Review: Zivix PUC Interface

Wireless MIDI interface for Mac OS X and iOS
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By connecting a MIDI cable between the PUC and your MIDI controller, you can control any iOS or Mac-based instrument within reach of the PUC’s wifi signal. SINCE ELECTRONIC Musician’s reviewed the $2,995 Gambatte! system in 1989, the technology has steadily become more affordable, consequently reducing the cost of wireless MIDI. Now Zivix is shipping a simple, inexpensive wireless MIDI interface for Mac OS X and iOS, thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign.

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True to its namesake, the PUC ($129.99, mipuc.com) is the size and shape of a regulation hockey puck. It has a power button and an illuminated wifi symbol on top, with mini-USB and MIDI In ports on the side. The USB doesn’t handle data, but a USB power supply can substitute for two AA batteries. A standard MIDI cable connects the PUC to your controller; if your keyboard or other controller has only USB, you’ll need a separate interface.

To set up the PUC, I opened my iPad’s Settings and selected PUC as my wifi source. I initiated a link using the free PUC Connect app, connected a keyboard to the PUC, opened Waldorf Nave, and selected the PUC’s network as its MIDI input. I played a few notes and turned a few knobs, and it was just as if I’d connected the keyboard directly to the iPad. I also tried playing other iOS instruments wirelessly, and it worked flawlessly.

On my Mac, I enabled a MIDI network in Audio MIDI Setup, selected the PUC as the Mac’s wifi source, and completed the connection in Audio MIDI Setup. I opened IK Multimedia SampleTank 3, chose Network Session 1 as its MIDI In source, and started playing from across the room. Then I opened Logic Pro and wirelessly played several AU instruments without a single dropped note.

My only issue using this product was that I needed to disconnect the Mac and iPad from my studio’s wifi network in order to connect to the PUC’s network. Fortunately, I could easily switch between them, making the PUC a workable solution for MIDI musicians wanting to cut the cord.