MIDI Bluetooth: The new wireless standard!

Wireless MIDI with WIDI
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 April/May 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.

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