Yamaha MD-BT01 Wireless Bluetooth MIDI Dongle

Wireless MIDI devices like the OWOW MIDIS I talked about in this post work by sending MIDI controls wirelessly over Bluetooth.

Why Bluetooth and not, say, Wi-Fi? Because Bluetooth is significantly more energy efficient, consumes a lot less power and is less prone to interference than standard 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi.

Now, we all know that Bluetooth is vastly supported by computers, smartphones and tablets but implementation by professional music devices is very very rare. What if I want to send those MIDI controls wirelessly from one of the OWOW gizmos to, say, my hardware synth? Or to my Fractal Axe Fx to control guitar effects parameters?

Axe FX does not support Bluetooth. Nor do any of its competitors like Line6 Helix, Kemper Profiler – let alone older FX-only machines.

None of the professional Moog, Nord, Yamaha or Roland synths that I know of support Bluetooth.

All of these devices, however, do support MIDI, so there must be a way to transmit those MIDI-over-bluetooth signals to all existing hardware, without having to rely on a Mac or PC.

Enter the Yamaha MD-BT01 – a very simple and rather inexpensive (around €45) dongle that looks very simple: two MIDI plugs (one for input, one for output) bound together by a very short cord. They have to be connected to the MIDI in and MIDI out of your existing gear, like this:

yamaha md-bt01 connected

You then pair your wireless MIDI devices (MIDIS or iPhones – iPads, for instance) with the Yamaha, and you’re set. Your MIDI signals now flow from device to musical instruments/effects wirelessly over Bluetooth!

Simple, effective, beautiful.

 

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