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Author Topic: Dumb cable question  (Read 3355 times)


  • Tribesman
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Dumb cable question
« on: August 02, 2006, 03:25:06 PM »

Greetings all.

As mentioned, I would call this a dumb question, but I feel the need to ask it anyway.

Can one connect the Active MIDI Cable that powers the Zendrum into a regular MIDI connection without any ill effects?  For example, if I just wanted to connect my DTX to a sampler, and the only thing I had was my 15' Active, could I do that without scrambling, melting, or otherwise exploding my machines?  Obviously this is a question I'd want to ask before I actually tried it, so feedback would be appreciate.  Thanks and apologies in advance.

"Batman Purple" ZX, Roland TD-9, MIDI Solutions Footswitch Controller, misc. triggers.


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Re: Dumb cable question
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2006, 04:03:39 PM »

There're no dumb questions!

The standard MIDI cable only uses 3 pins out of 5.
The "Active" MIDI cable uses all 5 pins on the connector (Zendrum uses those two extra to feed the 9v)

I don't think it would make any harm to use this cable with other MIDI equipment.


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Re: Dumb cable question
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2006, 04:08:39 PM »

Some extra information about MIDI connections:

The diagram shows a MIDI connector. Pins 2, 4 and 5 are used on standard MIDI cables. Pins 1 and 3 are also used on active MIDI cables.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2006, 04:13:59 PM by boismenu »


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Re: Dumb cable question
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 12:48:38 PM »


I have used the Zen MIDI cable to hook up my DM Pro to my PC with (at least to my knowledge) no ill effects or weird happenings.



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Re: Dumb cable question
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2006, 09:18:49 PM »


I think one of the main confusions here (as this question, or ones like it, come up often) is in the nomenclature.  It's not an "Active" Midi cable, it's an ALL-PINS ACTIVE cable.  What that means is, all 5 pins are wired, which we need for the power portion of the Zendrum Midi jack.  I believe people are confusing this with "active" electronics, etc. and worrying about it.

Hope that clears up someting for someone!

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