What is happening with MIDI these days?
The MIDI protocol was designed back in the 80's. Its sole purpose was and still is the uniform communication between digital musical instruments.
Ever since, music creation and its instruments evolved into an amazing world of music making machines. Today, you can use your mobile device as a motion controller and play pretty well-made virtual emulations of vintage synths on your desktop.
That said, at the same time, the number of different MIDI plugs and terminals grew at the same pace. In fact, it is getting harder to communicate between all those neat devices you have available.
Did you ever try to connect that nice second controlling screen from your mobile app to your synth? Or your guitar FX pedal to a controlling switch via MIDI?
It is not that easy. Try to connect your USB MIDI controller with your vintage synth for example. You will always need to look for break-out cables, a dedicated adapter or even start soldering a solution yourself. The big question is, how many different plugs and cables do you need before connecting all those MIDI devices?
How WIDI came alive?
After we released the Xkey Air, a slim-sized MIDI keyboard, people from our community started requesting more wireless MIDI solutions. Although the Xkey Air (2015) is a great solution to control macOS and iOS via its integrated Bluetooth MIDI capability, this wireless MIDI controller was still mainly focussed on those specific operating systems.
Therefore, we designed the WIDI Bud (2016), as a dongle to add Bluetooth MIDI to any operating system. Releasing that innovation opened up new doors. It is obvious the demand for wireless MIDI solutions has been rising ever since. Following, with the arrival of Bluetooth 5, a new breed of advanced wireless MIDI solutions came to existence.
It all started with the launch of WIDI Master. It is a Bluetooth MIDI adapter for devices with 5-PIN MIDI ports. This was simply a big hit. From its release in 2020 to this day, over 35,000 units were sold worldwide.
WIDI Master allowed any MIDI device with a traditional 5-PIN DIN plug to become a wireless MIDI device via Bluetooth. You can see it as Bluetooth MIDI dongle for standard MIDI devices. Although this offers a great solution for many MIDI devices, it still did not open up Bluetooth MIDI for all.
That is why WIDI Jack was developed. Purely upon request and based on the feedback from the Community of MIDI Enthusiasts. As a matter of fact, WIDI Jack can do everything WIDI Master can...
And it can do even more...
Watch this fine explanation by YouTube legend EytschPi42 who got a hold of a couple of WIDI Jacks...
Why should you buy WIDI Jack?
It is clear that the goal of WIDI as a technology is, to bring back uniformity within MIDI as a communication protocol. It is designed to be used in a simple mode that delivers a plug-pair & play experience. Besides this, there is also an advanced mode that allows personalised settings and group connectivity via the WIDI app.
As said, WIDI Jack can do what WIDI Master can. It is designed as a wireless MIDI interface, while WIDI Master can be seen as an adapter. This brings in two elements of added value. First, you can swap cables. Second, you can add external power through the USB-C port.
There are already 5 different MIDI accessory cables available for WIDI Jack. This allows you to add Bluetooth MIDI to devices with 5-PIN DIN, 6-PIN DIN (Yamaha Reface Series) and the three different MIDI TRS options, ranging from 1/10" to 1/8" and of course 1/4".
All these cables are designed upon request from our community. For instance, many guitar pedals and today's slim-sized MIDI controllers come with different TRS MIDI ports. With WIDI Jack, they can enjoy wireless MIDI too. And as you might know, even within TRS MIDI plugs there are difference. WIDI Jack has got you covered, with a switch for Type A and Type B TRS MIDI devices.
Also, creating an additional cable solution is relatively easy. As a matter of fact, we are working with Strymon's Iridium and Hugh & Kettner's Grandmeister Deluxe 40, to build a dedicated cable to allow wireless interconnectivity with other MIDI devices and an easy pairing solution for mobile apps and second screens expansions.
Another great feature is the availability of an external power option. This might need some explanation. The MIDI standard prescribes that the MIDI OUT port delivers 3.3v or 5v. This is great. That is why WIDI Master can be powered by the device it is plugged into.
Guess again, not all manufacturers follow those standards. And you might even got MIDI devices with only a MIDI IN. Well, that is why you need to buy WIDI Jack. It can either be powered by the device like WIDI Master, or you can add any USB adapter, power bank or similar to deliver the juice to power WIDI Jack.
This opens up wireless MIDI for a wide variety of modern, vintage, rare and even obscure MIDI devices. Take a look at this video Scott Uhl explaining WIDI Jack from A to Z.
What is your best wireless MIDI option?
As said before, WIDI devices are designed to be simple in use. It is plug, pair and play. When you want to go into advanced mode, get yourself the WIDI App and start creating those groups.
Here is a simple rule of thumb to make the right buying decision. If you are 100% sure that your MIDI device has a powered MIDI 5-PIN DIN port, you are good to go with WIDI Master.
If you are not sure, or have TRS MIDI ports, or an DIN-6 MIDI port, or only a MIDI IN port, you should buy WIDI Jack. Also, if you want to play around with Bluetooth MIDI and use it on more devices, WIDI Jack is your solution. Adding an additional set of cables is simply the most affordable solution.
If you are not sure which WIDI device you need, you have this great tool available called the WIDI Buyer's Guide.
With a few simple questions, you will make the right decision. Simply try it.
Meet the WIDI family.
WIDI is in our DNA. Our entire team is focussed on the evolution of wireless MIDI. The purpose is to develop Bluetooth MIDI as a technology that fits any of your MIDI use cases. Besides delivering uniform MIDI communication over air, the secondary goal is to utilise Bluetooth technology as a premium source for the most advanced form of MIDI available.
Here are the facts, Bluetooth 5 delivers twice the range and four times the speed compared to Bluetooth 4. It allows one-to-many connectivity. Think of it this way. While latency is reduced to as low as 3ms and jitter is stable, you now can set up and control your "virtual cables" via the WIDI App.
To take this a step further, every WIDI devices pairs automatically. It offers bi-directional communication for any MIDI device. This might just come in handy when MIDI 2.0 arrives. Furthermore, due to WIDI being a firmware based solution, your WIDI device will grow as the technology improves.
In retrospect, the goal is to make Bluetooth MIDI available to everyone. No matter if you work on computers, mobile devices, controllers or sound modules. Anyone can implement WIDI in its setup and even in its devices.
That is why, we are happy to introduce to you, the WIDI family. Take a peak and just try it...
Discover the WIDI family
Bluetooth MIDI solutions. Connect all your MIDI devices!