Although we stock a range of high-quality, pre-made MIDI leads, you may wish to make your own if you need heavy duty connectors or unusual lengths for example.
You will need 2x 5-pin, 180° DIN plugs; and a length of screened, preferably twisted-pair 2-conductor cable (or 4-conductor if you want it to work for DIN SYNC as well). For short cables up to a couple of metres, microphone cable will usually work fine, although its impedance is not well suited for longer runs and you may get data errors.
The MIDI specification defines a maximum cable length of 50 feet (15m). Should you need longer cabling runs than that, it is necessary to use a line driver device such as our LNDR.
Pins 4 & 5 carry the MIDI signal and should be wired straight through.
Pins 1 & 3 are not required for MIDI and can be left unconnected, although if you want the cable to also work for DIN SYNC, wire them straight through as well.
Pin 2 on each plug should be connected to the screen of the cable, but this should not be connected to the metal housing of the DIN plug (assuming it is a metal one), otherwise it can touch the metal case of equipment and cause a ground loop, potentially introducing hum or noise into your system.