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Interface MIDI Instruments to a PC Through a USB Port

Interface MIDI Instruments to a PC Through a USB Port

This Design Idea uses the FT232BM from Future Technology Devices International, a USB-to-UART interface IC that you need not program, to interface a USB port to the MIDI (musical- instrument-digital-interface) bus.
This hardware doesn’t require you to write any software. However, you must install two drivers. First, you need the free VCP driver from FTDI. It allows you to use this interface as a common serial-port interface. Before you install it, you must change a string in the file FTDIPORT.INF to set up the 31,250-baud rate for FT232BM. Then, you can configure VCP to run at 38,400 baud. (The real baud rate will be 31,250 as preset in FTDIPORT.INI.)

Then, you must install another driver that permits you to see your VCP serial port as a MIDI port for addressing all MIDI messages. You can find a lot of similar drivers on the Internet. For example, the Roland serial MIDI driver is available at http://www.roland.it/dow_drivers/for_win/serial32_wxp2k.exe. You can enable this driver on the COM1 or the COM3 port.

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