Good USB hubs? (Now that OB has been out for a minute)

I have zero experiences with USB hubs. I have a Macbook pro with only 2 USB jacks. I have to connect an A4, Ableton Push 2, an Expert Sleepers ES8 Audio Interface, an Ipad and an external drive :zonked:

I wondering if overhub would be suited.? I’m concerned, since it has no individual power supply. However, most of the devices I listed do have their own. And I wonder, if overhub can handle all the midi and audio signals. I have to connect the ES8 to a hub, because the other Macbook USB jack is reserved for my NI Komplete Audio Interface.
Sorry if similar questions answered already, but would do you think overhub would be a good option for my needs, or should I look elsewhere? Thanks!

just add a power supply, 5v 3a

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You can get power supplies for it on amazon

FWIW I’ve been using Overhub for a long time with no issues. Currently it’s hosting an A4/AH/OT/webcam/DVD drive/card reader and then one port left for whatever. I have it plugged into a SS port on my pc laptop.

I had purchased a new MBP and I had issues running the same amount of devices (one of the many isssues that caused me to return the MBP).

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thanks. do you use it with a power supply too?

Yes I use it with a power supply (I totally meant to mention that in my first reply lol)

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Is there an off-brand one?

Powered USB hub?

I use an Anker one. Does the job. USB 3.0

Has extra ports solely for charging. I’ll find a link

Anker® 60W 7-Port USB 3.0 Data Hub with 3 PowerIQ Charging Ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and More

is that one Multi-TT ? because any OverHub alternative would have to be Multi-TT

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I just wrote them and will report back soon.

+1 for Anker, I have a few. Also an unpowered one that works wonders in low gear profile situations

All hubs using the VIA VL812 chipsets are single-TT, FYI. That includes most, if not all, currently shipping Anker hubs and a majority of 4, 7, and 10 port hubs on the market (BTW nearly every hub with more than 4 ports is a series of chained hubs internally since most USB hub chipsets have 4 downstream-facing ports, this is why they usually come in series of 4, 7 (4 + 3) and 10 (4 + 3 + 3) because each internal chip consumes one downstream port from the 4 port chip upstream of it.

The Overbridge hub isn’t special in any way, though. It’s a twinned pair of Genesys GL3520 chips in the 4+3 config. Apparently many bargain-basement USB hubs of no-name sort also use this chipset - so it’s clear the chipset is quite cheap, but it’s hard to get a definitive list of currently available hubs which do use it.

The VL811+ chipset (although I’m not certain about all versions of the 811 series) in the Plugable 7-port hub is also reported to be Multi-TT as indicated here (and by my own research as well).

My biggest gripe with the Overbridge hub is that the upstream port is NOT the Standard-B robust connector but a Micro-B connector which is surface mounted to the board. These connectors can be prone to peeling off the board and are not as durable or resistant to wear, corrosion, etc. over time as the Standard size USB series. Also they disconnect more easily and are more physically fragile.

A crap ton of boring implementation details

Anyways, my own tests have shown that Multi-TT is not necessary for the modern crop of Elektron products since those are USB 2.0 compliant interfaces (Digitone, AR MkII for sure, I can’t speak for the others since I don’t own them). Multi vs. Single -TT only applies for USB 1.0 and 1.1-spec devices which need a translator to connect to the USB 2.0 bus. So if you only run USB 2.0 gear from Elektron over overbridge, you’re not likely to run into problems with a Single-TT hub. If you run more than one USB-1.0 or 1.1 device (dark trinity, etc) on the hub, though, you’ll want a multi-TT hub for the high bandwidth that Overbridge requires to those devices. For basic MIDI, it doesn’t make a huge difference since the internal latency handling the various transfers to each device has roughly 1ms timing (and can be faster or slower depending on a wide variety of factors - USB is a bit complex) and that’s within the time frame it takes to spit out a new MIDI message at standard MIDI speed so Single-TT is certainly no slower than a DIN connection under normal conditions. People pushing lots of USB-1.1 devices with very busy MIDI routing (clock + polyphony + CC sequencing, etc. or a 1.1 device generating clock and the computer repeating it back to other 1.1 devices on the same hub, etc) might run into some timing issues - but in that case even Multi-TT is not guaranteed to solve your problem since some of that often comes from DAW MIDI sloppiness or the USB stack internal to the computer.

More useless rambling: most MIDI devices don’t use the guaranteed-bandwith “isochronous” mode of USB, because the spec supports “bulk mode” or polling-based USB bus usage. This means that timing of MIDI over USB is always the dead last priority for the USB bus with a resolution of 1ms or so per polling interval per bulk device. Since the total bandwidth is not really a concern, but MIDI is highly timing sensitive, this “slop” can multiply by the number of MIDI devices on the bus and in some cases result in multi-ms deviations between the intended note-on and the actual received note-on by the destination device. It also means if you’re streaming audio or using the USB hub for a hard drive which is also in “bulk” mode that the hard disk transfers and the isochronous nature of the audio stream can take priority away from the MIDI data. So, MIDI over USB is not quite the panacea it was thought to be.


So… does this mean it’s worth buying Overhub, if we’re going to be streaming 8-16 tracks of audio and MIDI on top?

Is multi-TT relevant for those Elektron mkII devices that have USB2 ports?

It’s becoming less unclear to me, but it’s still unclear :smiley:

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As I mention in the boring details… Multi-TT is entirely irrelevant for USB 2.0 devices.


The thing is though, there are articles like this, serving to confuse USB noobs like me:

Does it matter if you have USB 1 devices along with your USB 2 devices?

I feel like I understand almost the whole picture, but there is some subtlety that I’m missing :slight_smile:

I’m a network engineer but that doesn’t mean much when it comes to low level serial stuff!

Did you read the extra section in my post where is discuss what multi-tt is useful for? I go into some detail on when it is and isn’t really necessary.

The amount of data you’re pushing over USB 2.0, so long as you aren’t saturating the bus, has nothing to do with multi-TT. The TT just translates USB 1 to USB 2 so the hub can host both types of devices. The only bottleneck is in that translation. So if you have no USB 1 devices it’s never used. If you do, then whether or not the TT is saturated has to do with how much bandwidth and how many individual USB 1 devices you have on that hub. If you’ve got several or if you have more than one and at least one of them is sending a lot of data (like Overbridge) then multi-TT will benefit you. If you only have one or you aren’t using them for more than standard data rate MIDI then it’s not likely to benefit you much - although depending on specific cases where you have a lot of MIDI data to a lot of USB 1 devices on the same hub you may find it helpful. There is some more detail in my previous post if you click the arrow next to the line that says “boring details”.


So would it be accurate to summarise that a multi-TT hub is then beneficial, if you have USB 1 and USB 2 devices? (Assuming your USB 1 device is sending lots of data.)

Thanks for your patience! I appreciate having someone knowledgeable around to ask.

If you have more than one USB 1 device, it could be. Not necessarily. But could be. If you only have one, it’s doing zip for you over a single-TT, regardless of how busy it is. Again, whether or not the USB 2.0 devices are present make effectively no difference to whether you will benefit from multi-TT. The only thing that matters is how much USB 1 bandwidth you need and how many devices is it spread across (for latency and buffering considerations). More than 1 USB 1 device AND a need for the full USB 1 bandwidth in total, multi-TT. Less than that, it’s not likely to be of much use.


Ok. So for the target audience, who’s interested in streaming lots of audio channels via OB, and who may have mk1 and mk2 devices, it would therefore be pragmatic to recommend a multi-TT USB hub, right?

Otherwise you have to go into complex discussions about how many 1 vs how many 2 and bandwidth saturation and so on :frowning:

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It’s only complex. There is no simple answer. Try a single tt hub, since you already have one. If it doesn’t work for you get a cheap multi tt hub. If that solves your problem then you know.

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Well, I’d say, at the risk of sounding petty, that the simple answer is to buy a multi TT hub :slight_smile: