MIDI to Anything© Interfaces

The #1 Resource for MIDI Decoders and Encoders

Swing out, sister!
Can't stop the signal
See, most people would love to listen to live music in their living rooms, but don't want those unsavory musicians hanging around. Ugh. So, we have cataloged MIDI-to-anything "MIDI in" interfaces, used to MIDIfy custom Nickelodeons, Orchestrions, and all sorts of mechanical musical instruments, new and antique. That way, they can rip off ABBA MIDI files from the 'web, and have them play automatically on bongos, in the privacy of their own homes. There seems to be a lot of interest in this type of project, so let me know if this list has been helpful. I am archiving some of the manufacturers' data below. Please inform me of any corrections or suggestions. For a terrific reference regarding adding a MIDI interface to an existing acoustic instrument, please see the archives of the excellent Mechanical Music Digest (MMD).

Not listed in any particular order.
If you contact any of the folks below, would you
please tell them you read about them here!

Contact us: midi <at> videopete (dot) com

 

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Most of the boards listed below are MIDI Decoders, sometimes called "MIDI to parallel." In other words, the input to the board is a MIDI signal from a keyboard, computer, or MIDI player, and the board decodes the signal to individual note outputs; usually in increments of 16, 32 or 64 notes. Those individual 'note' outputs are used to do stuff, like drive a solenoid, open a valve, or tuna fish. MIDI Encoders do the opposite: they take a bunch of contact closures--such as from a keyboard or other sensors--and convert that information to a MIDI stream. If you find this site helpful, please make a donation of any size. Thanks!
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Orgautomatix

// 64 outputs, 35 volt , 500 mA max
// Size: Only 100 * 130 mm: can fit in any instrument, even the smallest..
// all outputs are clearly marked on the board
// Midi channel can be changed directly on the card by push button and LED, no need any computer. Useful "on stage" to play together with friends.

Price mounted and tested : €80.00 + shipping
DIY kit version: €53.00 + shipping

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Eroktronix

MidiTron encoder/decoder board. $149.

"MidiTron™ is a MIDI to real-world interface designed to simplify the process of creating sensor and robotics based electronic art projects. It is easily user configurable and provides 20 terminals of digital and analog inputs and outputs in any combination. MidiTron™ data is bi-directional; that is, sensor inputs are converted to MIDI output messages, and MIDI input messages are converted to terminal output voltages."

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highly_liquid

Low cost MIDI Decoder kits!

example: MD24 24-note Decoder kit, $44.95 About $1.80 per note.

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MIDI-Hardware.com

Quite a range of MIDI encoders at low cost. Prices in Euros.

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MIDI Solutions, Inc.

"We make MIDI to contact closure, contact closure to MIDI, and all sorts of other MIDI processing products. We also offer custom modified versions of our products for applications that require special MIDI processing functions."

R8 8-Output MIDI-Controlled Relay Array, $479. [Yikes. About $60. per note!]

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MGB: MIDI Gadgets Boutique

The mother lode! A VAST array of inexpensive MIDI encoders and decoders, several of which are re-sold by some of the folks below, I believe.

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M-AUDIO USB Midisport Uno MIDI Interface

Here's a great, low cost (US$40.) USB-to-MIDI interface.

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Hut Music & Electronics

MIDI Decoder 128

"This is a full 128 note MIDI decoder, professionally made printed circuit board. Capable of driving magnetically driven devices such as solenoids, electromagnets, motors and lights up to 35VDC/500mA per note. Perfect for connecting a MIDI source, such as a MIDI keyboard or PC to a real accoustical instrument fitted with electrical drivers. We use this decoder in our electrically driven pipe organ valves. Other boards are limited to 64 notes. If you have been restricted by this limitation, this is the perfect MIDI decoder for you."

MIDI Decoder 128
Assembled
Kit
[price per note]
Notes
MIDI Range
Price Each
64
40 .. 103
$ 210
$ 185
$2.90
88
21 .. 108
$ 230
$ 195
$2.22
96
16 .. 111
$ 235
$ 200
$2.08
128
0 .. 127
$ 260
$ 220
$1.72
 
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MIDItools

If you search Google, you will find a lot of great projects built with these boards. The MIDItools boards were a product formerly sold by PAVO. -pete-

MIDItools Overview

"The MIDItools computer is a generic hardware device designed to perform MIDI operations. It consists of a chassis, a main board called the CPU board, and a front panel board. The CPU board hosts a Motorola 6805 processor, a MIDI interface, some extra memory and an analog to digital converter. The front panel board contains 8 switches, 16 LED's, a potentiometer and an LCD display. The CPU board also has sockets for connecting the front panel, LCD and an optional expansion board via ribbon cables. To gain an in depth understanding of the MIDItools computer read Digital Projects for Musicians by Craig Anderton, Bob Moses, and Greg Bartlett."

"MIDItools is sold either as a kit or as an assembled unit. It comes in either a rack mounted or hand held configuration. Once you know what application you want you simply choose the platform and place an order. We program the processor chip for you and send it with the kit or unit. The nice thing about MIDItools is that once you have one, you actually have several devices. All you have to do is pop in a new processor chip, and you have a completely new tool."

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MIDI-Organ Consultants

MIDI Decoder driver board

  • 64 note with 500mA driver output: $245. [$3.82 per note]
  • 10A driver board $345. [Control multiple vacuum cleaners w/ MIDI!]
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jw Electronics

MTP-1 A low-cost MIDI-to-parallel board with good features:

  • 32 note outputs
  • Alternative option has 28 note outputs and 4 program change outputs
  • Any output can be mapped to any MIDI note - ideal for non-chromatic instruments
  • Outputs can sink 500 mA @ 35 VDC
  • Easy installation with screw terminal connections
  • The cost of this unit includes programming, installation instructions, delivery and technical support by e-mail/telephone.
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    Sound Byte Systems, Inc. (formerly InterMidi Systems)

    InterMidi (now Sound Byte Systems, Inc.) "has been building and distributing Hi-Tech MIDI Interface, Control & Tonal Systems ... since 1984. Our driver boards have hi-power Darlington outputs and come in sizes from 32 to 97 notes."

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    DOEPFER MUSIKELEKTRONIK

    A very unique range of MIDI and electronic music resourses. Low cost MIDI encoder board.

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    QRS Music

    Pianomation MIDI systems

    • Turnkey package; Full PWM of each note.
    • Processor/Driver/Solenoids;
    • Velocity-sensing input package available;
    • Prices on 'web site.

     

     
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