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ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Discuss graphics hardware, computer hardware, and input/output devices to use with TouchDesigner

ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby EARTHLONDON » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:22 am

We're using an ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 to send DMX triggers which works fine but would also like to use it to send MIDI notes too (as it does both simultaneously with it;s breakout cable). The device doesn't appear in the MIDI device mapper though. Is this a configuration thing on the ENTECC or is it not supported for some reason?

Thanks
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby ben » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:08 pm

Reading through ENTTECs features list...
Midi input & output ports (DMX + MIDI cable sold
separately) – MIDI needs software support

They say it needs "software support" which is leaving it up to all the various software applications to add custom MIDI support for this device. We have not done that. It really would have been nice of them to include drivers for it imo, pretty strange for a MIDI device.
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby EARTHLONDON » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:55 pm

Thanks Ben. Yeah that's a bit rubbish of them. Any chance you guys could give them a nudge? I'll do the same but I'm assuming someone with lots of users like yourselves will have more sway...
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby EARTHLONDON » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:25 am

I wrote to Enttec about this and got the following, rather unhelpful response,

'This is something we can not help with due to it would be a software development issues. We have released the API to the 3rd party Developers to make this possible. As this devise has a complex micro chip that handles the DMX and Midi simultaneously it is unable to just be a plug and play.'

Derivative, any chance of building something in for this? Thanks in advance!
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby ben » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:07 pm

It's possible but unfortunately not on our radar at the moment, and we do not have a Mk2 device. Until we look at it, we aren't sure if it would even be recognizable as a standard MIDI device or have to go through its own OP. It is something someone could use Pro Support hours for but at the cost of USB MIDI IN/Out dongles (ie. cheap) the question shifts to "Is it worth it?"
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby Ennui » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:20 am

We've used the artnet entecc box (cat-5 one) in touchdesigner without any problems. I also had the mk1 working at some point but cant really remember what we did.
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby ben » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:10 pm

Hey Richard, yeah the mkII box is working just fine for DMX, but it also has MIDI in/out which is the part not working here.
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby JWalton » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:18 pm

Hi guys, It isn't that ENTTEC didn't want to implement the driver, it's more so that such a driver doesn't exist for such a complex USB device without 3rd party software developers getting involved. The pro MK2 is essentially a USB-> Serial converter and a USB midi device all rolled into one on the same chip. Naturally this means both DMX & MIDI it will not work with a standard class compliant driver.

Even if ENTTEC did put the significant effort into making a Windows MIDI driver for the FTDI232 chip that worked without any additional coding from the software manufacturer, it would stop the DMX ports from working. This is down to windows only being capable of recognising the serial converter (DMX) side, or the MIDI USB side (MIDI) - there is no current class complaint driver for both rolled into one device.

ENTTEC provides examples of the pro MK2 API to 3rd party software designers to enable them to use the Pro MK2 to its maximum capability.

When we integrated the Pro MK2 API for our software (in C++) it didn't take hugely long.

Sure it's not as simple as plugging it in straight away into any software and seeing it work, but it's worth remembering that, just because a unit has MIDI connectors on one end and a USB on the other it doesn't mean it's going to be class compliant with windows range of basic drivers. :p

If touch designer doesn't want to implement the full API there's nothing stopping you buying a cheap USB MIDI device plugged into a different USB port and using it in conjunction with your USB Pro MK2.

Hope this sheds some light on the situation,

Cheers,

J
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby elburz » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:37 am

JWalton wrote:Hi guys, It isn't that ENTTEC didn't want to implement the driver, it's more so that such a driver doesn't exist for such a complex USB device without 3rd party software developers getting involved. The pro MK2 is essentially a USB-> Serial converter and a USB midi device all rolled into one on the same chip. Naturally this means both DMX & MIDI it will not work with a standard class compliant driver.


Interesting, didn't know that. Was your implementation able to reach maximum potential or did you find other hidden hurdles along the way?
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Re: ENTTEC DMX-USB Pro MK2 & MIDI

Postby JWalton » Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:02 pm

Interesting, didn't know that. Was your implementation able to reach maximum potential or did you find other hidden hurdles along the way?


I wouldn’t go as far as saying I’m an expert in the field… just someone who dabbles in it in my spare time; I mainly learn through making mistakes and putting pieces together… The sample code and API from Enttec was fairly useful once I'd got my head around it. I wouldn’t say there were any specific unexpected hurdles I came across, everything just seemed to work :)
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