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  1. tom
  2. MIDI Software
  3. Tuesday, 26 March 2019
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Hello everyone,

Since a few months I've been trying to learn some songs by myself on an old keyboad and I am enjoying it a lot. Since i enjoyed it more than i would've thougt, i looked around on the internet for software to help me learn to play 'the piano'.

The old keyboard i mentioned, a Yamaha Psr-260, has a MIDI IN and MIDI OUT port so i've bought myself a MIDDI to usb cable to connect to my laptop to use the software. When using this software, some of the keys i played werent registerd and transfered into sound by this software.

So i stumbled upon MIDI-OX to determin the problem. When I run MIDI-OX, it shows that the keys that i play that are not making any sound on my laptop, have weird names.For example: all my c keys register correctly exept middle c (which has to be c4) i have c2, c3, c12, c5 and c6. So the c12, that should be a c4, isn't playing because it simply doesn't exist. The other ones play just fine

I have the same problem with a few other keys. all these keys register in MIDI ox as for example b13 or e12.

So my question, is there any resolution for my problem, a way to alter the signal of the keys so the software could recognize all of them?
To my knowlege, there aren't any drivers for the keyboard, it should be plug and play. In the device manager on my Windows 10, it says that my keyboard (USBMIDI2.0) works fine and has the latest drivers.

I'm sorry for my bad english and the unclear way of explaining my problem but i'm new to all of this :)

Thank you.
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Right!

That looks exactly like I'd expect it to look like. Like it OUGHT to look like.

When I saw your first screen, I wasn't sure how you'd got MIDI-OX set, and what it was trying to show, and what the software you were using was doing, so I was being a bit careful with my comments.

On the basis of this screen, the previous 2 screens demonstrate that the previous cable was totally screwing-up your data!!

Thanks for the update. Very informative.

Geoff
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
  3. # 1
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So i bought myself a Roland MIDI-cable today. This is the result :D

MIDIOX3.jpg
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No problems - it's a big help when we're both in a similar timezone (I'm in the UK). So messages get seen more quickly.

Interesting to see the article about 'fixing' the device. Seems more complicated that it's worth, mind you. I think that MUCH better units are £20 or so. All my gear still uses the 5 pin DIN type connectors. Connecting to a Roland LAPC-I card in one of my old PCs that I use for midi stuff. I do some playing with more modern stuff on the XP machine, but not connecting to anything.

Geoff
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  1. more than a month ago
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Ok, thanks for all your help. I'll let you know how it turned out for me.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Yes, that looks like the same cable we've had discussions about here before. Prob anything else would be better! Safer to go for a known 'brand' product.

Geoff
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Now you point it out, it did indeed mark port 2. didnt select anything different than Virtualmidisynth in stead of MS GS Wavetable...

I tried a much slower laptop (with windows 7 in stead of 10) but no difference.

It will probably be the cable. I bought it online from a european cableshop but it turns out to be an even cheaper chinese cable that's known for its crappy quality.
Found this article about it, it's axactly the same. So it seems i payed 10 times the price they sell it on the knwon chinese tec sites.(i'll be sending it back for sure)
aricle about the cheap cable
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  1. more than a month ago
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Yes, this second screen looks much more like it SHOULD.

By the way, the first screen was using port 2, the second one is using port 1. Is this something you selected?

Under normal circumstances, each key press should produce a Note On, followed by a Note Off when the key is released. Some sounds (i.e. percussive) have a note off built in, so they may sound OK without the note off, but the sounding instrument may still consider the note to be 'on' even if it's no longer sounding, and all instruments have a limit to the number of sounds they can play at once regardless of if it can be heard, so it's a good idea to make sure the Note Off events are getting through. Some playing instruments will generate a specific Note Off event (&H8x) which acts as note off without any Velocity setting, Other instruments use a Note On (&H9x) with a zero velocity. There is a reason for the two options, but I'll not go into that right now. Normally, they are just different ways of doing the same thing.

Anyway, although the second display is MUCH better than the first, there are still errors visible, and again it looks like the midi data is getting lost or mangled, and I'd guess data bits are getting messed up in the cable/connector box (is there a little module in the middle - there'll be some circuitry in there, with a chip or two, and this is NOT handling the data correctly). Maybe it's far too slow, or just 'broken'. Finding something branded should be an improvement. Prob more expensive, but maybe not that much more.

Your cable MIGHT work better with a much slower laptop. But maybe not!

Geoff
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So i downloaded Virtualmidisynth and used another soundfont. Doesnt realy make much of a difference.

I played the same octaves.

I noticed that, when i hold the keys longer, i do get a 'note off' on the second line in blue color as opposed to my previous post where i didnt hold the keys.

The keys that don't get a correct reading, don't get this 'note off' as you see below

midioxdata2.jpg
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  1. more than a month ago
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Yes, you're talking about the right thing.

The setting at the keyboard end may not matter. That seems OK. But, can you alter the sound at the computer end, to something non-percussive. With piano, the note goes off anyway, even if there is no Note Off command. You need something that will stay on without a note off.

Another thing. Do the same scale thing again. Same notes, etc. If it's the cable/interface, you could get a quite different result. If the result is the same, then the problem COULD be in the keyboard (but might still be the cable).

Geoff
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the sound i use on the keyboard is a grand piano. On the pc, it's the sound thats prebuilt into the microsoft gs wavetable synth i suppose...If that's what you were asking :)

I'll try an other midi cable than. The one i'm using now was a really cheap one. Can you suggest an afforable one?

Thanks for all your replies!
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I don't know what the MIDI-OX is supposed to be showing, and I don't know what the software you're using might be doing, but my initial impression is that display OUGHT to be showing 2 lines for each note, one line as Note On, the second as Note Off (although this might show as Note On but with a Velocity of zero).

The three midi data values in the screen display are the STATUS, DATA1 and DATA2.

The STATUS bytes are all 90, which is valid for NOTE ON, channel 1
The second is usually OK for note value, but some are way too high and look like two following notes have got added together.

Note that normal midi data should be 0-127, or hex 0-7F. Your display shows values greater than 7F, which should not be.

I'm guessing that the second line for each pair should be the Note Off, and the Status and Data1 may be OK, but for Note Off data2 should be zero to signify note off. But some notes do not have a second line, as you say. And many of the lines that you suggest are OK, the second line does NOT show zero for data2 (velocity).

What sound are you using. Something like piano, which has an inherent 'note off' anyway? What happens if you set the sound on the computer to something that does NOT have an inherent note off - the notes played may just stay on and build up on top of each other like a building chord??

On the basis of what you've said, I'd suggest that the cable/interface is seriously messing up the data.

Geoff
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Thanks fot the responses!

To clairify, I wanted to use programs like flowkey or piano marvel. In short, you play on the keyboard a certain exercise. Threw the midi connection with the pc, the program knows when and if you played a note or key correctly. So I don't realy need mij pc to make a sound, but i need it to register the fact the notes are being played.

As i told you before, i am a stage 0 noob when it comes to this. So i tried to save the incoming data as you asked but didn't find how to do so. So instead, i took a screen shot of the data on MIDI-OX

midi-oxlog.jpg

So i played the first 3 octave on my keyboard (without the black keys) and this is the result. Each correct note i play, results in a sound made by my keyboard, a sound made by my pc and two lines being added into MIDI-OX. As you can see, c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 a2 all went well. But the b2 registers as a g11. on this key, my keyboard makes a sound but my pc doesn't and only ONE line is added to MIDI-OX.

And as you can see like i said in my original post, where i play a c4, MIDI-OX data says i play a c12. Only one line is added to the data again and my pc doent make a sound.

So every key that has the correct note in MIDI-OX plays by both the keyboard and pc and adds 2 lines.
Every key that has an incorrect note in MIDI-OX isnt played by my pc and adds only one line.

I hope this clarifies a litlle bit better the problem i'm having and i'm looking forward to your responses!
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The weird part is that valid MIDI notes are from decimal 0 to 127 or hex 00 to 7F for notes C-1 to G9 (if middle C is C4 -- which is what MIDI-OX uses). But Tom is sometimes seeing notes like C12 (decimal 156 or hex 9C), B13 (decimal 179 or hex B3), and E12 (decimal 160 or hex A0).

It's possible that the USB MIDI cable is faulty and may be altering, rearranging, or dropping some of the MIDI bytes the keyboard is sending.
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Hello,

I'm not really sure what you're doing here.

Firstly, please note that some of the MIDI <-> USB leads/converters are not very good, and can cause problems. This has been discussed here before. There is mention of specific cheaper ones as being bad. More expensive one are usually much more reliable.

However, to get into a little more detail. I assume you've got the units connected, midi out on the keyboard to midi IN (or USB IN) on the computer. You are playing the keyboard, and hoping to send midi data to the computer. Are you letting the keyboard make noises (musical ?) as well, or have you turned this off? I assume the intention is to allow the computer to save, and/or make the sounds there, using software - which??

BUT, the computer is not receiving ALL the notes generated by the keyboard, and MIDI-OX is reporting on this. MIDI-OX can be set to save the incoming data as a midi file if you require.

The note info you describe is the normal detail, rather than give midi data as numbers (which would be more use to me) it's giving a more musical notation, i.e. the note and the octave. Hence c4 may be middle C, then c5 is an octave higher, and c6 an octave above that. This is normal, not sure why you refer to 'weird'?

If notes are getting missed, or changed, this may be all due to a faulty cable (the 'fault' is that the chip inside is no good, I understand, it does some tasks OK, but others not so, esp has problems with 'running status').

Just as an initial check, please set MIDI-OX to save the incoming notes to a midi file, play a long scale over a couple of octaves, and post the resultant midi file here, reporting on any notes that have not sounded. It is possible that some notes might be coming through, but they don't sound on the computer because the midi channel has been changed (by the cable ?) and the computer is not set to 'play' that channel?

Then, we'll see where we go from there?

Geoff
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