WIDI Uhost: 3-in-1 USB MIDI Bluetooth Solution
With WIDI Uhost you connect all your class compliant USB MIDI devices - without wires - with Bluetooth MIDI. Finally, you can connect your USB MIDI device to control any of your 5-PIN MIDI devices. Simply pair your WIDI Uhost with WIDI Master, the 5-PIN DIN solution. Or use WIDI Jack for other MIDI connection types. The possibilities are endless...
Now you can integrate BLE MIDI into your USB MIDI device for three different use cases:
- MIDI USB Host: Add BLE MIDI to your class complaint USB MIDI device.
- MIDI USB Slave: Add Bluetooth MIDI to your PC, tablet or smartphone.
- USB BLE Dongle: Boost BLE MIDI performance of your device
WIDI Uhost fulfils a universal role in MIDI communication. This means it automatically switches between the central and peripheral role. Or as we know it in the world of MIDI, master and slave. In addition the communication is bi-directional. Meaning you can sent from and towards the connected MIDI device simultaneously.
Ever since it’s introduction, musicians have been eager to find a way for a bi-directional USB-based MIDI port to successfully communicate with any of their classic 5-PIN DIN MIDI devices—until now.
Introducing the WIDI U-Host. The solution that allows any USB-MIDI device to seamlessly play…trigger…control any of your 5-PIN DIN MIDI devices—all at one incredible price.
Keyboards, sound modules, drum machines, sequencers…the possibilities and applications of WIDI Uhost are truly endless.
For instance, you can connect two standalone MIDI hardware devices by using two (2) WIDI Uhosts or a mixture with WIDI Master and WIDI Jack. Furthermore, you can pair your Bluetooth MIDI controller with any standalone MIDI hardware device using one (1) WIDI Uhost. Also, you can play your standalone MIDI hardware with any iOS device or Mac by using one (1) WIDI Uhost.
What is so special about WIDI?
With WIDI Uhost you get a complete solution that will save you time and expands your opportunities with MIDI. For instance, you can pair your MIDI devices automatically when using two WIDI devices. Also, you benefit from a secure connection following the Bluetooth MIDI standards as approved by the MIDI Manufacturers Association. Furthermore you can fully enjoy the freedom of Bluetooth MIDI both on stage as well as in the studio!
Just get rid of those cables!
These bullet points distinguish WIDI Uhost and the entire WIDI family from any other Bluetooth MIDI adapter currently on the market. In short we call this Smart Connectivity Algorithms or SCA!
Smart Connectivity Algorithms (SCA)
- Dual Role Automation - WIDI fulfils a universal role in MIDI communication. This means it automatically switches between the central and peripheral role. In addition it is bi-directional. You can sent from and towards the connected MIDI instrument simultaneously with WIDI Uhost.
- Automatic Pairing Mode - WIDI automatically pairs with any other WIDI family member. And with any Bluetooth MIDI controllers. For computers and mobile devices you can add automatic pairing by using WIDI Uhost.
- Smart Hub Functionality - WIDI is in essence a point-to-point solution. With today's Bluetooth technology it is possible to connect multiple WIDI products to one WIDI Uhost. This way you can connect one-to-multiple.
- Latency Reduction Optimization - WIDI implements a unique protocol to reduce latency in any given situation. Therewith we can reduce latency to 3ms between two WIDI products.
- Range Performance Optimization - WIDI offers a smart algorithm that negotiates the best performance with any given distance. Therewith you are assured of the best performance covering a reach of 20m (65ft) inside without obstacles and even more outside.
To get more insights in the capabilities and technical details of WIDI, we recommend to read this blog carefully as a starting point!
How will WIDI Uhost work for your operating system?
WIDI Uhost is the Bluetooth MIDI solution for USB MIDI. It functions as a high speed BLE MIDI dongle for your operating systems. Therewith it adds Bluetooth MIDI capabilities for Windows, Androïd, Linux and ChromeOS. It is as simple as connecting WIDI Uhost into your USB port and pair it with your BLE MIDI device or another WIDI device.
Between two WIDI devices we are able to reduce latency to a 3ms minimum. Furthermore you will benefit from the ease of automatic pairing. Besides this, you can bypass limitations of your original Bluetooth MIDI integration. This will turn out to be especially useful for MacOS and iOS users.
How many WIDI Uhosts do you need?
In short WIDI Uhost offers a reliable low latency solution for four specific use cases:
- USB MIDI to MIDI: Simply connect your class compliant USB MIDI hardware wirelessly with any standalone MIDI device using one (1) WIDI Uhost unit and one (1) WIDI Master/Jack unit.
- USB MIDI to Chrome OS/Linux/Win/Android: You can play with your USB MIDI hardware wirelessly with your Chrome OS/Linux/Windows/Android with two (2) WIDI Uhost units
- USB MIDI to Bluetooth MIDI: You can pair your USB MIDI hardware wirelessly with any Bluetooth MIDI device using one (1) WIDI Uhost unit.
- USB MIDI to iOS/macOS: You can integrate your USB MIDI hardware wirelessly with your iOS/MacOS device using one (1) WIDI Uhost unit. Or add a 2nd WIDI Uhost to benefit from higher performance and automatic pairing by bypassing the Bluetooth limitations of your operating system.
Cyril Lance – CTO Moog Music
I was lucky enough to be able to start working with a pair of prototype WIDI adapters from CME. They worked flawlessly and transparently – which is the goal of any good technology solution. I was very happy with them. It made connecting instruments to each other quick and easy without cabling or any setup even for instruments from different eras. For example, I immediately had our flagship synthesizer, the Moog ONE, controlling and being controlled by our older MIDI instruments and vintage MIDI controllers.
Additionally, WIDI makes it easy and transparent to connect any of our MIDI gear directly to a Bluetooth enabled device – most importantly for me, the iOS environment (iPads and iPhones) allowing me to quickly test features and connectivity without any setup and configuration hassles. For product development, this was a huge asset!”
WIDI Beta Tester (June, 2020) – There is NO commercial involvement or partnership between MOOG and CME
A lot of great MIDI controllers, like my KMI 12-Step or my Nektar, don’t have 5-pin MIDI and require either a computer or an expensive and cumbersome host adapter to be used with a module, like my Moog Minitaur or my Behringer D, or to be used as a second dumb keyboard for my Roland FA-08. A Uhost and one of my WIDI Masters will give me the freedom to use whichever controller I want and not be limited to one with a 5-pin jack.
Thanks for sharing. To add on this, you can also go for WIDI Jack. It offers similar features as WIDI Master. Only it adds different cable options and an external power supply option. This way you can connect any form of MIDI connector and add Bluetooth MIDI to all your MIDI devices: https://www.cme-pro.com/widi-jack
Yes, I agree. I have an Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol M32 which I like a lot, but to go dawless I needed to buy another keyboard (that I like less). My question is: Like many other Midi Controllers (for example the Akai MPK mini that is shown obove) the M32 also gets it’s power via USB. Do I get it right, that the Uhost can also power external gear? Is this why it has two USB-C-ports (at least that’s what I understand from the pictures).
You are exactly right! The second usb-c port is to add an external power supply via this port.
Right now I am using my Windows 10 tablet (Surface Pro 7) to communicate with my Yamaha Genos using WIDI Master (linking registrations with my sheet music). No cables this way, because my setup is not very suitable for that. The software on the tablet (MobileSheets Pro) implements the UWP API from Microsoft, so this works without additional software (loopMIDI and MIDIberry).
However on my PC (using Yamaha YEM or other software without the UWP API) I do have to use the additional software to make it work, but the latency is just too high. From what I understand Uhost will solve this for me on my PC by communicating to the WIDI Master.
Exactly. We can do a lot, but we cannot change the way Windows and 3rd party applications work. What we can do is bypass those limitations with https://www.cme-pro.com/widi-uhost
I hope the Akai EWI Solo will be one of the test cases for the WIDI uHost. The Solo seems to have several power on modes. Will the battery charging system in the Solo have an impact on how the uHost functions? I hope WIDI uHost will work somewhat seamlessly with the Solo.
Thanks for reaching out to us. Many EWI musicians utilise WIDI. That is why we are closely connected to this community. Following conversations we are having with them, we are working on a “super low power” mode that can be set in the user-friendly app. We expect to release those before the end of 2020. Therewith it will be available as soon as we open up for pre-order for WIDI Uhost!
As a bass player in a 3-person-band I often have to add additional synth sounds. Therefore I’m using a Mac Book running Mainstage which is connected to a Line6 Helix Floor for program changes and a KME 12 Step and a KME K-Board for playing. This actually means using a central USB-Hub and a lot of cables (USB MIDI), which I hope to get rid of using a couple of WIDI U-Hosts. Especially since I want to integrate an iPad in the future for the use of GeoShred, Animoog and so on.
Sounds good!!! Thank for sharing!
Sounds very convincing, hopefully with this I can connect the Sensel Morph to the MIO 10. This is what I need.
Great to hear. Please note that the Sensel Morph’s Bluetooth connection is not a standard Bluetooth MIDI connection Therefore, it will not pair with WIDI Master. To get this done, Sensel needs to upgrade their firmware.
Therewith your solution would be to utilise the USB connection of the Sensel and add the Uhost to this to add that Bluetooth MIDI functionality.
Let me know if this is what you had in mind.
I have already noticed that the connection to the WIDI Master/Jack does not work. I thought that I could get a connection from the Sensel to the Uhost instead.
If you use the USB connector: yes! If you want to use the internal Bluetooth MIDI of the Sensel, it will not work. Their firmware is not developed as a standard Bluetooth MIDI device and therewith they need to update their firmware first to ensure the connection with WIDI.
The function of the Widi Host is clear to me. And i will buy one or two when available.
But i have a request for a futher later development.
I Use a Korg Kronos with USB Midi and Audio to an iPad. There i use apps like Hammond B-3x and several SWAM Instruments. My expression device for the SWAMs is an Enhancia Neova Ring. In the moment the Ring is connected per Bluetooth over Yamaha BTnnn to the iPad.
So now the point. I wish to use additional to the BT Midi the Audio also in both directions like the USB cable can do.
May be in the moment it would be not possible because of the bluetooth protocoll. The latenz is too high. But would it possible to use an other wireless audio protokoll like for the in Ear monitoring systems?
Thanks for sharing. Concerning Bluetooth. At this stage the latency for audio over Bluetooth is still a challenge. That said, that issue will be solved over time. The only question is when.
Of course there are other solutions, but they are much less affordable. You automatically arrive in the 2.4 gHz wireless solutions via private protocals. Like our WIDI X8 back in 2005. All this is possible, but the price will go up tremendously.
Therewith it will not be interesting to a large audience. And this will complicate mass production and worldwide sales margins a lot.
The best option now is to develop low latency audio over Bluetooth. When we have that, we are good to go.
Will it work with a usb hub with multiple midi controllers connected?
Yes. It will work with any class compliant USB MIDI device. It is about the way you setup your MIDI routing.
I can’t wait to use this with my Keith McMillen 12 Step driving iOS synths live.
Great to hear that and thank you for sharing.
Does it work with Yamaha p45 piano. It has usb a connector and works with Yamahas own Bluetooth usb a dongle, but not sure it works with CME WIDI Uhost?
May i also suggest you to make a list of tested devices, it’s little bit work but may turn out to be very beneficial.
The Yamaha P-45 has a USB-B port which will work with WIDI Uhost if it is a class compliant USB MIDI port. Please check the manual of your device to be sure. That is the basic rule for USB client devices, they have to be class compliant.
You will need a USB OTG Cable from USB-B to USB-C: https://www.cme-pro.com/product/widi-accessory-usb-b-otg-widi-cable-pack1/ to allow WIDI Uhost to act as the USB host for your USB client device.
Feel welcome to check out the open source compatibility list and add your validated devices when the time is right: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L6D2lUkcX0NEHpzp0vw5aAtAIsHANeUOCCH_fXtwyKI/edit#gid=0
Hope this helps!