MIDI Hardware Options

There are a number of options when it comes to purchasing a MIDI card for use under RISC OS.

For basic MIDI use, a card with a single MIDI port (IN and OUT) is generally sufficient. However the more adventurous may wish to additionally consider audio sampling and/or synthesis capabilities, or even video capture. It would be nice if we could also consider DSP facilities, but sadly this is an option currently not available under RISC OS.

Manufacturer Model Features Driver
ACE MidiPod 1 IN, 2 OUTs (#1), 1 THRU MidiPod
Acorn AKA10/AKA15 (#2) 1 IN, 1 OUT
BBC Micro style 1MHz bus, User port, Analogue interfaces
AKA10
AKA12 (#3) 1 IN, 1 OUT, 1 THRU
BBC Micro style User port
AKA16
AKA16 1 IN, 2 OUTs (#1), 1 THRU
Computer Concepts Eagle 1 IN, 1 OUT, 1 THRU
12-bit stereo 44.1kHz audio sampler.
24-bit video digitiser.
EagleMIDI
Lark 1 IN, 1 OUT, 1 THRU
16-bit stereo 48kHz audio sampler.
LarkMIDI
MIDIMax (#4) 1 IN, 2 OUTs (#1), 1 THRU MIDIMax
ESP DMI50 (#5)
(all variations)
2 INs, 2 OUTs
Optional Yamaha XG synthesizer.
Optional 16-bit stereo 48kHz audio sampler.
DMI50
MIDIMaxII (#4) 1 IN, 2 OUTs (#1), 1 THRU MIDIMaxII
Parallel Port MIDI (#6) 1 IN, 1 OUT, 1 THRU ParallelMIDI
Morley MKA16 1 IN, 2 OUTs (#1), 1 THRU MKA16
Notes :
1 The AKA16, MIDIMax, MIDIMaxII, MidiPod and MKA16 cards are functionally identical. Note that although they each have 2 OUT ports, in each case they are not independant and carry the same data.
2 The AKA15 is the MIDI add-on for the AKA10 general purpose I/O card.
3 The AKA12 is a mini podule, suitable for use with A3000 series machines.
4 The MIDIMax card used to be manufactured by Computer Concepts, but was taken on by ESP.
5 The DMI50 card used to be manufactured by Audio Dynamics, was taken on by ESP, but is now discontinued.
6 The ParallelMIDI is not a podule-based expansion card, but is a small unit which connects to the computer's parallel (printer) port. The MIDI connectors are provided on flying leads from this small unit.

The above list is not exhaustive, though it does include all of the devices for which MIDI Support drivers are available.

Also available as a MIDI Support driver is SerialMIDI. This doesn't comprise any hardware, it is just the software driver which enables an external synthesizer fitted with a serial interface (eg the Yamaha MU10 or Roland SC88) to be connected to your computer's serial (RS232) port using a standard serial lead. So, using the SerialMIDI driver, an MU10 or SC88 can be connected to your computer without the need for a MIDI card. Both the MU10 and SC88 provide conventional MIDI IN and OUT connectors (one of each), thus enabling you to connect to other MIDI devices (and still without needing a MIDI card in your computer).

Alternatively, using SerialMIDI, a device such as the PortMan PC/S can be connected to the computer's serial port (again using a standard serial lead) to provide the conventional MIDI IN and OUT connectors (one of each).

Multiple port setups

The DMI50 is the only card that by itself offers more than one MIDI port (2 in this case, thus providing 32 distinct MIDI channels, in and out).

It is possible to go beyond this by using multiple interfaces. Eg I have both an AKA16 and a DMI50 in my RiscPC, which gives me 3 distinct IN/OUT ports (ie 48 distinct MIDI channels).