You know the ideal audiovisualist setup: two PCs, one running sound, one running visuals. But connecting those two machines can be less than ideal. Enter EthernetMidi, a completely free implementation of MIDI over Ethernet. It’s Windows-only for now – the Mac has its own free MIDI-over-IP implementation built into the OS. But there’s reason to root for EthernetMidi even if you’re not a Windows user primarily: the project is open source, and work on a Mac and Linux version means this could be the first tool to allow MIDI-over Ethernet between different platforms. (Pay no attention to the “LinuxSampler” name – they need a new moniker.)

Showing off how powerful this can be, pure_angles has put together a detailed tutorial for combining to favorite tools, Ableton Live and Resolume.

The ingredients:

Full details on the Resolume forum, plus a caveat that needs fixing regarding transmitting clock signals:

FREE Midi over Lan/ Ethernet midi with 2 PCs [Resolume forums]

Fantastic work! There are countless potential applications for this, so we’ll be watching. Of course, even better would be OpenSoundControl – we’ll talk more about how to do that soon, and via the Live API (and presumably, soon Max for Live) it should be possible even with Ableton Live. But it’s nonetheless nice to have the option of MIDI over Ethernet, too.


  • There is no difference for Windows wheather it's wireless or Ethernet, so yes, it should work fine, but wired setup always feels safer. As my fellow system administrators say — if there's a chance to put the wires — put the wires.

  • Wireless is also more likely to suffer from latency issues.

    It's also worth pointing out that most Macs can detect if they're being connected directly to another computer using a normal ethernet cable and do the crossover on the network card.

  • Nice one! This will go great with the Live & Resolume tutorial we just wrote:

  • Andrew Turley

    This looks cool. I'm surprised that there isn't anything else like this out there. I took a quick peek at the source and it appears to be writing raw MIDI quadlets to the socket. It would be easy enough to set up a PD patch on a Mac (or a Linux box) that could listen for the quadlets and turn them back into MIDI, thus making this cross platform. One thing to note is that the code doesn't seem to deal with network byte ordering, so you would probably have to handle that on the client side (watch out PPC users).

    It also looks like it might be easy enough to drop oscpack in and make this a MIDI-to-OSC bridge. The advantage to using OSC, in my mind, is that somebody else could then use one of the many OSC package out the to write a program that works with this, instead of having to go through the potentially error-prone process of working with raw sockets.

  • @Andrew: yeah, I agree, ideally MIDI-over-OSC I think is a good way to go. It could also help people start to inch toward using OSC natively. 😉

  • pure_angles

    i really hope someone who knows programming can work on the code so i can use midi clock sync. hopefully it wouldn't be too hard to port over to mac either. then i could have an audiovisual laptop army all sync'd wirelessly! 😉

  • txo

    hi there

    uhm… I didn't try it as I should, but it is sopose that you can do it on a Mac with Tiger, just using the midi driver of the system. As it says here: Mac OS X Tiger: A Musician's Guide
    Anyone some experience with this?

  • i send midi-data with a (very) little PD-patch from one pc to another a while back also with midi yoke.

    in my case i used it to control two PCs/resolumes (the old one) with one midi controller. every resolume had a prepared deck-setup in the way that i could play a video only on one machine or on both or two different on each. (triple(dual)headtogo would have done the trick i suppose but i did not have the money)

    with processing this is also very easy todo. there ist a library for osc):

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