Problems with USB-MIDI connection


Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Hello,

I recently got a used Yamaha EZ-20 keyboard from a thrift store and hooked it up to my computer with a cheap CDL Micro MIDI USB cable (which I decided to try because I didn't want to spend money on a more expensive one without trying this option first). The computer recognized the cable and installed the hardware for it without any fuss, but after opening and configuring Anvil Studio, I was disappointed to find that happened when I tried playing some notes, they played through the keyboard's speakers. The computer (a Gateway DX200X running Windows XP SP3) does seem to recognize the keyboard, but for some reason, Anvil Studio doesn't react in any way when I press a key.

I've tried multiple similar programs (including LMMS and Aria Maestosa) as well as hooking the keyboard up to a different computer (running Windows 7), yet the problem still remains. I've searched for help online, and I've discovered dozens of possible solutions, but I have yet to find one that works for me. (Before anyone asks: The MIDI cable's IN end *is* connected to the keyboard's OUT port [and vice versa], and I did select the USB port the MIDI cable was connected to as an input source when I was setting up AS.)

I'm pretty new to this, so naturally, I'm feeling a little lost here. I have no idea whether the problem lies with the keyboard, the cable, my computer, or my own incompetence. Does anyone have any advice that might help me with this problem?

Thanks in advance!
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,315
Reaction score
5,090
Location
GTA, Canada
Are you trying to record MIDI data or Audio from the Yamaha? If you're trying to record Audio you'll also need to connect the audio outs from the keyboard to the computer's audio line in.

Gary ;)
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,948
Reaction score
1,663
If you didn't get a manual with the keyboard, you should go to Yamaha's web site to download a PDF copy of it:

http://download.yamaha.com/search/p...ry_id2=16532&category_id3=&product_id=1062332

It looks like there's no "Local" function that you can turn on and off, so I think the only way you can stop the sound from coming out of the keyboard is to turn the Master Volume all the way down.

I'm out of town at the moment and can't help with Anvil Studio just now, but I'll try tomorrow. Just to be sure, are you trying to record to an "instrument" track, and have you selected the USB-MIDI connection as the MIDI input? Also, Anvil Studio has a function that let's you monitor the MIDI signals, which is found on the same screen where you select the MINI input source-- have you tried that to see if it shows anything when you press keys on the keyboard?
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
happyrat1: I am trying to record MIDI data; sorry for not clarifying that point.

SeaGtGruff: Yes, I am trying to record an "Instrument" track, and I have selected the MIDI connection as the input source. I've also tried using Anvil Studio's Test MIDI Connections feature, but nothing happens in the window for MIDI input when I press the keys on my keyboard.
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,315
Reaction score
5,090
Location
GTA, Canada
Check your keyboard manual and see if there's an option to enable MIDI OUT/IN.

Many keyboards do not have this setting enabled by default,

Gary
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,948
Reaction score
1,663
As far as I can tell from the EZ-20's manual, there's nothing you need to do to enable MIDI OUT.
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,315
Reaction score
5,090
Location
GTA, Canada
What happens if you try to load up a MIDI file from the web and play it back thru your keyboard?
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,315
Reaction score
5,090
Location
GTA, Canada
Also, try configuring your Anvil Studio to address the MIDI interface as a GM or XG device.
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,315
Reaction score
5,090
Location
GTA, Canada
According to the manual the EZ-20 can only transmit certain voices on certain channels in MIDI.

• On the EZ-20, the following channels (eight total) are enabled for MIDI reception: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10. The MIDI transmit channels are fixed to the following
data:
Ch. 1 : Keyboard, harmony
Ch. 2 : Bass
Ch. 3 : Chord
Ch. 4–7 : Other
Ch. 10 : Rhythm

Here's a poor quality video explaining how to set up Anvil studio with an external MIDI controller.


Gary
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
What happens if you try to load up a MIDI file from the web and play it back thru your keyboard?
When I tried listening to a MIDI through my keyboard, I got an error message with this text:
Unable to listen to MIDI on the device USB2.0-MIDI
It might be in use by another application - try again after quitting other programs.

The first time I tried sending signals to my keyboard with the Test MIDI Connections feature, I got the error message "Unable to start port (USB2.0-MIDI)". When I tried again after tinkering with a few settings, the program reported that it was sending notes to my keyboard, but I couldn't hear any of them, no matter how high I turned up the keyboard's volume.

The MIDI Connections feature is actually reporting that it is receiving MIDI signals from my keyboard (I tried randomly adjusting my keyboard's settings in desperation while that feature was open), but as before, the sound isn't coming through the computer speakers - only the keyboard's.


Also, try configuring your Anvil Studio to address the MIDI interface as a GM or XG device.
Anvil Studio already seems to already be configured to General Midi. My only other option in the Synthesizers list is "General Midi 2."
 
Ad

Advertisements

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,315
Reaction score
5,090
Location
GTA, Canada
Just for a hoot, power down your keyboard and switch the MIDI IN and OUT cables around. Then try it again.

Some cheap MIDI cables are incorrectly labelled.

Gary
 

happyrat1

Destroyer of Eardrums!!!
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
12,315
Reaction score
5,090
Location
GTA, Canada
The only thing I can suggest now is to try a different cable, preferably a different brand and model.

Maybe the cable is horked? Maybe the drivers aren't working properly with it?

Gary
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
I'm starting to suspect that the cable might be at fault. It was very cheap; the only reason I bought it was because some people reported using it successfully and the higher-quality alternatives seemed a bit too high-priced for something I was just getting into.

Are you talking about drivers for the keyboard? I did a search for drivers for the Yamaha EZ-20, but I wasn't able to find any.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,948
Reaction score
1,663
The Yamaha EZ-20 doesn't have any drivers-- it doesn't need any, since it has actual MIDI In/Out ports rather than using the USB-to-Host port to transmit and receive MIDI.

When you use a MIDI-to-USB adapter to connect the MIDI In/Out ports of a keyboard to a USB port of a computer, the adapter will frequently have a driver. The adapter you've got supposedly doesn't need a driver, but that may simply mean that your computer will automatically use whatever driver it thinks is appropriate when you plug the adapter into your computer for the first time. It's always best to use a driver that was specifically designed for a particular device and a particular operating system, rather than some generic that might not be 100% compatible.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
9
Reaction score
1
Well, I'm feeling both satisfied and slightly foolish right now.

I just spent $40 on another USB cable (an M-Audio MIDISPORT Uno) in the hopes that it would succeed where the cheap one I've been trying to use failed. For about forty minutes, I had no success whatsoever (I kept getting messages that my OS wasn't supported when I tried to install the drivers), and just like before, in Anvil Studio the sound kept playing through the keyboard's speakers rather than my computer's.

Eventually, I decided to hit Record and hit some random keys. To my amazement, this actually made some notes appear on the staff. Just out of curiosity, I switched back to the cheap cable, and after some more adjusting, I got the same result. I was a little concerned that I still couldn't hear anything through the computer's speakers, but soon realized that checking Anvil Studio's "Midi Thru" option was all it took to fix that. (I was able to return the much more expensive cable as well.)

It looks like my problem is finally fixed! Thank you very much for your help and patience, SeaGtGruff and happyrat1!
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,948
Reaction score
1,663
I'm glad you got it working, and I'll tattoo the solution on my brain for the next time someone runs into the same issue. :)
 
Ad

Advertisements

Ad

Advertisements


Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top