The MIDI Forum

  Friday, 27 October 2017
  2 Replies
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I have an old Kawai K1 (the original) with DIN MIDI In/Out/Thru that I would like to connect to my Win7x64 system to use as an input device for Sibelius.

I purchased an inexpensive MIDI-to-USB adapter cable from LiDiVi but it didn't work at all. Monitoring with MIDI-OX I would see a few Active Sensing messages from the keyboard and then Windows would sound the "USB Device Disconnected" beep.

So I bought another adapter (Sanoxy). This one stays connected, and I can see a steady stream of Active Sensing coming from the keyboard. When I play notes on the keyboard I see Note-On, Note-Off and All-Notes-Off in the MIDI-OX monitor window.

In Sibelius, it "sort of" works for input but is quite unreliable. Sometimes key presses are ignored. If I hit the same key again sometimes the note is entered, and sometimes I get two noteheads, as if the Note-Off for the first note was not received. Occasionally the note entered is an octave or two high or low. All this means that I have to visually check each note before moving to the next, so it's not usable.

Watching the input stream with MIDI-OX I see the keyboard sending occasional System Reset messages, which are only one bit different from Active Sensing (FF vs FE).

My questions are:

  1. How reliable are the inexpensive USB-MIDI adapters one can purchase on Amazon?
  2. Do the random System Reset messages indicate a problem with they keyboard or the USB-MIDI adapter?
  3. MIDI-OX only shows what is being received, how do I determine if the issues is at the keyboard of the adapter?
  4. If I buy, say, a Roland UM-ONE-MK2 adapter am I likely to have better results?
6 years ago
For the benefit of future readers, the answer is that the cheap, no-name MIDI-USB converters are for the most part non-functional. I went to a local Guitar Center and bought a $35 Mio converter and it works flawlessly, thus eliminating the possibility of problems with the keyboard, its MIDI hardware, or the computer.

Sometimes you do get what you pay for.
Thanks for reporting back with your findings.

Is it possible for you to test the cheap adapters on another (friend or family member's) computer? It would be useful to know if they consistently fail with multiple hardware setups.

I wonder if the USB version is a factor. Some legacy devices simply will not work properly in USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports. Sometimes the BIOS has a "legacy USB support" option that can be enabled/disabled.

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