How to power an old Creative MIDI keyboard?


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I recently discovered an old BlasterKey MP3 lying around, and wondered whether it could be used for anything. I found this thread, which suggests 'no', however I also found a YouTube video, which suggests that 'yes', this is essentially a standard MIDI keyboard; it just needs power and a bit of creativity to convert between the DA15 (gameport) connector and a standard MIDI connector.

For those who are curious:

 
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Found myself in the same situation while clearing out the attic...

Now I also have a midi sequencer, and I remember attaching the keyboard midi out to the sequencer, and playing notes through the sequencer.

However, at that time the keyboard was also attached to the PC. Just for power, I thought.

So now I created a small cable that puts 5V on the 15-pin cable (GND on pin 5, 5v on pin 8), and attached the sequencer.

Guess what: nothing... as soon as I attach the keyboard, the sequencer freezes, as if it gets blocked by something coming in over the midi.

Now, the midi RX of the 15-pin has a pull-up of 1K so it's not like it is getting a floating midi input. And from the spanish video above I conclude that it probably doesn't need any configuration to start working.

Any ideas welcome as to what is holding back this keyboard from putting out midi :)
 
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Welcome to the forum petur! :) Hopefully someone will be able to help you out with that issue.
 
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Well, I have a Blasterkey MP3 that I modded (3 yrs ago) with a internal 5v psu that works fine as a stand alone midi controller. Basically I built a lm7805 regulator circuit on a piece of perfboard into the case. If I recall there was a how-to I found on the web that showed the hookup I used.
I can confirm is does work this way, but I doubt it would work with the bundled Soundblaster software. But it works fine with Cubase/whatever via a USB to Midi adaptor or into external tone generators.
I'll hunt around to see if I still have my notes. or else I'll open it up and sketch out the mod. :)
Yogi
 
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UPDATE to my post above: So I ended up opening the BK. My PSU applies +5V to Pin 1 and GND to Pins 4 & 5 of the Female DB15 connector. On the MP3 model, just supplying power is enough, as the Midi Tx is also routed to the DIN Out jack, as well as the female DB 15 (to the Computer). On the older BK you may have to jumper Pin 12(midi Rx) to Pin 15 (Midi Tx), BUT I would try just the Power mod first.
Something else, in the video posted by Jim Van Meggelen, there is a an error with the design displayed. As far as I know, the DIN pin 4 should be tied to Vcc through a 220 Ohm R. Both pins 4 & 5 form half of the current loop between the Tx device and the Rx device. Without the Vcc on pin 4 there is no current flow in the loop ( moving through the LED of the Rx opto coupler).
Here are pixs if anyone wants, but its really pretty simple. In fact, could build an adapter for the DB15, like in the video, using a 5V 1 amp USB wall wart.



DSCN0673.JPG The PWR jack on the lower right
DSCN0676.JPG
DSCN0681.JPG

Vcc to Anode of D5 (?) & Pin1 on DB15. GND to Pin 4 & 5 of DB15
DSCN0682.JPG Solder side: Vcc is to the Left and Gnd is in the middle
DSCN0684.JPG Pin 1 is viewed bottom Left
Yogi
 

SeaGtGruff

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Thank you, Yogi-- this may help others who have an old BlasterKey. :)
 
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If you have a (external) sound device with DIN sync midi connector and your old midi keyboard controller has DIN sync midi out next to the gameport connector, you can simply power up your controller using a $4,00 gameport to USB converter. I just did so for my old MK-61 which is still in pristine condition. Rarther than my computer's USB port I use an external 220v adapter. It powers the controller with the converter via the gameport without any problem. My sound device (edirol fa-66) also perfectly receives the midi signals and transfers them to my DAW software. So ignore the idea that the midi signals should go over the gameport interface with those old midi keyboard controllers provided they also have DIN sync midi out. ;)
 
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Hello!

I just bought Creative Blasterkeys (not MP3 version). It has same interfaces and same problems )
I've got it with handmade MPC to GamePort adapter, so it's work with Sound Blaster AWE 32 (SB 128, SB Live...). I installed SIbelius software on my old PC with Windows 98 , and it's work well.
Also have a Roland MT-32 module, and want to connect my Keys to it. But first I want to test connection with external MIDI interface (M-Audio FireWire Audiophile).
I made cable from video "DIY game port..." but it don't work with my M-Audio FireWire Audiophile. Probably it work with USB to MIDI adapters, but not with other MIDI devices )))
Scheme in video don't have current loop (4-5 pin at 5 DIN MIDI connector), so I try to pull up pin 4 to +5V with 220 Ohm resistor, and connect +5V to Keys directly without resistor. And It's work with M-Audio, Sibelius work through FireWire but with delay about 0.5 seconds. It' bad, and have no solution (((
But when I connect my Keys to Roland MT-32 nothing happens, it's not working...

Have you any ideas?

Thanks for reading until end! )))
 
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Hi There guys, found this thread out of desperation. Anyone perhaps have a copy of the BlasterKey MP3 software still? I found my BlasterKey MP3 keyboard at a pawn shop, but it lacked the software and a 15pin cable (which I managed to create).
 

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happyrat1

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Honestly instead of trying to make a 25 year old Windows device work with Win 10 and modern DAW software maybe just bite the bullet and buy an Arturia Keystep.



Face it. Computers don't even have game ports any more and getting 25 year old drivers to work with Win 10 might not even be doable any longer.

Save yourself a lot of time ad money and just go with some modern gear.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks Gary,

Only problem with that is that I'm a vintage computer collector and attempting to run it on my Windows ME build with the Sound Blaster Live card installed :)

I've also tried searching the net, and even looked at net crawls from Archive.org's Wayback machine to no avail.
Found some eBay posts as well and tried to contact the sellers to create a copy of the software, but that too has reached dead-ends.

Guess my search will continue :)

Regards

Spec
 

happyrat1

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Well this thread was over a year old and your request popped into my inbox this morning so anyone who's still subscribed to this thread will likely see your request within the next 24 hours so good luck finding your drivers.

We all have our obsessions and our pet projects so I wish you good luck with yours.

Gary ;)
 
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Thanks Gary,

Only problem with that is that I'm a vintage computer collector and attempting to run it on my Windows ME build with the Sound Blaster Live card installed :)

I've also tried searching the net, and even looked at net crawls from Archive.org's Wayback machine to no avail.
Found some eBay posts as well and tried to contact the sellers to create a copy of the software, but that too has reached dead-ends.

Guess my search will continue :)

Regards

Spec

Sound Blaster, good grief that is a blast from the past.

Not heard of them for years.

Very good luck getting your kit up and running.

Is was only about two years ago that I sent off a box full of old software CD’s to the recycling centre ie operating systems, drivers, graphic cards etc and I know there were a fair number of Sound Blaster CD’s. Sorry to mention it but I feel quite bad not offering them up to a vintage nerd.
 
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Thanks Gary,

Only problem with that is that I'm a vintage computer collector and attempting to run it on my Windows ME build with the Sound Blaster Live card installed :)

I've also tried searching the net, and even looked at net crawls from Archive.org's Wayback machine to no avail.
Found some eBay posts as well and tried to contact the sellers to create a copy of the software, but that too has reached dead-ends.

Guess my search will continue :)

Regards

Spec
Thanks Gary,

Only problem with that is that I'm a vintage computer collector and attempting to run it on my Windows ME build with the Sound Blaster Live card installed :)

I've also tried searching the net, and even looked at net crawls from Archive.org's Wayback machine to no avail.
Found some eBay posts as well and tried to contact the sellers to create a copy of the software, but that too has reached dead-ends.

Guess my search will continue :)

Regards

Spec
 
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dear friends,
I 've got the creative sound live drivers and blaster key mp3 software but couidn't attech those files.because they are too large.
please tell me how to do it.Sorry for my English.
 
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happyrat1

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You will have to upload the files to a google drive or a dropbox type of site and make the link public and post it here.

The sysadmin here cannot afford the cost of large file hosting here.

Gary ;)
 

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