What is the difference in latency between a MIDI cable and WIDI Master?
We get this question a lot on our different social channels. Many people also ask us what the latency is for a specific setup. Or when you use Windows? Or the latency with an iPad.
These are all valid questions, they are also really complex for us to answer. As we are currently testing our prototypes, it will be difficult to provide you with an exact number based on your specific setup. Let us start at the beginning.
First of all, with Bluetooth MIDI latency is always a bit higher compared to a regular MIDI cable.
That said, you can question yourself if you would be able to distinguish WIDI Master from a standard MIDI cable in a double blind test. We have noticed that this will always lead to the same discussion about latency. This discussion is quite similar to the one we have had in the start of streaming and the download days involving MP3s and WAV files. Or that one of the supreme quality of vinyl over anything else.
We consider that you are perfectly capable of making your own decision. That is why we do not want to force you into buying you do not actually want or need. If latency is the only metric you make your decision on, and cables work for you, you just stick to your cables. Or at least wait until you and your musician friends can test our Bluetooth MIDI solution in real life or at your local dealer. That is fair enough, right?
In the other hand, if you are interested in getting rid of those cables, advanced midi connectivity, app based cable management and wider range plus freedom of movement with midi (like on stage), then our Bluetooth MIDI solutions might be of interest for you.
In the end, we do understand that latency is one of the most important metrics in the field of MIDI. Therefore, we share all our raw tests and videos in this constantly updated blog. If you want to find out more about WIDI Master and latency, go read this!
How many WIDI Masters do I need for my setup?
Basically, WIDI Master is a point-to-point solution. Therewith, it is like a virtual MIDI cable. Some people get confused as you can buy one single WIDI Master and it has two connectors. If you are planning to control your MIDI synth with a master MIDI keyboard, you will need two WIDI Masters. One to connect with each device.
Let me try to explain how it works in general. WIDI Master adds Bluetooth MIDI functionality to your hardware device. Therefore, to allow two pieces of hardware to communicate over Bluetooth, you'd need to add this layer to both pieces of equipment. You can connect two standalone MIDI hardware devices by using two (2) WIDI Masters.
We hear you think, so why do you sell them per piece and why don't you offer them as a pair? Well, the reason behind this is that a wide range (and growing) of devices is already equipped with Bluetooth MIDI. You can pair your Bluetooth MIDI controller with any standalone MIDI hardware device with only one (1) WIDI Master.
Also, you can play your standalone MIDI hardware with any iOS device or Mac by using one WIDI Master. You just connect your WIDI Master the same way as you do with other Bluetooth MIDI equipment. With iOS the pairing is app based. Either you pair with your music app, or by using connection app like the free midimittr, then run this app on the background as network session (bridge) to link Bluetooth MIDI to all other apps.
It will work for Windows as well, but it is a tiny bit more complex. Read this blog to find out more on this subject!
So, when you want to pre order or buy WIDI Master think about your setup. What do you want to control with what? Do they already have a Bluetooth MIDI feature? Or do you want to add that to the device? If you want to connect your MIDI hardware to a Bluetooth MIDI equipped device, you'd need one (1) WIDI Master. If you want to connect two pieces of MIDI hardware and pair them together, you'd need two (2) WIDI Masters.
Can I use one WIDI Master for two devices and disconnect the two connectors?
We get this question more often. Basically the request is if you can split one WIDI Master and make it do two things. The answer is no. WIDI Master is in essence a point-to-point solution. This answer refers to the previous answer as well. If you want to pair two pieces of MIDI hardware, you'd need to add Bluetooth MIDI to both of them to make it possible to communicate. That means you'd need two WIDI Masters.
So why is are the two connectors of WIDI Master detachable?
WIDI Master consists of two connectors. One larger unit and one smaller unit. All the electronics and power circuits are in the large unit. This is the one you always need. You can connect this to the MIDI Out or Thru of any MIDI device to function. That is why you always need this connector.
As a result of this, the subconnector is not necessary to function. As many MIDI hardware only have MIDI Out with power, the seconds connector bungling loose while you place, was considered annoying. That is why we made it disconnect-able as you do not always need or want to use it.
Think of MIDI Instruments like MIDI accordeons, Keytars, MIDI guitars and MIDI Wind instruments. When you play those on stage, it is pretty convenient that you can disconnect the subconnector you do not need, and only use that large connector to add that Bluetooth MIDI feature to your MIDI hardware. If you want to read more about this, we recommend this blog post.
This seconds, small, sub-connector, is nothing more or less than a MIDI connector. There is no electronics nor firmware located in this part of the WIDI Master. It is just a 2.5mm Jack-to-DIN connector. You might not even use that part. That is it.
Can I connect multiple devices to one WIDI Master?
The answer is not that easy. Technically it is possible to connect for instance one master and multiple slaves. This is taken care of in the Bluetooth 5 (BLE5) technology. That said, currently we focus on delivering a point-to-point solution. That means, that we are developing one connection between two WIDI Masters as the primary purpose.
After this we will focus on developing the multiple connections solution. This will need us to focus on developing a controlling app as well. That said, this will be also a great solution for complex cable management challenges. Imagine you can just easily set and control all your MIDI connection in one user-friendly app?
That is exactly what this WIDI project is all about. WIDI Master is just the first member of our family. The best is yet to come. For instance, we are in the concept phase of a hub solution that meets also the request as mentioned in the question above. Also, we are looking into a USB solution to meet the request of those people that use MIDI over USB solutions.
If you want to find out more about future products, please read this blog!
When will you deliver WIDI Master?
Currently we are working closely with our factory to start the production of the first batch of WIDI Masters. As this involves tooling and part management, this can still take a while before we will actually be in production. That said, as soon as we have a clear view on an exact date we will communicate this to you through all our channels.
We do have an expectation that WIDI Master delivery will be extended to July 2020!
We are working with our factory to arrange and monitor every step carefully. The latest information we've got from the factory is that the tooling will be finished on 25th of May. After that we'd need to do 2 or 3 pilot runs of production to make sure everything works fine, then we will be able to start the mass production.
We've been developing innovations for over a decade now. So we are well aware of the fact that we need to ensure the firmware is at its best upon introduction and first delivery. Currently we are testing Prototype IV. We also have been sending units out to worldwide industry partners and beta testers. This way we will ensure that WIDI Master will work seamlessly with other Bluetooth MIDI equipment already available.
Our purpose is the deliver the best firmware when you will receive your WIDI Master. Our first goal is to deliver the ultra low latency WIDI Master point-to-point solution. We are certain we can deliver that with a massive increase of performance and range. Next we will go deeper into the current Bluetooth MIDI solution and will look into a couple requests we got from our community, like controlling app and multiple connections to one WIDI Master.
Today WIDI Master passed the Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) pre-tests. EMC is the ability of electrical equipment and systems to function acceptably in their electromagnetic environment, by limiting the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy which may cause unwanted effects such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) or even physical damage in operational equipment.
The goal of EMC is the correct operation of different equipment in a common electromagnetic environment. It is also the name given to the associated branch of electrical engineering. We've added this milestones and others to our timeline. You can follow our first Crowd Created Project from beginning to today here.
We openly share all the data and everything we experience in the most raw form. We consider that that will be the best way for you to make the decision to buy or wait for WIDI Master. We consider that honesty towards you the least thing we can do to thank you for supporting and interacting with us and our Bluetooth MIDI project. We recently added some really raw videos and will add more in the upcoming days.
Feel free to start watching this playlist on Facebook or on YouTube.
Also we've been merging all the questions and concerns we've got from all of you in the past months. That is how we about our blog posts and initiatie new ones. For full technical updates and development progress we recommend to push one of the buttons below to get a full update!
I've bought 1x WIDI Master but do I need two to replace a MIDI cable?
Basically, the answer is YES! You need two to "pair" two pieces of MIDI hardware. You'd need only one to pair it with a Bluetooth MIDI device like your computer or mobile device.
I think I misunderstood and need to change or cancel my order!
Our mission is to have satisfied customers from day 1. That is why we work hard to involve you in our project and be as open and transparent as we possibly can. This lead us to what we are today. And we would not want to change that. So we nurture this. We cherish the relation we have with our community.
That is why we want to be 100% sure that we will deliver what you wanted. If you found out after reading the above that you did not order the correct amount of WIDI Masters or that our solution might be more expensive than you expected, we offer you a solution.
If you want to add more WIDI Masters to your order. We can provide you with a coupon code that ensures you add the WIDI Master against the same price you initially purchased and we avoid charging you shipping costs twice.
We have to manually execute this process. Therewith you can simply reply to this email with your email and order confirmation number. This way we can check your purchase and provide you with the correct coupon code to make the additional order.
We would also understand if you now found out that WIDI Master is twice as expensive as you previously thought. We understand that. And we do not want to force you to buy anything you will not be satisfied with. Therefore we give you the exclusive opportunity to cancel your order. We will fully refund you the amount you paid. No need to worry. We will do that for you.
So, if you found out that you misunderstood the way WIDI Master worked and want to change your original order, please do so by replying to any of our emails and tell us your original order number and email. This way we can provide you with the correct coupon code or fully refund your order.
Please note this is a temporary offer that is valid until May 31 2020!
If I have two units for connecting two keyboards, is MIDI communication bidirectional? That is, keyboard A can play a sound from keyboard B while simultaneously keyboard B can be used to play a sound from keyboard A?
WIDI Master is duplex. It is designed as bidirectional communication with all 16 channels plus full MIDI message (notes, CC, aftertouch, PitchBend, MPE, Sysex etc.). You can play keyboard A to trigger keyboard B sound, or reversed simultaneously.