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Problems With MIDI Input (Windows)

Author cognitone

Under Windows, problems may occur if multiple programs attempt to use the same USB MIDI driver for input at the same time. Especially prone to this issue are “cheap” drivers that often accompany inexpensive MIDI hardware. If you wonder why Synfire is unable to receive MIDI input from your hardware keyboard, there is probably another program already using and blocking the USB driver.

Possible solutions:

  • Update the USB drivers of your MIDI hardware to their latest available version. Consult the manufacturer of the keyboard if they have a multi-client USB driver.
  • Temporarily disconnect your MIDI hardware from other programs currently also running (DAW), so Synfire gets a chance to connect to it. Press the "Reset" button on the Audio & MIDI Setup window to have Synfire retry a connection.
  • Disable the option "Use Audio Engine for MIDI Input"
  • Check if there are possibly any generic USB drivers that work with multiple client applications and your hardware.
  • Avoid the native USB driver of your hardware and use a standalone MIDI interface instead (many audio interfaces also include a MIDI interface) that comes with more capable USB or FireWire drivers.
  • Last resort: Try a different hardware that comes with better USB drivers.

Note that basically all MIDI devices should always be capable of sending input to multiple clients, because that's what MIDI is about: A network for connecting hardware and software. Drivers that exclusively connect to a single application only are seriously limited.

While you are trying to fix MIDI issues, please run Synfire as your only audio program. Quit any other DAW that is still running. Once Synfire works standalone, you can begin looking into the synchronization with your DAW.

Please post a brief comment about which hardware and drivers work for you, or which don't. This will help everyone get an overview of working configurations. Thanks.

For further information, also read this solution.


Sat, 2014-11-22 - 20:03 Permalink

The latest Audio Engine 2.0 (current download) releases MIDI ports that are not currently in use. So, if MIDI input is received by the Audio Engine, Synfire itself will no longer attempt to listen to the same MIDI port. This solved problems with both programs accessing MIDI at the same time. However, your DAW may still get in the way. Check if it has an option to release MIDI ports when running in background.