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How to connect MIDI USB to Audio interface

Discussion in 'Recording Computers' started by AnJ'rue, May 13, 2012.

  1. AnJ'rue

    AnJ'rue

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    Hi, I currently, am looking to buy this audio interface (TASCAM US-1800 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface | Musician's Friend) and I currently have a USB MIDI Keyboard. How do I connect this keyboard to the audio interface because the interface seems to only accept some sort of MIDI i/o that is not USB. Thank you so much for your help!!
     
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo

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    Your USB MIDI keyboard will plug into a second USB port on your computer using it's own drivers.
    You don't need the Tascam MIDI connectors.
    The Tascam has standard DIN style MIDI connectors for keyboards that use those and routes that MIDI signal through the Tascams USB port into the computer using it's drivers.
     
  3. AnJ'rue

    AnJ'rue

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    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. How can I get rid of the latency then? There is a big delay from when I play my midi keyboard to when I hear the playback on my computer.
     
  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo

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    There's always going to be some latency even with the Tascam. USB MIDI can be pretty bad, crappy drivers.
    The fastest MIDI interface were the old style DIN MIDI ports using the serial game port on the back of the computer, but now it's hard to find any of those anymore because everything has gone USB. Win7 also seems to be the cause of part of the latency issue.
    I use a Roland Fantom X7 standard MIDI connectors into the back of a RME FF800 which transmits everything into the computer using Firewire and I've never had a problem with any delay.....feels very responsive.
    I also have a Novation Nocturn which is USB and it's not near as responsive as the Fantom.

    You might look at the MOTU MIDI interface devices I've read thay can be pretty fast.
    Not knowing what computer your using it could be just the OS slowing things down or your keyboard USB driver etc etc.
    You could try a standard MIDI keyboard into the Tascam it might be faster, but again it's still using USB.
    What USB keyboard and computer are you using?
    How many other USB devices are you using simulataneously?
     
  5. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta

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    If you don't have an interface yet then the latency is not a result of the keyboard but rather the audio drivers you are currently using (WDM, I assume). Are you using ASIO4all?

    If you get the Tascam interface and use their ASIO drivers, you will experience a dramatic drop in latency. The fact that the USB keyboard is plugged into a second USB port should make no difference because MIDI does not produce audio, only data so therefore will not use the audio drivers directly. The virtual instruments you are using will be the source of the latency if you are not using ASIO.

    Unless you're on a Mac.

    Then I have no solution because Core Audio is supposed to have low latency by default and would make my suggestion void.

    Cheers :)
     
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo

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    Mo Facta
    I think AnJ'rue stated he was using a USB MIDI keyboard. No model given...??
    So unless that keyboard also had standard DIN style MIDI connections he wouldn't be able to connect it to the Tascam?
    I only saw the DIN style on the back of the Tascam.

    But I agree the driver he's using or the computer is probably the choke point.
    I wonder too if there is anywhere to change a buffer setting.
    I have also used a Yamaha Motif via USB MIDI and those drivers seem to work pretty well.

    Kind of off topic....but do you know of anyone making a standard DIN style + USB interface that would go directly into a PCI or PCIe card slot? Something along the lines of the old ISA game port method.
    I wonder if that wouldn't be the ideal interface.

    I've also been told that a lot of USB delay problems crop up because there are too many USB devices on a root hub causing a bottleneck, power drop and bandwidth limiting.
    Any thoughts on that?
     
  7. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta

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    The USB keyboard driver will operate independently of the audio drivers because it is MIDI over USB (pure data), not digital audio so therefore will not conflict. This means he should be able to run the Tascam along side the keyboard as long as there are relevant midi drivers for the USB keyboard. They are different protocols that can be handled simultaneously by the host PC so there is no need to connect the keyboard to the interface.

    I myself have a Roland USB keyboard that I use along side my audio card so I am pretty confident this is possible.

    Cheers :)
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  8. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo

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    Without knowing more about the OP's computer and keyboard, I think it's unclear where his latency delay is coming from.
    The problem with USB MIDI is the added processes needed to transmit the information.
    The keyboard generates MIDI OUT messages and converts those into a USB data stream which in turn is sent and stored by the computer from the USB port.
    The computer in turn converts that USB data stack back into useable MIDI messages for the software instrument or DAW or sound module to trigger the sound samples.
    Then the reverse of that when it's sending MIDI messages back to the keyboard. (if your keyboard has it's own sound module) That all takes time.
    More than 10 milliseconds of delay to some people is noticeable.
    Depending on how well the USB/MIDI drivers are written and how fast and how uninterrupted the computer process can execute all of that is the question and problem.
    I think we've confirmed the proper hookup and the fact that the Tascam might help but is incompatible with the OP's current USB keyboard. Maybe the OP isn't using the correct USB MIDI driver for keyboard or OS.
    ASIO and WDM are "audio" streaming drivers and fine for that purpose but don't help with USB/MIDI port drivers unless MIDI is included as part of an interfaces transfer protocol.
    Buying the Tascam isn't a solution.
     
  9. AnJ'rue

    AnJ'rue

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all your input. I am using a M-audio USB Keyrig44 MIDI with Windows Vista and Guitar Tracks Pro4 (crappy software, but it does the job). I think you guys are right and it is audio latency. I can record with the MIDI fine. It's only the playback that is delayed making it hard to record using the MIDI. Do you guys have any suggestions to improve the audio latency? You said buying an interface can help the audio latency? How would that work exactly if my MIDI device is plugged in USB and not through the interface? Thanks everyone!
     
  10. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo

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    All of your problems could just be everything your using...it may be as good as it gets.
    What are you using to playback the audio from GTPro4?...just the computer sound card?
    Vista (you should upgrade to Win7), GTPro4 (maybe try Reaper), M-Audio (I'm sure that's fine and not the problem)....Hard to say...one thing is to make sure your computer and Vista are optimized for audio recording. Make sure everything in this guide is done to Vista first.

    Optimising your PC for Audio on Windows Vista .: Focusrite Answerbase

    That's a good place to start...once you have Vista setup and tweaked see if you still have latency problems and see if anything changes.

    The Tascam would be an improvement as your computer interface for sure but no way to plug the M-Audio USB keyboard into it so you'll still be using that plugged directly into the computer via USB. There shouldn't be a problem with that setup.
    In my setup I have FW audio interface (RME) using the DIN (circular) MIDI for one keyboard and three different USB MIDI keyboards all running fine on different ports together.

    Hope that helps!
     
  11. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta

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    I think we're making this too complicated. There's no doubt in my mind that he should be able to use the M-Audio USB MIDI keyboard in conjuction with the Tascam interface with no problems. As long as he's using ASIO drivers for the TASCAM and there are USB drivers for the M-Audio keyboard, there should be no conflict. The M-Audio has no onboard sound module so the MIDI data would be unidirectional.

    Like I said, I have a Roland PC-300 set up this way, used in conjunction with my sound cards, and there are zero conflicts. All that is required is to select the M-Audio keyboard as the input device. MIDI is very simple data that is difficult to screw up and slow down. It will keep up with even the lowest latencies, no doubt.

    Cheers :)
     
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