MDI-1 MIDI Box. 100% good working condition. please note this is 117volt 50/60Hz made specifically for USA use. (usually you see 120volt listed, but the average for USA is actually 117volt) 

Connection-wise, this offers a switchable MIDI In/Out socket, MIDI Thru (both DIN), Trigger In and Out plus CV Out - all on jacks which can interface with your synth. The Out socket is there for connection to a MIDI drum machine to allow it to be stepped by an analogue sequencer or gate trigger synth, and functions only in Mode 4 - which leads me nicely on to the MIDI Box's modes of operation.

There are five of these listed on the unit's front panel for easy reference and you press the large Select pushbutton until the red LED lights for the appropriate one indicating the current operation. A rundown of each mode will give you an idea of this unit's potential.

MODE 1: MIDI Initialise

This is the MDI-1's default mode when power is first turned on. When using a MIDI keyboard to control samples on the DIG420, you are required to define whereabouts you want the available three octave replay range to fall on the keyboard. This you do by pressing the key you wish to correspond to the original sample pitch, then three octaves can be played below that note.

You can only play notes of a higher pitch than that original sample by moving the Multi knob on the Vesta Sampler's front panel from its Cal(ibrated) position. This will then shift the whole three octaves up by an equal degree but the new sample pitch will still physically correspond to the top note of the three octave span assigned by you on your MIDI keyboard.

The function of this mode as the name implies is to initialise MIDI note event information which defines your keyboard position, MIDI channel in use and MIDI mode. Apart from performing the keyboard assignment just described, you don't need to worry about setting your MIDI synth to Mono mode in order to play the monophonic samples of the DIG420 - it's all done for you. If you do forget to assign your sample top note (confusingly referred to in the awfully misleading leaflet called an owner's manual, as the base note), you can still play the Sampler or CV synth because it defaults to MIDI keynote 60 (Middle C).

Driving the Vesta DIG420 Sampler/Delay from a MIDI synthesizer.


MODE 2: MIDI Play

Straightforward: this is the most used mode of all as it's the one you'll need to be in to control the synth.

MODE 3: MIDI Record

Instead of using either the Vesta Sampler's Hold/Rec button or footswitch to select the sample record function, you can control it with a MIDI note-on signal by pressing any key on your MIDI synth, which is all this mode does.

To be honest, it seems a redundant feature to me because what it doesn't do is allow you to sample your sound using the keyboard to activate the record status, then immediately play your samples back. You have to unplug the lead from the Hold/Rec footswitch socket on the Sampler and place it into the Gate In socket before you can replay the sample. This idiosyncrasy of the Sampler was one I had hoped the MIDI Box might have cured, but it doesn't unfortunately.

MODE 4: Trigger-In Record

This basically duplicates the action of Mode 3, but takes its cue from a 5 volt trigger pulse sent by the synth, drum machine or sequencer to the Trig In socket on the rear of the MIDI Box. It's useful for triggering a percussive sample stored in the Vesta unit using, say, a Roland TR606 Drumatix, though as no pitch information is sent it'll always replay the sample at its original pitch. An audio signal such as a miked-up acoustic drum kit could also activate the Sampler in this mode if desired or, more usefully, it could be used to salvage the necessary timing relating to the tempo of a poorly recorded drum track, and then used to trigger a MIDI drum machine connected to the MDI-1's MIDI Out.

MODE 5: Trigger-Out Polarity

In this mode a pulse received at the Trig In or MIDI In socket will cause the trigger to flip from positive to negative or vice versa. Don't let this put you off, it exists primarily to satisfy the quirky nature of the Vesta Sampler's Hold/Rec footswitch socket which operates when it obtains a negative trigger.

So that's about it for the MIDI Box apart from mentioning the Tune control which allows adjustment to be made to the control voltage output to help compensate for tuning errors (remember them) between various makes of the old analogue synthesizers.

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Listed6 months ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Brand
Model
  • MDI-1 MIDI Box
Categories
Made In
  • Japan

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Analog Recreation

New York City, NY, United States
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