123 March 2020 - CME

Monthly Archives: March 2020

CME Live invites Jordan Rudess

CME Live Broadcast II: Jordan Rudess

Remote concerts during coronacrisis

CME Live invites Jordan Rudess

After a successful first broadcast about the technical details of WIDI, we decided to do a second broadcast. This next edition will be more focused on remote music performance and advanced music production. 

Basically this live broadcast is an online gathering of music makers, playing live music and talking about advanced music technology. This remote event is our first test. If it works for both the musicians as well as the audience, we will make this into a series.

We’ve invited world’s leading keyboardist and CMO (Chief Musical Officer) of CME Mr. Jordan Rudess to play his music live and tell how he uses his remote performance to calm people during these special times. Jordan will also take some time to briefly tell about the position of advanced music technology in his life as a musician.

Jordan Rudess Live Piano

Remote Events & Advanced Productions

Special guests: CME Enthusiasts

During these times it is important for CME to provide musicians, artists and producers access to an international audience. Especially during a time where live events are cancelled due to the coronavirus. That is why we decided to open up our live broadcast to our most dedicated members of the CME community.

We have invited 2 musicians from the CME community to join this live broadcast. During the broadcast both of them gets 4 minutes. In these 4 minutes they can promote themselves and their music. They’ve got 2 minutes to perform the best music they can play remotely.

Secondly, they can use one minute to discuss their setup and some technical details. Also our moderator would be interested to find out how they would implement any member of the WIDI family in the near future.

This edition we welcome Mistheria and Brandon Rico.

Italian artist Mistheria is renowned for his solo career as Metal keyboardist, his all-star Vivaldi Metal Project, and several collaborations with many artists such as Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), Roy Z, Rob Rock, Mark Boals, and many others.

Brandon Rico, originally from Detroit, is a songwriter, composer and beat creator. He uses video and vlogs to promote his work as a sound designer and musician. When you visit his channels you will see his connection with advanced productions and innovative gear.

Jordan Rudess Live Concert CME
CME Live Mistheria
CME Live with Brandon Rico

CME #REAP: Remote Events & Advanced Productions

This second edition of #REAP is focused on Remote Events and Advanced Productions. Basically this live broadcast is an online gathering of music makers, playing live music and talking about advanced music technology.

This remote event is our first test. If it works for both the musicians as well as the audience, we will make this into a series.We’ve invited world’s leading keyboardist and CMO (Chief Musical Officer) of CME Mr. Jordan Rudess to play his music live and tell how he uses his remote performance to calm people during these special times of the coronavirus. 

Jordan will also take some time to briefly tell about the position of advanced music technology in his life as a musician.

Also the amazing Mistheria has joined us to provide an exclusive keytar showcase and talk about his 15 years of CME wireless MIDI products used live on stage during his metal concerts. 

Next Brandon Rico talks about iOS music production in relation to the Xkey and MIDI controllers. Brandon takes us to the other side of the musical spectrum with modern beats and wireless music production tools.

During the live show we also have a tiny intermezzo where CME CEO Zhao Yitian showcases the 2nd prototypes (March 2020) of WIDI Master live on this originally Facebook Live broadcast.During the show many links where shared in the live chat on Facebook. 


Live Broadcast 1 CME

CME Live Broadcast 1: WIDI Master

CME presents WIDI Master

Live Broadcast on Facebook

On Monday March 16 2020 we went live on Facebook to tell you more about WIDI Master. In this blog you can watch the video and read the content we discussed during the live show.

In short we welcomed all new WIDI Enthusiasts and showed the working prototype. It did not go that easy. As due to a power cut on our demo location in France we were almost forced to cancel the WIDI Master in action. Luckily we managed to stretch time and interact with you during the show. By doing so we found sufficient time to restore the power and still do the first prototype demonstration.

After a brief welcome by Thomas Gerbrands (CCO, the guy who talks and writes a lot, Amsterdam), Jerome Dumas (CTO, the WIDI wizard, France) answered questions and went into the deep concerning BLE 5, range, latency and jitter. Next Zhao Yitian (CEO, the modest leader of CME) explained more about the first "crowd created project" and the connection we love to have with you.

After reading this blog you can also find more details about our development process and the live broadcast in this Medium article.

What you will see is:

  • Introduction by Thomas Gerbrands
  • Technical WIDI Master by Jerome Dumas
  • Crowd Created Project by Zhao Yitian
  • Q&A with live audience
  • The special week to book your WIDI Master and the involved risks by Thomas Gerbrands

Feel free to watch this 50 minutes episode about WIDI Master here or go to our Facebook page. As always you are invited to leave comments and ask questions. Our team is dedicated to find the answers for you. You can also read this blog as we will discuss the questions we answered in the live broadcast below.

It is said that WIDI Master is the successor of the Xkey Air and WIDI BUD. Can you tell us how these products are related?

First of all it is important to clarify that MIDI and audio are two different things. MIDI does not transport audio signals. MIDI is a protocol that allows musical instruments to communicate with each other.

To answer this question: Yes, WIDI Master is definitely the successor of our two previous products featuring MIDI over Bluetooth. We first developed the Xkey Air, a wireless MIDI keyboard. After this we developed the WIDI BUD, a bluetooth MIDI dongle to be used with the Xkey or other bluetooth MIDI device.

Bluetooth requires one central and one peripheral to establish a connection. Let’s call one master and one slave. The master device is usually the computer, and the slave is the device to which the computer is connected to.

Xkey air was a slave device able to connect to any computer or tablet equipped with Bluetooth. We found some computers were not equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) so we developed WIDI BUD. It is actually a USB to MIDI master dongle. Once connected to USB, WIDI BUD is able to connect to an Xkey and play the role of the computer.

Now with WIDI Master we integrated both features in a single product. This product is able to act as a MIDI master or slave, automatically. 

This allows any MIDI instrument to connect to another instrument, without the need of a computer. A MIDI cable can then be replaced by using 2 WIDI Masters. One will function as the master, and the other as slave. By pairing them with Bluetooth they are able to communicate through a wireless connection.

WIDI Master Wireless MIDI

Wireless connection between MIDI hardware

The difference between WIDI Master and other similar products like Yamaha MD-BT01 and Quicco M1 is the central role of WIDI Master. Can you explain what that means and what the main difference is?

As I previously said, a bluetooth connection requires one master and one slave. Yamaha or Quicco products are slave only. They require a computer to establish a connection.

Our WIDI Master can both be master or slave. That is the main difference. It starts as a master for few seconds and scans for any slave device nearby. It automatically connects to another WIDI Master slave to establish the connection. There is no computer required, and this is the main difference with other MIDI over bluetooth devices.

Also we implemented BLE 5 to reduce latency and expand the reach. Together with automatic pairing WIDI Master delivers better performance and easy operation for any user.

WIDI Master does not need an external power supply. Can you tell us how WIDI Master is powered and what is important for our viewers to consider when checking if the WIDI Master will fit their system?

WIDI Master is powered from the instrument MIDI output to which it is connected. We are using the latest BLE 5 low energy technology, which requires less than 10 milliamps to run. It is compatible with both 3V and 5V MIDI devices.

In the case of you want to connect WIDI Master to an instrument that has no MIDI output, we have another solution in progress. We will provide a wiring to create a custom cable. This solution will be able to power the WIDI Master from a USB adapter or power bank.

Latency is always a hot topic when it comes to wireless MIDI. Can you tell us more about the current tests and achievement of WIDI Master?

Yes, latency is definitely important in such a product, the most important. Please note we already developed two MIDI Bluetooth products. As mentioned previously these are the Xkey Air and WIDI BUD. These products were using BLE 4 technology, and we never had complaints about latency issues. Our Xkey Air was used on stage by professional musicians.

WIDI Master uses the latest BLE 5 technology. This is even faster than BLE 4. Latency depends on the environment, and how far are the two connected devices. We are fully compliant to the MIDI over bluetooth class. Furthermore we developed internal algorithms so both devices can negotiate the lowest possible latency. Until now we were able to measure latencies as low as 3 to 4 milliseconds, depending on the connected devices. Most often we measured latencies around 5 to 6ms.

To be fully transparent, we also measured some Jitter. This means the latency was not constant, but oscillating with a few milliseconds. This could cause audible artefacts when synchronising midi instruments with a MIDI clock. Jerome is currently working on a firmware release that will reduce this jitter. This way we aim to reach a constant latency around 5 to 6ms in a good environment.

Bluetooth MIDI

WIDI Master implements BLE 5 and is backwards compatible with BLE 4

WIDI Master works with BLE 5. Can you tell us the benefits of BLE 5 and how WIDI Master uses this for better results?

We are using BLE 5 in WIDI Master. This allows to increase speed by 2, thus reduce latency. It also helps to improve range and we developed internal algorithms so both WIDI Masters can define which Bluetooth physical layer they will use depending on their signal strength (RSSI).

If devices are close to each others, they will switch to the fastest layer to communicate. When further away from each other, they will use a slower layer (which does not affect latency too much). This all leads to an automated optimisation of performance in a given environment

BLE 5 also helps to reduce power when compared to BLE 4. This is always positive for a product powered from MIDI port.

WIDI Master is like a virtual MIDI cable and can handle all MIDI messages. Can you explain how this will work for real-time clock, sysex?

Yes, all MIDI messages are compatible with WIDI Master. This includes long exclusive systems (up to 1K bytes length) as well as MIDI realtime messages. And also fast MIDI clock.

Many people ask if they can connect one WIDI Master with multiple slave WIDI Masters. Will this work and what are the limitations?

Yes, that will be technically possible. We plan working on this soon after we launch the product. We will release a mobile application for both android and iOS so you will be able to decide which slaves should connect to which host.

We will work on this a bit later and check how latency will be affected if multiple slaves are connected to a single master.

We will release a firmware once we will have something working. By the way you can upgrade firmware by air using WIDI Master.

Book your WIDI Master today (CLOSED)

We hope you enjoyed this live broadcast. Let us know by sending some thumbs in the comments. We will make this into a live broadcast series in the near future. Thank you for your enthusiasm and taking the time to read this blog and watch the 50 minutes broadcast.

Talking about Enthusiasts. We are now open for pre-order. It is from today until upcoming Sunday March 22. As this live broadcast is the only thing we have, we have to emphasise that booking now involves you taking some risks.

It is a trust thing. If you do not trust it and want to wait. Please do! We do not want to disappoint you. We ensure you that you can enjoy the same discount early April. No need to rush. No need to worry.

When you order this week you will get an invite to our WIDI Enthusiasts WhatsApp Group. This is for us a new channel to communicate with our most close connection user base. We want to discuss the future of WIDI here with our most loyal members of the community.

Please visit our new webshop and read this blog carefully. Use coupon code WIDIM2020 to get your $30 discount. Of course you can order multiple units with the same discount. That is not a problem. This first pre sale week is closed as per March 22, 2020. We aim to start the 2nd pre sale phase close to April 6, 2020

One last question for all the viewers and readers. Tell us. If you will not order WIDI Master, why not?

What are you missing? Where should we focus on? Tell us in the comments!

That is it. Keep connected!

Book your WIDI Master

Book Your WIDI Master: Introduction Week

Pre Order WIDI Master

Book Your WIDI Master: Special Pre-Order Week For Enthusiasts! 

Yes! We are opening up for pre-orders. That is why you can book your WIDI Master today. As you all know WIDI Master is developed upon request from our community. During the development we listened carefully to your feedback, requests and concerns. We managed to integrate your feedback into our current design. At least we did our utmost best to do so!

Today we launch our brand new website and you are able to book your WIDI Master now. We open up the first pre-order batch for the people who really support and trust us. We are aware that some of you are really keen in providing us useful information. This really propels us forward. We thrive on your input. It is what made WIDI Master come to life! We are looking for ways to involve you even more for future developments

Hi clever CME people. All very exciting. I can’t wait to place an order! I’m looking at about 5 units initially. Keep up the awesome and innovative work.

The risks and missing marketing material

We have a desire to bring WIDI Master to your doorsteps with an honest story. Therefore we need you to understand there are some risks involved. Although we consider it to be a very low risk, we do understand that this is totally different for you.

Currently we are testing our 2nd set of prototypes. At this point we are unable to provide you cool videos, nor do we have other resources available. Therefore we are unable to provide you any convincing material other than our true story.

Also, due to the coronavirus, we have had some delay in the development and maybe also in the manufacturing of the 1st batch. Nevertheless we consider it the right time to open up pre-ordering for the true enthusiasts. That said, we still target to deliver your WIDI Master in July 2020.

After reading your article. I was so sad that this adapter may not be able to fit what I was hoping to use. What I was hoping to use is to make iPad the controller to my midi to cv which only has a midi in and no midi out port. If I understand it correctly, CME won’t work with my setup in mind since it won’t have power.

Book your WIDI Master today: introduction offer and live broadcast

What we offer now is this $30 coupon code to get your discount when you place your pre-order. Of course you can order multiple units with the same discount. Therewith you will pay only $29 per WIDI Master excluding shipping costs.

We invite you to join our live Facebook broadcast. It will show you the working prototypes of WIDI Master. There is an opportunity to ask your burning questions. And we invite our head of development Jerome Dumas and CEO Zhao Yitian to give you more insights into WIDI Master and the development process. 

After this live broadcast you can be the first to order WIDI Master. You will have the opportunity to show your support to this first crowd created project and the CME team.

We offer a fully refundable purchase if you are not satisfied within 30 days after delivery. If you change your mind prior to delivery, you can also get your money back. Also, if you change your mind after receipt of your WIDI Master, you still can get your money back. That is not a problem. Nonetheless, you are responsible for sending the package back and take care of the return shipping costs. We are confident in what we do and our intention is to support you like you support us. We are in this together.

It would be awesome if there would be a way an alternative way to power the midi in device. I have use for this in 2 places, but none of them have a spare midi out or thru to power the midi in device…

But I understand limitations of design. And this is still awesome!

Dedicated group for music technology enthusiasts

For the enthusiasts who order during this early stage, we shall invite you to a newly created WhatsApp Chat Group. It is in this group where we are able to directly communicate with each other. This will be our special source group to discuss Bluetooth MIDI. Therewith it will be closely connected to the future developments of the WIDI family.

Also, from the conversations we have in this group, we will be able to convert your questions into the first footage of marketing videos. Maybe we will invite some of you to create the first user videos. Next to this, we consider this group to be dynamic. Therefore we trust that new ways and forms will evolve during the process.

Are you ready to be involved?

If you do not trust it, please wait!

We understand that not all of you will go with this approach. That is why we set a time limit of 1 week. Next we will develop all the material that strengthens our message and provides you with more insights concerning WIDI Master. 

We will open up for a second round - with the same discount of $30 per unit - to show you more and offer a complete story with involved artists, reviews and product videos. 

Do not worry that you will miss out on a good deal. If you decide to wait, we respect that. This special sales week is for those who are on top of advanced music technology and innovations. People that want to be part of the development process. People who want to interact with us to improve our products and messages

Dear CME,

Thank you very much for all of your work. I will surely buy your product.

Read this summary carefully!

For the people who want to join this pre-pre-sale:

  1. Make sure you join our Facebook Live Broadcast to see WIDI Master in action on Monday March 16 - 4PM CET
  2. Send in your questions to info(at)cme-pro.com and we will try to answer them during the broadcast
  3. If you can’t join the live broadcast, be sure to use this coupon code WIDIM2020 between Monday March 16 and Sunday March 22 (CLOSED)
  4. And watch the broadcast replay on our Facebook or Youtube channel
  5. Next pre order phase is scheduled for April 6, 2020!
Add to Calendar

What you will get?

  • $30 discount for each unit (same discount as all registrants)
  • First batch of delivery
  • Fully refundable purchase within 30 days after delivery

What are the risks you take?

  • The final specification of WIDI Master does not meet your expectation
  • There is a delay in production due to force of the majority
  • The entire project is cancelled due to unforeseen reasons

What can we do together?

  • Interact in a private WIDI enthusiast group
  • Share more ideas together for next WIDI models
  • Become part of the leading community of wireless MIDI technology

For the people who want to wait:

  1. Do not worry. You are not missing out on this good deal. 
  2. We will inform you when we open up for the next round!
  3. We aim to start the 2nd pre sale phase close to April 6, 2020
Wireless MIDI with WIDI

MIDI Bluetooth: The new wireless standard!

MIDI Bluetooth by CME

Next level MIDI Bluetooth: We’ve reached our goal!

We’re preparing the most exciting Bluetooth MIDI products we have ever built. And we asked you for support. We’ve reached our first goal of 1,000 registrants within 7 days. That is over 1,000 people supporting the wireless MIDI family in one (1) weekDuring the introduction of WIDI Master we’ve got over 5,000 registrants and surpassed our 2nd goal with 60%. And exceeded our initial goal with 500%.

As you might know we already delivered our wireless Bluetooth MIDI solutions to professional musicians and producers worldwide. Since the launch of our XKey Air (2015) and WIDI BUD (2016) we developed the MIDI over Bluetooth solution with central role (master/slave). For your understanding this central role capability and the automated master/slave switch, distinguishes WIDI Master from current solutions by Yamaha (MD-BT01) and Quicco (M1). Both offer a great solution for wireless MIDI, but unlike WIDI Master, they still need a computer (or other operating system) to function.

With WIDI Master you can connect two pieces of hardware. Without computers. Without cables.

You asked for versatile MIDI Bluetooth connectivity, we deliver cutting-edge wireless MIDI

We are a company that closely monitors what happens in the market. That is why we deliver ground-breaking technology that connects to an actual demand from musicians and producers like you. Since 2015 we’ve received many requests for our wireless MIDI over Bluetooth solutions. Therefore we started to gather registrations and pitch concepts for an entire range of Bluetooth MIDI products.

We are opening up for pre-orders of the first batch of WIDI Master. As said, we only manufacture what is actually requested. Therefore it depends on the market if we will produce a second batch of WIDI Masters. In other words. If you want to get your hands on WIDI Master, get it now!

We still need some time to prepare our website and improve the current design and firmware to deliver you the most optimal wireless MIDI solution yet available.

Now that we’ve got over 5,000 registrations we can move to the pre-order phase. We will open up for pre-orders in March 2020 and expect to deliver worldwide in July 2020. After this WIDI Master will be available based on demand. If there is sufficient interest, we will manufacture following the request from the market. In other words: be sure to order WIDI Master while you can!

What does the design of WIDI Master look like and why did you do that?

Please note that the design you’ve seen in our advertisements and on our website is not the final design. We needed an image to make you easily understand our concept. At the same time we where monitoring your requests and feedback to improve our product. A lot has changed. Meet the final design of WIDI Master. And read further to fully understand what we’ve done, which decisions we’ve made and why!

How did you plan to deliver power?

During the primary promotion of WIDI Master we’ve received a lot of questions, requests and feedback from people like you. This is what we are really searching for. With that actual and real request we get out of our developer’s bubble and into the real world of musicians, producers and technicians.

Therefore we now are able to explain some of the decisions we’ve made by the questions we received.

How is WIDI Master powered? You say it will work with any midi hardware but I’m guessing that you mean hardware that delivers 5v to the DIN ports. There is hardware out there that does not do this ……I’ve been looking for a Bluetooth solution for my Faderfox controllers but they only supply 3v to the ports. Thanks.

Since the beginning one of the features of WIDI Master has been that it does not need an external power supply. During the design we focussed on the 5v power supply from the traditional 5 pin MIDI DIN port on your device or instrument. After receiving this request we made sure that it also will be compatible with the 3v MIDI OUT port as used on a wide range of devices.

What about devices with only MIDI OUT ports?

The MIDI standard is designed to have power from the MIDI Out port (or MIDI Thru). That is why we made a few difficult decisions. We wanted the device to be standalone and to operate without any external power supply. That is why we decided to ensure WIDI Master can be powered by those MIDI devices that offer 3v or 5v on the 5-pin DIN MIDI port.

Making tough decisions is part of the process!

We received a lot of questions about MIDI instruments and hardware with only MIDI IN and unpowered 5-pin MIDI connections. We considered to add an external power supply connections via USB. Unfortunately it would not fit into the small design. That is why we’ve decided to not include this solutions in the current design of WIDI Master. It was more important to keep the design small, light and portable. Adding this external USB power supply design is still a great idea. And we will consider implementing USB power in our next design.

I am excited that you are planning to make a tiny Bluetooth MIDI device that will be able to connect a controller to a synth. I do have a request though: Please make a one-way version. Some controllers (such as the Yamaha WX-5 wind controller) have only a single MIDI output–no input–and I do not want to have to have a second Bluetooth receiver dangling from it that isn’t connected to anything.

If you look closely to the current design, you can notice a small plug connecting the two WIDI Master connectors. To ensure WIDI Master is compatible with devices, instruments and hardware with a single MIDI Out – we need that OUT port for power – the two parts (MIDI OUT/MIDI IN) can be separated by disconnecting this tiny TRS plug. It will shut down the small affiliated connector of WIDI Master for connecting the MIDI IN of your hardware. You can use main connector of WIDI Master as standalone for connecting MIDI OUT of your hardware. Or you can use both main and affiliated connectors together for MIDI OUT and IN simultaneously.

What about devices with other rare MIDI port designs?

Of course we all know that the list of exceptions on the standard design is endless. Also we are aware that not all MIDI hardware will be compatible with WIDI Master. This can be due to power circuit design on the 5-PIN DIN MIDI port or due to limited space or weird hooks in the physical design of your instrument. Of course we can not satisfy everyone. Although we would love to!

The midi connectors on the EWI are really close together. A better solution would be to rotate the DIN connectors 45 degrees.Then the WIDI units would to fit in MIDI ins and outs in any orientation.

We did do our utmost best to meet as many request as we possibly could. We see WIDI Master as a versatile solution that really can replace the traditional cable. It is the virtual MIDI cable. As we followed this request we added a 45-degree bridge cable design to meet the requirements of vertical DIN connector designs and make WIDI Master compatible with devices like the AKAI EWI 4000s.

WIDI Master and AKAI EWI

Can I connect multiple WIDI Masters in my setup?

This is a two way question. We’ve received requests to connect multiple WIDI Master (slaves) to one WIDI Master (master). This way you can connect and sync multiple devices in your setup. We technically can do it. Nevertheless we still have to test if it will meet our requirements concerning stability and latency. Be sure to order your WIDI Master and join our Facebook Group so we can keep you up to date on the progress and developments of new member of the WIDI family.

If I have several WIDI Masters in my setup, does each one recognise all the others? If they connect 1-1, what stops them connecting to others nearby?

This is the other side of the story. When setting up a system with multiple WIDI Masters things get a bit more complex. That is why we are developing a customisable default automatic connection. This can be used with multiple WIDI Masters in your setup. Once a connection is established WIDI Master will no longer try to connect with another unit. This way you can set the connection once manually – or by using automatic pairing – and keep this connection in the default automatic pairing memory. You only have to set it once. How cool is that? This is a great feature when you set up your instruments on a different stage every evening, isn’t it?

The 10 commandments of MIDI Bluetooth with WIDI Master

Now that we get close to the actual pre-order phase and take the first batch of WIDI Master into production, we can share more and more about our final design. As this turned out to be a long blog post, we will keep it short and simple to give you an overview.

  1. Point to point MIDI connectivity
    Simply replace your MIDI cables
    Rearrange your studio and enjoy the freedom of WIDI
  2. Bluetooth 5: Go Faster, Go Further
    Trusted technology for live and on stage
    Secure connection with twice the speed and four times the range
  3. Ultra low latency
    Go pro with ground-breaking latency reduction as low as 3ms
    Automatic transmission optimisation with smart algorithmic technology
  4. Automatic pairing
    Setup instantly. Connect easily.
    Intuitive plug ‘n play with automatic master/slave switch and default pairing memory
  5. MIDI Clock and SysEx
    Sync your drum machines, step sequencers and arpeggiators
    Transmit all MIDI messages over Bluetooth
  6. Detachable design
    Only connect what you need
    Separated adapter design for MIDI OUT only
  7. Versatile application
    Connect with even the rarest instruments
    45 degree bridge cable design for vertical DIN connector setup like EWI4000s
  8. No external power
    Enjoy the fully standalone wireless solution
    Supports both 5V and 3.3V via MIDI OUT DIN
  9. Lifetime updates
    Always benefit from the latest developments
    New features updatable via WIDI Plus application software
  10. Wireless upgrade via Bluetooth
    The easiest way to upgrade your firmware
    Firmware upgradeable by air via WIDI Plus application software

We are working on an entire range of WIDI solutions. Also we have no no issues with latency and pairing. Furthermore we have shown we can do this with our 15 years of wireless MIDI legacy. Be sure to subscribe and pre-order to allow us to keep you informed.