Recently I was considering purchasing a USB powered MIDI interface for my development/composition laptop. The idea here being that I would flop some 30+ foot long cables from the composition desk over to the recording desk and DAW. SoftSynths are ok but they often lack detail in harmonic overtones that will rear their nasty heads when you start pushing performances through a more realistic set of samples. I’ve been working on a few things and just got tired of exporting MusicXML to the DAW for previews. I was looking for real-time.
For whatever reason (probably my reluctance to part with cash) I decided to look and see if anybody had virtualized MIDI over LAN. I remember Steinberg made some early attempts with this type of thing long ago for net jams and MIDI has skirted around a CAT5 type connection so surely somebody just got smart and decided to ‘packetize’ the messages in a client/server app. Yes.. they did.
In all fairness, Mac has had this for awhile but I’m still in PC world. It’s rare I find a PC based MIDI utility that actually works… that’s why I’m posting this. In a matter of minutes I was able to setup my DAW as a server and connect to it from the laptop client. Running Finale on the client machine I was generating live MIDI over the network to my Midex8 hooked up to a Yamaha P-60. The best part? The laptop was on a wireless connection so I can freely pop into the next room to sit on the couch and still listen to performances or even edit without having to switch back to localized SoftSynth sounds or go back in the studio.