DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

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captainkidd
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DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by captainkidd » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:22 pm

I am going to make some custom Midi cables for a couple of racks I am building. One is going to house a Voyager RME, (2) Slim Phattys, (2) Minitaurs and an old Roland XV-5050 that I've had forever. The other cabinet is going to hold all the Moogerfoogers which I have one of each. So my question is should I wire just the standard 3 wires in the cables or should I go ahead and wire all 5? I know it wouldn't hurt to do all 5 but I've been getting mixed information on web sites talking about sometimes some equipment (might) need all 5 wires or syncing/clocking. I really don't know if there is a requirement for 5 in any Moog devices.

Anyone have experience with this?

Thanks

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Flareless
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by Flareless » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:57 am

Hey Cap. If there is even the slightest chance that you might one day possibly plug in a piece of gear that, unbeknownst to you at this time, requires all 5 lines I would err on the side of caution and wire them all. There's nothing worse than debugging a problem down the road which could have been avoided.

Just my personal thoughts.

mikeh11
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by mikeh11 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:50 pm

Here's what the Midi Spec 1.0 says about MIDI cables.
MIDI Spec Cable.png

They show the cables having only two conductors, inside the shield.
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AnalogDave
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by AnalogDave » Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:19 pm

mikeh11 wrote:Here's what the Midi Spec 1.0 says about MIDI cables.
MIDI Spec Cable.png

They show the cables having only two conductors, inside the shield.

Yep. In all the years between the 80s and now, I've never come across any MIDI gear that doesn't work with my twin core + shield cables. I use high quality balanced mic cable for my DIY MIDI cables.
My music and gear - AmbisonicMusic.com

captainkidd
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by captainkidd » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:54 pm

AnalogDave wrote:
mikeh11 wrote:Here's what the Midi Spec 1.0 says about MIDI cables.
MIDI Spec Cable.png

They show the cables having only two conductors, inside the shield.

Yep. In all the years between the 80s and now, I've never come across any MIDI gear that doesn't work with my twin core + shield cables. I use high quality balanced mic cable for my DIY MIDI cables.



Is there a brand/source you use for your cable? I haven't gotten around to creating the Midi cables yet so I still need to buy the mic cable.

Thanks

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AnalogDave
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by AnalogDave » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:04 pm

captainkidd wrote:Is there a brand/source you use for your cable? I haven't gotten around to creating the Midi cables yet so I still need to buy the mic cable.

Thanks

Pretty much any good quality mic cable will work.
Canare make decent cable that is very robust. This one would work well.... http://www.canare.com/ProductItemDispla ... tItemID=57

I have a trade account with Jaycar Electronics (I'm in Australia) and I'm good friends with the manager of my local store so I get very good prices on their professional mic cable which is also decent quality. I'm using that for most of my cables these days.
This is what I've been using for MIDI and audio.... https://www.jaycar.com.au/2-core-screen ... e/p/WB1530
My music and gear - AmbisonicMusic.com

Stevie Ray
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by Stevie Ray » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:43 pm

Three wires are all that are required for MIDI.

Any wire will do the job. No need for fancy audio or screened cable. Simple bell-wire will do :D

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AnalogDave
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by AnalogDave » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:05 pm

Stevie Ray wrote:Three wires are all that are required for MIDI.

Any wire will do the job. No need for fancy audio or screened cable. Simple bell-wire will do :D

True enough. :)
My primary reason for using high quality cable for MIDI is for robustness.
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Stevie Ray
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Re: DIY Midi Cables 3 or 5 wires?

Post by Stevie Ray » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:41 pm

AnalogDave wrote:
Stevie Ray wrote:Three wires are all that are required for MIDI.

Any wire will do the job. No need for fancy audio or screened cable. Simple bell-wire will do :D

True enough. :)
My primary reason for using high quality cable for MIDI is for robustness.


Indeed. Robustness is the name of the game. The electrical specification for MIDI is very robust but they then insisted on cheap, crappy 5-pole DIN plugs and sockets when mini-XLR was already an industry format.

Flimsy $0.35 per-pop DIN sockets on top-end gear like the Korg KRONOS X workstation really hurts :roll:

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