While I happy to admit to a bit of anti-cable OCD in my studio space, if you are involved in any sort of high-tech music making, cable spaghetti is a bit of a way of life. Of course, any opportunity to reduce that is welcome and, whether that’s single cables that carry multiple signals or wireless connectivity, providing the performance is fir for purpose, less cable clutter is a good thing.
All of which means lots of musicians – iOS musicians included – will be quite interested to see just how well Yamaha’s new wireless MIDI adapters work. Announced during the NAMM show, albeit still with a bit of a ‘coming soon’ tag rather than any official launch date/price combination that I’ve been able to find (although feel free to add details in the comments if you know otherwise), the MD-BT01 and UD-BT01 look like they might be very useful little gadgets….
The MD-BT01 offers the option to add wireless Bluetooth MIDI to any MIDI devices that features traditional 5-pin MIDI DIN ports while the UD-BT01 can convert a USB-based MIDI connection with Bluetooth MIDI based one. The only pricing details I’ve seen so far suggest a street price of around US$50 but a suggested price of nearer US$80…. but these might be well off target so ‘watch this space’ until Yamaha makes some sort of official announcement.
If they are reasonably priced – and assuming they work as advertised to deliver a reliable, low latency, MIDI connection, then I can see these devices going down a storm, particularly in a home/project studio environment. This is not the first time this kind of device has been offered (for example, Quicco Sound’s mi.1 Bluetooth MIDI interface) but I suspect with Yamaha’s big-brand backing, these new units will have a considerable marketing advantage.
If you are using more recent iOS hardware, these devices will (I think) bring three benefits. First, of course, it means fewer MIDI cables to trip over. Second, it ought to be possible to have multiple MIDI devices connected to your iPad at the same time (providing, of course, that you buy multiple adapters). Third, as you no longer have to hog your Lightning port with a MIDI interface, you can still be charging your iOS hardware while playing your favourite iOS synth/MIDI keyboard combination. Win, win, win….
Anyway, as soon as the units start to become available, I rustle up some for review and post further…. Until then, this looks like a promising pair of little gizmos….