Bome Network: Midi Routing Bliss

tl;dr
Using the latest Bome Network Pro Beta, I now have:

  • Distinct port names and a persistent setup in my DAW and all other Midi software
  • Unlimited flexibility and ever-changing hardware setups with minimum maintenance effort
  • New possibilities: I can use Midi hardware regardless of where it is attached to (local machine, remote computer, BomeBox, …) – it doesn’t matter anymore!

A picture is worth a thousand words (please find attached diagram).


I recently had to upgrade my Midi interface since I ran out of ports for external hardware. And all of a sudden, I found myself in a situation where I had to re-assign port settings in all my programs and pretty much all my existing Ableton project files. To make things even worse: the new interface not only has plenty of ports, they all can independently act as either input or output. Hello frustration!

But since I was already beta-testing Bome Network Pro 1.3, I gave the Advanced Midi Router a shot. As it turns out, one of my most rewarding choices recently! I hope you can benefit from it, too!


Procedure

  1. Purchase Bome Network Pro (use latest beta version 1.3.1 or higher) with “Unlimited Named Midi Ports License” addon.

  2. Create Named Virtual Midi Ports for each device.
    Each device may be used in various scenarios: DAW, Editor, SysEx tool, Librarian, Midi Translator.
    As of version 1.3 Beta these Named Virtual Midi Ports seem to be not multi-client capable. So I ended up creating three virtual ports per device:

  • Device X Ableton
  • Device X Editor
  • Device X Utility
  1. Update the Midi settings in all used software.
    From now on, the “Device X Ableton” / “Device X Editor” / “Device X Utility” ports within the respective programs are all you need. Midi input/output ports from your actual hardware interface have to be disabled. These settings will be persistent, even if you decide to rewire your entire hardware.

  2. Assign virtual ports to hardware ports in the Advanced Midi Router.
    Bome Network Pro is now the heart of your entire Midi setup. It can split and merge Midi streams. You can basically connect everything with everything. So be careful and take your time during the initial setup.

  3. Enjoy Midi routing bliss!

Cheers,
Matthias


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Hi @Matthias, that’s a fantastic description and use case of the upcoming Unlimited MIDI add-on for Bome Network! Thank you very much! I’ve made it a sticky topic.

I believe in the presented configuration, you don’t need the “Pro” add-on for Bome Network. It’s only needed for computer-to-computer MIDI connectivity using Bome Network.

NB: the “Bome Network Pro” name is easy to misunderstand, and we are considering renaming it to something more descriptive, like the “C2C” add-on.

do you have 2 x M8U usb interfaces? just a bit confused as to your hardware midi port connections from Bome network pro vs the the ones from Bome box. are they separate entirely?
I have a usb hub for instruments and a Motu express xt 8x8 midi router. I plug both in to the bome box. if i have abletone and some VSTs to route midi to and from how would you suggest i integrate it in to my set up? using network?

With the standard BomeBox Firmware, BomeBox exposes only 1 MIDI connection over the network. All attached MIDI devices can share the network connection but they only one stream appears on the computer with the name of the BomeBox.

With the new Beta version of BomeBox and Bome Network Pro, you can expose all MIDI ports over separate connections to your computer from your BomeBox but right now, only one MIDI connection to another BomeBox. The plans are to have “multi-stream” network connections for everything over Bome Network Pro allowing you to share all of your MIDI ports over the network as separate devices to each connection on your network.

Steve Caldwell
Bome Customer Care


Also available for paid consulting services: bome@sniz.biz
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Hi @brettyriley,
sorry for the confusion! Yes, they are completely separate.
I have an M8U attached to my PC. The ports of this interface are directly available to the PC’s operating system (and Bome Network).
Then I have my BomeBox with M4U, Launchpad Mk2 and LPK25 attached via USB. Since all these devices are class compliant, BomeBox automatically recognizes them.

The new thing with the BomeBox Beta version which @stevec pointed out in his reply is that you now can establish direct connections to each individual Midi device on a BomeBox. Please find the attached screenshot to get an impression how this will look like.

Once the connection to the BomeBox’ Midi devices is established they can be used on the PC like a locally attached devices. You could use them directly in your DAW, or like in my case, with Bome Network’s Advanced Midi Router in between.

Hope this helps!
Matthias

Hi @florian,
thank you very much. And I’m glad you like it!
The Advanced Midi Router in combination with the Unlimited Virtual Midi port add-on alone opens an entire universe of new possibilities – not only in the Bome Network but also locally. :slight_smile:

I didn’t have the chance to test it with the non-Pro version of Bome Network yet. But since in my diagram, only a BomeBox was connected, the standard version should be sufficient, you’re right.

But I very much like the option for computer-to-computer connections for controlling visuals or “outsourcing” CPU-hungry VSTs to another machine.

I’ll keep on experimenting.

Cheers,
Matthias

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Thanks for clarifying Mattias. Can you tell me why you would need this setup over just using the BomeBox routing?
Ill be using an external sequencer and gear all clocked to ableton.
Also in the chain is a Push (output 1 controls ableton, user output controls sequencer via Bomebox and USB hub) and a VST called Dubler which is a Voice to midi microphone. Should i be using this Networks Advaced Midi routing for the VST and ableton to avoid clashing? Is this what you meant by Multi CLient capability?

Are these essentaily Aliases that are persistent on your computer not just with Bome Box?

Hi @brettyriley,

currently I’m mainly exploring the possibilities.

But I already ran into situations when I – thanks to an awkward handling of USB3 endpoints in the Intel Z97 chipset – had too many USB devices attached to my PC.
This was when I imagined how cool it would be to use BomeBoxes as distributed Midi interfaces in my LAN. With the beta firmware this is now possible. :slight_smile:

Are these essentaily Aliases that are persistent on your computer not just with Bome Box?

Exactly, all named virtual ports “[Name] Ableton” / “[Name] Editor” / “[Name] Utility” I created are persistent on my local computer. I use them a bit like aliases in Bome Midi Translator. Only that I have now have ports with proper and distinct names not only in BMT – but for all other software as well! (I always kept forgetting if I had to choose, let’s say “BMT 7” or “BMT 9”, in a certain use case.)
For me, Bome Network’s Advanced Midi Router basically retires the Midi Router in BMT.

Ill be using an external sequencer and gear all clocked to ableton.
Also in the chain is a Push (output 1 controls ableton, user output controls sequencer via Bomebox and USB hub) and a VST called Dubler which is a Voice to midi microphone. Should i be using this Networks Advaced Midi routing for the VST and ableton to avoid clashing? Is this what you meant by Multi CLient capability?

I think I have an idea of your setup and wiring. But this is based on assumptions. So please feel free to correct me.

Local machine:

  • Assumption: you are using different Midi channels for the Midi data from Push and Dubler (and probably Midi clips)
  • Midi sync activated for BomeBox Midi out in Ableton Live

BomeBox:

  • Option A: BomeBox is running a Midi Translator that splits Midi input data based on different Midi channels and distributes them to the connected Midi devices; Midi Sync Data is being sent to all connected devices
  • Option B: BomeBox Midi routing with all connected devices getting all Midi data. The devices only listen to certain channels.

Multi Client capability is important if you want a Midi port to be accessed by more than one program (client) at the same time. This is a capability the driver has to support. In your case I don’t see an issue. It’s most likely only Ableton Live handling all the midi communication. The Dubler VST also communicates through Live. Therefore Live is the only client to the driver.

On the other hand, multiple Midi streams might come in handy in your setup.

  • In case of “Option A” you would not need a Midi Translator to split data based on their Midi channels; you could send data from Live directly to a device connected to the BomeBox.
  • More a speculation: In case of “Option B” you could decrease the Midi traffic for each device and maybe get better timing and tempo synchronization.

Cheers,
Matthias

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