The MIDI Thing Brings MIDI Over Bluetooth Wireless To Hardware Instruments

MIDI-thing

Developer Georgi Dianov has launched a Kickstarter project to fund the projection of The MIDI Thing – a wireless bridge that’s designed to bring MIDI over Bluetooth to standard MIDI hardware.

The MIDI Thing (TMT) is a bridge device that wirelessly connects your hadware MIDI instruments to your Mac or iOS device. Dianov says that it’s the first device to fully comply with Bluetooth LE MIDI specification recently released by the MIDI Manufacturers Association( MMA).

TMT will appear on your device as any other MIDI instrument, so you will be able to use it within your favorite music apps.

Here’s the official video intro:

The MIDI Thing uses the lowest connection interval that Bluetooth Low Energy allows, in order to minimize latency. The maximum latency will be 15ms or lower.

Note: Dianov say that  “we know that Android M is supporting MIDI over Bluetooth LE, there is not any reliable app to make use of it and at the moment, thus we can only guarantee compatibility with Apple devices.”

TMT is available to project backers starting at £40. See the Kickstarter project site for more info.

12 thoughts on “The MIDI Thing Brings MIDI Over Bluetooth Wireless To Hardware Instruments

  1. I guess they say “it’s the first device to fully comply with Bluetooth LE MIDI specification” because otherwise its almost exactly the same thing as the mi.1 (or the recently announced Yamaha MD-BT01)

    I don’t mind that, there can be more than one version of a good idea. I’d like to know in which way these other devices dont comply with the spec. There has to be a good reason to choose a kickstarter product over something mass produced by Yamaha if it does the same thing.

  2. 15ms is a lot… but well, Yamaha doesn’t mention latency for their UD-BT01 and MD-BT01 as well as does Quicco for their mi.1.

  3. I’m confused, how is this different to the mi.1 that was on IndieGoGo 2 years ago? This is a much uglier looking device, and requires a battery. The mi.1 is compact, and runs off of the 5v that is part of the midi out spec. Maybe The Midi Thing is fully compliant with the MIDI spec, and the mi.1 isn’t? My mi.1 works just fine, and it’s been on the market for about a year (and was $20 cheaper to buy in it’s funding run).

    1. “and runs off of the 5v that is part of the midi out spec”

      There is no such thing as a 5v in the MIDI specs.

      It’s a current loop and that could be any voltage as long as the current is 5mA.

  4. Hey,

    This is Georgi from the M team. I will try answer all your doubts the best I can. I am also gathering all these questions to include them under a FAQs section to be publish on our project website.

    Although the concept behind the TMT and the mi.1 is very similar, there are fundamental design differences between both devices. First of all, the ‘MIDI over Bluetooth’ spec was released in Jan 2016 and it is impossible that the mi.1 was compliant with it. There are fundamental requirements on the spec, especially around the management of the timestamps, that have been implemented on the TMT.

    Our intention is not to criticize anyone, but we have learnt from others mistakes. Users complaint about the mi.1 that could not work only as MIDI IN device because it needed to be powered through the MIDI OUT. The TMT will be able to work only as a MIDI IN device because it has a battery built in that will last for more than 100 hours of music. The inclusion of a small Li-On battery increases the cost but it is a requirement in order to deliver a universal ‘MIDI over Bluetooth LE’ bridge device. The Yamaha device will face similar issues as the mi.1. Sometimes, it is difficult for big brands to look at others mistakes.

    Other mi.1 complaint about that the bulky connector could not be use with certain instruments. We decided to go for a classic wired MIDI connection with the magic in the middle. We have been focused on the sw development and the case is a first sample prototype. I am sure the final production will look much better.

    Finally, I would like to add that the lowest connection interval under Bluetooth LE specification (v4.0) is 7.5ms. There is no device that could compromise to have a lower latency under the ‘MIDI over Bluetooth LE’ specs. Our specs indicate 15ms because under some circumstances of heavy data load some packets will skip one interval. This is when data is exchanged. Although we have not seen this while playing, we wanted to be transparent and indicate the maximum latency.

    I hope I have answered all your question. Please let me know if it is not the case.

    Thanks for your feedback.
    Georgi

    1. Georgi

      Thanks for responding to reader questions – that helps people understand what you’re trying to do and also what realistic expectations should be for latency.

  5. Adding the battery is genius. The Yamaha one requires you to plug power in. Fine for most things but… it’s a *wireless* MIDI connection FFS!

  6. I have the Quicco mi.1 and Zivix Puc+ MIDI-Bluetooth interfaces, and they both seem to work OK, though with some small latency vs. wired MIDI.

    The mi.1 is tiny and MIDI-powered, which is nice.

    The Puc+ is larger but supports USB as well as 5-pin MIDI and can even power a low-power USB keyboard. It uses two AA batteries or USB power.

  7. I really, really like to appearance. If anyone has beauty problems I would let it hang from my strap on. If it is a problem to others,, it can be easily be attached to the back surface, usually black in most keyboards.

    The issue is 15 ms. I tried to watch your hands when playing. I picked a note and it was dead on all the time. I believe it was a bass d or high d on the piano. Unless it was time adjusted there was no latency.

    Latency might be subjective, everyone is different. If latency approaches 5 ms, it is for me an extremely weird feeling. At this point I can not continue playing.

    I had ordered and tried another funded operation. I don’t think I should or by rules mention a company name so I will refer to it as Mr. Round. Mr. Round out of the box came to me ordered new but well used.

    There was latency on the device to its end point that was unacceptable to me. The other point is the odd shape would not fit in my wireless controller attachment bag for my tiny 2.4 MHz which transmits stereo audio flawlessly. I have yet to find a 2.4 gig one way system that beats it. Both receiver and transmitter are tiny and look exactly the same.

    I have also ordered some cheaper keyboards then sent them back because of built in latency, in some cases new replaced with used, in another, a model for PC instead of iOS direct lighting connection. So, I took a ride two blocks and found an on sale item which I bought and got the Proper iOS lightning model for 86$, new.

    I did not expect it to work. I plugged it in and it just worked directly into the lighting port. My brain can detect any latency whatsoever, so it is below five, probably four, plus or minus.

    The actual keyboard is clacky but what would normally bother me, did not.

    I’m sorry, I did not read the date on the post I was reading so I may be answering an old post.

    Hopefully, since I love the shape of the center part, I do not mind an internal battery, still do not understand how it works plugged into, I assume, the midi in and out or thru ports but latency of 15 ms is way over what would be acceptable to me.

    If this has changed please let me know. Thank you.

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