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Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI

GUEST,leeneia 28 Feb 14 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Joe G 28 Feb 14 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Grishka 28 Feb 14 - 04:02 PM
GUEST,ripov 28 Feb 14 - 04:11 PM
GUEST,Grishka 28 Feb 14 - 04:41 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Feb 14 - 08:54 PM
JohnInKansas 28 Feb 14 - 09:51 PM
Bill D 28 Feb 14 - 10:26 PM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Mar 14 - 04:19 AM
Nick 01 Mar 14 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 Mar 14 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Grishka 01 Mar 14 - 12:42 PM
MMario 01 Mar 14 - 01:59 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Mar 14 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Mar 14 - 10:17 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Mar 14 - 03:47 PM
ripov 02 Mar 14 - 05:46 PM
JohnInKansas 02 Mar 14 - 07:28 PM
GUEST 03 Mar 14 - 09:20 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 04 Mar 14 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Mar 14 - 10:08 AM
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Subject: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 02:36 PM

My dear old computer with XP and Noteworthy Composer gave up the ghost, and now a shop is assembling a new one for me. Trouble is, they can't seem to do it.

We want to use Windows 7 because it's more like XP. However, they can't find a soundcard which will operate MIDI under Windows 7.

It's pretty clear that the computer industry has little interest in people who compose, play and arrange music. I'm just supposed to download mp3's on my Ipod and walk around in a trance. However, I doubt if MIDI will go away completely, so I suppose somebody makes equipment which will do what I want.

Do any of you have any soundcards which are operating MIDI under Windows 7 or 8?

I've sent a query to Noteworthy, but I don't know how long it will take them to answer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 03:24 PM

When you say operate midi do you mean sed midi messages to external devices or just internally to the PC? I just have an onboard soundcard with Win 7 and it works fine hen playing back midi file or playing midi from my DAW


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 04:02 PM

Windows 7 and 8 as such do support MIDI, which indeed does not seem to go away any time soon. The problem your shop people seem to face is that they cannot find a suitable "driver" software that connects Win 7 with the particular sound card they want to sell you. Complete systems off the shelf virtually always support MIDI.

Good news: the problems you faced under XP with various MIDI programmes interfering with volume settings etc. will no longer trouble you.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,ripov
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 04:11 PM

If the problem is finding a soundcard with MIDI connections, this should solve it, it has midi in and out plugs, usb the other end, and needs no external power supply

http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/usb-to-midi-adapter-cable-a03fk

I've been using one for several years to connect a midi controller to a pc with Noteworthy, but it should be ok with other manuscript progs. The pc recognises it straight away and it comes up as a MIDI input option in Noteworthy.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 04:41 PM

Ripov is addressing the problem of operating an external device (such as a MIDI keyboard) with (old five-pole) MIDI plugs, "in" and/or "out". Indeed, you can and should use an USB-to-MIDI adapter, of which there are plenty available in the USA. Most of us use one.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 08:54 PM

If all you want is to play midi files, Ziff-Davis has a utility called Midi Colors that will do the playing for you for about $10.00 (but check the price before ordering). There are several free programs that will do the same, but this one has some features I've used for years and that I find very helpful when converting midi to notation.

A cute feature of this program is that it displays a keyboard for each midi channel, and you can turn any channel(s) on or off, to see (and hear) what each "voice" sings. You also can vary the speed for the playback, if you're a little slow like I am and need to hear the individual notes more clearly. (Some Bluegrass midis sound more like a buzz saw than like music, as recorded.)

I'm currently using the version that I got when I was running Win95 (it was free then), and it works fine in Win7. It's been on every computer we've had since Win95.

Windows Media Player, as in Win7, apparently doesn't include a midi player capability as a default, so you do need to add a midi-capable program. Almost any notation program whould do what you want, with the exception of a few ultra-trashy things that don't allow "Save-As .mid" and/or "Import .mid." We've had no problem using the notation programs we had with WinXP and Vista in Win7, but that may not be the case for all older programs.

Stated crudely (and not too accurately), you need a program that can make a midi in order to play a midi.

Once you get a program with midi capability, any sound card should suffice, since it's the midi file "translation" of the .mid (a text file) to pitch/duration/loudness language that matters, and any card should understand what to do with it once it's "made digital" in an appropriate audio format.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 09:51 PM

I probably should have included a link to the PC Mag Utilities front page in the previous post, for those who might be interested in something in addition to midi. There's a search box there that will find most of their stuff if you have some idea of what to call it.

At the page previously linked, you can browse alphabetically by first letter through all of the offerings.

Also note with respect to you need a program that can make a midi in order to play a midi in the previous, the "not too accurately" reflects that the program suggested (MidiColors) is playback only, and you can't make a midi with it.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Feb 14 - 10:26 PM

The best *free* midi player I have seen is Van Basco's

It says it is good thru Win XP, but my version of Win7 (Win7 Pro)will handle that just fine. (I don't know if Van Basco will work on Win7 Home versions... it might.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 04:19 AM

John and Bill, please do not confuse our OP. Her problem has nothing to do with MIDI files. (Win 7 has a built-in MIDI file player, and so has Noteworthy Composer.)

Sound cards with their "driver" software may or may not allow Windows to pass MIDI data to them "in real-time" to play. If they do, they have an internal storage of little sound bits which they assemble on the fly to produce the actual sound as demanded by the MIDI data.

As an additional feature, some sound cards (typically older ones) have five-pin MIDI plugs to address external devices such as piano keyboards. The most important plug is "MIDI-in", which allows us to press keys on our piano keyboards and have the computer notice them, e.g. the Noteworthy Composer software.

The five-pin cables have technical disadvantages. Therefore, newer devices use USB cables for the transport of the very same MIDI data, and newer sound cards need not bother with that five-pin stuff. Our ordinary USB plugs (the U stands for "Universal") will recognize a MIDI device, and Windows or Linux or Mac will act accordingly without any further action such as installing specific "drivers".

Users of five-pin-plugged piano keyboards can use a USB-to-MIDI adapter as mentioned by Ripov. Many of us including myself have one; it works. The "to-MIDI" part here only stands for "five-pin"; the actual MIDI user data will be the same regardless of the type of cable. (Well, a USB protocol must do some more work, including "What device are you?" - "I'm a MIDI-in device" - "OK, off you go!", whence the adapter must contain some electronics.)

Hope that helps. If not, please tell us the problem, Leeneia.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: Nick
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 06:21 AM

I have a standard Windows 7 out the box from PC World. I plug my USB keyboard into the machine, open up Reaper which I use and play to my hearts content. For Reaper they recommend using Asio drivers and a suitable one can be found here


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 10:05 AM

After ten days of delay, the chap from the shop is coming over today with the new machine. He seems to think it will work. The question still remains, "If you are using MIDI with Win7, what's the brand name of your sound card?"

When I say I want to use MIDI, I mean the following:

Download MIDI files that others have put on the Internet

Manipulate them with Noteworthy Composer (a popular program here at the Mudcat)

Or compose and notate new music myself

HEAR the music and SEE the notes for it.

Use Noteworthy to edit them: change key, change time, write new parts, or print

=======
that said, thanks Grishka, John and ripov for the info about sound cards and MIDI to USB adapters.

I do want to use my small, old-fashioned five-pin MusicStar keyboard. It seems to be the only music keyboard on the market that fits on a desk. (There's still a market for them on Ebay.)
========


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 12:42 PM

"If you are using MIDI with Win7, what's the brand name of your sound card?"
Any one that works at all will do. Laptops normally do not have real sound "cards" at all, still they can do everything you want - the MIDI sounds are produced using the main board and processor (the drawback being a slight delay, harmful only in interactive contexts such as using the MidiCond software or similar).

Does your new computer work OK now?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: MMario
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 01:59 PM

I do most of that with the work computer - I will check on the brand of the sound card when I go in next. Though, since it *is* a laptop chances are it will be just an hp driver for their standard sound.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Mar 14 - 04:33 PM

In my Win7 Home Premium:

START|ALL PROGRAMS|ACCESSORIES|SYSTEM TOOLS|SYSTEM INFORMATION\System Summary\Components\Mulitmedia\Sound Device

Should tell you what sound "card" is in the computer. In a laptop especially, it's likely to be on the motherboard and not a separate component; but usually an indentification will show.

SOME makers may use a "generic" component set that has no identifiable "sound card" identity, but most recent ones will give you enough info to find anything necessary.

My Lenovo desktop shows:
Name        Realtek High Definition Audio
Manufacturer        Realtek
Status        OK
PNP Device IDHDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_10EC&DEV_0662&SUBSYS_17AA3616&REV_1001\4&1C79C827&0&0001
Driver        c:\windows\system32\drivers\rtkvhd64.sys (6.0.1.6230, 2.41 MB (2,530,152 bytes), 10/24/2011 7:21 PM)

A separate branch in the same vicinity will tell you what CODECS are installed.

You should be able to select a "branch" of the SYSINFO report and print it, if you need to show it to someone, or with a branch "selected" you can copy (Ctl-C) and paste short pieces of the info.

DO NOT try to just print all of SYSINFO, since even in WinXP you'd need about 30,000 sheets in your printer magazine before it will quit. I haven't looked, but it's almost certain that Win7 has "more stuff" there than was in the older ones.

Also note that Win7 Home Basic may not show all the info, but I haven't found a description of the limitations in it. The only thing Mickey tells us is that "it lacks some system tools."

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 10:17 AM

I'm back in business after two weeks of withdrawal. The tech told me that they had to find the right soundcard and the right motherboard, and shipping time had been very long due to storms in the south.

The functioning sound card is from SB Audigy.

Did I mention that it has to operate NWC, play my nice stereo speakers and respond to the MIDI controller?

For example, the first sound card they tried failed to send its MIDI plug out of the back of the computer by 1.5 inches. So it was all set to work, but the MIDI keyboard couldn't be plugged into it. And so it went.

Here's what Support aT Noteworthy Composer had to say:

"
If you want to connect your MIDI keyboard to your computer and the computer does not have anything built in to handle this, if your computer has a USB port, then you can look for a MIDI interface (that connects to your USB port and your MIDI keyboard) that includes the MIDI drivers to install software on your computer to control it."

This info will come in handy for a buddy of mine who wants to get into digital music. We can get one of these for the free laptop we have coming.

Meanwhile, the tech person who was helping us had told me that he is a drummer. "What kind,?" I asked him,

"Anybody who will hire me!"

So as one deadline after another went by, I began to suspect that he was using my computer to do music on. This wasn't helped when he finally carried my computer in and said,

"That Noteworthy Composer sure is fun!" Unh huh.

========================
"START|ALL PROGRAMS|ACCESSORIES|SYSTEM TOOLS|SYSTEM INFORMATION\System Summary\Components\Mulitmedia\Sound Device"

Sure, John. Why have something called 'Control Panel' when the customer can simply go to START|ALL PROGRAMS|ACCESSORIES|SYSTEM TOOLS|SYSTEM INFORMATION\System Summary\Components\Mulitmedia\Sound Device?

But I'm being sarcastic at your expense. Thank you for your insights.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 03:47 PM

System Information has been in ALL WINDOWS VERSONS since day one.

Since it's seldom consulted, people do forget how to find it.

Later versions have added a step (System Tools) in the sequence of buttons you click to get to it. The steps shown in upper case (all caps) separated by "bars" are "like buttons to click" even if they are named and you click on the names.

System Information has the appearance of a "folder," hence the change in notation to the \...\...\ form. From SysInfo on down, you're drilling down in folders and subfolders to get to the specific info you want to look at.

(Ten steps to get to exactly the info you wanted isn't bad. In new Word you've got 750 unintelligibble "icons" on ten "tabs" to sort out, to get to half the tools the old versions gave you in three clicks.)

Nothing there more difficult than finding where you put granny's recipe for that green stuff that shows up at every meeting of the clan, except that I can't tell you where you might have put that.

A "feature" that I find mildly annoying in later Win versions is that "All Programs" moves some (but not all) "most recently used" things to the top of the list, so that the stuff in that list is never in the same place where you left it last time; but that's manageable. Just mumble "WTF" and scan down the list.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: ripov
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 05:46 PM

Much easier (I think this works in all versions) to open the start menu, press 'run', and type "msinfo32.exe" in the box, then .
This opens System Information, where Sound Devices are listed under Components.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Mar 14 - 07:28 PM

Ripov - Win7 doesn't have a "Run" button. You just type a command in a box at the START menu for the same result.

Your method is simpler, if you remember how to spell the command you want,but several people here have heard that it's a "Command Prompt" and know that it is "aomething like DOS," so that the instruction elicits fear and trembling, cold sweats, tremors, and post-nasal drip, so I thought it better to show the click'em steps to get there "the Windows way." If you click through the steps, at each step you sort of get a "hint" about what might come next (if you're clever at guessing what the Windows labels acturally might mean).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 14 - 09:20 PM

John in Kansas,

Although the Start Menu does place the "Most Commonly Used" (not "Most Recently") in the top list on the Start Menu, all of those items ALSO appear in standard order under All Programs.

And,

... Stand by for this IMPORTANT NEWS BULLETIN ...

For some things that you used to use the "Run" button for, typing in the search field won't work. However, ...

Windows 7 does have a "Run" button

... sort of. For a long time you have been using the Ctrl and Alt keys to do different things. Well, on Windows 7, the 'Windows' key (between the Ctrl key and Alt key on the LEFT side of the keyboard ... if it's there at all!) does cool things too.

For example,

"Windows" + L locks the computer: as if you had pressed Ctrl+Alt+Delete and clicked to "Lock the computer".

or

"Windows" + R opens the "Run" dialog, exactly as if you had clicked the "Run" menu item back on WinXP.

If "Windows" + R isn't good enough for you, then try this:

1) Right-click on the Start button.
2) From the context menu click "Properties".
3) Go to the "Start Menu" tab.
4) Click the "Customize" button.
5) Slide about 3/4 of the way down the list; the items are in alpha order.
6) Place a check in the checkbox for "Run command".

NOW look at your Start Menu.

BB,
NightWing


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 12:29 AM

A HIGHLY recommended MIDI interface is a Steinberg.
that's all I can do, for now.

GfS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Need help: new computer, MIDI
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Mar 14 - 10:08 AM

Good to know. Thanks.


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