‘World’s first’ MIDI over Bluetooth LE wireless adaptor allows user to play any MIDI instruments without the need for cables

‘World’s first’ MIDI over Bluetooth LE wireless adaptor allows user to play any MIDI instruments without the need for cables

World’s first’ MIDI over Bluetooth LE wireless adaptor allows user to play any MIDI instruments without the need for cables

QUICCO SOUND’s mi.1 Cable and mi.1 II employ Nordic nRF52832 SoC-based Insight SiP module for MIDI over Bluetooth LE connectivity between instruments, equipment and apps

Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Hamamatsu, Japan-based QUICCO SOUND, has selected an Insight SiP module integrating Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC), to power its ‘mi.1 Cable’ and ‘Mi.1 II’.

The mi.1 Cable wirelessly connects two MIDI instruments, while the Mi.1 II is used to wirelessly connect a MIDI instrument to a smartphone. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a technical standard that describes a communications protocol, digital interface, and electrical connectors that connect a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers, and related audio devices for playing, editing and recording music.

Designed to replace a traditional wired MIDI cable, the mi.1 Cable is said to be the world’s first Bluetooth MIDI pair of wireless adaptors that does not require a separate battery to operate because its low power consumption enables it to take its power directly from the small amount of current flowing through the MIDI ports.

We use Nordic solutions in our products because the company provides a unique level of customer and development support – Makoto Hiroi, QUICCO SOUND

MIDI over Bluetooth LE

Supported by the Nordic SoC-based Insight SiP ‘ISP1507-AX’ RF module, the device provides MIDI over Bluetooth LE between, for example, the MIDI instrument such as a MIDI keyboard, a MIDI controller, and a MIDI tone generator. Rather than having a MIDI IN and MIDI OUT wired cable connection between the instrument and the computer or another device supporting MIDI, mi.1 Cable plugs in to both the MIDI IN and MIDI OUT sockets to create the wireless link. This connectivity then enables bidirectional MIDI communication allowing the user to wirelessly create music or deliver a live performance.

In addition to enabling wireless connectivity between MIDI equipment, Mi.1 II can be wirelessly connected to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet for configuration of the mi.1 II from the iOS ‘mi.1 II Config’ app. The user can also take advantage of an associated smartphone-hosted, music-based production app, ‘Piano Jukebox’, when playing a MIDI instrument. In addition, mi.1 II supports the MMA (MIDI Manufacturers Association) Bluetooth LE MIDI protocol working with iOS or Android, making it possible to connect directly to popular apps like ‘GarageBand’.

Ultra-low energy design

A MIDI instrument can be used as the direct power source terminal for mi.1 Cable and Mi.1 II with no power adaptor or battery integration required. The ultra-low energy design of the device enables it to be powered by the small amount of current coming from the MIDI input and output ports. This functionality is thanks in part to the ultra-low power characteristics of the Nordic SoC. The nRF52832 has been engineered to minimize power consumption with features such as the 2.4GHz radio’s 5.5mA peak RX/TX currents and a fully-automatic power management system that reduces power consumption by up to 80 percent compared with Nordic’s nRF51 Series SoCs.

Nordic’s nRF52832 multiprotocol SoC combines a 64MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5.2, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF protocol software) featuring -96-dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. The nRF52832 SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5.2-certified RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice features Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, and supports up to twenty connections. Insight SiP’s ISP1507 integrates the nRF52832 SoC together with crystals, matching and antenna in a miniature 8 by 8 by 1mm System-in-Package module to provide a “ready to use” fully-certified RF component.

“We selected the nRF52832 SoC inside the unbelievably compact SIP1507-AX RF module for mi.1 Cable and Mi.1 II due to its powerful Arm CPU capability, large memory capacity, radio sensitivity, and power consumption,” says Makoto Hiroi, CEO of QUICCO SOUND.

“We use Nordic solutions in our products because the company provides a unique level of customer and development support including great assistance with technical issues.”

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