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Top 5 Budget MIDI-Enabled Devices

M-AUDIO MIDISPORT 2x2

Nowadays, you can do anything with your mobile device: work, play, study, research, and communicate. But did you know that, in addition to all the technological advances that help you be more efficient at daily tasks, there have also been innovations that cater to budding musical composers and songwriters? Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is an industry standard technology that makes learning, playing, and creating music a much easier and more rewarding task. MIDI commands enable electronic performance controllers, musical instruments, and computing units such as laptops and other computer-related devices to communicate with each other. So, whether your goal is to play in a band, enhance your musical skills, or perform privately at home, MIDI protocols are there to help. Here are some of the top budget MIDI-enabled devices available in the market today.

Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface

Pros: Are you currently searching for a simple upgrade to your computer’s audio hardware? Or perhaps you’re planning to record high quality audio or music on your tablet PC? The Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface is a quick and simple solution for computer DJs, and a range of other audio applications. The Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface offers two analog inputs and outputs, S/PDIF optical output, and USB connectivity. Its stereo headphone output also features level control that lets you listen to audio input and output at the same time. The device works with both Mac and Windows computers. The Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface is powered through USB; no external power supply is needed.

Cons: There are a few limitations to this product that may set back professional users. While it is useful to be able to hear signals from the board, this option is not helpful during playback or the recording process. It would be nice if the computer’s audio could be fed back into the device’s interface so that it can be used in monitoring. The device’s plastic housing makes it less ideal for users on the road.

M-AUDIO MIDISPORT 2×2

Pros: This MIDI device has been released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of M-Audio offering audio recording solutions to consumers. The M-Audio MIDI Sport 2×2 has a sleek and darker look than the Behringer, and it is perfect for connecting a number of audio devices to your computer. Its USB 1.1 connector makes MIDI transfer easy, fast, and reliable. It has a 2 in/2 out MIDI interface, with 32 channels, along with Mac and Windows OS compatibility. It is great for reducing the delay associated with long MIDI through-chains.

Cons: Although the design of the device is sturdy and its metal case appears dependable, there are still a few users who say that the M-Audio MIDI Sport 2×2 is poorly designed. Some users also commented that the device may not correctly display results if you use the In/Out A+B sets.

MIDI Solutions Merger

Pros: MIDI Solutions Merger is a quick and easy way to send MIDI sources to one input. All you need to do is plug both MIDI outputs into your Merger device, and then let it do its work. MIDI Solutions Merger features a fast algorithm that ensures MIDI data is processed and merged without delay – it even offers an LED indicator for visual feedback. Thankfully, this easy-to-use device also doesn’t require programming at all.

Cons: This simplified audio interface is a 2-in and 1-out merger and may not work well for individuals who are working with more than two devices.

Alesis Guitar Link Plus Audio Interface

Pros: Whether you are practicing, performing, or recording, the Alesis Guitar Link Plus lets you easily connect your guitar, bass, and other line level instruments into your computer. It features analog-to-digital audio conversion of up to 44.1 kHz. The Alesis Audio Link Guitar Link also boasts a USB connection compatible with both Mac and Windows PCs so that you can easily record the music you play.

Cons: If you are searching for an easy plug and play device, then this device may not be right for you. The product asks the user to install software without providing adequate information. You need to dig into the user manual to install the device successfully in first attempt. Some users also recommend adding using a USB output device if your computer has latency issues.

MOTU FastLane USB

Pros: Motu FastLane US’s MIDI interface offers an efficient combination of power and convenience. It is essentially a simple 2-input/output USB interface for your Mac or Windows PC computer. With a price that is definitely perfect for budget-minded individuals, the Motu FastLane USB works great as a professional MIDI interface for a home studio. It is highly portable and supports 32 channels of MIDI playback and recording, enabling you to create and edit music on your personal computer. It also integrates well with any other MIDI controller or keyboard.

Cons: May need a lot of diagnosing, re-starting, and driver re-installations after a good amount of use. Some users have reported issues when being hooked to a dual 2.0 GHz GV USB connection.

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