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MIDI over bluetooth for Windows?

Hey Artiphon,


The ORBA manual (2020) says that Windows does not support MIDI over Bluetooth. This article from 2016 indicates that it does. https://www.midi.org/midi-articles/midi-enhancements-in-windows-10


Is this supported in ORBA 2? I love the new custom samples features I'm seeing in ORBA 2, but I would primarily want to use it as a wireless quantized MIDI controller for my Windows devices.


I use a CME WIDI Bud Pro with Orba 1; works well.


https://www.cme-pro.com/product/widi-bud-pro/

It's not the best option, but there are some apps which facilitate BTLE on windows. I know there is one specific to Reaper if that's your dAW of choice. I think that it's actually MS which has made this difficult, but doable.

I do not have Orba yet to test, but probably you can try to use MIDI Berry free app from MS store to connect midi ble device like orba to you software.


Works my my diy ble controller, might work for orba.

My experience with Orba 2 is the following.

1) I could not find a way to use Orba2 with windows  11 via bluetooth without additional hardware

2) I have M-Vave MS1    midi usb dongle, but it does not seem to work with orba2   via bluetooth

3) Same MS1 does not work  with orba2 even in a USB HOST mode  (When midi device is connected to dongle via usb cable)  (that works fine with korg nanokey2 and softstep2 - and known to work with zoom ms50g)


4) Good news is that programmable microcontroller ESP32  (mine is Wroom32) is able to connect to Orba2 just fine, using the following library:  https://github.com/max22-/ESP32-BLE-MIDI library with ESP32 being a bluetooth client and Orba2 a bluetooth server.



Therefore it is possible to start with ESP32 as a starting point with the following options available:

1) It is possible to add some components and create a DIY    MIDI_BLE to  MIDI DIN convertor out of esp32 that will work with orba2.   I am no doing  this, but that's possible.

2)  You can catch midi data from Orba2 via bluetooth and ESP32 and stream it to PC via USB by ardumidi library and virtual Serial port,  and use combination of loopmidi port and Hairless midi to conver serial  it to midi data suitable for DAW.

I've tried it, it works for me.

3) You can use combination of STM32  F103 bluepill controller capable of USB MIDI HID  class compilant device  emulation and ESP32 for communication with orba.  Esp32 will get data from orba, send it to STM32,  and STM32 would imitate USB MIDI device.

That's what I am working on right now.


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Very interested in what you are doing here! Could you share a video if possible?

@subskybox

Looks like I've made a more or less working version of that esp32/stm32  based adapter.

Here is a github repository on that.


https://github.com/ignis32/OrbaDongle


Probably will make some ugly video later to show that it is working.


Have not tested this fully yet, and I am not a professional programmer, so do not judge too heavy)







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Nice one Ignis32, haven't followed all the latest developments but sounds very interesting.

After playing via this diy bluetooth adapter of mine for a while I feel that there is a disorienting input lag.

At first I taught that it is small, but  the more I play the more it looks like a failure, unless I'll find any  way to improve.


Most probably it is related to the fact that midi events are converted 4 times, and each time it is waiting for full event to receive before sending it further.

...OK. Well, the CME WIDI Bud Pro mentioned above works well for me with Orba 1 and Windows with low latency, and it's reasonably priced. (£49 on Amazon.)


Thanks, would be my plan B in case if I will not find a way out.


At this point I still have some hope, and even an idea how to reduce the latency.

I should just evade decoding and encoding midi data on each step, and stream raw byte stream instead, except for the need to trim some BLE specific headers. Will take some time to implement though, as soon as libraries I used do not provide such a low level functions.

 

@BJG125


May I ask, have you measured the BLE latency by any chance with your CME dongle?


Looks like it is possible to connect Orba2 with usb after ble connection is established, and Orba starts sending same midi messages both ways - via BLE and USB in the same time.


Using some midi monitoring software (like PocketMidi ) you can see timestamps of the midi messages and compare timestamp for the same message coming from BLE with timestamp for it's cloned brother coming from USB,  and diff will show added BLE latency in milliseconds.

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