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Topic: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help (Read 296 times) previous topic - next topic

cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

do i need an external sound card to get my midi keyboard to work on a laptop?

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #1
No.
Depending on the age of the keyboard, you may need an USB-MIDI adapter.

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #2
I do have an adapter and the laptop recognizes it but when you play keyboard no notes show up on noteworthy. I have triple checked the settings and I know it is right. I used to have keyboard going to a PC and had no problems. I have read that alot of laptops sound cards dont work well with midi. any more suggestions?

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #3
I have read that alot of laptops sound cards dont work well with midi
What does sound cards have to do with MIDI? Almost nothing. Old cards used to have MIDI I/O, the newest haven't.
The virtual MIDI synth SW, now almost always in use, is in charge of converting the MIDI messages to plain audio, so any card is at least usable.

Admitting that the PC settings are ok as you wrote and the MIDI data are received by the PC, are you sure you understood how NWC manages the recording? I must say the whole thing is a bit complicated...

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #4
Hey @jemco
couple of things:
a) have you configured the MIDI input of NWC?  |Tools|Options|Record(tab)
b) did you press the record button when you wanted to use the keyboard for input
c) do you know about "step wise" and "live" recording?  Get the user guide from here:
https://noteworthycomposer.com/info/guide.htm   (you want page 38)


FYI:
It is some years since I used MIDI recording but from memory this is about how it goes.

a) If you just click record then every note you press will import as a crotchet (step wise recording). 

b) To get varying duration from your playing you need a click track, or other already notated tracks to play with/against (live recording).  If you have a file open and press record it will play the file and accept input from your midi device.  NB, this method can be troubled by latency issues and make your recorded input "late"*.  To overcome this I used to use a hardware synth (SoundBlaster) but with newer versions of windows and the lack of hardware synths these days I'd reverted to using the m$ synth which seems to have less latency problems than some other softsynths - experimentation will be in your future I suspect.

* What happens is that NWC plays the note AND listens to the MIDI input at pretty much exactly the same instant, BUT the data sent to the synth is is not rendered immediately (latency) so you don't hear the sounds you're playing to when NWC plays them, but sometime later.  This results in you playing the keyboard behind the time that NWC plays the notes.  If the latency is very low (no more than, say, 5 mS), then this isn't really a problem BUT if the latency is relatively great (more than, say, 10 mS) then you will get some very weird tied note values and late starts in your recording.

To give some perspective, at 120bpm (mm crotchet=120), crotchets (quarters) are 500 mS apart (2 per second), quavers (eighths) are 250 mS apart, semiquavers (sixteenths) are 125 mS apart.  If your latency is running at 12.5 mS then that is 10% of the time between starts of successive semiquavers.  That's almost a semihemidemisemiquaver (128th) which is 15.75 mS...  NWC will notate this delay on an import, and trust me, trying to clean up all the tied ridiculous note values is a pain!

So, a hardware synth will have the least latency, and thus least likely to cause problems, m$ GS wavetable softsynth has very low latency, my old Yamaha S-XG50 softsynth had quite bad latency, when I was experimenting with VST hosts I experienced bad latency.  I haven't experimented with my current Coolsoft softsynth as I no longer have need to import from MIDI keyboard and have no idea where my USB MIDI interface is...  Thus, in the absence of a hardware synth, I'd use the m$ one unless you feel like experimenting.  Simply change your MIDI out to m$ for doing the recording, than change it back to your preferred synth when your done.

For a substitute hardware synth you might consider an external, USB connected device.  I remember both Roland and Creative had such devices.  I imagine others like Korg and Yamaha etc. did too.  I have no idea what's available these days or at what pricepoint.  I also don't know how much latency the USB interface might introduce.

<after a quick google search>
This is the kind of thing I'm thinking of, but it gets expensive and messy setting these things up because you then need an amplifier and speakers to connect it to (NB I'm not recommending this device, I just found it after a quick google search, I have no idea if it's any good at all).  And I still don't know if it will have too much latency or not...
https://www.amazon.com.au/S-Engine-USB-MIDI-Sound-Module/dp/B01E5GGKE4/ref=pd_lpo_267_t_0/357-8896501-2077263?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01E5GGKE4&pd_rd_r=3e3b601a-3007-4a8f-8887-cbb12b8ee422&pd_rd_w=hRRcT&pd_rd_wg=B7Ogv&pf_rd_p=ad2d1e6e-bc60-4795-b4c0-2dbd35f6678d&pf_rd_r=4STVRX3NZ5TP96C4HPSD&psc=1&refRID=4STVRX3NZ5TP96C4HPSD




I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - 'n I'm lernin' tubies now too

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #5
I'd reverted to using the m$ synth which seems to have less latency problems
I don't know about latency because I never recorded "live" that way, but I have a different (and odd) problem with it. See here.
I recommend it if you play jazz...  :))

Thank you Lawrie for giving some estimate of note duration.
I could have calculated it myself and I could also have seen it in the MIDI files, but apparently I'm lazy.  :)

Think: at 120 bpm a quaver (eighth) has a duration if 250 ms (milliseconds, not millisiemens please  ;D  ) , so in the bass range this is just about a couple of dozen of cycles. Not to talk about the lowest notes: the lowest note of my harp is about 40 Hz, that of my organ even less.
Easy to understand how hard is to build a usable sound to midi converter for a cello!

I also don't know how much latency the USB interface might introduce.
So do I, but remember that even the (today) trivial USB 1.1 normally in use with low cost microcontrollers can work at 1.5 MB/s (in practice let say about 1 µs per byte)!

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #6
I don't know about latency because I never recorded "live" that way, but I have a different (and odd) problem with it. See here.
I recommend it if you play jazz...  :))
Yeah, trying to record like this just makes the latency obvious, doesn't mean it isn't there :)

Quote
Thank you Lawrie for giving some estimate of note duration.
I could have calculated it myself and I could also have seen it in the MIDI files, but apparently I'm lazy.  :)
I am too, but I got carried away ;)

Quote
(milliseconds, not millisiemens please  ;D  )
Bugger - I thought it looked wrong :(

Quote
Think: at 120 bpm a quaver (eighth) has a duration if 250 ms (milliseconds, not millisiemens please  ;D  ) , so in the bass range this is just about a couple of dozen of cycles. Not to talk about the lowest notes: the lowest note of my harp is about 40 Hz, that of my organ even less.
Easy to understand how hard is to build a usable sound to midi converter for a cello!
Interesting observation.

Quote
So do I, but remember that even the (today) trivial USB 1.1 normally in use with low cost microcontrollers can work at 1.5 MB/s (in practice let say about 1 µs per byte)!
I don't think much latency would be in the USB connection itself, but rather in the electronics converting to MIDI and then getting that data into the synth, and the synths generation of the audio stream.

My own USB to MIDI converter (wherever it is) used to transmit from my MIDI keyboard and into my PC quite well, but I have no idea what latency there may have been.  What I do know is that when recording while using my Creative Soundcard hardware synth to generate the sounds played to, there wasn't enough latency to cause any problems with the import into NWC.  Thus I imagine any noticeable latency would probably have to be in the external synth.  Hopefully it would be fast enough for it to be negligible.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - 'n I'm lernin' tubies now too

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #7
Did you note that the MIDI expander module whose link you put in your previous mail uses the E-mu, like the SB?  ;)

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #8
Yup, I did notice that...  8)
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - 'n I'm lernin' tubies now too

Re: cannot get laptop to play notes from midi USB connection, help

Reply #9
Hi guys,
update on my earlier missive:
I'd forgotten about ASIO.

Using an ASIO driver, like ASIO4ALL with your VST host (and maybe other softsynth configs) can eliminate latency issues - this is seriously worth a look if you're having latency issues with your softsynth setup.

Check out the Scripto for my VST intro - it's out of date now, but includes an ASIO discussion:
https://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful.html#Vst
https://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful/vstfdum.pdf
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - 'n I'm lernin' tubies now too