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Midi Through XLR and Cable Length

Discussion in 'MFC Discussion' started by Fro, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Fro

    Fro
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    I have a Whirlwind snake I’m going to modify to run from my rack at the back of the stage to the pedal board at the front of the stage. I’m going to have connections for my vocal mic, the feed for my CLR from the mixer, the feed for my CLR from the Axe Fx, plus I want to wire in a connection for the foot controller. I’m planning ahead for the FC, so I’m wiring up an XLR connection for FAS Link. But I’m also going to make some midi to XLR adaptors so that I can also use it with the MFC-101. I’m assuming I should be able to run the midi signal through the XLR since midi only utilizes 3 wires, and I have seen adaptors available online to do this. I'd first like to confirm that it's possible to do this, and if there is anything odd I should know. The other thing I’m wondering is that the snake is currently 50 feet, and I was planning on cutting the length down anyway, but does traditional midi have any limitations on cable length?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Fro

    Fro
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    Well, step one is confirmed. The one advantage to no longer having bi-directional midi with the Axe Fx III is that you do only need 3 of the 5 midi pins to be wired in order to get the midi signal from the MFC-101 to the Axe Fx. So I wired up my own version of these, and they work great:

    https://eventhorizon-srv.com/ecommerce/os/catalog/mogami-2552-midi-xlr-adapter-pair-p-3944.html

    Now I can pass a standard midi signal through an XLR cable. Step 2 now is to wire up my mini snake so that I also have my vocal line and my 2 feeds for my CLR plus my midi all through the same snake. I think I'll cut the 50 foot cable I have down to 30 feet so I still have enough to run around the edge of the stage if I need to. I'll post some pictures when I'm done.
     
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  3. jimfist

    jimfist
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    Sometime around 1988 I was in a techno-heavy band that performed on-the-clock with a MIDI controlled light show, keyboard sequencing, and FOH fx changes all controlled by an Atari 1040 ST on stage. We'd run this for single set opening act and headline sets that we did, and the snake to FOH distance was easily 100ft in many cases.

    Short answer: yes, you can run MIDI successfully via XLR through a snake. At least I was able to somehow make it work.
     
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