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The MIDI Forum

  Friday, 05 February 2021
  22 Replies
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On another page I've just cried on your shoulders about my failed attempts (and apparently lots of people's) to MIDI sequence the Roland Go Keys from computer over a hardware interface. Trouble's happening with other instruments too.

I thought the EW410 would be perfect for my projects and ordered one at my local music store. Attempts to play my MIDI tracks from church on it were pathetic. I emailed Yamaha's customer support dept. and somebody named Isaac called me from it in response. He directed me to a Steinberg software link in their site, which I downloaded.

Things seemed vastly better, but what's this -- the sound palette is discombobulated. I'm selecting 'BriteOrg' but hearing harpsichord, 'Musette' is a lovely string orchestra sound ad inf.!
This resulted in Isaac's second call. He decided that my tracks were sending patch (or sound or registration) signals that were throwing off those in the EW410. This doesn't make any sense to me and I realized after we hung up that the tracks I was testing with don't have any such signals in them. Most of mine have such content from a Rodgers church organ, but not those.

I emailed him again to report this plus the following, revised for clarity: "I just carefully tried the whole process step by step here at home. Rebooting the laptop, connecting it to the EW410 and only opening Cakewalk cuts the instrument's sound off completely. Tried changing sounds while playing the keyboard at this stage -- still silent including when I closed the 'Open a project' box that shows automatically when opening Cakewalk." (Merely reporting -- I don't play along with my tracks).

"Opening the same track as before but not activating it, the piano sound played as I continued playing on the keyboard but I could then change patches and they worked normally. Activating the track it played in the default piano sound, impervious to change till I reset Output and Channel for it (as required by the EW410) -- but it was then back to square one: crazy mismatched patches/names up the list."

Haven't heard back yet but it's only been a couple of days. Maybe he considers himself rid of me. I've never needed drivers etc for an instrument in almost 15 years of happy (and may I say pioneering) sequencing. I scoured the EW410's manual AND the mfgr's site before purchasing -- if this requirement is mentioned in them I'd love to know where (shades of the Go Keys experience). [LATER: FOUND IT IT LITTLE TINY PRINT IN THE MANUAL.]

In case anybody's interested my puter is a wonderful Windows 7 Toshiba Satellite laptop around 6-8 years old. It does everything else just fine and seems indestructible. The Steinberg download is built for it:
http://usa.yamaha.com/support/updates/yamaha_steinberg_usb_driver_v203_win.html
I will never, EVER go to Windows 10 if it's the last OS on earth.

Please my friends don't be in a rush to agree with Isaac that the EW410 isn't built to do any better than this. I really don't want to believe that of Yamaha, and eagerly await your input.
10 months ago
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#7840
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Hello,

You're rushing over a number of possible issues here, and it's not clear where the problem might be, so need to take things step-by-step.

To start somewhere, any chance you could attach one of the midi files that's causing you problems, so I can check that the things that are supposed to be there ARE there, and in the right order, and that it seems to play OK on my setup. This may start to shed some light on what's causing the problem.

Geoff
10 months ago
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#7842
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Thanks for the fast reply! Ironically the site won't let me post a track -- "The file BACH VIVALDI CONCERTO BWV 982 MVTS 1 and 2A.cwp, which you are attempting to upload is in an unsupported format." Can I email you one? PM me an @ddress if so.

Like I said, these tracks have 'worked' on almost everything through the many years e.g. Yamaha PSS-680 (made 1988 I believe), ca. 2008 Rodgers organ, ca. 2006 Casio WK-1500, new 4-octave Casio ca. 2016, ancient Clavinova (has only piano 1 and 2, harpsichord and chorus effect if that helps), Casio Privias. Instruments they haven't 'worked' well on:

***Circa 2000 Technics Digital Ensemble piano: as soon as I connected the interface each note on the keyboard would only play for a split second and drop off.
***Circa 1998 61-note Casio CTK keyboard. Super weirdness: aside from the initial default piano sound, the only patches I can activate once the interface is connected (which neessarily precedes opening Cakewalk) are from the eccentric, pingy groups -- one for the lower notes, another the upper! No idea which ones they are. They're on no matter which sounds I select, and something occasionally adds a note that doesn't belong -- 2nd D, I believe.
10 months ago
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#7849
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The file you output with the suffix ".cwp" is a Cakewalk project file and can only be read by someone with Sonar or CbB, if you can export it as a type 1 MIDI file (suffix .mid) then anyone can read it on any MIDI sequencer/DAW s/w and, you should be able to attach it to a post to the forum.

Try doing that.

JohnG.
9 months ago
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#7860
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What's CbB?

Boy, "File > Export" in Sonar was no help -- only wants to send 'track templates' (with an existing track of mine open). I made a track in Sonar by copying some content from an existing one and pasting it into a new one. In the Save As box it gave me the .mid option plus MIDI Format 0 or 1, so I did up tracks for both 0 and 1. Still doesn't work: "The file VIV GLORIA SNIPPET FOR SENDING TO MIDI DOT COM midi format 1.mid, which you are attempting to upload is in an unsupported format." 'MIDI DOT COM'in the track name is simply our URL here.

I think .CWP is not the default for what my tracks originally were and suspect it was .MID. Could this have gotten accidentally changed somehow? The puter world is full of choices to make accidentally. Also, does anybody know if there's a way to stop Sonar from making track folders? This has happened for seemingly some of my tracks but not all. Why would I need the folders? They clutter the list of tracks and the tracks that exist by themselves are just fine.

THANKS.
9 months ago
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#7867
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CbB stands for Cakewalk by Bandlab, the latest name for Sonar. Free to downlaod from Bandlab once you've established an account.

I should have said "Save As" then select the file type as MIDI file type 1.

Then you should be able to post it here.
9 months ago
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#7872
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Isn't that what I did per the file name and extension above? There's no "MIDI file type 1" in the Sonar 7 dialog box, just "Save as Type" giving choices of Normal, Template, Cakewalk Bundle, MIDI Format 0, MIDI Format 1, RIFF Media Format 1 and 2. The next form down is "Go to Folder:" and I picked Project Files, the only choice there with .MID in its list of extensions.

Opening the new or altered file from an index, it's now an audio file using that tinny fake piano sound -- opens in a media player. I went back and renamed a pre-existing track that I definitely saved to the Cakewalk Projects folder as "VIVALDI GLORIA 1st mvt i548 WHOLE MVT TRY 1.mid" It turns up as audio too when opened from a search, so wouldn't upload here. The track I started from this time was most definitely MIDI -- the original is still sitting in its original spot (MIDI 1 below Audio 1 and 2) now as I close Sonar.
9 months ago
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#7873
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Nelson,

I very much suspect that 'MIDI Format 1 is the same thing as MIDI file type 1. I've seen 'Type 1' and 'Format 1' used. Type 0 has all the data in a single Track, while Type 1 stores the data in separate tracks.

Also note that MS Media Player knows how to Play a .MID file, even though this is not a digital Data file - BUT - media player will invoke the available Synth device to render the midi data into sound, and the default device may include the 'tinny' sounds you're hearing. So media player (and other parts of the system) may well view a .mid file as being 'Audio' even though technically it is not, it contains instructions to create audio. When you play the same file on your setup you may be invoking a much better sound system so the file will sound MUCH better!

Also note that calling a file name.mid does not mean that it IS a MIDI file, it might contain whatever. Another thread here a little while back had a file name.mid that was in fact a .zip file containing digital sounds (i.e. .wav type data). However, usually a .mid file is MUCH smaller than any sort of digital sound file. Just out of interest, what is the file size of the Vivaldi Gloria .mid file you mentioned?

Geoff
9 months ago
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#7874
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Great Jeff -- thanks! Was hoping something along those exact lines (your second paragraph) was going on. (I realize we still don't positively know what is.)

My MIDI files are (to me) amazingly small -- this complete short movement shows in an Agent Ransack search of the Cakewalk Projects folder as an 18-KB MIDI sequence. Testing it again, it again plays on the tinny piano. Searching 'vivaldi' in "C:\Users" doesn't find it, and I always leave 'Search subfolders' checked. Searching it in "C:\", the track name etc does appear. Opening it in Sonar it appears to play normally (this is all in my home office 30 miles from the church and organ) except that no notes appear in Piano Roll (which sometimes happens when the computer's in line fore a reboot, like right now).

All that plus the 'Save As' process above surely indicates the file has been converted?

Should I try downloading the current Cakewalk Sonar -- might this clean some problems up automatically? I have trepidations there. My Sonar version 7 has the exact very basic layout I need for my classical stuff -- track takes up most of the screen, nice simple traditional control buttons across the top and I/O tabs below, nothing showing that I don't need. Can the current version offer this without any rigmarole. If I tried it would I never be able to go back to 7 -- would the door to paradise be barred forever. Would I have to reinstall 7 and try to (ugh) remember any preferences I've set.
9 months ago
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#7881
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Cakewalk (or Sonar) version 7 should be absolutely fine for sequencing the Vivaldi Gloria.

I did this track back in 2018 for a small local choir that was rehearsing the piece for performance, and the MIDI file size was ... 18K.

The destination playback mechanism for me, was the virtual orchestra known as Garritan Personal Orchestra version 5 (a.k.a. GPO5).
It came out quite well, as I recall.

I'm currently working on an aria from Mozart's Zauberflöte, "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" which is quite a bit more challenging.

JohnG.
9 months ago
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#7883
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Thanks for reporting! Tell us pronto -- what sequencing program were you using, and is it installed on the same computer as the Garritan?

I've been trying to find out if that's possible without super duper wildly expensive state-of-the-art equipment -- play sequences through a sound bank on the same computer, and I don't mean the crappy sounds built into Sonar.

Say, is that the 'available synth device' Geoff referred to above? Can't think of any other I've ever installed.
9 months ago
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#7887
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For sequencing I still use a rather old, and now unavailable program called XGworks (marketed in the late 90's by Yamaha), mainly because I'm so familiar with using it.
But I used an early version of Sonar called Cakewalk Pro Audio before this and I still 'render' the final audio using the updated CbB.
Before that I used, like you, Sonar 7.

I used to use hardware such as the Yamaha sound card called the SW1000-XG, then a sound module, the MU128 and lastly an MU1000 with three PLG synth cards in it, the PLG100-DX, the PLG100-VL and the PLG150-AN. All great hardware.

As I became more interested in orchestral sequencing I migrated to Virtual Orchestras and found that I could get reasonably good results from the Garritan orchestra.
No, it's not a built in sound set but has to be purchased from the MakeMusic company that now owns the Garritan product set.
The Garritan orchestra consists of a pretty large library of instrument 'samples' plus a sample player program.
You may have heard about the notation software called Finale, that's also part of the MM product line.

For a complete orchestra it's one of the lowest cost ones on the market today, but it does need the user to be pretty savvy with MIDI to get the best from it.
Details can be found at garritan.com.

The orchestra is downloaded and then 'set up' on your local hard disk where it occupies about 11.6 GB of space.
The 'player', the program that has the orchestral sounds loaded into it, is called ARIA and looks like this.

It's as well to get started with sequencing on something more simple to start with tho'.
If you haven't discovered this yet, click on the image below to enlarge it.
9 months ago
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#7889
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Are you running the sequencer on one computer and the Garritan on another when using the two programs together? Or are they on the same computer -- that's what I was asking.
9 months ago
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#7893
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Sorry, all on one dual core I5 laptop from Lenovo.
9 months ago
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#7894
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Exciting news -- eureka! And no problems with latency?
9 months ago
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#7895
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I use a Steinberg UR22 MkII USB interface. It comes with ASIO drivers that can be configured to give very low latency.
A quality audio interface seems to be key to getting latency down into low figures, that and removing Windows processes that are unecessary.
There are various web sites that deal with tweaking Windows for performance.

When sequencing or working on audio, I make sure that Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet connections are all deactivated, and that seems to ensure no glitches.
The PC is a fairly old Lenovo Thinkpad T430 running Windows 7 Pro. It's been tweaked with an SSD boot/program drive and a regular HDD.
Then there's an eSATA SSD with a few sample libraries on it.

I'm not trying to do anything really clever with it though, nor typically do I try creating hundreds of tracks.
I think the maximum was about 70 or 80 tracks on a really complex orchestral MIDI file.
9 months ago
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#7896
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Thanks ever so much, JohnG. This is the jackpot of golden Double Eagles I've been looking for on other subjects. The Roland UM-1 is the only good interface I've been aware of heretofore and it performs perfectly. Any idea how it compares with the Steinberg? I see a "Roland UM-One mk2" is marketed now.

AVG TuneUp always tells me too much is running in the background on my laptop, but I look up the programs it tells me to close and they all sound quite essential.

Gracious, you do up 70- or 80- piece orchestras! Seems to indicate more wonderful news. And oh the good it does me to read that you too use an older Windows 7 puter. At your suggestion am reading up on how to optimize it. Of course I use CCleaner, its equal or better lost twin Diskmax, and AVG TuneUp -- they make a HUGE difference. Boot up and down is vastly faster since I got the AVG. How can I ever thank you -- here, have a piece of music (unrelated to me):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkwx9CFdLQ0
9 months ago
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#7898
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You could use the Garritan Harps to (attempt) to realise the impromtu you posted. Nice and challenging!

No, I haven't compared interfaces between Steinberg and Roland.
I chose the UR22 Mk II because I have had quite good experiences with Yamaha equipment since about the mid nineties.
My feeling is that it is, most often, made up to a standard rather than down to a price, but with a close eye on the market place.

My first exposure was to an add on board for the old SoundBlaster cards, a DB50-XG. I was very impressed at the time.
That led to the list I quoted above as well as a Yamaha organ, an AN1x synth and a VL71m sound module for my Akai EWI4000.
All good bits of equipment, and well made.
Yamaha bought Steinberg back in the late nineties, as I recall, and I believe had a hand in building the UR22.
It had good reviews, so I went for that one.

Up to 70 or 80 tracks, as I recall, although by far the most usual is two to three dozen.

Glad some of what I posted helped.
I also have a web forum, now largely defunct, called MIDI-tutor.
There's some stuff there that you may find useful.

JohnG.
9 months ago
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#7902
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All keenly interesting -- further heartfelt thanks. Got a URL on your tutorial site? Tried googling it. Garritan's harps have the same problem as my Privias do -- they sound phenomenal in lower and middle range only. I wonder if Native Instruments or some other soundbank has better harps. The one on our Rodgers organ is stellar -- I use it all the time, and not only in organ range

I see your UR22 is a little box. Are they better the cord types?
https://www.roland.com/us/products/um-one/

How likely is it that my laptop, Sonar 7 (a program now at least 14 years old) and the Garritan Personal (or Pocket) Orchestra will suffice for my projects? My orchestral needs are extremely simple -- reasonably realistic piano/harpsichord/harp/celesta et al and solo and ensemble winds, strings, brass.
9 months ago
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#7907
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Glad you found it useful.

I'm sort of surprised you don't find the quality of the Garritan harps to your liking.
Gary Garritan is a harpist and as far as I'm aware did his utmost to make the library as realistic as possible.
Not being a harp enthusiast myself, I'm unable to give you further advice on suitable libraries.

I use the UR22 primarily as an audio interface.
My keyboard connects directly to the PC via it's own USB cable (so I don't need a USB/MIDI convertor).
It's a MIDI controller keyboard only, so it has no inbuilt sounds.
I.e. the MIDI key strokes enter the PC via USB, and are recorded in the sequencer, which has the Garritan ARIA player VST running in it,
which means I can hear the sounds as I play them.
I can then tweak my faulty playing to my satisfaction in the sequencer.

midi-tutor.proboards.com will get you there.

It's difficult for me to advise, from a distance, whether one laptop or another will suffice.
However, to do something like this in a relatively simple way, providing you're not expecting absolute marvels of production, is possible with a relatively modest computer.
An i5 Core 2 duo, with 8GB of memory should suffice to make a beginning.
Almost every PC does need to be tweaked to make it run efficiently though.
But, inevitably, as your expectations of sound quality increase and the more sample libraries you use grows, etc. the more powerful a machine will be needed.

MIDI sequencing has been going on since the days of the Atari home computers, and for sequencing only they didn't do a bad job.
It's only running virtual instruments at the same time as sequencing that requires significantly more computing power, memory and hard disk space.
I could actually do all of this on a laptop such I've described above, using a Yamaha program called SOL2 which dates back to around 2003.

JohnG.
9 months ago
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#7913
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Do you use those harps? Maybe they have a great full range in person. Maybe they're better since I looked into it a few years ago.

You've just described my exact computer (i5 dual core 8gb) so maybe there's hope. Based on pages like this
https://www.poweradmin.com/blog/how-to-optimize-and-speed-up-windows-7-performance/
.....I'd love to think CCleaner (the page recommends it) and DiskMax are optimizing my SSD enough. But do you think these categories are needed for my MIDI purposes:

#2. Disable unnecessary visual effects
#3. Update Windows with the latest definitions
#5. Disable unused Windows Services (??)
#11. Disable UAC (***Advanced Users Only!)
#12. Increasing the page file and allocating memory for Background services

Re, #3, the latest definitions of what? I haven't updated Windows in the 4-5 years since MS tried to force Win10 on everybody via that route. It has caused no problems I'm aware of.
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