9 Things to Know When Choosing a MIDI to USB Cable Solution

Computers in the early 1990s consisted of many separate serial ports. The presence of so many ports resulted exists various versions of MIDI to USB cable. Each serves a particular purpose. So much so, that the speeds they offer, their dimensions, everything is different.

So, what does your company need? How can you get the right MIDI to USB cable solution? Can you do it with any USB cable? Can you customize the MIDI cable as you need?

We take a look at the top 9 things you need to look for. And see how it can help your business needs.

MIDI to USB cable for your business

Alt – MIDI to USB cable for your business

1. Select a USB Based on the Compatibility With the Targeted Device

The USB-IF has defined particular tolerance values for USB devices. It is to minimize any incompatibilities among connectors across distinct vendors. These specifications have also set some limits on the size of the connectors. These size limits ensure that the adjacent ports are not blocked.

Make sure to buy a compliant device. If you are unable to find a compatible USB connector, you can opt for an extension that does.

2. Select the Right USB to MIDI Cable Connector from Different Connector Sizes.

You have different choices here when it comes to a solution for a MIDI to USB cable.

i) Standard

The cross-section allowed for a Standard A-type connector USB boot is 16x8mm. And the dimension convention for type B is 11.5×10.5mm. The size of the Standard connectors is more compared to mini and micro connectors. Standard connectors support at least 1500 cycles of insertion and plugging-out.

ii) Mini-USB connectors:

Introduced along with USB 2.0 version standard. Mini USBs, designed for peripheral devices like cameras, tablets, and smartphones. Smartphones use Mini -B connectors for transferring data to and from other smartphones. The dimensions of the Mini-A and Mini-B plugs are about 3x7mm.

iii) Micro-USB connectors:

First Introduced in 2007, their width is similar to the width of a Mini-USB. However, the thickness of the Micro-USB connectors is half of the Mini-USB. The cable instated in the shell bears all the mechanical wear and tear. This design of Micro USB connectors reduces wear and tear on the device.

Using a USB connector

Alt –Using a USB connector

3. Select USB to MIDI Cable Based on the USB Standard Versions

There have been many developments in USB standards over the years. USB4 is the latest version:


USB4 follows the specifications of Thunderbolt 3. It has the capability of supporting speeds up to 40Gbps. Go for this version for the utter transfer speed and connectivity it offers.

USB 3.2 Gen 2×2:

It also referred to as USB 3.2. USB 3.2 has the capability of transferring data at a speed of 20Gbps. You must use compatible devices with this version. Users have reported its speed to deteriorate when not operated with compliant devices. It’s a good USB to MIDI cable solution.

USB 3.2 Gen 2:

When connected with compatible devices, it offers a transfer speed of up to 10Gbps.

USB 3.2 Gen 1:

Known as USB 3.0 before the recent updates by the USB-IF. It can offer a speed of up to 5 Gbps when used with compliant devices. It is one of the most commonly used versions as of today.

USB 2.0:

It can support a maximum transmission speed of 480 Mbps. It is one of the most widely and commonly used versions today. Initially used in printer cables, USB 2.0 is the most used version for smartphones. Today, it’s a popular MIDI to USB cable solution.

USB 1.1:

It can support a maximum transfer speed of 12Mbps. This version has been long overshadowed by the USB 2.0 due to its higher speed of transfer.

Today, the most used USB version is USB 2.0, followed by USB 3.0, whose popularity is increasing rapidly. Most devices today are compliant with version USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. It’s what you need to consider for a MIDI to USB cable solution.

Using the right USB solution

Alt – Using the right USB solution

4. Select USB to MIDI Cable Based on Pin Configurations.

You need to keep these in mind.

USB Type-A

The type-A is one of the most popular USB connecting standard. Host devices like computers, desktops, and gaming consoles use Type-A cable interfaces. Type A connectors make use of friction to keep themselves stuck in one place. They are easy to use and are available in both micro and mini variations.

USB Type B

Peripheral devices, such as printers and smartphones, generally use type B interfaces.

Printers made use of type B wires initially. However, Android smartphones have taken the place of printers now. Along with that, external hard drives also make use of Type B cables. Type B connectors are available in both Micro and Mini versions.

USB Type C

USB Type C gained popularity worldwide after the Apple MacBook launched. The Apple MacBook was the first notebook to use a Type C USB connecter. All existing peripheral devices support the Type C USB connectors.

One of the USPs of the Type C MIDI to USB cable is that it offers reverse plug orientation. Reverse plug Orientation allows users to plug in their USBs correctly each time. Type C supports version 3.1 and offers a maximum transfer speed of about 10Gbps. It boasts of a power output of almost 20V and 5A. With such high power, the Type C connector can easily cater to the power requirements of a laptop. It’s a popular MIDI to USB cable solution today.

Type C cables also offer Bi-directional power. It means you can not only charge your phone with your laptop but also use it the other way around.

USB type c

Alt – USB type c

5. USB to MIDI Connectors Depend on Different Factors

USB device classes differ. Not all will work the same way in a MIDI to USB cable. MIDI connectors play a role too. Here is what you need to know.

HID – Human Interface Device

It initially developed and used for USB connected keyboards and mice. Yet, all I/O devices can use HIDs. HIDs are also used to pass on configuration data between client and application.

MSC – Mass Storage Class

MSCs allow external devices to establish connections and act as storage devices. They are a perfect choice for data storage and acquisition. One can also use USB device drivers to link a flash file to a host file system and use peripheral devices as storage.

ADC – Audio Device Class

ADCs allow streaming audio packets between a device and a USB. They transmit data as isosynchronous packets. Similar to the MSC and HID, the ADCs also communicate with drivers within the windows itself.


It is one of the common MIDI connector pins. It’s not as fast as a USB. However, it does manage speedwell. You can use it to connect two MIDI devices. However, it’s not popular today.

CDC – Communications Device Class

CDCs enables us to implement a virtual port over USB.

Modems and telephones extensively use CDCs. CDCs also provide interfaces for sending ATM frames and signals.

Composite Device Class

Composite Device Classes also referred to as – “Multi-Function classes.” Composite Class Device supports all the drivers. Therefore, if one is not sure of the exact usability of a USB, one can opt for the generic CDC, which works across devices.

Modem use CDC

Alt –Modem use CDC

6. MIDI to USB Cables Don’t Need a Plug-in Driver

These MIDI cables come with a built-in driver. Most of these are plug and play. You don’t need to worry about installing difficult drivers. Plus, these run on different OS with ease.

You can also set programs with a MIDI in and MIDI out. You can use these to sync in with the USB port easily.

7. USB to MIDI Cables Can Have Different Lengths

For USB version 1.1, the length of a standard USB to MIDI cable must be less than 5 meters. It is applicable when all devices are at full speed, i.e., 12Mbps.

USB version 2.0 offers a maximum USB to MIDI cable length of 5 meters. Under the condition that all devices connected operate at high speed (48-Mbps).

USB version 3.0 does not specify any particular value for the maximum length of a USB to MIDI cable. It is valid if and only if, all cables comply with the electrical specifications.

Opt for the USB version 3.0 when operating within long distances or big offices.

You can customize MIDI cables too. You can customize the MIDI cables according to the length you need. A MIDI cable length can be up to 20 feet. However, it is often shorter.

USB cabling

Alt –USB cabling

8. You can Use MIDI Cables for Your iOS and Android Devices

Have equipment with a MIDI output? Want to connect it to your Android device? It’s easy to connect to equipment. It’s ideal if you are looking for an economical way to connect to your iOS or Android device. If your Android device has a USB port, it’s not a worry.

9. Customize MIDI Cables as You Want

You can hand solder the MIDI cables easily. Or, use an optional synchro cable. You can also have optional right-angle ends. Or, have straight ends – as you want. Plus, the MIDI cables can also have a logo that’s resistant to heat.

Using the right USB to connector

Alt – Using the right USB to connector


Over the years, USBs have seen many technological advancements. With the introduction of the Type C cables, the dynamics of the USB market spectrum have changed. There are many variations and models of MIDI to USB cables available in the market.

Are you looking for custom cables for your business? Take a look at what we have to offer with customizable solutions and state of the art tech, no worries.

Hey, I am John, General manager of Cloom and OurPCB.

I am a responsible, intelligent and experienced business professional with an extensive background in the electronics industry.

Reach me at sales@wiringo.com to get a quote for your projects.

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