Optimizing BLE-MIDI with regards to timing #Bluetooth #MIDI @NordicTweets

MIDI is a well-known protocol used by musical instruments to communicate. A typical modern application is connecting a musical keyboard to a DAW, letting you record directly into software and edit your notes. MIDI devices do not transmit sound, but rather small commands telling the receiver for example that a key has been pressed or released or that a controller knob has been turned.

MIDI can be transmitted over multiple transports, the most common today being USB. Originally it was designed for serial connections over 5 pin DIN-connectors. MIDI is also used virtually within, and between, software applications.

Bluetooth Low Energy is an emerging transport for MIDI, and there are already several products on the market using the relatively new BLE-MIDI specification. The wireless nature of Bluetooth LE opens a lot of new possibilities for musical instruments as wearable and portable devices.

There are good resources available online for setting up a BLE-MIDI service. However, we have yet to come across any good resources on how the actual data should be handled or how to deal with the timestamps to reduce jitter and optimize for low latency. In this student project we have made the sample described in this blogpost as an attempt to set up a fully functional serial/BLE MIDI converter. It is by no means a perfect solution yet, but we hope it can be helpful.

The sample code can be found in here: https://github.com/BLE-MIDI/NCS-MIDI

Read more in the Nordic article here.

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1 Comment

  1. Oh that’s a very interesting article! And, the sample code uses Zephyr – nice to have a good sample for that.

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