Is the next step in wireless MIDI hybrid?

MIDI Thru
MIDI Thru

Crowd Creation: The magic of WIDI is you!

After the launch of the complete range of WIDI products, it is now time to think about the next step for wireless MIDI. After much discussion with the community through all our social channels, we came up with a public list.

Coming up with ideas is one thing, turning them into reality is the real challenge. In fact, the current list includes complex ideas and very niche concepts.

The question you are invited to answer today is: "What is the feasible next step for wireless MIDI over Bluetooth?"

Keep in mind that innovating is a risky business. Especially for a small company like CME. We simply cannot afford to make (too many) mistakes, so our roadmap must consist of small steps. Baby steps even.

As a matter of fact, we need you to make this next step another success. We need your strong opinion to burst our bubble from the start. That's the process we call crowd creation.

And that's why you're invited to join this conversation.

To refresh your memory, WIDI Master has been developed from day 1 in collaboration with the community. The process started at the end of 2019. You can find a timeline here.

At the end of 2021, the Pro Synth Network invited CME for a livestream. It was an open discussion about WIDI and wireless MIDI. If you have the time, check out this discussion with experts, artists and the industry about Bluetooth MIDI.

This is also the place where the first light was shed on the hybrid concept that will be introduced below....

Will the next step in WIDI Bluetooth MIDI be a hybrid solution?

Let's get to the real thing. Based on the above, we had a lot of internal discussions and came up with an early concept. The concept is quite easy to understand....

It's called the WIDI Thru6 BT...

It integrates our latest WIDI Core into a MIDI Thru Box. Manufacturers such as Kenton and MIDI Solutions have been marketing wired solutions for years. Think of the Kenton Thru-5 and the MIDI Solutions Quadra Thru v2.

The big question is "What do you think about the WIDI Thru6 BT?"

MIDI Thru Box with BLE MIDI

Tell us what you think in the comment section of this blog.

  1. The MIDI Thru interface with advanced WIDI Bluetooth Wireless MIDI technology
  2. Instantly copy 1 wired MIDI input to 5 wired MIDI outputs and 1 Bluetooth MIDI output at the same time.
  3. Instantly copy 1 wireless Bluetooth MIDI  input to 5 wired MIDI outputs (not the Bluetooth MIDI output).
  4. The opto-isolated MIDI input and independently powered MIDI output eliminate noise and ensure accurate transmission.
  5. No choke, no data loss. 100% competent for heavy data flows.
  6. Support long sysex, MIDI clock, MTC, MPE etc full MIDI messages.
  • Hustlerussell says:

    What an honor to be among the 1st to comment on this fabulous idea!
    So the concept of the widi thru6 bt sounds solid enough to be marketable not just to midi hobbyists and synthesizer fanatics such as myself, but to anyone else who needs a more robust way to make the most out of their existing midi cables and the infinite potential of ble widi!
    It’s definitely a product that I’ll be purchasing and using in my studio, along with my 2 widi uhosts and 10 widi masters…
    Being able to cut the cord and be wireless thru midi is a blessing indeed!
    Make it and market this so I can buy it asap!

    • tgerbrands says:

      Great! Wow! 12 WIDIs. You are amazing and indeed the first to respond to this blog. The honour is mine too.Thanks for your contribution it is very useful!!

  • Patrick SARRET says:

    Interesting even I have no such needs currently for my stuff.

  • David Bartz says:

    I’d buy two today. Go for it!

  • Brent says:

    I can see how this new proposed device would be very helpful and minimize multiple widi receivers on each instrument in a rack setup. Sounds good and I look forward to seeing the community’s reaction. Thank you Thomas, Zhao and team.

  • Kevin Duck says:

    This would be awesome for MIDI pedal boards. I’d buy one!

  • Doug says:

    Cool idea, very interested.

  • Gerald MacNaught aka DarkSolarus says:

    I’m sold on the idea of being able to retro fit my existing synths. Using the widi core internaly leaving the external midi ports free, just awesome.

  • Bruno Gaeta says:

    It sounds like a good idea. Probably not for me at this stage because I have bought so many extra WIDI masters and jacks but it sounds really useful for a new customer. Reading the description it’s not clear whether the Bluetooth and physical inputs will be merged before passing to the outputs, or whether some routing will be possible.

    • tgerbrands says:

      There is no routing for this device. It is aimed to be as simple as possible. The Bluetooth IN and DIN IN can merge. So it has 2 inputs. But it will be copied to all outputs without the ability to route or filter. This is certainly a next step we are considering.

  • Joe Bowbeer says:

    Save space by using mini TRS jacks? Something like this might be useful on a pedalboard, where wired connections are cheaper than a WIDI device per pedal, and cables still work better for MIDI clock transmission, even with jitter-optimizied WIDI. Maybe you can also provide some MIDI cables with low-profile DIN plugs. And a low-profile way to join cables together for the longer runs.

    • tgerbrands says:

      Thanks. Interesting feedback. We are working on improved jitter optimisation for the upcoming WIDI firmware. Should be ready in a few weeks. That said, I agree that jitter performance in groups is the part that deserves the most attention at this point.

      The TRS option is a great suggestion. Let’s look into it.

  • DL says:

    Looks promising. love the wired plus ble input merge

  • Tebbes Tosti says:

    Sounds like a great idea!

  • Don says:

    Sounds greatly promising!
    Hopefully it’s bi-directional and has options for trs cables.

    • tgerbrands says:

      I think the answer is that this version will be one way IN and multiple ways OUT. It is not like a merger. To add a TRS option, might be a good idea. Thanks

  • Ken says:

    A big yes from me 🙂

  • GRK_Synthesizers says:

    I’d have a tough time thinking about where I would use this I’m my small world of synths. I did buy a Kenton device a few years back. I like the idea of just simply getting away from wires altogether rather than having to deal with them; but, one of these might be helpful. It could be a solution for interfacing the DAW of choice to Synth Keyboards as well as the Eurorack Modular Synth that I have. I’d have to noodle a bit more on it. For now, I think I will sit back and see the responses that come in and maybe it will strike a chord where I could use one or more.

    • tgerbrands says:

      Thanks for sharing. Smart thinking. Sometimes you just have to wait and see what the community shares. I do that all the time 😉

  • Keng Leng says:

    will it be like a multiplexer/wireless snake cable kind of thing where it can take inputs from a few MIDI devices, and BT it to a receiver some distance away, say with a backend processing PC having the same Thru6

    • tgerbrands says:

      The WIDI Thru6 BT is splitting a single input to multiple outputs. I think what you request is the other way around. Like a merger. A device that “mixes” multiple inputs to a single output. If that is the case, it is certainly one that is on our radar.

      To explain, this thru box is a splitter. One line goes in, several copies come out. A merger is a mixer. Several lines come in, one line comes out

  • Paul Schrier says:

    Add a USB port and you’ve got all the use cases covered.

    • tgerbrands says:

      Correct. I think that will be a second solution that is certainly considered. Maybe we separate DIN and USB first, to find out what the real demand is from the market. We keep it affordable to learn. As adding components has consequences for development, pricing and can cause issues in the supply chain nowadays.

      Baby steps 😉

  • Konstantin says:

    Not interested

  • Chris Pickett says:

    I like this idea because it would allow me a bit more options and flexibility when setting up live events. I could go either wired MIDI OUT to such a box and then have it provide wired and wireless output to other nearby devices, especially for sending MTC or other CC data. I do more show automation these days rather than music authoring/performing as I’m mostly an audio engineer. At the same time, providing a convenient, company BRIDGING product allows instruments playing unplugged a way into their larger stage rack and rigs, such as MIDI-guitar and key-tar, and other “disconnected” MIDI instruments or those who want a wireless controller option.

    Speeding up my set/strike is key when doing events.

  • As someone with a multiple keyboard performance setup, to be able to address each keyboard wirelessly via WIDI [THur6BT -> keyboard midi inputs] from my computer simultaneously is a bit of a game changer for my work flow. Currently I have 2 “Work Stations” – a mix station with drives and monitors, and my multi keyboard rig where I track and compose with multiple USB hubs. I shuffle my laptop back and forth depending on what I’m working on. To not have to move the laptop during tracking could potentially streamline my workflow in a significant way. So I’m going with YES on this!

  • PXPT says:

    This would be a useful addition to my MIDI toolkit. If it also had USB then it would be even better. Also, please consider a BT MIDI merger box as well for the other direction.

    • tgerbrands says:

      Thanks for sharing. I think both proposition are completely relevant. If we can make this Thru box a success, we can expand the family to USB and Merger. And later down the line even a more complex router.

  • 黄训良 says:

    我想要的是五个MIDI输入,混合后输出。

  • razfaz says:

    Sounds good to me. With this (and WIDI Jack) I could use my keytar as a controller for different sound sources by only changing the MIDI channel. Quick and simple solution. Thumbs up.

  • John Ebata says:

    Yes! As the home setup spreads to 2 rooms having the DAW connect wireless to the older keyboards in the next room keeps the cable mess down.

  • Tim says:

    This is a really interesting idea! I like it.

  • Alfred Wagenhaeuser says:

    This Product i would surely by … waiting for this…and more…?

    • tgerbrands says:

      Thanks for sharing. Looking at the response until now, it is likely we will move forward. We will have to define a roadmap and maybe already look into some other solutions that fir this range. First, we will release the next big WIDI firmware update 😉

  • Vlado Štelbacký says:

    Great news for this product. When can I order ???

    • tgerbrands says:

      We are still at a very early stage. This is just a concept. It will take some time to develop and prepare for mass production. That said, we have all the technology ready. Let’s aim for March 2022

  • I need a new thru box because my homemade one just died – and I’ve been putting off buying CME BT midi stuff since it came out – so I’m a definite supporter of product.

  • BERCOT says:

    Cela me serait bien utile pour connecter sans fil mes modules de sons !

  • Scotty_123 says:

    To clarify: The bluetooth midi input would also be available on all 5 midi outputs and there would be also a dedicated Midi ouput that only ouputted the Bluetooth midi? A diagram would help.

    • tgerbrands says:

      It is like a Thru box. If you have one wired MIDI input it copies that to all outputs including the Bluetooth MIDI output. If you have one Bluetooth MIDI input, it copies it to all wired MIDI outputs. Not the Bluetooth MIDI output.

      That said, a diagram is certainly a great idea. Thanks

  • CME brings a great novelty in wireless Bluetooth BLE MIDI and the WIDI Thru6 BT is also a great development idea for all wireless.

    CME apporte une grande nouveauté dans le Bluetooth BLE MIDI sans fils et le WIDI Thru6 BT est aussi une superbe idée de développement pour le tous sans fils.

  • Jacques Leplat says:

    The product looks very interesting. I am currently looking into developing performance enhancing MIDI software, running on an Arduino or other small device. A six port MIDIand WIDI box would allow the development of an intelligent MIDI orchestra conductor to be feasible.

  • Michael Woebbecke says:

    This would be a welcome addition to my ekit! Hardwired midi out from my Alesis multipad, TrapKat, Ddrum DDT1, and Akai MPK225 to the widi-thru6 and then hardwired into my Vdrum TD-50X and BT midi back to my to my studio DAW. Would I still need a widi-master on the TD-50X midi out for BT back to the Computer DAW to get the rest of the pads back to the DAW or would the widi-thru6 be able to merge the TD-50X midi output also as long as the TD-50X isn’t allowing midi thru to its output?

  • Michael Woebbecke says:

    I’m wanting to merge… I miss read the general intent. Just delete my previous message!

    • tgerbrands says:

      This example is a Thru box. Of course merging is the other way around. That means it is not that far away of what is proposed in this blog. In other words, merging is part of the plan too.

  • Doug kelly says:

    A very useful idea

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