be your fix.

    A 16 bit stereo stream ("cd quality") has a data rate of 1.4 megabits per second. With the latencies of windows networking protocols over TCP, I see consistent throughput of 80 megabits/s. So I would expect to see something like 50 stereo streams over my network connection, and my experience suggests this is possible (for example I've streamed .gigs over the network though I don't recommend this). Compared to audio, midi data rates are nothing. If I recall the numbers correctly, midi cables don't transfer 1/1000 of the data rate of a 100 mb network.

    Gigabit won't offer any advantages until you saturate a 100mb/s network, and by the time that happens, the interrupt load of the gigabit interface WILL have a performance impact on your machine.

    In other words, I believe either 100mb LAN or traditional midi ought to meet your needs, but it sounds like you have another system problem that needs to be addressed. Sounds to me like your system needs some kind of tuneup, but I can't really guess what it needs.

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