Do I need a dedicated USB midi keyboard controller?

I'm new but not green. Although i am Greene. Just making the transition for older high end standalone mtr's to all computer daw recording and music production. I have been using an old Alesis quadrasynth keyboard (very cheap and horrible sounding) after my weighted key yamaha digital piano got a stuck critical key. I have used rack hardware sound modules for years - Motif rack es, Roland xv 5080 and the like. The Alesis works fine as a midi controller for the racks. It even has modulation wheels. So I wanted to try software sounds, so I downloaded and installed a free piano plugin. Even successfully loaded it into Reaper (yea). When I go midi out into my usb interface ( Focusrite 18i8) everything seems to work fine except their is no velocity sensetivity at all. Their is a velocity adjustment in the gui. Any clues anyone? :confused:
Thanks,
Adam Greene
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
Not sure of the question. It sounds from your description that you're having problems with key sensitivity to the keyboard? No, you're midi outing from the keyboard and Reaper's not getting the key sensitivity. Is everything showing up 127 or 100? 127 would be a conversion issue, but 100 would mean a translation problem.
 
Not sure of the question. It sounds from your description that you're having problems with key sensitivity to the keyboard? No, you're midi outing from the keyboard and Reaper's not getting the key sensitivity. Is everything showing up 127 or 100? 127 would be a conversion issue, but 100 would mean a translation problem.

I'm the one with the translation problem I have no clue what "127" or "100" mean or where to look for them at. Again, the alesis works fine as a midi controller for the aforementioned rack modules, but has no velocity sensetivity when controlling the piano plug in in reaper. I'm not sure how else to explain it.
Thanks for the response.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
Okay, in Reaper, look at a midi track that has come in. There should be a sequence of notes (the top part) and a series of velocities (the bottom part) find out what velocity the bottom parts are. If they are all the same there is a problem. All being 127 (max velocity) means that Reaper is having trouble converting and is capping, All 100 would mean somewhere in the line of cables, the information is lost or not translated and set to default. Neither really makes sense in today's setups. I might have expected this with 80s equipment, but not with 18i20 and Reaper. I might be on the wrong track, but worth seeing if it's one or the other, or if you're just not getting the right info through. i.e. bad cable somewhere, but I'm not sure of the 5 pin diagram and what comes through on each wire.

Edit: have you tried swapping in/out cables to see if the information is being lost by the cable?
 

rob aylestone

Well-known member
MIDI either works or doesn't. If you have a duff cable, then nothing works - MIDI transmits data continually, even if no keys are pressed - so the only time information can get lost is if you go wild with continuous controllers, like waggling the pitch bend like mad, and then there is such a backlog of data, that occasionally, the odd note on or off gets missed = Note offs are the worst because it leaves a note sounding. A piano or guitar type sound fades away, but a synth or string note might go on for ever!

If the keyboard drives your racks and plays loud and quiet, depending on how hard you hit the keys, then the keyboards and cables are fine, and the only place the issue is being caused is in the sequencer - if every DIRECT connection works properly, but a connection via Reaper fails to give velocity control - then it's almost a tick box. Cubase (I don't use reaper) has the facility to strip out certain MIDI commands, pitchbend, which tends to clog up the data stream can for example be thinned out, and some commands like SYSEX, can be stopped dead, to stop it reprogramming a sound when you don't want it to happen. So look in the MIDI section and check if something is set that shouldn't be.
 

BroKen_H

Re-member
Sorry, thought different info went over the different pins of the DIN. I see now that all info goes out over only 2 of the 5. My bad. I've misunderstood that for years. :laughings:
 
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