Help with gear/recommendations

Started by Justification, October 06, 2023, 12:39:37 AM

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Hi all!  I'm just stepping foot into the world of midi and need some of the high-quality information you all seem to have.  The problem is my niche is a little too niche and I don't know where to begin to look.

I'm a violin and saxophone player.  I play an EWI5000 (a midi controller sax manufactured by Akai that has a 5-pin midi out) and a Fourness Fuze (a midi violin similar to the Zeta Fusion that has a 13-pin midi out). 

I'm trying to get the instruments to control SWAM sounds by Audio Modeling through a laptop or tablet.  So far I have had minimal success getting the EWI to work.  With a couple of workarounds I was able to use a WIDI Master to connect to SWAM, but there was a ton of latency.  I have researched enough to see it has something to do with the way Windows processes Bluetooth and that problem can be fixed by purchasing a WIDI Bud or purchasing a dedicated apple iPad, which may be the route I go.

Things are much less clear with the violin.  Is it even possible to get the 13-pin connection of the violin to communicate with a computer/tablet without some external hardware?  Most of the people I've seen using MIDI violins are plugging into a Roland Gr-55, but that sounds like an expensive solution if the only thing I'm using it for is converting the 13-pin into a 5-pin that can be recognized by a second WIDI Master.

Any suggestions you all have would be greatly appreciated.  I doubt there is any kind of online community for these instruments like you have here.  Even just a suggestion of some keywords to use in the search box would be of great help.  I really have no idea where to start.


HI - here's what I know, based on my experience -
1) Bluetooth latency can be very high when compared to WiFi, and WiFi latency is higher than wired connection. I would forget about using BT altogether, though Wifi might be "good enough". If I were using a MIDI wind controller, I would use a cable to connect to a wired MIDI interface, which in turn would be connected to my laptop (same as using my keyboard).

2) The 13 pin output of the violin is (most likely) not MIDI. It's analog, and in order to use it to trigger a MIDI synth, the signal will have to be converted from analog to digital. This is the reason some use a GR-55 - it can function as a "pitch-to-MIDI" converter.


GK 13 pin to midi can be achieved with Roland devices such as SY-1000, GR-55, GR-33, GR-20, GI-10, GI-20, AXON AX-50, AX-100.
There are also other Roland/Boss products which can only do GK 13 pin to USB midi like the GP-10 direct into a Windows/Mac/Linux computer.

I have not had any latency issues using the CME WIDI products, they can be set to "low latency mode".

Free "GR-55 FloorBoard" editor software from


Thank you both for your help.  I've just placed an order for an ipad and gr55.  I just didn't like pulling the trigger on something that expensive to do such a small task.  Especially considering how old it is.  You would think an item like this would get an update after so many years, but I guess that's what happens when you're working with something so niche.

I will say the latency problems with the Widi are due to the software on my windows machine.  I only really tried it once, but the only way I could get it to work was by running two different pieces of software so the third software could recognize the signal.  I'm hoping using an ipad will solve this issue completely and it is probably better to use a dedicated device anyway.


What ipad app works with GR-55?  There is a MIDI DESIGNER  control panel app.

10 years ago there was working wireless GR-55 app but it relied heavily on the " Jabrudian MISSING LINK" hardware adapter, which is unavailable

True. With an IOS compatible 5 pin MIDI ADAPTER  you could trigger Ipad SoftSyth apps