The need for USB host is simple – ditch the computer but connect all those handy USB MIDI controllers to the rest of your gear. Knot’s edge – a cute compact size and USB-C.
Knot is an upcoming gadget from Intech Studio, an independent Hungarian outfit. Their main project is more ambitious – Grid, a modular controller device. That looks very cool, with a snap-in set of modules you buy up a la carte like Eurorack and put together however you like. Grid itself has USB, not DIN, so Knot is a useful accessory to that system, but tons of other stuff as well.
It’s really the size that makes this appealing, thanks to trading 3.5mm minijacks for DIN. And it’s about time we start just running actual minijack cables rather than having to remember which of the identical plastic dongles was which format. (*one tip at the bottom of this story)
There’s a handy switch for toggling between the two “standards” – an unfortunate side effect of manufacturers adopting minijack before there was an official consensus on how to wire it.
They’ve also made this open-source hardware, under a GPL v3 license. There’s a “mode” button for updating the firmware. I’m not totally clear on how modded firmware would work on this device, but it’s an interesting possibility.
Check it out on GitHub:
EUR89 / US$89 preorder price, expected to ship by December 12. EUR/$ 119 after the preorder. (I think that’s VAT-inclusive already with the Euro price.) Check it out here – though they’re currently already shipping the Grid modules worldwide, if you want some instant gratification with your preorder. (I’m probably just angling for some good Hungarian food next time I’m there here.)
If this type A and type B has your brain in a knot – it sure does mine – this site is absolutely essential. It lets you look up MIDI devices as type A or type B with search: