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Topic: midi cables (Read 7703 times) previous topic - next topic

midi cables

I just bought a Casio MIDI keyboard.

The nice lady who sold it to me sold me a $20 cable to connect to my computer.

I told her none of my compters have DIN  connectors so she sold me a $15 bag of adapter plugs, one of which seems to be DIN to whatever that little connector is on the back of my computer.

Unfortunately, it does not work.

One lap top XP keeps asking for a recording device.  The other running 95 did that but when I clicked on the only one displayed, seemed to be happy with it but it still will not record  anything.

The XP shows a blank for the recording device and seems to be saying there is none installed.

Any ideas?

More basically, what is the input connector on the computer called?  Is this a serial port?  Can I use a serial port and just wire a 9pin connector to my "MIDI" cable?

Thanks,

js

 

Re: midi cables

Reply #1
More basically, what is the input connector on the computer called? Is this a serial port?

What does it look like? Is it a little rectangular hole, about 1 cm by 0.5 cm? If so, that's a USB port (Universal Serial Bus). It's a kind of serial port, as the name implies. MIDI is a serial protocol. But that doesn't mean you can just plug into USB. You'll need an external midi interface box. One such is made by Edirol. There's several others shown at the zZounds site.

Can I use a serial port and just wire a 9pin connector to my "MIDI" cable?

If, on the other hand, the connector you're talking about is the older DB-9 serial port (a trapezoidal-shaped connector with two rows of pins, 5 in one and 4 in the other) as the previous sentence seems to imply, you'll find it a bit more difficult finding midi interfaces. I happened to stumble on a DIY project for building one yourself. There does seem to be at least one commercial version still available from Midilink.

Re: midi cables

Reply #2
The MIDI cable has 5 pin Din connectors on both ends.  This aparently was once the standard for MIDI although I have never seen a DIN connector on a computer.

My computers have all the usual serial, parallel, USB and the little round ones that look like mini versions of the DIN, one green and one yellow.  They have a key in the center so it can only go in one or the other.  I was told that one of these is for the MIDI input.

I am unclear on if I have the proper driver for this also.

The MIDI pull down in NWC list "Play devices" and the record pulldown asks for an input device but the window in empty and I presume that is where the keybord driver should be.  Is this right?  Where is it or where do I get one?

js

Re: midi cables

Reply #3
The MIDI cable has 5 pin Din connectors on both ends. This aparently was once the standard for MIDI although I have never seen a DIN connector on a computer.

It's still the standard for midi, and you're right; computers don't natively come with midi support.

The closest thing is the joystick port on many soundcards, which with a suitable adaptor cable (containing a relatively simple interface circuit) can be used for midi in/out.

My computers have all the usual serial, parallel, USB

OK, so either a USB or serial midi interface unit would work for you. There are even parallel port interfaces, but these probably will be even harder to find than the serial version.

and the little round ones that look like mini versions of the DIN, one green and one yellow. They have a key in the center so it can only go in one or the other. I was told that one of these is for the MIDI input.

Those are PS/2 ports, usually reserved for keyboard and mouse, though I suppose you might be able to find a midi interface that uses these.

I am unclear on if I have the proper driver for this also.

The driver would come supplied with the midi interface.

The MIDI pull down in NWC list "Play devices" and the record pulldown asks for an input device but the window in empty and I presume that is where the keybord driver should be. Is this right? Where is it or where do I get one?

See above. If you happen to have a soundcard with a joystick connector, the installation software for the soundcard should also install the external midi driver. It will show as "MPU-401 External midi" or something to that effect. If not, you have to use an external midi interface and the installation software supplied with it.

Re: midi cables

Reply #4
I am afraid you have a problem. As Fred wrote, you may be able to get a converter for MIDI to serial (either RS or USB) or parallel ports, but what you really need is a joystick port (15 pin sub-d, the trapzium shape type connetcor Fred talked about, but with 15 pins). The 25 pin is parallel (used for printers), the 9 pin is RS serial, the 3 row connector is the video, and the 15 pin is the joystick. In your first entry, you mentioned a laptop. I encountered the same problem: Laptops usually don't have a joystick port! Completely desillisioned I bought a desk top and now everything works fine. There may be another way out for you though: you might consider buying an external sound card that comes with a MIDI port. I am not shure how this would interface with the laprop though....
Good luck!

Re: midi cables

Reply #5
To connect midi to your computer you have to have:

A sound card with a brakout box that accepts the standard midi DIN (In,Out,Thru)
or A soundcard which uses the gameport as an alternate midi port. In this case you need to get the midi->gameport cable.

Or if you have no midi ports at all but your sound card DOES have midi and some don't, You can use a usb to midi converter. Eidrol makes sever in any configuration you need.

Note if you have no midi enabled hardware in your machine the whole excercise is moot.