Problems with MIDI keyboard, no signal in DAW.
I am beginner in home recording. I've recently bought a new audio interface, the Tascam US-122MKII, to record audio, guitar and MIDI tracks. I've successfully recorded all but the latter. For some reason I can't get any signal from my keyboard in my recording software. I've connected correctly the MIDI cables also. I know that MIDI IN from my audio interface goes to MIDI OUT on my keyboard and vice-versa.
I've tried 3 DAW, Reaper, Cubase and FL Studio 11, but with no avail. They're able to recognize that I have my audio interface connected, and I am able to record for example guitar with no problem, but no MIDI. If anyone could help resolve this problem, I would really appreciated. If possible, I liked to know how to do it with Reaper, because that's what I am currently using.
Computer: PC, Windows 8.1
Audio interface: Tascam US-122MKII
MIDI Keyboard: Korg SP-250t
In any DAW I've tried you need the proper midi drivers installed (usually included with the interface drivers) and you need to select the midi device in the DAW it self. Also, your keyboard/controller needs to transmit midi data via a midi channel that the DAW will interpret.
On the keyboard, check if the midi through is enable via midi out, this may bypass the midi out.
On the DAW, go in the midi settings and check if the midi interface is selected.
Again in the DAW, check if you can put the Midi Input to Omni, which will record any midi channel used by the keyboard.
I'll try, but there is scant info available about your level of knowledge of MIDI, so I may write something that makes you think "Well...I already KNOW THAT!" Please don't think I am being condescending...but from the info you provided, i have to start from the beginning, and assume things.
"Record MIDI"? I will assume you know that MIDI is is only recorded as information? For instance, if you have your Korg set up to Piano 1, and are able to record MIDI to the computer from it, you will not hear the actual Krog piano sounds (unless you are monitoring its audio outputs). So, I must assume that you want to record MIDI information that can automatically play the sounds from the keyboard, or from a software instrument/samples, once the MIDI performance information is recorded, or to play a softsynth in real time from your keyboard, using the Korg as an input controller?
Several things must be set up properly to communicate. Your keyboard must be set up to output MIDI, and you must set it up to output the channels you wish to use, and any other performance data you wish it to be able to send. There are 16 basic MIDI channels, and some keyboards may even be able to do (send and/or receive) multiples of that, using a different "bank"...say "A", and "B", which may give you, in that case 32 channels. (A; 1-16/B;1-16). Your keyboard appears to allow changing transmitting MIDI channel, and also splitting the keyboard to transmit on two MIDI channels. (Bass side on, say, channel 1, treble side on channel 2).
You need to read and understand the keyboard manual. http://i.korg.com/uploads/Support/USA_SP-280_OM_EFGCJ1.pdf (Specifically, page 20).
It appears that the Korg has a volatile memory for channel assignments. In other words, it loses what you assigned once you turn it off, and defaults to Channel 1 transmit when powered up. For now, that's a good thing to know. To get started, just accept that MIDI channel 1 is the channel you want the software to recognize to communicate, and work with that.
So, we know what we're transmitting. Channel 1.
On page 20, read "Local On/Off". This may be important if you want to avoid stuck notes or program crashes from MIDI feedback...which is when you have MIDI cables to and from the computer, you start playing, and you may feed that data through the computer and back into the keyboard, which then transmits it right back out to return again. it will generate doubled notes, stuck notes...all kinds of chaos. There are settings in the software, also, that prevent that from happening. If you wish to start off easy, and only input MIDI to the computer, you COULD use only the MIDI out from keys to MIDI in of computer, and avoid it. then, if you wish to use the keyboard as a sound module to play back whatever sounds from the keyboard you want, you simply disconnect that cable, and connect MIDI out from computer to MIDI in of keyboard. this eliminates the "loop". But, eventually, you'll want to learn to set it up properly to keep them both connected, and still avoiding the problem.
Now, the software. I don't have Reaper, so I can't be specific..but I can probably get you close. They all have similarities, and each has its own other stuff.
You need to assign a track for use of the MIDI information you want to record. First, you need to make sure the software sees the TASCAM as its MIDI device. Also, you may need to get into the MIDI settings portion of your software to do things. Some of them may come into use more AFTER you have initiated contact, and then want to tweak things. Some of that will have to do with MIDI latency, etc.
If it sees the TASCAM, assign it to that track's input. Since you know the Korg is outputting channel 1, set that track to MIDI channel 1. That should route the Korg channel 1 output through the TASCAM to the software on that track. Arm it for record, and start playing. No sound? Probably not. It depends on what you want to do.
You can monitor the sound of the Korg by listening to its outputs through a mixer, or through the audio inputs of the TASCAM (though you may have some latency delay, depending on how things are set up, and what ther TASCAM is capable of).
You can assign a software synth to that track, and play back samples, etc., from those (also, possibly with some slight delay). To do that, you need to assign a synth and instrument to the output of that software track.
Whatever method you use to get the performance data in, and monitoring it, once its in there recorded as MIDI data, you can do a million things with the data. You can assign whatever sound from whatever software synth, sample player, Korg keyboard, etc., that you want. Change it up. You can copy that track to a new track, and use the same performance for another instrument of your choosing...to "mix'n'match", make two weaker sounds fuller by mixing them together, or creative use of sounds through panning one left and one right, etc.
With a GOOD software with strong MIDI features, you can tweak like crazy. I use Cakewalk/Sonar, because I am used to it, and it is massively MIDI-friendly and easier to manipulate than even Cubase, etc. i don't know how MIDI-centric Reaper is, but i doubt it is a fully-featured as Sonar or Cubase. BUT, it may be all you need.
Anyway, to start with, confirm TASCAM is MIDI device in software, choose a MIDI track and assign it to the TASCAM, assign MIDI Channel 1 to that track, arm the track for recording, hit the record button, and play something for a minute. Stop the program, and inspect the track to see if any data was recorded. If you have set up a software instrument for that track's output, it should play when you play the track from the beginning. If you have it being sent to the Korg, whatever instrument is assigned to Channel 1 on the Korg should start playing, if you have that track set to MIDI out as Channel one to the TASCAM, and have the TASCAM out to the Korg in.
Just try the simple part in the last paragraph first to see if you can actually record data, and play back something.
Gotta get to work.
Daft question, but as all those programmes can't see the MIDI inputs, you did install the drivers for them?
In cubase, for example, there is a section showing what MIDI devices you have connected, and if it's empty, then there are no MIDI drivers on your system.
All good advice. The very first thing I would check, as others have mentioned, is to make sure that your computer is recognizing the midi section of the Tascam USB i/o.
I've worked with various Tascam i/o devices in the past, I seem to recall, one one occasion, having to install the MIDI drivers separately from the audio drivers. This may not be the case in your situation, but a check of your systems devices will show you if the midi driver section of the audio i/o has indeed been installed.
Then, open your DAW program, got to the section that allows you to view connected devices - sometimes it's labeled as "Midi", or "Audio i/o"... the nomenclature depends on the DAW you have.
If you see the midi device is on the list of recognized devices, make sure that the device is checked or enabled. If you don't see it, then your system isn't recognizing it, and you need to either configure it to work, or, in some rare cases, you may need to go back to square one, and uninstall the Tascam device and then reinstall it again, making sure that you are installing all drivers available for the device.
Also, you might want to visit Tascam's website and check to make sure that you have the most current drivers - both audio and midi - for your device. While you're there, it also wouldn't hurt to check for any firmware updates as well.
These may be of some help:
paulears, post: 422907, member: 47782 wrote: Daft question, but as all those programmes can't see the MIDI inputs, you did install the drivers for them?
This is why I mentioned a bit about too little info:
Haiko, post: 422892, member: 48724 wrote: For some reason I can't get any signal from my keyboard in my recording software.
They're able to recognize that I have my audio interface connected, and I am able to record for example guitar with no problem, but no MIDI.
Paulears assumed the programs couldn't see the MIDI drivers at all, and I assumed the drivers were probably in there, just everything was not properly assigned. I would guess the odds are that they are in there, but the OP just isn't aware of how to get things communicating? Could be either...or both. It doesn't specifically state that the drivers are not there...just that the keyboard can't record into software, and my assumption was simply "no communication from improper settings".
Anyway, it's good to mention to check for that, and those videos may be helpful. MIDI can be very confusing for a beginner.
It might do the OP a bit of good to search "MIDI Basics" to get some understanding of how it works. Having a basic grasp of the concept is half the battle when dealing with MIDI. It helps to understand the concept, and how things relate to the software setting, etc. Once the basic concepts are known, it makes it easier to deal with MIDI in different programs, and decipher one program's little similarities and differences as compared to another. They ALL have to be manually set up, though.
The good news is that once the basics are learned, a lot of programs can save settings globally, or a lot can use "templates" to load up a new song with those settings.
Once the OP gets communication going, eventually, there will be more considerations...like when audio and MIDI are both in there, and playback goes wonky. Or, what "timing source" to set things up for when recording...Internal MIDI clock (for a blank song, and recording only MIDI data)? Audio clock, for recording audio first, or...for syncing the MIDI to audio (as audio doesn't properly follow MIDI clock,, but MIDI follows audio clock very well)?
But, yeah...first step is to get notes recorded from the keyboard to the computer software. Second step is to get the recorded notes to play back properly through whatever sound source chosen. Third step is whatever happens next...and that could be a lot of things!
I think you are right in that the drivers are probably there, but that it needs to be configured/selected as the default driver for the app.
Tascam has a history of working a bit wizzly, Kap.
I remember running into a similar problem, sveral years ago before I switched to Presonus. When I installed a 1641 USB audio-midi i/o, I found that just because I selected the 1641 as my audio source default, didn't mean that it also designated the midi section as a default as well. I had to configure it to do that, both in my system hardware settings and in my DAW platform settings (which at the time was Sonar).
The default for midi on both the system and the DAW was MS wavetable, and I had to choose the Tascam in both sections in order to get it working. I also recall havig to download updated drivers and firmware, too.
I absolutely agree that the OP needs a crash course in midi.
I think the OP has a lot to think about and test. Let see if he returns with good results or other questions. ;)
I'm thinking back to when I changed drives on my main music system, and the M-Audio 8x8 MIDI interface vanished. Installing the drivers didn't seem to work, then, when I connected the USB again, it loaded in the second set, overwrote the first and back to normal - the ones on the disk seemed to not load first time.
Yup.. I remember having the exact same issues on an old M-Audio Midisport USB.