Use USB hub & clock

While I’m waiting for my Mk2 pre-order, I started to think how to integrate it into my setup. I understand the Electra One has 2 MIDI interfaces, with 16 channels each, so I can control up to 32 channels in total, shared between the USB and DIN MIDI connections.

One question I have is whether I can connect a USB hub to the host port to connect multiple USB MIDI devices to the E1? And if so, what would determine the interface (1 or 2) a hub connected device gets assigned to?

A second question is if the interfaces maintain separate clocks, or if they can be synced, so that clock/sync received on one interface is passed on to the other.

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"Electra features a <USB HOST> port to connect USB MIDI devices and Electra accessories. Although there is only one USB port, it is possible to connect a standard USB Hub to increase the number of USB ports.

Any USB MIDI device connected to Electra’s <USB HOST> port can be assigned to PORT 1, PORT 2, or CTRL.

To open the USB Host configuration window, press and hold the [MENU] and then press the right-top [PATCH REQUEST] button."


Cool, that’s what I hoped - so I can use a hub to connect more than 1 USB device on each MIDI interface/Port.

Yup, E1 supports hubs. mk1 can connect up to two devices. with mk2 I want to make the number of devices higher.

Without any configuration, a USB device gets connected to the first available port. You can adjust this on the USB HOST settings page (as @phonaak wrote). If you want to make the connection assigments permanent. You can adjust the E1 configuration so that particular USB device gets connected to the same port whenever you connect it.

They maintain separate clocks. But again, there will be extra routing options on mk2. I am quite sure that some kind of merging will be introduced.


@Martin somewhat related to this thread. I am thinking of supporting two E1’s in the Ableton remote script, where the first always displays the effect and the second always displays the mixer. Plugging in the second E1 in the USB Host port seems like the best way to go (the 2nd E1 gets power through the 1st; Nice!). But is there a way to address SysEx messages to a specific E1? (The mixer uses SysEx messages too, for visibility of controls and changing group label names)


Yeah, I seen that idea (of yours) somewhere already, probably github. It is super cool. I am making steps to make it possible for E1 to to send “extra messages” to specific device / port. The setup of two E1s is one example. But I am also working on making a Launchpad mini kind of companion device for E1. Launchpad would get programmed dynamically by E1 according to the preset pages.


This mostly works now with the latest version of the remote script on the repository :wink:

(E1 means E1 MKii)

Now that the E1 MKii is out, @martin can you say how many USB MIDI devices it can support?

I am thinking of connecting two Blokas Midihubs via a USB hub to the E1 to control mappings without using physical MIDI ports.

The Midihub has 4 MIDI ports enumerated and I think a serial port that is used for the app for configuration.

I would use one port from both connected Midihubs.

I would use that port to send CC messages via controls on the screen but I would also use them from Lua scripts.

  1. Would this setup work?
  2. Would I be able to make it permanent so that eventually when everything is powered on (in whatever order) the ports get connected to where they should be?

Also, I think I know the answer but would it be possible to forward the serial ports of the Midihubs to the other USB connection so that they show up on my computer and allow me to use the app while the Midihubs are connected to the E1?

E1 accepts up to two USB devices connected to the host. USB hub is needed for that. E1 however, merges data from ports (USB MIDI cables to be precise). Depending on the nature of the data transmitted on the Midihubs ports, the data can be mixed in an incorrect way.

I am taking steps towards being able to work (and route) the individual ports. It will require bigger changes though.

Serial… as an owner of MidiHub I would love to be able to control Midihub with E1. Unfortunately, there is no info about the protocol used over the serial. It might not be needed for simple forwarding, but still, I have not made any tests or efforts on that.

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I think the smoothest option will be to plug the Midihubs into my computer during editing and then plug them back to the E1 when I’m done.

If I need to MIDI map controls from the E1 I can use PipeWire on Linux to connect my MIDI connections.

It’s still unclear however if the E1 could remember which USB device should go to which USB MIDI port in case the Midihubs power on after the E1, or they get disconnected for whatever reason.

What pipes are you using on the Midihub? Basic filtering/CC remapping could probably be done on the fly in the Electra.

I have two Midihubs each running quite a bit of pipes to integrate the following:

  • Nord Piano
  • Nord Lead A1
  • Nord Rack 2
  • Digitone
  • Syntakt
  • Digitakt
  • Analog Heat
  • Boss GT1000CORE

In the same vein, could I connect my motu midi XT with USB to the device port on the E1, and use the XT in the same way as if connected to the computer?

How does the USB midi on the E1(MK2) compare when connected with other USB midi gear in terms of clock jitter/stability as opposed to when it’s connected to a computer? I’ve read that USB jitter is mainly caused by the os and software factors from the computer; would it possibly perform better with the E1?

I’m already using an expert sleepers es3/8md for main clock distributed and merged by the XT, so would be nice to have connection to the patchbay directly as the computer would through USB connection. Sort of shelved using USB midi for timing critical data.

edit: I suppose not, as the XT requires a driver and is probably not class compliant.