I have one large keyboard (Roland KR-370 [MIDI IN/OUT]) and a small one with pitch/mod wheel (microKorg [MIDI IN/OUT/THRU) and I'm trying to connect them to my Audio Interface (MOTU Traveler [MIDI IN/OUT]). Is there any way I can pass my Roland's MIDI into the IN or THRU ports of the microKorg, and carry it through it's MIDI Out port while still being able to use the microKorg as well?

Is this possible? Will I need some complex MIDI channel configuration for this to work?


(I'm new to the use of MIDI Thru, but I figured it could play a role in here to daisy chain devices?)

  • Is there a way to do it if I have no thru port only midi in and out on both keyboards?
    – Richard
    Dec 17, 2016 at 12:51

4 Answers 4


It shouldn't be much of a problem, just set the microKorg to some channel the KR-370 does not use (you can simply try chn 2, but it depends – just do some experimenting) and connect its output to the MIDI in at the Roland, the output of which goes into the MOTU.

  • 1
    Unfortunately, that doesn't actually work to do what the OP wanted - it sounds like he wants to be able to play both keyboards and have their events sent to the software or each other. The THRU port only relays events that come through IN, rather than mixing it in with the device's own OUT events (or at least that's the case on most devices).
    – fluffy
    Aug 8, 2011 at 6:33
  • Exactly, so I did not tell the OP to use the THRY port but the OUT port, which does – in the devices I have so far tesed – merge the signals received from the IN with the signals from the device itself. Aug 8, 2011 at 22:38
  • What devices would those be? I've never come across a device which does this merge on its own, although admittedly I haven't tried this on very many devices before I simply gave up on the whole idea.
    – fluffy
    Aug 9, 2011 at 0:50
  • Said Behringer pedalboard (not really a reference obviously), a Roland PK 5A, and an old Korg drum module. So yeah, I really haven't had that much experience, maybe I was just lucky. Aug 9, 2011 at 12:06
  • Possibly. It's something that's worth experimenting on, since maybe at least one of the OP's µKorg and Roland happen to support event merging too.
    – fluffy
    Aug 9, 2011 at 18:43

MIDI is designed such that on a single signal chain you have one sender that is broadcasting events on up to 16 channels; the default MIDI port chain (IN/OUT/THRU) only allows you to have one controller. Basically you have your sequencer's OUT hooked to your controller's IN, your controller's OUT hooked up to your sequencer's IN, and your other receivers daisy-chained via IN to THRU. This is how MIDI was designed in the low-level protocol, and so without additional hardware it is all you can do.

In order to get around this limitation and have multiple controllers on a single sequencer, there are two basic options:

  1. Have multiple MIDI inputs, one for each controller's OUT
  2. Multiplex multiple controllers' OUT ports into a single IN via a rather uncommon device called a MIDI merger

I have never used a MIDI merger but I suspect that they are very timing-sensitive and unlikely to be particularly reliable. You are probably better off getting a multi-input interface. Personally, I use the TAPco LINK.midi 4x4, but there are quite a few on the market at varying price points.

Also, nowadays, many MIDI controllers also have a built in USB-MIDI bridge and can be connected directly to your computer by USB. That is basically a special case of solution number 1. It also tends to be fairly error-prone, as many USB-MIDI bridges aren't terribly reliable in light of the variable event timing that USB tends to introduce.

In summary, my recommendation (and solution) is to get a multiple-input MIDI interface.

  • It's possible that this is actually nonstandard, but in the devices I have so far used a controller's OUT will send both the signals from the device itself as well as signals this device receives from the input (so it's actually OUT+THRU). This merging can indeed cause problems in bad implementations (I once had such trouble in a Behringer pedal board) but does generally work fine in properly-designed MIDI devices (e.g. Roland). — A multiple-input interface is certainly the best solution, but it's almost certainly not necessary. Aug 8, 2011 at 22:44

Midi mergers are hard to find, but useful. here is where I got mine.



I used a Quadra Merge for many years in stage work and never had any problems with it. There is also a quadra THROUGH and a 2 channel Merge from the same company.

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