Midi Tempo and midi power from BB?

I’m using BB to provide tempo for several midi devices. It works well with the Infinity Looper, but not with another device.

Could you please tell me what BB transmits for tempo - time code, beat clock or whatever.

Also, as I’ll have to use a midi splitter and merge boxes, does the BB’s midi transmissions include power?

Many thanks.

MIDI cable is not capable of carrying power. This is not BeatBuddy exclusive.

Note: Following data reflects the state as of firmware 1.2.5 (the most current version is 1.2.9, though!)

BeatBuddy currently has a basic set of MIDI operations covered:
MIDI Start = 0xFA (or 250) - is sent every time you start a song or unpause (when Mute Pause is not enabled)
MIDI Stop = 0xFC (or 252) - is sent every time you stop a song or pause it (when Mute Pause is not enabled)
MIDI Tick (or quarter notes) = 0xF8 (or 248) - is sent every time a quarter note amount of time passes (depends on current BPM).

Do you mean that the BB doesn’t provide midi power?

What do you mean by midi power? MIDI is not used for powering devices but maybe you mean something else?

Midi power is 5 volts or so, but a lot of midi devices don’t produce it. I need to know if the BB produces this - which interpreting Defecators’ assertion that midi cable “never” transmits midi power (now deleted!!), might mean it doesn’t. My need derives from having to use a midi splitter - which is one of the devices that do use midi power, for the BB output.

Never heard of midi power before, however from the link below it requires a 7 pin cable to be able to run phantom power over the extra 2 pins. The Beatbuddy breakout is 5 pins x2 for midi in and out so it cannot support midi power.


That’s what I’d thought. So thanks for the information :wink: For yours, the midi spec is for midi power, but like BB a number of other devices don’t support it.

BTW look at Midi Solutions (for example)… Theyr Midi equipment is standart powered by Midi power, they also have a Midi power adapter, to run theyr devices that are next to a not-Midi-powered device in the midi chain…

I use BB mid out as master tempo to a Midi Solutions Quadra Thru to send clock to a bunch of stuff, works great. Indicator light for signal is also handy. Nice to split clock directly and not rely on passing through devices.

Thanks Dennis. I’m using Midi Solutions splitter and merge boxes but I needed to find out if the BB transmits midi power before hooking up a power adaptor.

Power is transmitted through pins 1 and 3, and doesn’t require a 7 pin midi cable, so my question isn’t a stupid as others here might have assumed. Most problems with setting up midi devices occur when companies use only some of the protocol. To use with other devices, we then have to find out which bits they’ve used, and the limitations of that equipment.

Thanks Norbert - my intention too. Do your receive devices have midi power, or are you using a power adaptor? If you have time, could you list your devices and the midi chain please? I guess you use a midi merge at some point to send other midi control data?

Hi Hugo,
A voltmeter on the pins would be a good check, didn’t confirm but BB is powering the Quadru Thru which is passive and sending signals downstream. I think power would only be needed out downstream if another passive box like the Merger is inline and not getting it from it’s input device. Midi Solutions tech is good and worth an email. I split midi to send clock from BB to a Novation Synth, Line 6 M5 Stomp modeler for controlling modulation and to a Pigtronix Infinity for loop synch/start/stop and to a Mac for messing around with other things which hoping more midi on BB will give options to. I have a merger too but not using right now.

THat’s really helpful Norbert. Thanks. Midi Solutions had suggested asking BB - hence this thread. It would be good to have something definitive from BB,

So, having got midi splitter box and merge boxes, I discover that the BB does transmit midi power. This is not great, as believing what I was told above by Defecator, I also bought a power adapter.

Only now the BB is not transmitting tempo. Can a staff member please tell me which pins transmit what in the 5 pin breakout so I can try to work out what’s going on here.

I would still not rely on using MIDI cable as a power supply. An adapter is still the best decision for you to never have any issues with either BeatBuddy or the other unit you are using.

You can refer to the pin layout shared by @neophytte here - http://mybeatbuddy.com/forum/index.php?threads/diy-midi-cable.1599/#post-6876

By the way, I’ve heard rumors that users have difficulties with BeatBuddy not transmitting MIDI messages that are received through MIDI In to MIDI out. MIDI messages that is generated by BeatBuddy are transmitted correctly. I still haven’t had any time to check that :frowning:

Thanks. The pin layout explained why no clock beat. That’s OK now.

The simplistic nature of BB midi means you’d only use it to transmit tempo, and stop/start a looper. So you wouldn’t need in/out/thru.

But seriously Defecator, BB transmits midi power full stop. You only need it to a midi splitter, and another midi device will also provide power. If there’s a problem with BB’s midi power, then there’s also going to be a problem with the rest of the midi output (it goes through the same two pins) and so BB would be useless for midi. You’d only need an adaptor if you had a long run of cable, which isn’t going to be the case in a guitar rig.

Most likely I had a different thing in mind when answering about MIDI power. I will try my best to deliver less vague answers next time. I believe I need more sleeping hours :slight_smile: