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Midi playback and performance out of tune

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Current configuration:

  • LPX 10.5.1
    Mac OS Mojave

Three midi keyboards (M-Audio AxiomPro, Akai, Alesis) all connected via USB hub. Other equipment (non-midi) as well.


Recently, I've noticed midi is playing out of tune, sometimes flat by 30-40 cents, sometimes sharp by 30-40 cents. I can hear it, but also inserted the tuner in the channel strip to confirm. Doesn't matter which file, instrument played (hardware) or preset loaded.


I've opened Midi Monitor and captured part of the problem from one of the midi keyboards:


I've factory-reset the Axiom twice in troubleshooting, it doesn't help.


For some reason, all the keyboards are playing out of tune. When I disconnect this keyboard, the problem persists using other keyboards.


Needless to say, it's wreaking havoc on my productivity - I'm spending too much time troubleshooting, not enough working. What has happened that this would suddenly become a problem?? Did I set something somewhere for pitch bend globally? Is the Axiom affecting Logic, even though I've disconnected it? Should I restart without the Axiom connected to see if the other keyboards still do this? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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David, as always, your contributions to other users is remarkable, and I'm very grateful to be able to reach out like this and get expert insights. You are a true hero to creators like myself.


Indeed, disconnecting, restarting Logic, etc. results in no tuning issues. Other two keyboards look fine.


Reconnecting Axiom reintroduced the problem - all keyboards. Why is the Axiom pitch wheel message affecting other keyboards?


It's old enough to be replaced, but I'd be inclined to pop it open and perform surgery on it before I buy a new one.


Now the question is: how do I avoid other keyboards from being affected by the Axiom messages? Is there a way to set the hierarchy in something like the Audio Midi Setup tool?

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Just snip the wires connecting the PB wheel to the rest of the keyboard (or better: unplug the connector if there's one) and it'll be fine - though bendless.

Ah... Bendless Love.


That's an excellent idea! But I do use it enough to want to keep it around. I found a tutorial (

) on fixing the Axiom pitch bend wheel. But for about a minute I thought about yanking its lifeline.
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The thing is, if you send a pitch bend event to an instrument, it will bend the pitch of the instrument, no matter which keyboard is triggering the instrument. So it's not the keyboards being affected by the Axiom, it's the instrument that all your keyboards are triggering that is affected by the Axiom.


Adding new tracks with different instruments, then using another keyboard to play it still results in pitch bend with Axiom connected.


In a workflow, I'm not inclined to unplug the Axiom to avoid pitch bend. As it stands, the Axiom is my front/center desk-level keyboard. The others are on various mounts/stands/surfaces (I have 5 total, but only 3 plugged in). Swapping out the Axiom creates a space issue. The main 88-key is too wide to put under the monitors (currently - separate issue).


I don't think I'm understanding the point, assuming you're referring to adding the midi instrument in a new track, then playing it with a different midi keyboard.

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Adding new tracks with different instruments, then using another keyboard to play it still results in pitch bend with Axiom connected.

Yes, that is the expected behavior.


When you R-enable a software instrument track, all incoming MIDI is routed to that track. It doesn't really matter is sending which data. Whether the pitch bend data comes from the Axiom or the keyboard where you're playing notes is all the same to the instrument that receives the MIDI events.


If one of your devices, any device sends a pitch bend event, it's pitching the instrument. Now you can play that instrument with any keyboard, even the Musical typing window in Logic, it will play pitched.


So basically the Axiom is putting the instrument out of tune, then the other keyboard is playing the out of tune instrument.

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  • Solution

Thanks for clarifying that - it makes more sense.


The solution to my problem: unfortunately, it was not a software fix, but hardware. I disassembled the keyboard (removing the cover - approx. 35 screws), unseated the pitch wheel, lubricated it with a WD-40 type lubricant, worked it in, re-affixed the wheel, reassembled the keyboard after confirming it was no longer sending bad pitch data.




At the above video mentioned, many users complained of similar problems with M-Audio keyboards, and the lubrication being the fix. So sorry for the scramble around midi data and instruments. Sometimes you just gotta grease the wheel.

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That's awesome. Very good to hear and thanks for sharing with us. What a little WD40 can do. :shock:


And just in case that makes it easier to swallow (the pitch bend wheel malfunction, not the WD40), this kind of thing happens with many different keyboards, not just the Axioms. I had a Kurzweil keyboard do exactly the same thing a long time ago.

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