USB vs DIN MIDI - Faster and/or more resilient?

Apologies if this is out of the scope for Bome, but the info is helping me on how to route things thru my BomeBox. And it's probably not an official Bome usage question, so again: apologies if I'm breaking protocol.

I have a choice to either send data half thru DIN MIDI and half thru USB MIDI. I know USB can be faster, but we're still talking about MIDI data which has to be at a specific rate, no? Or can it handle more data more reliably?

Data is going from a single sequencer which has 2 DIN ports Out and 1 USB. One configuration I have data split between one DIN and the USB going to the BomeBox (BomeBox DIN and via a USB Hub respectively IN to the Box). Another is all the data on 16 channels going in to the BomeBox via USB Hub and then distributed from there. (I make use of Translator based routings, so easy-peasy to swap things around on a case-by-case basis)

I assume splitting the data might be more reliable in some circumstances, but is it a significant gain over the ease of a single connection and therefore minimizing any interface usage? I'd have to cut down on the active number of Tracks I can *potentially* use (since much of my gear is multi-timbral), but I'd be willing to sacrifice that for reliability.


tl;dr - Which is better:
- 8 Channels into BomeBox on DIN MIDI and 8 Channels in on USB MIDI
- 16 Channels into BomeBox on USB MIDI (factoring in that one connection makes live performance setup in a minor sense less confusing or potentially less problematic)?

Hi, if you have a choice between MIDI DIN and USB, in general I would go with USB as long as you have a powered hub and USB class compliant devices.  The only advantage I would think of MIDI DIN is that if you are having any ground loop issues. DIN has opto isolators so that would elliminate that issue (at least for the MIDI DIN devices).

Most of the time when I run into a USB problem it is either a mis-behaving (non class compliant) device or that it drawing too much power from the host. However you can pump much more data over USB than MIDI DIN.

Not an official BOME opinion. Just my personal opinion.


Steve Caldwell
Bome Q and A Moderator and
Independent Bome Consultant/Specialist


Thanks Steve!
Sometimes I don't really remember details, so apologies.

I'm using a powered hub into the BomeBox. For some reason the 4 port USB-to-MIDI class compliant interface that I had issues with a year ago isn't causing me drama this week, so I'm back to configuring things thru the Hub.

WRT the BomeBox: is USB via a Hub preferred over DIN or is the question moot because the BomeBox is so awesome?

Yeah the BomeBox is awesome! If you have one device a DIN is fine as it is less hardware to buy.