____         : : : : D.I.Y. MIDI to XLR ADAPTER : : : :         ____


As of late, I have been running sessions with a band that wanted me to capture all MIDI info from their keyboards along with the audio output. I have a ton of MIDI cables, but nothing loomed into the multi-core snakes that run to the live rooms. So, instead of routing pre-made cables through the walls, I researched cable type and found Low-z cable would be best suited for making MIDI cables from scratch. I also found there are only 2 signal wires and shield needed for MIDI (in general, though there is a little more to it ). Since, in most cases, MIDI cables only need 3 conductors, this sparked the MIDI to XLR idea because microphone cabling is Low-z and 3 conductor.

I found the pinout for MIDI, set up my solder station and proceeded to make XLR to 5-pin din adapters. A super easy way to make these is to buy or grab a good quality MIDI cable that is double the length of the height of the keyboard to the floor (longer will work, too). The reason for this is you will cut this cable in half so you don't have to order 5 pin din connectors and/or solder them. Also, since the cable will be long enough to touch the floor, the weight of the XLR connections will not be hanging from the MIDI jack on the device you are connecting to. What you will need is a MIDI to XLR-M and a midi to XLR-F in order to use an existing snake or microphone cable as MIDI extensions.


10' or longer MIDI cable, cut in half
1 x XLR male connector
1 x XLR female connector
Soldering iron
Continuity meter


MIDI Pin 2 to XLR Pin 1
MIDI Pin 4 to XLR Pin 2
MIDI Pin 5 to XLR Pin 3
If there are unused conductors in the MIDI cabling, cut them back.


MIDI Jack Pinout (use only the diagram for pin# reference):

General MIDI DIY Article:

XLR Jack Pinout and General XLR Information:


Before you plug anything in to any device, meter pin to pin to verify correct wiring.
Ok, that's that. It all worked well and recorded midi/audio sync was perfect. This is a great way to adapt existing wiring to suit needs.

! ! WARNING ! !
If you attempt this DIY, you do so At Your Own Risk and are responsible if you wire something wrong and damage your gear or burn yourself with a soldering iron.



In the process of doing the research for this, I found a couple of abstract cool things:
(Inevitably I always get sidetracked doing research! BUT... at least it is MIDI related )