|Connecting MIDI to|
Many MIDI keyboards, sound modules, samplers, and synthesizers also allow for serial connections (this is different than the usual large round 5-pin MIDI-In and MIDI-Out ports). This type of serial port is a smaller round 8-pin port usually labelled "serial", "host" or "to host" on the MIDI hardware. This additional port is intended for a direct connection to your computer (as opposed to another MIDI device) and will often have a Mac/PC switch next to it.
To connect the bottom of your Palm handheld to the "to host" serial port on a MIDI device you will need either a Serial HotSync Cradle or Cable. These HotSync cables/cradles end with a somewhat rectangular 9-pin connector. To make one of these cables fit in the round "to host" port on your MIDI hardware you will need "Macintosh Serial Adapter" which was included with the Palm Serial Cradle for their universal connector, but can be found separately also.
The "To Host" port will usualy have a switch associated with it. This switch should be set to "Mac" (or set to PC-2 if you are using a handheld that cannot send serial data at 31250 baud). Consult the manual for your MIDI hardware for any special settings that it may require to receive serial data from a computer.
Most electronic music products from the 90s have the "to host" serial port. Most hardware today has replaced this with a USB port and you will have to use a MIDI interface instead of a direct serial connection. If you're interested in portability, take a look at the Yamaha MU-5, Yamaha MU-15, Yamaha QY-70, and the Roland PMA-5 or newer equivilent models; all are about the size of a video cassette, run on batteries, have the serial port for easy connection to your Palm, and have headphone jacks. We recommend the MU-15 as it is the least expensive and has good sounds. We own several!
There were also some small third party MIDI solutions designed specifically for the Palm platform. Several web sites will either sell you handmade interfaces or show you how to build your own. Check out Widget Australia, MicroTools Inc., Geoff Smith's Page, Tom Zerucha & Pete Moss, and Sound Ventures.