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Multi-core cable suitable for Keytar (stereo audio+ midi in/out + DC) ?

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Arjan van Gog:
Hi,

Is there a multi-core cable that would be suitable for use with a Keytar to carry the following:


* 2x unbalanced line (for stereo)
* midi in + out (midi in optional)
* + 12V DC power (optional)
* length + 7m (21 ft)
I'm wondering if there is a cable that can carry all that while still not being too heavy and bulky/inflexbile to use while walking on stage with a Keytar. Ideally I'd like to have all of this but if I can't find a cable that is light and flexible enough I might drop the DC requirement first, then the MIDI in.

Officially the two lines that carry MIDI data should be enclosed as a pair within a single shield which is connected to pin 2 of the MIDI OUT. I'm wondering if there are any multi-cores where the individual cores are organized as such; it would also work fine for the (stereo) audio signal I suppose. If not,I wonder how well individually shielded cores are going to work for this.

The idea is to having a backup in case wireless audio and/or MIDI are failing for whatever reason.

Any thoughts or suggestions for brand and type of cable?

Bob Charest:
Hi Arjan,

I don't have a specific cable recommendation, but wanted to mention one thing that could reduce the number of conductors needed - that could save some weight and might make the cable more flexible.

Most MIDI implementations Iíve seen use only 3 conductors, so that leaves 2 conductors for your DC if you were using a standard MIDI cable. I think from your post that you already were thinking this, but I wasn't sure.

So, 8 conductors total. If your stereo signal can share a ground cable, it sounds like a cable with 3 pair shielded with a drain wire for each pair would work (one drain wire wouldnít be needed.) Belden makes multi-core cable, but I just searched online and didn't find anything that seemed just right for your application.

Best regards,
Bob Charest

Matt Errend:

--- Quote from: bobcharest on March 06, 2011, 07:15:18 pm ---Hi Arjan,

I don't have a specific cable recommendation, but wanted to mention one thing that could reduce the number of conductors needed - that could save some weight and might make the cable more flexible.

Most MIDI implementations Iíve seen use only 3 conductors, so that leaves 2 conductors for your DC if you were using a standard MIDI cable. I think from your post that you already were thinking this, but I wasn't sure.

So, 8 conductors total. If your stereo signal can share a ground cable, it sounds like a cable with 3 pair shielded with a drain wire for each pair would work (one drain wire wouldnít be needed.) Belden makes multi-core cable, but I just searched online and didn't find anything that seemed just right for your application.

Best regards,
Bob Charest

--- End quote ---

Maybe Canare L-4E3-P would work for this application? Two pair star quad.

Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: Arjan van Gog on March 06, 2011, 03:00:04 pm ---Hi,

Is there a multi-core cable that would be suitable for use with a Keytar to carry the following:


* 2x unbalanced line (for stereo)
* midi in + out (midi in optional)
* + 12V DC power (optional)
* length + 7m (21 ft)
I'm wondering if there is a cable that can carry all that while still not being too heavy and bulky/inflexbile to use while walking on stage with a Keytar. Ideally I'd like to have all of this but if I can't find a cable that is light and flexible enough I might drop the DC requirement first, then the MIDI in.

Officially the two lines that carry MIDI data should be enclosed as a pair within a single shield which is connected to pin 2 of the MIDI OUT. I'm wondering if there are any multi-cores where the individual cores are organized as such; it would also work fine for the (stereo) audio signal I suppose. If not,I wonder how well individually shielded cores are going to work for this.

The idea is to having a backup in case wireless audio and/or MIDI are failing for whatever reason.

Any thoughts or suggestions for brand and type of cable?

--- End quote ---

Just another thought, maybe you've already run down this road and it isn't an option, but just in case...  All the guys I know who use a keytar just use it as a controller for another keyboard.  That way all they have to do is run one midi cable from the keytar back to the other keyboard.  Power is done via batteries.  I actually ran across one guy at a gig a few years ago who had a wireless midi thing.  It was a custom black-box deal.  It worked great till he biffed it jumping off the drum riser and smashed the keytar.

Arjan van Gog:

--- Quote from: bobcharest on March 06, 2011, 07:15:18 pm ---Most MIDI implementations Iíve seen use only 3 conductors, so that leaves 2 conductors for your DC if you were using a standard MIDI cable. I think from your post that you already were thinking this, but I wasn't sure.
--- End quote ---

Yes, I was planning on using only 2 conductors per MIDI connection (IN and OUT), possibly even try it without a screen but I'm not sure how reliable that would be.


--- Quote from: Matt Errend on March 07, 2011, 11:42:26 am ---Maybe Canare L-4E3-P would work for this application? Two pair star quad.

--- End quote ---

Looks like it might fit the bill but it's hard to tell from the information on the website (wish they'd put up a high-res picture of a worked open cable) and if it will be light and flexible enough.


--- Quote from: Erik Jerde on March 07, 2011, 04:56:06 pm ---Just another thought, maybe you've already run down this road and it isn't an option, but just in case...  All the guys I know who use a keytar just use it as a controller for another keyboard.  That way all they have to do is run one midi cable from the keytar back to the other keyboard.  Power is done via batteries.  I actually ran across one guy at a gig a few years ago who had a wireless midi thing.  It was a custom black-box deal.  It worked great till he biffed it jumping off the drum riser and smashed the keytar.

--- End quote ---

I'd love to go midi-only but there are some sounds in this particular Keytar (Roland AX Synth) that I really like which I'm not sure I can get from the rest of my rig. I'll have to look into that before deciding whether to go audio, midi or both.

I'm aware of wireless MIDI solutions but this cable is kinda meant as a backup in case the wireless stuff fails.

Having said that, does anyone know of a decent and affordable (say $500 max) stereo wireless solution? Yes, I really really like to have my sounds in stereo if at all possible. A solution with a plug containing the actual transmitter a la Samson Airline would be nice but I've heard good things about Line 6 digital wireless solutions and I'll accept a pack if it gives better quality and reliability. So far I've only seen mono solutions though and I don't really want to walk around with 2 body packs (3 if I do add wireless MIDI as well).

The whole idea of a (wireless) Keytar is to be able to move around on the stage for a change. Having two or three bodypacks or a heavy multi-channel cable is not going to help in that regard so I need a light and flexible cable and/or a sleek wireless solution.

Thanks for all you comments so far, appreciated. I guess I should first figure out if I'm going to do midi, audio, or both.

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