If you’ve ever tried to interface a microcontroller-based MIDI project to a computer, you know it can be kind of a pain. Although MIDI ports are essentially the same thing as a serial port, they run at a slightly different baud rate, and most computer operating systems see them as two completely different things. Stephen Hobley has been trying different solutions to this problem, including writing his own software to allow a Windows machine to transmit MIDI data over serial. This works ok, but requires extra set-up time on the host computer, so he found another approach: modding $6 a cable to provide hardware MIDI over USB. The mod also provides a 5V line, perfect for powering your microcontroller!