MIDI cabling compatibility

Hi everyone. I’ve been a long term MIDI user and spent 30 years using the consistency of 5 pin DIN connectors. Although I understand the move to a smaller format plug, the mix of 3.5mm, 6.35mm, 2.5mm, mini DIN, tip in, tip out, mini USB is confusing and an inconsistent mess.

Is anyone keeping a register of the different connectivity between all of these pedals and the type 1 / type 2 TRS connectivity. It would probably save a few headaches when people are trying to figure out what cable they need if connecting to both omni ports but also how to use multiple manufacturers pedals with the various MIDI distribution boxes produced by Meris, Chase Bliss etc.

I don’t think there is a register of how different companies implement their TRS MIDI inputs. There is a nice guide on TRS MIDI tho: https://minimidi.world/

Type A

Type A is the MIDI standard (tip is sink and ring is source).

Ring Active

What we call “Ring Active” is just the Ring being used as a sink while Tip is left floating. I only know of Chase Bliss using this implementation. The Tip needs to be left floating as I believe Chase Bliss uses the Tip for other functions like Expression (so it’s possible to receive MIDI or use an Expression in the same jack).

Tip Active

Similar to Ring Active, Tip active is just the Tip being used as the sink while Ring is left floating. Devices that require this usually receive MIDI Data on the Tip, and send back MIDI Data on the Ring. I know Meris does this, and I think Empress as well. Using Type A should work fine, but we had some issues using Type A with a Meris pedal in the past where the devices did not respond as expected to the incoming MIDI messages, so we added this setting where the ring is left floating.

Type B

Similar to Type A but Ring and Tip are swapped (Tip is source and Ring is sink). I don’t think I’ve seen any guitar pedals implement Type B input yet, except for perhaps Lehle.

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Thanks for the info James. I’m getting all misty eyed about the time when it was a simple DIN plug and you just had to make sure MIDI out went to MIDI in :slight_smile: