Reviewed: Bome Box

Innovative Music | innovativemusic.com.au | Expect to Pay: $349

When I think back to some of my studio setups in the 90’s and years following, there were always several MIDI merge boxes, through boxes, routers and other devices holding together the mess of five pin DIN cables that ensued. It was beautifully simple and yet stupidly complicated all at the same time. Then, as technology developed, we started to see MIDI over USB and devices began to appear that no longer sported the classic five pin DIN connection, yet still they operated on MIDI signals. This is where so many recording and production setups have been split with the old and the new devices not talking to one another, even though they are all speaking the same language. What resulted was the need to have your computer always in the centre of the setup to convert and route your MIDI signals. At least, that was the case, until the advent of the Bome Box.

I have to say, this is the exactly what I had been wanting for my MIDI signal routing for about the last fifteen years. If the Bome Box had come along sooner I wouldn’t have been able to make use of it, but now that it is realised and available it is going to solve many MIDI routing options, especially with its flexible routing software that will allow you to infinitely change your signal flow and store new settings within the Bome Box itself. With the Bome MIDI Translator Pro software, you can quickly and easily map out your signal paths and store them in the box whilst it is connected to the computer. If the computer is not needed as part of the setup, it can be disconnected and the Bome Box continues to act as a gate and routing system for your devices. Best of all, you can pair it up over Wi-Fi to adjust settings, making it even easier to change your signal flow when your needs change.

 

It’s a fairly compact little unit, much like many of the MIDI merge boxes I owned in the past, and although built into a plastic housing, it is still very sturdy and quite a tough little device. You get Ethernet in and out connections, USB Type A and MIDI in and out for physical connectivity on the box. A micro USB is also included for powering the device with a standard smartphone charger. The Bome Box can talk to your software via Ethernet or Wi-Fi for setups and changes via the software tool, and then can be linked via Ethernet to additional Bome Boxes for more complex setups. USB to Host connections can also be expanded by implementing a USB hub to the port, and DIN connections can be daisy chained via MIDI through ports as we are all so very used to doing. Obviously, if you link more Bome Boxes, you can have more complex setups and more physical connections to make use of too. Put simply, it’s the Swiss Army Knife of MIDI routing and allows any era of music creation hardware to be brought together.

Hits and Misses

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Bridges the gap between USB and DIN MIDI hardware

Lightweight and compact

Makes complex MIDI setups simple

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Greater physical MIDI I/O would have been nice

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