Problem with connecting Yamaha PSR-540 keyboard to iMac for Garageband use


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Hi! I posted this on the Macrumors forums, but maybe I'll have better luck here:

The Yamaha-keyboard/synth is connected to the computer (iMac 27", middle of 2011, El Capitan) via USB (from the keyboard it's connected with two big cables, "in" and "out"), but won't work. Garageband says that a MIDI-device is found, but the keyboard can't be played on any tracks.

Does anyone have some insight? It's a fairly old keyboard (it has a floppy disk!) so I'm worried it won't work as a MIDI-keyboard at all - does anyone know if some keyboards can be too old for MIDI-use in modern music programs, although they have MIDI-support? Are there any special settings that have to be made on the keyboard itself? Or should it just work, plug and play-style? (That's what I would've guessed.)

I've googled this to death and have tried the most obvious things (restarting GB and computer, switching the cables, switching USB-slots, have tried all the different "audio in"-options in GB, have tried to use the sound/midi-settings app, installed some drivers from Yamaha etc), but nothing works. Gah.

If anyone have any general tips or experience with the specific keyboard, Yamaha PSR-540, it is most appreciated! Any enthusiasts who knows their stuff? Thanks!
 
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happyrat1

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First of all make sure the MIDI IN connector is connected to the MIDI OUT on the keyboard and vice versa. MIDI spec is a daisy chained networking spec.

Secondly, check your Yamaha to make sure MIDI is enabled. Somewhere in the MIDI menu of the keyboard there are options to specify MIDI enabled, Local Control On/Off, MIDI Channels used, and MIDI Sysex enabled. For the time being just make sure that every option is pretty much turned on to get it talking to the computer.

Thirdly, check whatever sort of device manager you have on a Mac and make certain the USB/MIDI interface is recognized and enabled.

Fourthly load up some simple MIDI player and see if it will play a MIDI song. You may have to configure the software to direct the output to the MIDI connection.

Lastly check if there are any idiot lights on the interface and see if they flash when you play a song or play some keys.

That's a basic checklist that should get you going. If it still doesn't work then you probably have a hardware problem with the interface or the keyboard.

Gary ;)
 
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Thank you so very much!

I actually got it to work now, and the MIDI IN to the MIDI OUT was one of things that did the trick! That plus having the switch on the back of the keyboard set to MIDI made the box between the USB- and midi-cables blink! After that, I turned the "MIDI template" on the keyboard "ON" (not the most easy/obvious thing to do, but I learned it from the manual) and... Voila! Even the flanger works! Lovely! Some work with older keyboards, apparently :)

First of all make sure the MIDI IN connector is connected to the MIDI OUT on the keyboard and vice versa. MIDI spec is a daisy chained networking spec.

Secondly, check your Yamaha to make sure MIDI is enabled. Somewhere in the MIDI menu of the keyboard there are options to specify MIDI enabled, Local Control On/Off, MIDI Channels used, and MIDI Sysex enabled. For the time being just make sure that every option is pretty much turned on to get it talking to the computer.

Thirdly, check whatever sort of device manager you have on a Mac and make certain the USB/MIDI interface is recognized and enabled.

Fourthly load up some simple MIDI player and see if it will play a MIDI song. You may have to configure the software to direct the output to the MIDI connection.

Lastly check if there are any idiot lights on the interface and see if they flash when you play a song or play some keys.

That's a basic checklist that should get you going. If it still doesn't work then you probably have a hardware problem with the interface or the keyboard.

Gary ;)
 
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happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
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Congrats! Glad I could help! That's what we're here for...

If any other questions come up just ask away :)

Gary ;)
 

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