USB Controller into midi hub in OSX

I can’t figure out how to route a USB controller into a port on the midihub using Apple’s Audio MIDI Setup. I have an Akai MPK keyboard connected via USB to my computer. I can see it and the four port midihub in the Audio MIDI Setup, but when I try to take the output of the Akai and connect it to a port on the midihub, the virtual cable will not connect. Am I missing something?

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Ohhh macosx mysteries!!
No ones knows??

Think I never used that… and… some applications don’t use it either…
I’m always with a DAW or plugin host that support MIDI routing (example Gig Performer), and sometimes Midi PatchBay or Midi Pipe for fast testing some routings.

Thanks for jostling my brain cells. You are absolutely correct in that the Apple Audio MIDI Setup serves as the I/O to an application. I guess I thought MidiPipes would serve as a front end, but it makes since now that I think about it.

Now its me curious as to solve this as well.
@Giedrius what’s your workflow? ideas?
Thanks in advanced :wink:

My ambition is to use MIDIhub to manage a live modular synth rig with a blackbox sampler, QuNeo, Roli keyboard and a Micro Monsta. I do most of my tracking in Protools and do some of my writing and sound creation in Reason. But my primary focus for this particular piece is in my performance rig. I have been using my venerable old Yamaha MEP-4, so the MIDIhub is a major step up from that environment.

Hey, I still have one of those MEP-4!! from the time to correct DX7 and DX100 velocity issues.


@Borgbilly did you ever resolve this cuz it is breaking my brain a little trying to figure it out for myself, haha

Interesting will try this once I get home, but it sounds pretty straight forward.

There is not a way to route a USB controller plugged into your Mac to the MIDIHub/Editor environment without using some sort of app that allows routing of MIDI signals such as a DAW or a hardware USB to MIDI host. The Apple Audio/MIDI application is support software for other applications and does not route MIDI signals on it’s own.

Thanks for the info, appreciate it

Ugh, I always thought the MIDI setup would allow for forwarding data as intended, and I think I had it working in some way years ago, but it could have been some other means with which I did it.

It turns out Audio MIDI Setup is just a hint for other Audio & MIDI software like DAWs. There really should be some background server implementation which just does the routing job, based on the currently active MIDI configuration, but I can’t find anything similar to that. Also I’m not sure if more than one application on macOS is allowed to work with the same MIDI ports at the same time, or is access to them exclusive, like on Windows. It looks like at least, that the MIDI Setup itself only allows for making single connection between ports, which is quite limiting…

So yes, looks like at the moment the best way to get USB MIDI controllers talking with Midihub is by using DAWs.

Do you have any more lightweight software recommendations for doing the USB MIDI routings? We might have to think about building our own if there’s nothing suitable enough… :thinking:


I made some suggestions in a previous post above :wink:

Midi Pipe


There’s this thing…

I use one of these. I have tried it with at least four different USB MIDI controllers and it works like a champ. I have been pushing MPE data from a Roli Seaboard Block through the MIDIHub to a hardware synth. Very reliable and you won’t need to run a DAW, just the MIDIHub Editor.

The issue is with how OSX MIDI I/O routing works.

Just about any MIDI interface/ USB host will work.

I would love to see that happen, especially if it just became something under the hood in MIDIHub Editor. :slightly_smiling_face:


It’d have to be a separate application though, as the same functionality on Windows would not be possible without impacting the DAWs, since access to MIDI ports there is exclusive.

On Linux this is definitely possible and I did a very quick research on macOS, it looks like it should be possible to implement for macOS too. :slight_smile:


Stopped by to say thanks @Keyman for solving this issue for me. Was tearing my hair out as to why I couldn’t get my Keystep to connect to USB A in midihub via Audio MIDI Setup. MIDI Patchbay worked great. Weird that there’s functionality in Audio MIDI Setup to connect devices, but it just straight up doesn’t let you for some things.


Hi there - after your research, do you have any plans to implement this for macOS? Right now all works well in my home studio with Midi Patchbay + MidiHub but that won’t work in a live performance where I don’t have my laptop on stage. Before I pick up a separate MIDI USB host as Borgbilly suggested, thought I would check in to see if the USB-Midi routing could be somehow embedded into MidiHub itself.

USB-MIDI hosting is not possible on Midihub itself. An external device linking the devices together would be necessary.

It’s incredible that a Mac - which IS a giant MIDI USB Host - needs additional soft/hard ware to make this happen. It can edit 4K video, render 3D, but basic signal routing…even in its built in signal routing software…nope. Thanks Apple.