Friday, February 12, 2010

Review: Bome Midi Translator Pro 1.7.1

What is Bome's MIDI Translator? In simple terms, it can be compared to a language translator for MIDI messages. You may only understand English, but your peer can only speak German. You need someone who can translate from German to English and English to German. Bome's MIDI Translator is language independant of course. Instead, it is software produced by Bome to translate to and from MIDI protocol.

The software works with one or more input devices and one or more output devices. Each device can be a hardware device (such as a USB controller or keyboard) or virtual software, such as a program you're using. Essentially, the MIDI Translator can be programmed to intercept messages and take many different actions with them before sending them through to the output device.

The translator can edit the bytes in the MIDI message, completely block the MIDI message, route the message through without any editing, turn the MIDI message into text, or send numerous other commands to your output device.

Bome's Midi Translator can translate high resolution MIDI data into more commonly supported lower resolution data, as seen in DJ Tech Tools Mini Translator. Bome's MT can also create multiple modes of operation, utilizing as many "Shift" modifiers as you have buttons. Stanton's DaRouter demonstrates this well with their SCS.3 System.

Bome's does not replace midi mapping, but it instead acts like a modifier that intercepts the data between your MIDI controller and your MIDI Map in the software. It gives the user full control of their MIDI device's inputs and outputs. Unfortunately, the translator cannot give MIDI functionality to buttons that do not output a signal.

The software is well-designed and simple to use after reading some short tutorials on Bome's website. It does have a MIDI Learn function. However, that does not mean MIDI translating is a simple process. Each project is different since each MIDI message is different. Creating your own MIDI Translator project is like custom programming your own software. You tell it what to do or it doesn't work. Each project is as simple or as complicated as you make it. There are a lot of available rules, translations, and outputs. Intend on investing quite a bit of time in learning how to program your MIDI devices with MIDI Translator. Once you do have a functioning translator project, you'll be amazed at what you can do.. and you'll be wishing you had more hands to operate your devices!

If you are wanting more out of your MIDI devices than what your current software and hardware can provide, I highly recommend Bome's Midi Translator Pro. I must admit that the price tag is a bit stiff for what it is, but it may just be worth it for the mostly bug-free, simple interface.

Download the demo (which has an incredibly annoying 20-minute time limit) to get a better idea of its functionality. I also recommend downloading Bome's SysSX, which displays all connected incoming and outgoing MIDI data. This is great for testing your translator project files.

If you are pretty happy with your current MIDI functionality, this software is probably not worth the trouble to you. I cannot stress enough that it is not for people who want to pick-up and play. It is definitely out there for the people who want ultimate MIDI customization. Keep in mind that this is in ADDITION to your MIDI maps; it does not replace MIDI mapping.

2 comments:

  1. One of the key things that you do need to learn when working with Bome's is how a MIDI message is constructed.

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  2. Yes, and you can find out more about MIDI message construction at www.midi.org .

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