FAQ

OpenPipe Breakout

How good is OpenPipe Breakout sound quality?

The OpenPipe Breakout does not generate any sound itself. The sound quality is related to the way we generate the sound. With the basic examples using PWM and a speaker you cannot get very good sound. When connecting using MIDI-USB Shield to a PC or iPad the sound quality is determined by the synthesizer app and there are a lot of apps with impressive sound quality.

How do I connect the OpenPipe Breakout to the Arduino?

Short answer: Check OpenPipe Breakout to Arduino connections here.
Long answer: The OpenPipe Breakout has an I2C/TWI interface, so you need to connect to Arduino I2C/TWI pins and also VCC and GND. VCC input max is 5V so you can connect directly to Arduino 5V pin. Depending on the Arduino version you are using the I2C/TWI pins will be different. You can find Arduino I2C/TWI pins in the Wire Arduino reference page.

How do I connect the OpenPipe Breakout to the iPhone/iPad?

In order to connect the OpenPipe Breakout to Apple devices you need the MIDI-USB Shield. Info on how to connect this shield to iPhone/iPad is here.

How do I connect the OpenPipe Breakout to the Android devices?

In order to connect the OpenPipe Breakout to Android devices you need the MIDI-USB Shield. Info on how to connect this shield to Android is here.

How to change OpenPipe Breakout fingerings?

If you want to change the fingerings or create new ones you need to generate a new fingerings.h file for the OpenPipe Library. We use a Python script to update fingerings.h file. Take a look to the script here to understand how the fingering is defined. Once you have generated the updated fingerings.h remember to setup the new fingerings in the Arduino sketch with OpenPipe.setFingering(FINGERING) function like we do in the examples.

OpenPipe MIDI-USB Shield

How do I connect the OpenPipe MIDI-USB Shield to the iPhone/iPad?

The OpenPipe MIDI-USB Shield uses the standard MIDI-USB protocol so its compatible with iOS apps. The shield has an USB connector so you need an adapter in order to link with the iPhone/iPad:

Once the shield is connected to the iPhone/iPad its detected as MIDI device so any app using MIDI IN/OUT will work with the shield.

How do I connect the OpenPipe MIDI-USB Shield to Android devices?

The OpenPipe MIDI-USB Shield uses the standard MIDI-USB protocol so its compatible with Android devices as long as they implement USB host. In order to connect the shield to Android devices with microUSB you will need an USB OTG cable.

Once the shield is connected to the Android device its detected as MIDI device so any app using MIDI IN/OUT will work with the shield.

Which apps can I use with the OpenPipe MIDI-USB Shield?

As the shield uses standard USB-MIDI protocol, any Windows/MacOS/Linux/iOS/Android application will work together with the shield. Here you can see some tested apps:

  • MacOS
    • Garageband
  • Linux
    • FluidSynth
  • iOS
    • ThumbJam
    • UniversalPiper

General

What about MIDI latency?

Lets call “MIDI latency” the time interval between the MIDI command is issued and the related sound is generated. In real time music scenarios it must be under 20ms in order to the player to perform properly. Higher latencies make playing inviable. The OS and MIDI/Synth software have high impact on MIDI latency so you must select the right OS based on your needs.

  • MacOS has been for long time the best OS for music creation and the MIDI latency is very low.
  • iOS is also a great OS for MIDI music. Latency is usually lower than 20ms limit.
  • Windows has not great performance regarding MIDI latency. Some tweaks like ASIO drivers are needed in order to improve MIDI latency.
  • Linux also need some tweaks to achieve low latency.
  • Android has been for long time bad OS regarding MIDI latency but recently (since Android 6) this started to change and we can find now some devices in the market with low MIDI latency. Here you can find the list of Android devices with their audio latency and also one app for testing latency yourself.

The final conclusion is that if you need low latency you must use Apple devices but hopefully will have Android devices with low latency also.