Note on instead of note off

MR M8

New member
Hey, guys. I just recently bought a MIDI-USB cable (Miditech Midilink-mini) and wanted to connect my piano (Roland HP101e) to my PC. I noticed some problems when playing a synth with my piano. I downloaded MIDI-OX to check what's wrong. I saw that when I hit more than one key at once and release them simultaneously, only the first released key sent 'note off' info. All the rest sends 'note on' instead of 'note off'. I'll show you a screenshot (I hit the C major 3 times) if my description is messy. I tried every option in FL Studio to try and change it, but to no avail. I hope you'll help with my problem. Greetings!
 

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SeaGtGruff

Member
If there's a problem with the MIDI data that's being sent, the most likely source of the problem would be a setting on the Roland.

It's not uncommon for MIDI instruments to use Note On messages in place of Note Off messages, as this allows for the use of "running status." However, the first message is definitely a Note Off (hex 80), so I don't think the Roland is using Note On messages in place of Note Off messages. Also, the velocity portion of the message should be 0-- in which case it wouldn't matter whether the Roland were using Note On or Note Off-- but instead it's 64 (hex 40) on every single message. That's the real problem right there.

I've just downloaded the manual and MIDI reference for the Roland, and if I spot anything promising I'll post again.
 

SeaGtGruff

Member
Now that is seriously messed up. Roland, Roland, Roland, what were you thinking?

My wild-ass guess is that the velocity of 64 on the first Note Off message must be confusing either the adapter, the driver, or the software, causing it/them to see the following messages as Note On instead of Note Off-- but I don't know if that theory even makes sense.

Time to start searching the web and the Roland forums for solutions, because I imagine this must have created a major issue for anyone transmitting MIDI messages from this keyboard.

I sure hope Roland isn't still doing this on their keyboards. (I have zero experience with Roland keyboards.)

Roland HP101 a.png

Roland HP101 b.gif
 

SeaGtGruff

Member
Okay, having done a bit of research, I guess I understand why Roland is sending a Note Off velocity of 64-- it indicates that the key is being released at a normal or average speed. I already knew that Note Off velocity can be used to send additional information about how the key is being released, but so far I haven't seen any software that actually makes use of that, and none of my keyboards send Note Off velocities. Still, it surprises me that Roland didn't provide a function for choosing whether the HP101 should send a Note Off velocity of 0 or 64, since non-zero Note Off velocities might throw off the receiving hardware/software.

I wonder if it might help to use a MIDI-to-USB interface that's actually from Roland, so you can use Roland's USB-MIDI driver with it? That way the subsequent Note Off messages would at least (presumably) be interpreted as Note Off events rather than (apparently) being misinterpreted as Note On events. Then the receiving software can either use or discard the Note Off velocities as it prefers.

Roland UM-ONE MK2 USB MIDI Interface | Musician's Friend
 

MR M8

New member
Wow. Thank you so much for such big help. Unfortunately, now that I bought this cable, I can't afford the UM-ONE, although I wanted to buy it because my first MIDI-USB cable (some no-name) didn't even receive any input messages. Thanks again for the help. :D
 

SysExJohn

New member
My suspicion is that the cheap MIDI to USB converter is messing things up.

Roland has been around long enough to know how MIDI works and to implement it correctly.
(They were one of the companies who created the MIDI standard way back in the early eighties.)
Genuine Note Off commands, i.e. those starting with status byte hex 80, are allowed to send a note off velocity.
Hex 40 for the velocity is a common one to use when the keybed doesn't actually 'sense' the off velocity.

But when using active sensing and sending a pseudo Note Off, i.e. starting with status byte 90, then the velocity must be zero, otherwise it's not a note off.
The low cost end of the MIDI to USB adapters is well known to have faults.

However, I will admit that it's unusual for a keyboard to send both genuine Note Offs and Note On velocity zero.
It's the first time I've seen that in more than twenty years of using and programming MIDI.
 
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