WIDI: Which Device Will You Connect?

What is your use case?

There are thousands of products that use MIDI on the market. Both new and second-hand. It is a challenge for all of us to answer all questions about every MIDI device on today’s market. This blog will explain which WIDI product you can use for your specific case!

Due to the fact that there are many other forms of MIDI connections on the market, we started the development three WIDI products to cover the wide variety of MIDI devices and ports: WIDI Master, WIDI Jack and WIDI Uhost!

If you experience some challenges selecting the right WIDI product, please take your time and read this blog. It will start with WIDI Master. Next you can learn in which cases WIDI Jack can be your solution. At the end you will read more about USB MIDI and the WIDI Uhost solution for this.

WIDI Master

WIDI Master for standard powered (3.3v or 5v) 5-PIN DIN MIDI ports. WIDI Master is powered by the MIDI OUT of your device

WIDI Jack offers different cable options and external power via USB (Not USB MIDI) adding TRS MIDI, DIN-6 and unpowered DIN-5

WIDI Uhost

WIDI Uhost is your USB MIDI solution. No matter if it is a computer, mobile device or MIDI instrument with USB MIDI ports.

WIDI Master

Our first WIDI family member is WIDI Master. It is your 5-PIN MIDI DIN Bluetooth MIDI adapter. WIDI Master will need power from the MIDI device you connect it with. The standard MIDI OUT or THRU port delivers 3.3v or 5v through the 5-pin DIN MIDI socket. It is a standard as as suggested by the international MIDI Manufacturers Association.

On our support page, you can find an open source compatibility list. On this list, people from the Community of MIDI Enthusiasts, add devices that they have tested and confirmed to work with WIDI Master.

WIDI Master + iPad

WIDI Master + Korg

WIDI Master + Linnstrument

WIDI Master + MIDI Guitar

WIDI Master + WX5

WIDI Master + Elektron

WIDI Master + AKAI EWI

WIDI Master + Nord

WIDI Master + Behringer

WIDI Master + Novation

WIDI Master + Yamaha

How does it work?

You will need 2x WIDI Master to pair two MIDI devices. As you need to add Bluetooth MIDI to both devices. This will allow you to connect instrument to instrument without the need of a host such as your computer or mobile device. 

You will only need 1x WIDI Master to pair with Bluetooth MIDI devices such as mobile devices, computers and Bluetooth MIDI controllers.

For instance, you will only need 1x WIDI Master to pair your device with iOS or MacOS. The advantage of Apple operating systems is that it integrated Bluetooth MIDI as a standard.

Please always visit our support page to check out the setup videos available. You will also learn here how to upgrade to the latest firmware and how to utilise MIDIMTTR as a great tool for iOS and Bluetooth MIDI.

For Windows PC, it is different. As it depends on your operating system. If you have Win10 v1909 or higher, you can work with Bluetooth MIDI.

Unfortunately, on Windows, Bluetooth MIDI is not integrated as a standard in every music software application. The question if Bluetooth MIDI works for your setup, completely depends on the software you use. You need to be able to set Bluetooth MIDI in that software. Please make sure to check out our support page and the MIDIBerry-IO for WIDI solution.

Basically, if your product has a 5-PIN DIN MIDI OUT that follows the standard as set by the MMA (MIDI Manufacturers Association), your MIDI OUT will deliver power to WIDI Master and it will work. You can simply check your device and see what kind of MIDI port it has.

WIDI Master

Check your manual and ensure your MIDI OUT delivers 3.3v or 5v

WIDI Jack

WIDI Jack offers an external power supply option. Remember? Some devices do not deliver power on MIDI OUT and do not follow the MMA standard. Others only have MIDI IN. That is why we came up with WIDI Jack, to allow you to add WIDI to any device with 5-PIN DIN MIDI ports.

Basically WIDI Jack offers all connectivity solutions that WIDI Master did not.

  • MIDI devices with TRS (mini jack) MIDI (2.5mm-3.5mm (1/8") / Type A+B)
  • MIDI devices with only MIDI IN like Korg Volca Series
  • MIDI devices with DIN-6 mini MIDI like Yamaha Reface Series
  • MIDI devices with unpowered 5-PIN DIN MIDI
  • MIDI devices with powered 5-PIN DIN MIDI (Like WIDI Master)

WIDI Jack: Connect MIDI devices with both powered and unpowered 5-PIN DIN MIDI

WIDI Jack: Connect MIDI devices with TRS MIDI (2.5mm or 3.5mm (1/8") and Type-A/Type-B)

WIDI Jack: Connect MIDI devices with DIN-6-mini MIDI like Yamaha Reface Series

WIDI Jack: Connect MIDI devices with only MIDI IN like Korg Volca Series

Add Bluetooth MIDI to more MIDI devices

WIDI Jack is designed to ensure the functionality of WIDI Master plus additional use cases. The main difference is that it allows an external power source and the ability to change the connection cable. This way you can use WIDI Jack with almost any MIDI device.

WIDI Jack BLE MIDI

WIDI Jack will work with any 5-PIN DIN MIDI port through external power supply option via USB-C port

WIDI Jack wireless MIDI

WIDI Jack works with both TRS 2.5mm (3/32") and 3.5mm (1/8") and can switch between Type A and Type B

WIDI Jack Yamaha Reface

Yamaha Reface Series with single 6-PIN MIDI DIN terminal works with WIDI Jack as well.

WIDI Uhost

WIDI Uhost is designed to be the wireless MIDI USB host for your class compliant USB MIDI device. Besides this, it is a MIDI USB dongle for any PC, tablet or smartphone. As Bluetooth MIDI is not always integrated in your operating system, with WIDI Uhost you can simply add Bluetooth MIDI to your setup.

WIDI Uhost USB MIDI

Check your USB port and get the right cable from USB-C to your USB port

WIDI Uhost: 3-in-1 wireless USB MIDI

Basically WIDI Uhost offers all wireless MIDI solutions for class compliant USB MIDI devices.

  • Solution 1: Connect MIDI devices with only USB slave
    Plug WIDI Uhost in your class compliant USB MIDI device and transmit MIDI over Bluetooth between your MIDI hardware and BLE MIDI devices.
  • Solution 2: Connect MIDI devices with USB host
    Plug WIDI Uhost in the USB host of your MIDI instrument and add advanced Bluetooth MIDI to your MIDI hardware.
  • Solution 3: Connect computer and smart device without Bluetooth MIDI
    Plug WIDI Uhost in the USB port of your computer and ensure ultra low latency Bluetooth MIDI without having to upgrade your PC, tablet or smartphone and even bypass the Bluetooth MIDI limitations of iOS/MacOs.

Bypass the limitations of your computers and mobile devices with WIDI

Operating systems (MacOS, ChromeOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android) and the way music software applications (DAW, apps, plugins) are build can influence your latency performance heavily.

Because the dedicated WIDI firmware is directly embedded in all WIDI products, you can bypass (the limitations of) your computer's operating system (OS). And benefit from fast and reliable wireless MIDI connectivity.

With WIDI Uhost you can benefit from automatic pairing and ultra low (3ms) latency performance via Bluetooth. That is we call WIDI Uhost the Turbo BLE Dongle. It simply boosts BLE MIDI performance of any operating system. 

Furthermore, it allows you to add Bluetooth MIDI to any class compliant USB MIDI device. With its secondary USB-C port, you can also utilise an external power source and work with MIDI instruments that only offer MIDI over USB and are powered by this USB port.

WIDI Uhost

WIDI Uhost: Connect MIDI devices with only USB slave

USB MIDI wireless

WIDI Uhost: Connect MIDI devices with USB host

USB MIDI over Bluetooth

WIDI Uhost: Connect computer and smart device without Bluetooth MIDI

Evolving Wireless MIDI technology!

WIDI is in essence a point-to-point solution. It is like a virtual MIDI cable allowing you to connect one device directly with one other. The new firmware (Dec, 2020) will allow up to 5 Bluetooth MIDI devices in a group. This is what we call the smart hub functionality. It makes 1-to-4 bi-directional connectivity via Bluetooth MIDI possible.

You can simply set these groups - and recall those settings at any moment - with the user-friendly app. Furthermore, it you will be able to set names to your WIDI devices and easily manage your wireless MIDI setup in a virtual environment.

Also, the latest app update (December, 2020) will allow you to personalise your settings and optimise performance for lowest latency (keys, chords, MPE), jitter (real time, sequencing) and ultra low power mode (battery powered devices like MIDI wind instruments).

WIDI Products

Connectivity: Automatic Pairing - MIDI Thru - MIDI Merge - Groups

With the latest firmware (v0098 and up) you can create groups of max. 5 WIDI devices. In essence this means you can now replace your MIDI Thru and Merge boxes. Thus maybe even your MIDI interface. By bypassing those middle men, you can optimise performance of your MIDI setups ánd go completely wireless.

When pairing 2 WIDI devices, this is done fully automatically. You do not need to worry about a thing. The WIDI devices pair and automatically switch between the central and peripheral role. This is Bluetooth wording for the things we used to know in the world of MIDI as master and slave. Also, they transmit MIDI messages bi-directionally. You simply power up your WIDI devices, and the rest is fully automated.

When connecting with another BLE MIDI device. Like you computer or iOS device. The architecture of those devices force manual pairing upon you. This is a limitation that is part of their infrastructure. To bypass those limitations and benefit from low latency, automatic pairing and group connectivity, you solution will be WIDI Uhost.

When you go into more complex setups with wireless group connectivity, you need to educate yourself to fully benefit from these features. For instance, your group always has 1 central. Besides this you can add up to 4 peripherals. This means you need to manually force the role of your WIDI devices first. Next you create the group in the user-friendly app and save that. When you reboot your devices, all settings are loaded by default.

As communication is duplex, you actually create a MIDI Thru or MIDI Merge functionality. With duplex we mean that communication is bi-directional. You can talk in two ways between your devices. This is equal to adding two cables between 2 MIDI devices.

In short. this means that with this firmware (v0098 and up), you can bypass MIDI interfaces, MIDI merge boxes and MIDI Thru boxes. You now can create the following wirelessly:

  • 1-to-4 MIDI Thru - Group of max. 5 WIDI devices
  • 4-to-1 MIDI Merge - Group of max. 5 WIDI devices

And yes, you can run multiple groups at the same time. Imagine where this can take you. Advanced virtual cable management via a user-friendly app....

WIDI: Wireless MIDI for all MIDI devices

WIDI distinguishes itself from any other Bluetooth MIDI technology available through its unique SCA technology. SCA is a collection of highly effective algorithms that optimise the performance of WIDI in any given situation. 

We have tested and selected the most advanced Bluetooth module with optimized antenna design to deliver reliable connectivity. Therewith WIDI delivers ultra low latency and stable connectivity over Bluetooth.

WIDI offers Bluetooth MIDI adapters and interfaces for any MIDI setup, device and instrument.

WIDI: Connect MIDI instrument to instrument without computers or mobile devices

WIDI: Connect MIDI instruments with computers and mobile devices

As mentioned we are looking forward to an entire family of WIDI members. Besides the current WIDI Master and Jack, we will launch WIDI Uhost early 2021. After this, we will move forward, together with you, to expand with WIDI HUB4 and PED3.

Our mission is to deliver Bluetooth MIDI to all MIDI enthusiasts. Creating a solution that is open to any other manufacturer. No matter if it is Apple, Microsoft, Linux, Google, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Roli and many of those neat dedicated developers like Genki Instruments, Jammy Guitars, Airturn and Pirate MIDI.

Also, we are talking with app developers like OnSong, Kronos Remote, Audiobus, Fluid Pitch and Strymon Iridium Controller to allow even better integration with top notch music apps. If you want to read more about a specific use case, go to this blog.

As we receive many requests from our active community for dedicated solutions, there are many concepts we will share in our Facebook Group first. Be sure to join this group if you want to contribute and be part of the development of WIDI.

If you are interested in the future of WIDI, feel welcome to read this blog!

If you are interested in more technical details on WIDI, please read this article on Medium to learn more.

  • Michelle says:

    Wow, that would be a dream come true if Widi UHost also contains a battery to provide USB power to the device! Will it work with USB powered devices?

    • tgerbrands says:

      It does not work with a battery. It works with a double USB-port to add an external power supply. You can then use a simple 5v USB power bank to ensure all is powered.

  • Benitto says:

    It’s a great device ever invented

  • Thomas says:

    Why not add a 2,5/3,5 mm in and out MIDI (like the Jack) to the Uhost. That would be really powerfull and flexible! I would order at least two or three!

    • tgerbrands says:

      Because USB MIDI is totally different to TRS/DIN MIDI! 😉 So, it will not work this way. What can be done is adding both features to an advanced WIDI product. Then again, this will mean different pricing.

  • Phillip Danzy says:

    I am so amazed at how well this product works. Just took it out the box hooked it up and it works perfectly. From 75 ft away with some obstruction between didn’t missed a note and very low latency. Great product

  • Jeremy Hansen says:

    I’m ready for UHost. I’m going to use it to send commands to a raspberry pi via a Boss ES-8.

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