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MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:46 am
by Black Tomorrow
I've been recording with hardware synths for years. I recently started using software synths, but I'm getting very frustrated at the recording process. My DAW is Samplitude Pro X and the primary soft synth I use is Garritan Personal Orchestra 4. It works great if I use the MIDI editor to drag and drop notes, but if I try to record with a MIDI controller... nothing. The program appears to recognize the controller connected, but I get nothing when I record. I've read the manual, watched tutorials and even performed ritual sacrifices to the synth gods. Does anyone have any advice?

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:37 am
by Stab Frenzy
Are your midi channels correctly assigned? That's often an annoyance with MIDI IME.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:03 pm
by Black Tomorrow
Yes, I've checked my midi channels, and everything lines up correctly. I'm not sure if this matters but I'm using a midi to usb cable to connect the keyboard to the computer.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:22 pm
by garranimal
I'm not familiar with your DAW. But some things to check:
- DAW should have a control panel menu for MIDI devices and ports. Check the in/out ports are present and activated
- DAW should have some kind of MIDI activity meter. Verify controller notes trigger INPUT activity in the DAW. Verify OUTPUT midi activity as well.
- DAW should have some way to assign the MIDI port to control the plugin. Verify the port assignment.
- Lastly, verify the DAW midi filters are not filtering out note data.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:44 pm
by Black Tomorrow
I think I understand you, garranimal. So let me ask you this. I see what I believe is a MIDI activity meter. When I play something on my keyboard, it doesn't register anything. But then I pull up the VSTi interface (in this case Garritan's ARIA engine) and click on the keys shown at the bottom. This does show activity on the meter.

So this appears to be where the hang up is. Controller notes do NOT trigger input activity and I can't figure out why. Even after I've done everything the manual and tutorials specify.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:54 pm
by garranimal
Ok let's focus on the controller. Which brand/model is it? Also I'm guessing you're using a Windows PC?

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:00 pm
by Black Tomorrow
Yes, I'm using Windows. 7 to be exact. As for the controller, it's not strictly a controller, but should be able to act as one. And I can use it to control other synths with no issue. It's a Yamaha PSR 740.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:07 pm
by garranimal
Right, it will send midi no problem. How about the USB-to-Midi cord brand/model info?

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:54 pm
by Black Tomorrow
Not sure about that. I've had the cable for awhile but there's no markings on it other than specifying which DIN plug is IN and which is OUT.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:18 pm
by meatballfulton
The MIDI adapter is probably the source of your problem.

If you do not see it in the systems settings Global MIDI Device window of Samplitude...USB Audio Device is what most generic interfaces show up as...then you get to fuss with drivers or just get an interface that is known to work properly.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:26 pm
by Black Tomorrow
It's showing up in Samplitude as USB2.0-MIDI. Should I try to find an adapter that comes with driver software? Any recommendations?

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:20 pm
by garranimal
Other than checking the obvious...make sure the cable midi IN is connected to the Yamaha midi OUT.

If you have another MIDI keyboard, try swapping that. I was looking through the owners manual of the PSR 740 and its midi transmit configuration is kind of strange. Each of 16 MIDI channels can be assigned things like Right1, Right2, Left, Upper, Lower, etc.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:48 pm
by meatballfulton
A lot of Yamaha PSR keyboards have setups like that where splits, layers, accompaniment parts, etc. are each on their own MIDI channel. That allows you record the output of it being played in real time with all the auto functions turned on. If using a bog standard controller, it's just confusing.

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:12 pm
by pflosi
A general purpose midi monitor that you can use without any DAW would help. Midi-OX is the best known for Win, not sure though whether there's a Win 7 installer... I'd check that first. It would immediately show if there are splits on different channels and stuff like that.

Another idea: Do you have other keyboards with midi out ports to try whether they work? E.g., I see a V-Synth and Poly 800 in your equipment list, do those work?

Cheers

Re: MIDI recording - a little help?

Posted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:43 am
by Black Tomorrow
It was the sacrifice. I sacrificed a microKorg to the synth gods and they weren't happy. So I also made an offering of a DX7 and that seems to have appeased them. ;)
garranimal wrote:make sure the cable midi IN is connected to the Yamaha midi OUT.
Actually this was it. I assumed the IN and OUT labels indicated that they were supposed to match (IN going to IN and OUT going to OUT). Dumb move on my part I guess. But once I switched, I started getting signal. The Yamaha seemed to be only sending intermittent notes so I switched to the Triton and now it's working perfectly. Thank you for all your input, guys. You've been awesome.