Android App Controlling External Midi Instruments

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by CallDon, May 18, 2010.

  1. CallDon

    CallDon Member
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    May 17, 2010
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    Regular Genius
    The Airstream
    I am looking for something like what has just been released for the iPhone(crap). There is a cable running from the phone to the MIDI input on your midi instrument/keyboard. The midi-file is uploaded to the phone. The app plays back midi files, controlling the midi-keyboard thru the midi-cable. (This is not a midi file player that plays midi files on the phone.)

    I have a palm Pilot that will do this. There is a cable from the Palm Pilot to the keyboard instrument and the software program on the palm pilot. I used to let my Palm Pilot play back piano files (me playing) for gigs and also, Bach organ files on the church organ.

    I don't want to by an iPhone just for his application. So is there any similar Android app/cable combination or is there another way to do it?

    Thanks
    Don
     

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  2. jrbflk

    jrbflk New Member
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    Apr 24, 2011
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    Yeah, I'm looking for something like this too. In addition, I would like something that can play an mp3 link with a midi file. That way it can play backing tracks for my band and control my pedal board through MIDI cc messages. Any hope?

    Jake
     
  3. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?
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    Most (all?) Android phones do not support USB host mode unfortunately. It's a huge problem and a terrible decision by manufacturers to do this. It's been a requested feature since 2009 with over 2500 people asking for it.

    So unless the device you are connecting to recognizes Android as a controller (which I dont think any do other than PCs/Macs) it basically it leaves you with only the option of Bluetooth or WiFi to communicate with other devices.

    There are cables out there that do bluetooth->serial conversion. But I do not know what kind of latency is involved. This cable itself may even need to be recognizable as a midi controller.

    Here's one page I found where a guy hacked something together:
    MIDI over Bluetooth, Part I: Hardware

    Actually looks like the guy has a whole series on it: MIDI over Bluetooth, Part VI: Reducing Cost

    Looks like a fun project to be honest, and maybe it's worth emailing him to get him to sell the things ;)

    Doesn't look like it's something a simple app can handle yet though.

    This is one area that Apple has been kicking Android's @$$ over the years:

    MIDIPad Turns Your iPad Into A Multi-Touch MIDI Controller Synthtopia



    There was a guy who hacked his Nexus one to work as a host though but it involved opening up the innards of the phone and soldering. Bit of an advanced hack, that.
     
  4. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?
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  5. alostpacket

    alostpacket Over Macho Grande?
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    Just as a followup, I was just talking to a friend about this recently and one of the great things about Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) is that you can use the tablets as a USB host.

    I'm expecting to see great thing very soon in this space :)
     
  6. CallDon

    CallDon Member
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    May 17, 2010
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    I'm glad this thread is still around. I just ordered a Nook Color and my phone is an Evo3D. I would love to have the ability to run a midi cable from either directly to a midi piano or (at church) the midi ins on the church organ, which is what I did with my Palm Pilot. I would use the Evo or Nook to send the signal to the instrument for playback.

    And you are correct in that Apple is kicking Android's @$$ over this. I have the device, it would be so easy to have it send the play signal to a midi instrument. Record the files, upload them to the Evo or NC, go to the gig, plug in the usb-to-midi cable and press START on the software.

    Something like the Line 6 MIDI Mobilizer except for Android. A usb-midi interface is easy, I have 2 or 3 of them setting around. But we need the playback software to simply play back the midi tracks.

    Keep us informed if you find any more news.
     
    alostpacket likes this.

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