Can't get MIDI to work :( :( :(

MartinJohn123

New member
Hello all,

I'm new to this forum and in need of some advice.

I have recently purchased Cubase 10 and I have two keyboards with MIDI 5-pin IN and OUT ports. I have a MIDI to USB cable - which I can connect from one keyboard to the Computer and having set everything up I still cannot produce any MIDI within Cubase 10.

Do I need to use a specific MIDI keyboard, that's only been designed for MIDI?

The two keyboards I have are a Yamaha PSR-630 (pretty old) and a Kawai ES110. Both have MIDI outputs but am I missing something about these particular keyboards?

Could it be the cable isn't working?

Without an expert coming over and sorting it all out I'm at a bit of a dead end with it all.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Regards,

Martin
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
I'll try. Do you not have a proper audio interface to use microphones, as these normally have MIDI ins and outs. Those cables are a bit touch and go, because they use generic drivers and my guess is the driver is not installed, or is the wrong one - or more likely, you just haven't told Cubase where to get the MIDI data.Another common problem is labelling - is the plug marked MIDI out meant to go in the MNIDI out socket of the keyboard, or is it the connector MIDI comes out of? Solution here is to try both ways - won't do any harm.

Have you installed the MIDI input? In the studio menu, you're looking for MIDI device manager. Install device, and then select the most appropriate - probably GM device is a good starting point as this will match both your keyboards being the most basic midi setting. Once you select this you should be able to create a MIDI track and the inspector will pop up. This usually defaults to all MIDI inputs and one of those two plugs connected to the keyboard will produce meter jiggling in the channel strip. You need to patch the output to something - maybe using the other connector to make the other keyboard play, or create an instrument track, select the MIDI input and then your keyboard will play on the vat instrument.

The only important thing being that the comp0uter needs to recognise the midi cable and show it as a sound/midi device in windows device manager.

Try these ideas.
 

MartinJohn123

New member
Thanks for all of this advice.

Yep - I was putting the MIDI IN cable into the MIDI IN port of my keyboard - now realised the error and it works.

But now Cubase is crashing everytime I use it, so going to uninstall and start again.
 

MartinJohn123

New member
I've got the MIDI cable all connected, installed and producing MIDI signal now in Pro Tools First.

HOWEVER, the signal is very poor and keeps cutting out and wont even play particular notes. I'm using a MIDI to USB cable which goes straight into my computer. I do have an Audio Interface with MIDI inputs - should I use that instead (and get a MIDI to MIDI lead) ?

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Martin
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Midi should not be poor. It works or doesn't normally. If the meters move when you play it is working. If you abuse a midi signal, which is a simple data circuit, by maybe using cables too long, what happens is some data gets lost. You play some notes and one gets stuck on. This is the most common midi error, and is just a note off message not getting through. Having one as bad as yours suggests a real issue, and timing in the decoding is probably the problem so I'd certainly get a normal DIN-DIN cable and use the interface which should do it properly. Din to USB cables are so unmusically tested. It's a simple circuit but no quality control. The ones in interfaces are usually trouble free.
 

MartinJohn123

New member
Thanks so much for your help, really useful. I think you're right - I'm going to buy a DIN - DIN cable and hopefully that'll do it. The audio interface is very good / powerful so I'd be surprised if there was a problem one i route the MIDI through there. Are all DIN-DIN cables basically the same or should I go for a more expensive brand?
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
No - the cheapest will be fine. Top tip though is to go for slightly too long ones - the DIN sockets in lots of kit of all price ranges are soldered to the boards and it's not unknown for the weight off a shorter than handy cable to keep a constant force on the socket. I have two that are a bit temperamental.

Another really common problem is that if you cable a MIDI synth to your computer audio interface, and then back again so your computer can play the on board sounds - you will find a MIDI thru on/off in the software - you play a note, then a fraction of a second later, your computer plays it again - a big loop. Sometimes it causes no grief - but can rob half your polyphony as each key press is playing twice. Even worse, some keyboards can be set to mirror what comes in, on the out then you get MIDI feedback which means every note appears to get stuck on. MIDI does daft things sometimes. Cubase, for example gives you lots of options to filter and control MIDI - so worth getting into it a bit.
 

MartinJohn123

New member
Thanks again, so helpful. The feedback loop you've described sounds very similar to what happen with my MIDI - USB connection. Maybe that was the main problem.

I'm getting the DIN-DIN cables today so hopefully that'll solve the problems as it'll go into the Behringer audio interface rather than the Computer's audio interface. Fingers crossed!
 

MartinJohn123

New member
So, I got a DIN-DIN cable and it worked instantly through my audio interface. So the lesson learnt, as far as I understand it, is don't buy MIDI-USB connectors! Thanks for all your help Rob.
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
Really annoying, and over the years, this problem has been quite common. MIDI is a current loop, a bit like the old RS232, and in ancient sound cards, MIDI was often done by using the old joystick port - there's a current limit and a data speed Baud rate - so a simple chip to take in and spit out a few volts at the correct speed is all that is hidden in the USB connector of those cables, and it doesn't take much for the data to be corrupted. Normally, the errors are mild and just cause stuck notes, but sounds like yours was just too far out of spec. Glad you sorted it!
 

GeoffB17

New member
Hello,

Just to set the record straight, there is at least one cheap (made in China) MIDI/USB connector that regularly causes problems. There seem to be some serious design problems. If you check on the web, you will find references to this, even discussion about 'repairing' it.

This sort of device should be avoided, just not worth the trouble.

There are however better made devices, maybe not from China, certainly more expensive, and these can work perfectly OK.

Basically, you get what you pay for!

Geoff
 
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