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iandg 12-10-2016 12:00 PM

'dirty' midi
I would very much like to use Notation Composer as my go-to software for actually playing midi files, as well as editing and preparing them.
Using Notation has the advantage that I can also have in the same file, visible but muted, either a piano score or at least score prompts which will show as a good-class visual display, and scroll with the backing.

I have a Ketron SD2 which I want to use as the sound source for my 'backings'.
I have all this physically set up, with a newly-bought second copy of Composer on a little notebook computer beside my piano keyboard. I also have the set-up in Notation, and the test scale playing on the Ketron. But when I play a file, there is sound, but not cleanly flowing, nor clean sounding - like a radio broadcast from an-imperfectly tuned station.

By way of comparison, I have the identical set-up in another software (which does not have a notation display), and that will play the identical file perfectly.

Can you give me any clue what the problem might be, and how I might solve it ? (I have been round the 'reconfigure' route several times, and that hasn't cleared the problem.)


Ian G.

iandg 12-10-2016 01:21 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi - further information
Two interesting additional facts !

1. I have found that Biab 2007, on the same notebook, and with the same set-up, has similar problems. With both NC and Biab 2007, the problems extend at times to actually locking the application.
2. I have down-loaded the free Notation Player, and that is perfectly happy:) with the set-up - configured itself and plays the file perfectly.
Does this give any clue as to why Composer is 'gibbing' ?

(Obviously I'm somewhat less content, in that Player doesn't have the flexibility of Composer in terms of eg part-display or indeed midi-editability. ie Player isn't really a viable 'solution' for me.)

Ian G

Sherry C 12-10-2016 03:02 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi
Hi Ian,

Does this happen for all .mid files, or just some? If it happens for only some, could you please send us a sample of one that does NOT work as well as one that DOES work to please?

Also, does the problem happen if you turn off all other programs and only use Composer or BIAB 2007? I'm just wondering if there may be a memory issue.

We may be asking further questions as well :)


iandg 12-10-2016 03:48 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi
Hallo, Sherry

I can't speak for 'all' midi files. I've used two that happened to be part of my current activity flow, and had rather different ensembles. But I would point out again that these same files play happily in other softwares. I can now add Midi-Illustrator to the list like your Player, it picked up the midi set-up without any detailed configuring and plays the same files cleanly through the Ketron. So I really doubt it is a file-specific issue.

Also, although as I've explained, I've been switching between softwares, I always close one before opening another. And I have simply restarted the notebook from time to time.

I have also been into the registry and cleaned out 'midi-n' entries, back to just a single 'midi' entry.

Each time I 'do something', I tend to go first to 'the other' software to check that it is still working, and then close it and try NC again.
It has got so even the ' test' scale is (a) not piano and (b) not really a scale.

I'm not really pointing the finger at Composer, well, not totally. (NC is far the best software I know for what I want to do, and it is intended to do what I want to do ! And I've just bought a second copy !)

The Ketron itself can be a peculiar beast.

But the way 3 applications play this set-up like a dream, and two others clearly 'don't like it', puzzles me considerably.

Might it be worth uninstalling NC entirely and re-installing ?



dj 12-11-2016 12:27 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi
Hi, Ian, Sherry:

As I understand it, the Ketron doesn't have a USB Midi connection. So, the question arises: what midi interface are you using?

The fact that the problem doesn't arise with some other software doesn't necessarily preclude the interface being the bottleneck.



iandg 12-11-2016 03:44 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi
Hallo, David

The Ketron has trad 5 pin midi sockets, and I'm using a USB-midi cable which I've used happily for a number of years.
If I understand what you're saying, the USB-midi cable could be the problem? I guess the only way to know would be to get another (good one) and try it.

But logically, I think there would still need to be some 'proximate' cause to account for the problem arising with some softwares (2, at the moment, of which the other is always a 'distinct beast' in terms of midi set-up) ) and not with others (3 that I've tried, one being also from the Notation stable) ?

I've held off further input today because I believe Sherry is a 'church person'. I will update more thoroughly some tim tomorrow.

Thanks for your 2p.

Ian G.

iandg 12-12-2016 02:11 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi - further update
Hallo, everyone

More about my problems with NC and Ketron SD2

(a) I simply restarted NC after booting up (the notebook having been 'off' for some 12 hours)
Loaded Notation's own 'Twinkle' file and tried to play result as before ie something is sent to the SD2, but what comes out is just garbled sound and a lock-up

(Have repeated that today, Monday, with the same result. And then have had both Midi-Illustrator Maestro and Midi-Illustrator Player playing through the SD2 and scrolling happily. I don't like their screen as much as NC but they are working !) )

(b) Removed Notebook and put my Asus Laptop (which has my original purchase of NC3) into the identical hardware set-up.

NC detected the usb midi in, and played a test scale correctly. But then I loaded Notation's own 'Twinkle' file and tried to play result as before ie something is sent to the SD2, but what comes out is just garbled sound and a lock-up

Conclusion: suggests there may be nothing wrong or garbled with the NC set-up on the Notebook, since the NC set-up on the Asus is reacting exactly the same way. In which case, no point in re-installing ?

It is possible that I am doing something wrong somewhere in the set-up but what could that be ?

From first principles: it seems likely either that Notation is not sending some initial code which the SD2 expects, or conversely, that it is sending some code which is not necessary/is actually 'confusing' the SAD2.
Again, I can only speculate on how the parallels that are working, are working ?

(c) Have also experimented with LoopBe virtual midi cable. I have had it recognised as the 'out' of NC and the 'in' of OMB, but I cannot detect that anything is passing from one to the other. Eg if I play Twinkle in NC, it scrolls without sound, but 'record' in OMB does not pick it up.

(d)I haven't previously said anything about Windows versions.
The Notebook runs Win 7 Starter
The Asus runs Win 10, upgraded from an original Win 8 installation.
Are you aware that Windows support for Midi varies significantly for these versions ? What is NC3 principally aimed at ?

(e)The last thing I can think of is that I still have NC 2.6.3 on an old desk-top. I could see whether that will run the SD2 happily. If so, it would do all I need on the Notebook (although I note the help window doesn't record the registration code, and I don't think I've got an installation *.exe for it, either).


Ian G.

dj 12-12-2016 04:47 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi
Hi, Ian:

Nothing to add at the moment, but I've got my thinking cap on about this and am trying to suss it out.


iandg 12-13-2016 09:46 AM

Re: 'dirty' midi - mea culpa
Well, mostly.....
For some time I had had a set-up with a cheap midi controller keyboard as a midi-in - which had its own printer-style usb connection, so I had 'parked the out' cable of the usb-midi cable in the 'out' of my clavi (knowing I could turn it off with a click in what I have been calling 'my other software'.)
Late last week, I changed that, to physically replace the cheapie with my Roland A500 - but that wasn't then connected into the computer-centred connections at all - it had an-old style 5 pin cables set direct to my Korg 03R/W. So the 'out' of the usb-midi cable was 'floating', and I re-parked it in the 'other' socket of the SD2.
This morning I was adjusting again, to re-instate the clavi as a midi-in option, and it suddenly occurred to me that this 'parking' could have been the cause of the conflict with the SD2. And indeed, so it has proved - 'Twinkle' plays nicely (well actually, it's a fairly horrible track !) from NC.
So principally my fault.........though the fact remains that several other softwares coped. It's possible to be too 'sensitive', perhaps ?

Anyway, I can listen and scroll through NC again, thank goodness.


Ian G.

dj 12-13-2016 01:07 PM

Re: 'dirty' midi
Hi, Ian, Sherry:

All's well that ends well, as somebody famous once said.

I think perhaps the other software you were using disabled midi echo as a default, whereas it's on with NC. What you were getting sounds like a midi feedback loop -- every time a note came into the keyboard, it was sent back to NC, which sent it back to the midi keyboard -- and 'round and 'round.

It's always something.


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