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Tech: USB MIDI and Vista

pavane 24 Mar 09 - 07:47 AM
artbrooks 24 Mar 09 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 24 Mar 09 - 09:19 AM
pavane 24 Mar 09 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,leeneia 24 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM
JohnInKansas 24 Mar 09 - 10:46 AM
pavane 24 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM
pavane 24 Mar 09 - 11:19 AM
JohnInKansas 24 Mar 09 - 06:46 PM
pavane 25 Mar 09 - 05:36 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM
pavane 25 Mar 09 - 11:21 AM
pavane 25 Mar 09 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Mar 09 - 01:40 PM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 09 - 02:27 PM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Mar 09 - 09:54 AM
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Subject: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: pavane
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 07:47 AM

I have a program which plays MIDI files perfectly well in XP, allowing you to select the MIDI device and direct the sound either to the built-in soundcard, or to an external MIDI device using a USB MIDI cable.

Control Panel in the XP machine has an item entitled "Sound and Audio devices" in which it is possible to change the MIDI assignment.

But on trying the program on a Vista (home) machine, although the USB MIDI cable is recognised by Windows, I can find no way to direct the MIDI output to it, even though the program (which uses the Windows MCI control) allows selection of the device.

Somehow, the MIDI Mapper or equivalent functionality seems to be missing in VISTA. Control Panel shows an item "Sounds" which does not address other audio devices.

Does anyone know how I can configure VISTA to sned MIDI to the USB?


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: artbrooks
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 08:23 AM

I am not a MIDI expert by any means, but I just got a Vista-64 PC and am going through some learning pains myself. One thing to try is to right-click on your program icon, select PROPERTIES>COMPATIBILITY MODE, and see if it will run under the XP compatibility. That fixed some issues I had.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 09:19 AM

If you check out some prominent music technology websites
like soundonsound or kvr..

you'll find plenty of reasons why so many musicians despise vista
and are still clinging on to reliable old 'trustworthy' XP.

I'm not so up to date on these matters for the last year or so
due to family concerns taking over from music priorities..

but unless vista has had some recent drastic improvements and upgrades,
earlier versions were considered to be useless for serious audio purposes
as it proved to be less efficient and more glitchy
than the final version of XP service pack 2.

[I can't remember if final version XP service pack 3 caused problems
for musicians or not,
cause like i said i'm a bit out of touch on these tech matters since the last couple years..]


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: pavane
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 09:23 AM

I have already asked my resident technicians (i.e. sons) if they could install XP instead of Vista. This laptop is not used for anything else, so that should work.

Just hoped I could find a fix more easily.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 10:15 AM

Last week a tech in my favorite shop told me that Windows Vista does not support MIDI. I'll be clinging to my XP for as long as possible.

The question is - was this an action by the Ministry of Love or by the Ministry of Peace?


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 10:46 AM

In Vista, the external audio inputs are "muted" by default. If you plug in a microphone or external audio device you have to go to the "sound" icon in the Startup Tray (bottom right toolbar) and double-click to open it and "unmute" the inputs you want. A single click just brings up the master volume, which you can mute or adjust there. A double-click should open the actual "sound card" controls - if you have an actual sound card.

If you have an add-on sound card (not just integral-on-the-motherboard sound, you may also find a separate icon for the sound card in the same Startup Tray that offers some more options.

My Vista (Business) plays midi files just fine, using Media Player as the default player and it also works with a couple of accessory programs I use occasionally to play midi files. I haven't tried any external midi devices with it though, so I haven't found where to tell it to send midi back and forth between devices.

(My scoring program had to be set up internally to recognize midi sound generators (wave tables), even with XP. That's usually a set-and-forget thing, but you might look inside your program(s) for settings?)

The external USB midi adapter that I have required installing its own "driver" to get a hookup in XP, but frankly I haven't tried it in Vista since my keyboard is crap and not worth hooking up.

Vista changed the names of everything, but I suspect that your best bet would be to look in Device Manager for settings you might need to tweak. Vista is supposed to be able to "find and install transparently" any drivers/codecs you need, and usually does a fairly decent job of it; but seems much less flexible if you want to argue with it about what it does. If it doesn't recognize the USB device as a midi device, there may not be a button for midi in the control panel.

If all else fails, sometimes you can click on Help and search for something like "midi." In Vista, you want to always include web content since the built-in-on-the-machine help(less) files are total crap. (A broad generalization certified as always accurate based on about a year with Vista.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: pavane
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:11 AM

This laptop does play MIDI files OK through its internal sound card, but I cannot reassign the MIDI to the USB MIDI cable.

So yes, VISTA does support MIDI.

I cannot find anything relevant in Device Manager. In System (in the Control Panel), it tells me the device is installed and working OK.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: pavane
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 11:19 AM

Searching my machine (not connected to the Internet) for MIDI comes up with just a 3 line description of what MIDI is. Nothing useful at all (so it's in line with Microsoft Standards...)


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 24 Mar 09 - 06:46 PM

pavane -

See last ( ... ) in my previous post. Nearly all "local" help files in Vista (or in Office 2007) give you a canned list of "non-help for idiots" that are basically an advertisement stating that "it's wonderful so shut up and quit asking questions," or that tell you how to do something else instead of what you asked about. Most of the "something else" consists of "how to create really spiffy documents like a magazine editor" or "how to plagiarize the web for your fourth grade essay" - which apparently were the only things of interest to the idiots who rewrote all the controls.

For some things there may be a little bit more if you let it search online.

If the USB device has a maker with a web site, you're likely to find more help there than "inside Vista."

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: pavane
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 05:36 AM

Looking online, I have found that other people have had the same problem after upgrading(?) to Vista, and have had to download new drivers.

I will try that and report back later.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 11:13 AM

Since I use MIDI to compose and arrange, people ask me questions about how to use it. So I would like to know more about MIDI and Vista. John in Kansas probably already answered this (thanks John!) but I lost track.

Let's separate the use of MIDI into two areas.

1. A surfer comes upon a site with MIDI files and wants to listen to them, perhaps save them. What does he need to do?

2. A musician has a MIDI controller (piano-shaped object)which has a cable with a MIDI connection at one end. The MIDI connection is round and has pins in a half circle. How does he get his music software to listen to the keyboard?

(Two people are coming to my house in 4 hours to learn about computers and composing.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: pavane
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 11:21 AM

Item 1 is OK, you can usually play MIDI files though the PC's sound card and speakers (with Windows Media Player, if nothing better is available).

Item 2, to play MIDI files on an external device, like a sound module or a MIDI instrument, does NOT seem to work by default, unless you install suitable drivers. (I have not yet verified this). Just plugging in a USB MIDI cable to connect to the device does not seem to install drivers.

If you are lucky, the drivers might already have been included in your PC, perhaps from a 3rd party supplier, but they do NOT seem to be included in VISTA itself, though it worked OK in XP

(There used to be a facility in the Control Panel called MIDI MAPPER, which no longer seems to exist. )


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: pavane
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 11:24 AM

By the way, I was talking about sending MIDI from the PC. I haven't tried sending MIDI from a keyboard TO the PC.

If the PC has a sound card with MIDI (round) connectors, it will probably have the necessary drivers. But nowadays this is unlikely, as we seem to rely on USB instead.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 01:40 PM

Thanks, pavane. That's a good point about the USB's. Although I'm sure there are plenty of people who still own instruments with MIDI plugs. My own controller has been working fine for years.


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 02:27 PM

I don't know that I'd give up quickly on this.

I've found that if I can plug something into my Vista computer, I can eventually get it to work. (I'll betcha if the keyboard has a USB port, you shouldn't have any trouble using it with Vista.)
If it doesn't interface automatically with the computer, go to the keyboard manufacturer's Website and search for the keyboard model number - and put the word Vista at the end of your search. You'll usually come up with instructions on how to use your keyboard with Vista.

If your keyboard has the two round MIDI ports and no USB connection, you will need a USB MIDI cable - here (click) is one that claims to support Vista, although your keyboard manufacturer will probably have a driver that will work better then the one that comes with the cable.

If your sound card has a MIDI port on it (kind of a squared-off oval), you're probably best off to connect the keyboard to the sound care, and the sound card driver will undoubtedly handle the keyboard.

It was sometimes hard to find drivers for the first six months after Vista came out, but now most manufacturers have Vista drivers and setup instructions. Many software products now have information on their Websites about how to make them work with Vista, although there are still some older products that won't work on Vista.

The only thing that has me stumped right now is a Palm handheld computer that I'm trying to connect to a computer with 64-bit Vista. Palm says the handheld will connect to regular Vista with a USB cable, but needs a Bluetooth connection for 64-bit Vista. The computer is an hour's drive away and the client isn't in a hurry, so I haven't tackled that one yet.

But MIDI to Vista shouldn't be impossible. Keep watching this thread. There's bound to be somebody here who's done it.

-Joe-

Oh, Cakewalk is now owned by Roland, the keyboard manufacturer, and they have a page on Vista here (click).


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Subject: RE: Tech: USB MIDI and Vista
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Mar 09 - 09:54 AM

Thank you, Joe. You are a champion.

I'm going to copy your information and send it to my latest student, who has a new computer with Vista.


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