The Synhouse MIDIJACK is a user-installable MIDI-IN retrofit for most analog mono-synths. It's easy to install for anyone who has ever used a soldering iron, comes with just about everything you need to install it, and it costs under $100! Detailed manuals as well as instructions for many specific common analog synths are available from Synhouse to make installation a snap. Synhouse L.A. will install it in your synths for about $69 if you aren't comfortable with the idea of opening up and poking around the guts of your vintage synths! The original MIDIJACK works on volts-per-octave synths from companies such as ARP, E-mu, Moog, Oberheim, Octave-Plateau, Roland, and Sequential. The MIDIJACK II works with hertz-per-volt synths such as Jen, Korg and Yamaha.
We installed MIDIJACK in an SH-101 in between 1 to 2 hours, without a single problem. Installing MIDIJACK is a big decision however. Unlike external MIDI-CV/Gate converters like those by Kenton, the MIDIJACK is a permanent installation requiring a few holes drilled, as well as some simple but evasive circuitry modifications. But once installed MIDIJACK proves it is worth the modification. It provides 16 MIDI channels and can handle note-on and note-off information but does not support pitch bender, mod-wheel, or edit parameter controls.
The basic installation process is to mount the MIDIJACK circuit somewhere inside your synth. The MIDIJACK is so small, it can even fit inside a TB-303! A hole for the MIDI-IN jack must be made. We used an exacto knife to carve out the hole in our SH-101 and the result looks professional. Additionally, four holes must be made, two for the screws to attach the circuit board to the synth and two more for the MIDI function button, and adjustment trimmer. But you can choose to install this on the side or rear where you won't see it (if possible). Finally a few wires get soldered to a few points on the SH-101 circuit board, and a few jumpers are cut and that's it! After calibrating it with the official MIDIJACK Calibration screwdriver provided, I had to use the MIDIJACK's transpose function to shift the SH-101's pitches down two octaves to get its bass notes into the proper keyboard range. The MIDIJACK can be transposed +/- three octaves for well over 10 octaves.
Using the SH-101 with MIDIJACK was great! With the MIDIJACK in MIDI-ON mode, the keyboard of the SH-101 does not work. I thought I had damaged the synth during the modification! It turns out that only incoming MIDI will control the synth in MIDI-ON mode. Holding down the single function switch for a few seconds toggled MIDI-OFF and the SH-101's local keyboard functioned normally again. This single switch can also be used to change MIDI channels, select single- or multi-trigger modes, or transpose! When you turn your synth on and off, the last setting of your MIDIJACK is retained so when you turn it back on, it will still be in the same MIDI mode or on the same channel as before.
The MIDIJACK is fully adjustable so that any analog synthesizer with exponential VCOs can be controlled, whether it is 1 volt per octave, .9 volt per octave, .32 volt per octave, or 1.2 volts per octave. The MIDIJACK provides selectable envelope triggering styles, latest note priority, and expands synthesizers to a 128-note range, greater than 10 octaves accessible through MIDI! The lack of support for pitch or mod bender wheels is disappointing. But now that your sequencer can take care of all the note playing your hands gain the freedom to tweak your synth's controls like never before! You should install a MIDIJACK in at least one analog mono-synth of your own!
- Aries Modular Synthesizers
- ARP 2500, 2600, Avatar, Axxe, Little Brother, Odyssey, Solus
- Crumar Spirit
- Doepfer Modular Synthesizers
- EML ElectroComp synthesizers
- E-MU Modular Synthesizers
- EMS Synthi A, Synthi AKS, Synthi100, VCS-3 Putney, VCS-4
- Exclusively analog Aviator
- KB Modular Synthesizers
- KB Wavemaker 4 Integrated Synthesizer
- Kawai 110F
- Korg Mono/Poly, MS-10, Korg MS-20, MS-50 (MS's may also use MIDIJACKII)
- Lord Skywave
- Moog Liberation, Micromoog, Minimoog, Minitmoog, Modular Synthesizers, Multimoog, Prodigy, Realistic Concertmate MG-1, Rogue, Satellite, Sonic 5, Sonic 6, Source, Taurus II Bass Pedals
- Oberheim SEM, OB-1
- Octave Cat, Kitten
- Orgon Enigiser
- Paia 9700 Series, EKx Series, Proteus I
- Polyfusion Modular Synthesizers
- Roland Promars MRS-2, SH-1, SH-2, SH-3, SH-3A, SH-5, SH-7, SH-09, SH-101, SH-1000, SH-2000, MC-202, TB-303, System 100, System 700
- RSF Kobol, Kobol Expander, Modular Model 11
- Sequential Circuits Pro-One
- Serge Modular Synthesizers
- SMS Voice 400
- Steiner-Parker Microcon, Minicon, Synthacon, SynthaSystem
- Synton Modular Synthesizers
- 360 Systems Spectre
- Technosaurus Microcon, Selector
- Teisco 60F, 100P, 110F
- Vermona Synthesizer
- and many more!
MIDIJACK II Compatibility
- Electro-Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer
- Jen SX-1000, SX-2000
- Korg 770, 900-PS Preset, M500 MicroPreset, M500SP MicroPreset, MiniKorg, MS-10, MS-20, MS-50 (MS's may also use the Original MIDIJACK), Synthe-Bass, X-911
- Moog Taurus I Bass Pedals
- Paia 2720, 4700 Series
- Yamaha CS5, CS10, CS15, CS15D, CS20M, CS30, SY-1, SY-2
- and many more!
- Polyphony - Monophonic
- Control - MIDI-IN notes 0-127, Sustain (cc#64); 16-channels; On/Off/Panic Modes
- Additional Features - 4-note buffer (for musical trill effects and for relaxed performance with automatic error correction); Single note triggering (for legato performance); Multiple note triggering (for articulated performance); MIDI transpose select mode (for deeper bass); Analog CV calibration mode
- Date Produced - 2000
- Resources & Credits
Images from Synhouse MIDIJACK.
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