What happens to MIDI in the computer?



Been trying to troubleshoot my MIDI setup. I have SOnar and three MIDI interfaces (Sound blaster, MIDIMAN USB and the one on my roland digital mixer). I understand how Sonar is suppose to patch ins to outs but what about when Sonar is not running? How does one particular MIDI in go out to one particular MIDI out?



Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2002
Generally, it DOESN'T. To use more than one MIDI interface normally requires aftermarket software. Win-doze lets you choose ONE of the MIDI interfaces you have installed according to the win-doze database, and in order to use a different one you have to change your preferences in win-doze. Not convenient at all. You mentioned your Roland digital mixer as another interface. Am I missing something here, or did you mean that the Roland was a MIDI device instead of an interface? An interface means that it "interfaces" between the computer and the rest of the world.

It would help if you explained what you are trying to do without bothering to open Sonar. Just jamming and don't want to bother with opening a program, etc?

My system has just one MIDI interface, but it's a stand-alone capable 8 in, 8 out MIDI patch bay, which came with its own little software "applet" that lets you set up 8 different "patching scenarios", each of which can route any input to any output or group of outputs, store that info in the patch bay itself, then select any of the 8 from the front panel with the computer turned off if you like. I use one of the patches to route the MIDI out of one of my workstation keyboards to all MIDI modules in the system, then choose which MIDI channel I transmit on from the workstation - another patch connects one of my two drum controllers to just the percussion modules, another patch for the other percussion controller, etc. - This is confusing if you don't use the equipment often, but really handy if you do. Each of these patches can be customized channel by channel to accept or reject each type of MIDI info, cross-patch to a different MIDI channel, etc, in other words it is super-flexible. When the computer is on and running, then Cakewalk takes over and each port of the patchbay becomes a named device in Cakewalk. I programmed another patch in the 8x8 interface for this, where each MIDI port on the patch bay goes to/comes from the computer, then Cake can control whether that port passes SysEx or not, etc. I have Sonar, but have yet to install it until I get time to build my new DAW and re-do my entire studio, but the MIDI functions are almost identical, so anything I mentioned should also apply to Sonar.

Post back if this did more damage than good, or if I missed the point entirely... Steve


Ok ready?

Just built a new box. Setting it up with Sonar, Sound Forge and Sound Diver. I have a Roland VM3100pro which is a 8X8 audio I/O and it also has a 1X1 MIDI interface built in. In addition to that I have a MIDIMAN USB 1X1 and a Sound blaster Live which has a 1X1 MIDI interface. To hook into those I have a Roland GS sound module, Alesis SR16 drum machine, ROland Octapad, a Lake Butler MIDI Midigator foot pedal (Which can send and MIDI message, Patch, CC, Note, MMC etc)and my guitar rack. To keep the guitar stuff portable I like to keep it all MIDIed together and hook in the units as needed. In there I have an AXON NGC77 guitar MIDI converter, Emu Audity2000, G force, and Mesa Triaxes. I need access to these for backup and programming with MIDIOX and Sound Diver respectively.

Before I had used just the MIDIMAN MIDI interface hooked into a Digital Music MX8 MIDI patch bay (8 in and 8 out). Sound Diver could run that.

In setting up the new computer it seemed like having the patchbay was screwy so I though well using the MIDI interfaces I have I can cover everything without the patch bay.

The problem is tring to understand the MIDI flow through the computer. Without any MIDI type software running the MIDI data seems to flow from my Roland Interface out to my MIDIMAN. That isn't really the issue, its Sonar. Supposed to be as easy as select the MIDI IN and MIDI out on a track and they should be patched. Does seem to work consistently. I cannot see actual MIDI interface device names on the track input, just OMNI, 1, 2, etc..

Things I want to be able to do:
Use the footpedal as a transport control for Sonar
Record MIDI from the AXON
Record MIDI from the Alesis or the Drum pad
Be able to patch Sonar MIDI outputs to any module
Be able to Patch Sound DIver and MIDIOX to any module.

I wanted to ask the simple question because as you can see this gets complicated. If Sonar did what the manual says so straight forward like I don't think this would be an issue. So as a sanity check I tried without SOnar and pondered the intial question - why did the Roland get patched to the MIDIMAN? With multiple MIDI interfaces, what happens to MIDI in the computer? Next, why does Sonar (and Cake Pro audio 9, in my last box)see the inputs as they do. The manual suggests that you should be able to pick an input port just like you pick an output port But the input name is not descriptive of where its actually comming from.

Not completely against using the MIDI patch bay but at the time it seemed like a reasonalble exclusion to somewhat simplify things.

:D :tu: !


i hope this helps you:

what me and my friends usually do for sonar (and all cakewalk products)is first, double click the midi track to open the track properties box; set the input to omni; then on the output; select your midi bay such as your midiman or your sound blaster( keep in mind what is connected to each bay)[now remember that with single bay like a 1x1, to my knowledge, only one device can be controlled at a time]; choose a midi channel(in the channel section); if you imported your midi instruments already then they should show up in the bank section according to connection of midi bay(so if your axon is connected to the midiman and you already imported your .ins from the :instrumentsdefineimport...it should show up in the bank section); make sure that on the bank selectionmethod is set to normal(if it doesn't work try controller 0); from there you should be able to select a patch. if it didn't work, check to see if you assigned an output/channel for your instrument. hopefully that does the trick for you.

now if you have a 8x8 it would make it so much more easier because everything could be controlled from that.

as for your drum pads, usually you have to make your drum tracks first then send it to sonar unless you are using something like your emu audity, then you can play on.

and for your roland mixer, i believe the midi thats on it is used to send midi signals to your software to be used as a controller, not a midi bay, but i could be wrong on that.

try it out and let me know if it worked for you if you haven't already tried this. it always worked for us. :p