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Need help connecting midi keyboard


Ken Nielsen
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I just got a Korg D1 keyboard and it's been years since I've used Logic Pro and my set-up is a shambles. I need help. I have everything connected but no sound, Midi interface from the keyboard into the computer with the sound system hooked up through a Scarlett 2i2 interface. All is quiet on the western front and I remember that a lot needs to be absolutely correct in Logic Pro X preferences. I started a new project and selected MIDI but not sure if that is correct because the MIDI L & R are connected to a midi interface which goes into the computer with a USB connection. That's about it, new keyboard no sound, but these forums have been the foundation of all of my successful time enjoying playing music in the past. It's time for me to re-unite and I ask for your help. As you can tell, even though I've studied a lot, I'm still backed into a corner on the basics for getting the keyboard working. Your help is most appreciated to get me going.

 

TIA,

 

Ken

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Some super-basic information can be found on the Apple website. And this article from Focusrite might help as well.

 

 

This is where I should start. I'm trying to work with just the MIDI interface into the computer, I was hoping that would be enough to trigger software notes contained in Logic Pro X. If that sounds like the wrong approach please respond to that and I'll now go check the Apple site and also the link you have posted. Thank You Sir, I appreciate.

 

Ken

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Ken you have to decide, too, if you intend to use the onboard sounds of the D1 into LPX.

If you DO NOT want to do that, you really only need to connect your MIDI Out to the interface's MIDI In.

If you DO want to use the D1's onboard sounds, you need to make more connections. D1 MIDI Out to interface MIDI In, then add interface MIDI Out to D1 MIDI In, and also D1 audio out to interface audio in. You'll also need to turn off local control inside the D1 (otherwise the D1's sound module will be triggered by the keyboard, and again by the MIDI of the same note coming back from the Logic through the interface).

Suggestion: debug this one step at a time. First make sure you're getting the audio from LPX to your speakers. Do that by using the typing keyboard within LPX to ensure sounds come out of the Focusrite. Then see if you can trigger an LPX software synth using the D1's keyboard. Then if you're using the D1's onboard sounds, see if you get the D1 audio into LPX. Then see if it replays right when you replay the track.

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John_D, This is extremely good help to me right now. I realize I could just plug the keyboard’s channels out to the Scarlett 2i2 and get the onboard sounds. The manual that came with the keyboard recommends this hookup and make little mention of the use of the MIDI in and out. I’ll follow exactly as you have laid out in your answer above. I’ll report back tomorrow when I’ll have a chance to follow through exactly as you have stated it. My goal is to get to the bottom of what I can do with the MIDI connection only first, before I plug in to use the onboard sounds. Thanks again for your valuable and much appreciated input
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What MIDI interface did you buy?

 

First make sure the MIDI interface is shown in Audio/MIDI Setup.

 

If it is, then make sure you have the MIDI cables connected properly...OUT to IN in both directions.

 

 

I have the mio XC from iConnectivity which is simple enough, plugs directly into the computer with usb. Is clearly marked one in and one out at the keyboard MIDI connectors.

 

At this point I'm getting no trigger, no sound from Logic Pro X with no action being shown at the timeline with MIDI track set to grand piano.

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Is the mio XC visible in Audio/MIDI Setup?

 

Do you have MIDI Monitor installed? That will show if MIDI is even getting into the Mac via the mio XC.

 

There you go... Thanks to you enossified, - Something is obviously missing and your comment could very will be the answer to why all is quiet on the western front. I'll check it out, most likely install, and then report back. Thank You.

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To debug this, let's take Vizzini's advice and begin at the beginning. Literally start at the beginning of the signal chain. In this case, it's your MIDI controller.

Step one: make sure your keyboard is set to produce MIDI, and Local Control is off. If you have any MIDI sound modules, hook one up to it. Or visit a friend with a MIDI module. Make sure you're sending MIDI events from the keyboard. No point proceeding if the keyboard isn't doing that. Once you know this, go to step 2.

Step two: ensure the interface is sending MIDI to your Mac. You can probably engage tech support or a support forum for your MIDI interface; they'll know the troubleshooting steps for your hardware. Once you see MIDI events showing up in MIDI Monitor on your Mac, THEN Logic is your next task. You know at this point the Mac is getting your MIDI controller's signals - that's good! Go to step 3.

Step three: try to get your keyboard working as a controller for a Logic Software Instrument. When you can press a key on the synth and the Electric Piano (or whatever) plays in Logic, then you know the first MIDI signal chain (keyboard OUT -> interface IN -> Mac) is working all the way to LPX, and you know how to select the controller and the right MIDI channel. Oh... and don't do this with ALL as your MIDI channel. Make sure you know the channel of your synth, because when you send data TO it (to make sound later, when you want to use your controller's sounds), you need to know that. If you have trouble with this step, come back here! Once it works, great! Go to step 4.

Step four: Now you've got your MIDI signals going into LPX from your keyboard. Now make sure you can get MIDI signals going back out to your keyboard FROM LPX. To do this, ensure local control is off and MIDI control is on. Check it by connecting the audio out from your keyboard to a speaker. When you press a key, no sounds should be generated. Then connect the interface MIDI OUT to the keyboard's MIDI IN. Configure an External Instrument in LPX to the same port and channel you used in the Software Instrument track. If you record and play your keyboard with the External Instrument track selected, you should see MIDI events recorded in LPX, and sounds should come out of those speakers. If this happens, great! It means MIDI events are round-tripping from your keyboard to LPX and back out to the synth, and it's producing the sounds! You're close!

Step five: Now it's time to put the sounds back into your computer. Connect the audio outs from your keyboard to the 2i2. In your External Instrument, select the appropriate port(s) of your 2i2 as the Input. You should now hear your synth's sounds in LPX; you can record them, effect them, whatever.

Good luck! Keep going, it's a pain at first but once you get the hang of it, it seems easy. :)

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To debug this, let's take Vizzini's advice and begin at the beginning. Literally start at the beginning of the signal chain. In this case, it's your MIDI controller.

Step one: make sure your keyboard is set to produce MIDI, and Local Control is off. If you have any MIDI sound modules, hook one up to it. Or visit a friend with a MIDI module. Make sure you're sending MIDI events from the keyboard. No point proceeding if the keyboard isn't doing that. Once you know this, go to step 2.

Step two: ensure the interface is sending MIDI to your Mac. You can probably engage tech support or a support forum for your MIDI interface; they'll know the troubleshooting steps for your hardware. Once you see MIDI events showing up in MIDI Monitor on your Mac, THEN Logic is your next task. You know at this point the Mac is getting your MIDI controller's signals - that's good! Go to step 3.

Step three: try to get your keyboard working as a controller for a Logic Software Instrument. When you can press a key on the synth and the Electric Piano (or whatever) plays in Logic, then you know the first MIDI signal chain (keyboard OUT -> interface IN -> Mac) is working all the way to LPX, and you know how to select the controller and the right MIDI channel. Oh... and don't do this with ALL as your MIDI channel. Make sure you know the channel of your synth, because when you send data TO it (to make sound later, when you want to use your controller's sounds), you need to know that. If you have trouble with this step, come back here! Once it works, great! Go to step 4.

Step four: Now you've got your MIDI signals going into LPX from your keyboard. Now make sure you can get MIDI signals going back out to your keyboard FROM LPX. To do this, ensure local control is off and MIDI control is on. Check it by connecting the audio out from your keyboard to a speaker. When you press a key, no sounds should be generated. Then connect the interface MIDI OUT to the keyboard's MIDI IN. Configure an External Instrument in LPX to the same port and channel you used in the Software Instrument track. If you record and play your keyboard with the External Instrument track selected, you should see MIDI events recorded in LPX, and sounds should come out of those speakers. If this happens, great! It means MIDI events are round-tripping from your keyboard to LPX and back out to the synth, and it's producing the sounds! You're close!

Step five: Now it's time to put the sounds back into your computer. Connect the audio outs from your keyboard to the 2i2. In your External Instrument, select the appropriate port(s) of your 2i2 as the Input. You should now hear your synth's sounds in LPX; you can record them, effect them, whatever.

Good luck! Keep going, it's a pain at first but once you get the hang of it, it seems easy. :)

 

Now This!... Should be the first chapter theme of any instruction or hope of playing music engaged with a computer. Nice job John_D, - Last question for now is when I first am ready to open a new protect in Logic Pro X, it gives me a choice of several formats to begin a project with and among those choices are ‘Software Instrument’ and MIDI. Since I am focused on getting MIDI working first do I select ‘MIDI’ then as project format?

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First choose Software Instrument. This will accept the MIDI from your keyboard, and turn it into sound via an inbuilt mechanism. As we discussed much earlier, you can validate it by using the inbuilt typing keyboard (that proves you can hear when LPX makes sounds), then try to make it sound using your controller (proving that the MIDI pathway from controller to LPX is correctly configured).
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First choose Software Instrument. This will accept the MIDI from your keyboard, and turn it into sound via an inbuilt mechanism. As we discussed much earlier, you can validate it by using the inbuilt typing keyboard (that proves you can hear when LPX makes sounds), then try to make it sound using your controller (proving that the MIDI pathway from controller to LPX is correctly configured).

 

First Class Help John, Thank You, and this is where I am today, Need to shove other projects off to the side and focus totally on this: "Step one: make sure your keyboard is set to produce MIDI, and Local Control is off. If you have any MIDI sound modules, hook one up to it. Or visit a friend with a MIDI module. Make sure you're sending MIDI events from the keyboard. No point proceeding if the keyboard isn't doing that."

 

If I can get to step one today and see any success it will be a major accomplishment here as everything is silent at this point.

 

I'll report back...

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First choose Software Instrument. This will accept the MIDI from your keyboard, and turn it into sound via an inbuilt mechanism. As we discussed much earlier, you can validate it by using the inbuilt typing keyboard (that proves you can hear when LPX makes sounds), then try to make it sound using your controller (proving that the MIDI pathway from controller to LPX is correctly configured).

 

I'm much closer now to getting sound. The keyboard is now showing up in Logic Pro X, a signal is showing in the meters and on the track header... the only one more problem is still no sound. the system is hooked up and working with an amplifier and external speakers, the same way it has been working for years and with LPX in the past. Audio programs play sound and clear over the sound system from the computer, all except for LPX at this point. I've checked and tried all audio settings, input and output and none yield any sound. checked volume settings everywhere. I'm stumped. All is still quiet on the western front. I'm going to call it a day, at least a signal and that is huge accomplishment for one day I would say.

 

Thanks for all help up to this point.

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Step at a time, you'll get there. On the track, make sure Output is set to St Out, the track is armed for recording and Mute is not selected. In Preferences | Audio | General, try different settings for Output Device ("Built-in Device" is a good choice). Make sure Preferences | Audio | I/O Assignments has Output as "Output 1-2 (Stereo Output)" and Left is Output 1 and Right is Output 2. Make sure master volume at the top of the main page is up; when you play the green should mostly fill the Master Volume slider in the caption bar. If not, make sure the track volume is up. You're using the Software Instrument track, right?
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Step at a time, you'll get there. On the track, make sure Output is set to St Out, the track is armed for recording and Mute is not selected. In Preferences | Audio | General, try different settings for Output Device ("Built-in Device" is a good choice). Make sure Preferences | Audio | I/O Assignments has Output as "Output 1-2 (Stereo Output)" and Left is Output 1 and Right is Output 2. Make sure master volume at the top of the main page is up; when you play the green should mostly fill the Master Volume slider in the caption bar. If not, make sure the track volume is up. You're using the Software Instrument track, right?

 

Yes, a new project and chose 'Software instrument' set to vintage electric piano now, So sorry the real Fender Rhodes, I used to have one, is such a train wreck for needing a full shop and several more for replacement parts to keep one running properly, but you can't beat the real thing... I digress... back to Logic Pro, thanks for following through with me on this John, you've given me new things to check. There will be huge celebration when the first sounds come out of this thing!

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Step at a time

 

So here we go, what I've learned and I've got it working but have little clue why... The Scarlett 2i2 seems to be at the heart of my system, no problem plugging in 1/4" cables and hearing onboard sounds from the keyboard through my sound system. To get MIDI working was the last accomplishment and comes down to a switch on the front of the Scarlett that says 'Direct Monitor' - 'OFF / ON' and there is where I turn off what is coming through from the keyboard sounds so I can hear what is being generated by software instruments in Logic Pro X. I think now, that I've been able to play and record a MIDI track in LPX from the keyboard that I am now on my way to getting down to music. To me, the subject of getting hooked up could not be a practical matter for a first chapter in LPX because it would take its own hefty book to really dice it down to actual hookup and where audio signal become digital signal... I think that happens inside of the Scarlett box, just my guess at this point because a USB cable comes out of the back of the Scarlett box and goes to the computer and the audio cables go into the front of the Scarlett... At least it is my thought is that where the monitor of sound is happening. I wish I actually knew, but will leave that to the engineers of the world to understand as my goal is first to make music.

 

Thanks John_D and others who have chimed in here to help. You have to eat your wheaties if you're going to take on this stuff...

 

Ken

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So here we go, what I've learned and I've got it working but have little clue why... The Scarlett 2i2 seems to be at the heart of my system, no problem plugging in 1/4" cables and hearing onboard sounds from the keyboard through my sound system.

The 2i2 really has two major functions.

First, it lets you send one or two streams of audio to your computer, converting the audio signal to digital. If your keyboard is stereo, you may want to connect both 1/4" cables. You can then capture this audio as an External Instrument within LPX, effect it, and mix it.

Second, the 2i2 can receive digital audio from the computer and convert it back to audio. You then hear it using either the headphone jack or the line outputs on the back panel. To do this, set the "Output Device" on Preferences | Audio | Devices to "Scarlett 2i2" or whatever is displayed there. Then, when you play anything in your project -- whether it comes from your keyboard or not -- it would come out through the 2i2 to your sound system.

To get MIDI working was the last accomplishment and comes down to a switch on the front of the Scarlett that says 'Direct Monitor' - 'OFF / ON' and there is where I turn off what is coming through from the keyboard sounds so I can hear what is being generated by software instruments in Logic Pro X.

The Direct Monitor switch has no effect on MIDI. That switch is really used to give you control over latency and echo.

You know the 2i2 always sends the audio from your keyboard to the computer and LPX. And if you do the configuration above and make the 2i2 LPX's Output Device, the computer sends all its LPX output back to the 2i2. This takes time, enough sometimes to be audible and disconcerting. Direct Monitor lets you choose one of two ways of working.

With Direct Monitor OFF, the 2i2 sends the audio to LPX and you can send the audio back to the 2i2. What you hear in your headphones or speakers connected is exactly what is coming from LPX. It will be some milliseconds delayed, due to the time it takes to digitize the signal in the 2i2, send it to LPX, let LPX do any processing it's doing, send it back to the 2i2, and let the 2i2 convert it back to audio. That's called latency - the time between when the sound happens at your instrument's outputs, and the time it shows up on your speakers. Turning Direct Monitor OFF is a great way to be sure you have the LPX output going to the 2i2.

With Direct Monitor ON, the 2i2 still sends the audio to LPX. But it ALSO sends an instantaneous copy directly to the 2i2 outputs, so when the instrument makes a sound, so do your speakers. If you don't even configure the LPX Output Device to the 2i2, you'll still hear the selected track on your speakers! But when you DO have the LPX output sent to the 2i2, you'll find an issue. The sound from your keyboard will show up twice on your speakers. First directly from the keyboard via the Direct Monitor, then "latency" milliseconds later, the sound will come again from LPX. If you use a sound with a sharp attack, you will hear that attack twice every time you press a key. This is why your instrument seems to echo when Direct Monitor is on.

I think now, that I've been able to play and record a MIDI track in LPX from the keyboard that I am now on my way to getting down to music. To me, the subject of getting hooked up could not be a practical matter for a first chapter in LPX because it would take its own hefty book to really dice it down to actual hookup and where audio signal become digital signal... I think that happens inside of the Scarlett box, just my guess at this point because a USB cable comes out of the back of the Scarlett box and goes to the computer and the audio cables go into the front of the Scarlett... At least it is my thought is that where the monitor of sound is happening. I wish I actually knew, but will leave that to the engineers of the world to understand as my goal is first to make music.

You already nailed it. The audio signal becomes digital within the Scarlett box, and is sent via USB to the computer. It remains digital until the computer sends it back to the Scarlett box via that same USB cable, at which time the Scarlett converts it back to audio and sends it to the headphone and/or Line Output jacks.

It can be worthwhile to understand these signal flows to the point that you can figure out how to solve issues that interfere with your music. Once you're happily making music, you can stop reading manuals!

Have fun!

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Have fun!

 

You have some great insight into what is going on. I like to try to 'visualize' the train of activity as signals pass through the system and only to find out sometimes years late, I left out important components of what is really going on... I'm sure I will continue to have much I am not aware of.

 

I have one more question and I think I should be busy making music now, and that is.... What is the best way to get a audible file I can send to friends after I've recorded a MIDI file. I realize there is no sound in the MIDI file and is just instructions, but say I have an instrument sound chosen and can listen back on my own computer... Can I generate a AIFF or WAV or other format file that would accurately be a recording of what I am hearing over my speakers of the chosen software instrument?

 

I didn't want to have to put a mic up to the speaker and think there must be a way to do this correctly from within LPX.

 

Thanks For All Of The Great Input and Help,

 

Ken

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Have fun!

 

You have some great insight into what is going on. I like to try to 'visualize' the train of activity as signals pass through the system and only to find out sometimes years late, I left out important components of what is really going on... I'm sure I will continue to have much I am not aware of.

 

I have one more question and I think I should be busy making music now, and that is.... What is the best way to get a audible file I can send to friends after I've recorded a MIDI file. I realize there is no sound in the MIDI file and is just instructions, but say I have an instrument sound chosen and can listen back on my own computer... Can I generate a AIFF or WAV or other format file that would accurately be a recording of what I am hearing over my speakers of the chosen software instrument?

 

I didn't want to have to put a mic up to the speaker and think there must be a way to do this correctly from within LPX.

 

Thanks For All Of The Great Input and Help,

 

Ken

If you use External Instrument and have the audio hooked up correctly, you should find you've recorded the instrument's audio in the External Instrument track after recording. That was the real purpose of using the 2i2!

You can see if that worked by just completely unplugging your keyboard from everything, and pressing Play in LPX. If you hear your song, the sounds are in LPX. :)

IF that is true, you can save an MP3 (or WAV or other formats) by selecting File | Bounce. Then you can select to export the entire song (Project) or just a track. Select your audio formats, and Bob's your uncle.

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If you use External Instrument and have the audio hooked up correctly, you should find you've recorded the instrument's audio in the External Instrument track after recording. That was the real purpose of using the 2i2!

Sorry, I misspoke. To record the audio data, you'll need to Bounce that track in place to a new track, and you'll end up with the audio data recorded.

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If you use External Instrument and have the audio hooked up correctly, you should find you've recorded the instrument's audio in the External Instrument track after recording. That was the real purpose of using the 2i2!

Sorry, I misspoke. To record the audio data, you'll need to Bounce that track in place to a new track, and you'll end up with the audio data recorded.

 

LPX is like a lifetime of study for me, probably because I'm not a professional and not forced into producing with it every day. Thank You John_D for the great help and now I'm on track and producing music. Have a Great Weekend.

 

Ken

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