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Windows MIDI Setup
How to Setup your Windows XP MIDI Studio
Using a MIDI Interface
by Ron Tongue

Setting up and configuring your Windows MIDI studio in XP is quite easy. Although Microsoft has released newer operating systems, I'm sticking with XP until they work more of the bugs out. As of now, these instructions will work for Windows XP MIDI, I'm not sure about their newer operating systems. If you have the newer OS and these work, please let me know.

Follow the steps below to begin.

Step 1: Install the drivers to your MIDI interface.

Windows MIDI Driver Wizard

Make sure you read the instructions that came with your MIDI interface while doing this. I have the MOTU MIDI Timepiece AV. I had to:

  1. Download the most recent drivers from MOTU's website.
  2. Run the "Setup" file
  3. Connect my MIDI Interface using a USB cable.
  4. Turn on the MIDI Interface.
  5. Windows driver-installer wizard should launch automatically.
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions.

Your setup should be something similar to mine above.

TIP!! If you turn your MIDI interface on and Windows does not automatically launch the drivers install wizard. Do this:

  1. Open your "Control Panel"
  2. Choose "Performance and Maintenance"
    Windows Performance
  3. Choose "System"
  4. Click on the "Hardware" tab
  5. Choose the "Device Manager"
  6. Locate your device in question
    Windows MIDI Device Manager
  7. Right click on it and choose "Update Drivers"
  8. Follow the onscreen instructions

Step 2: Configure Windows MIDI to use your MIDI Interface.

  1. Open your "Control Panel" window
  2. Choose "Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices"
    Windows MIDI Sounds Speech Audio Devices
  3. Choose "Sounds and Audio Devices"
  4. Click on the "Audio Tab"

    Windows MIDI Audio

  5. Choose your MIDI interface from the "MIDI Music Playback" drop-down menu.

    Windows MIDI Playback

  6. Click "Apply"

If your MIDI interface does not show up on the "MIDI Music Playback" drop-down menu, then either your interface is turned off, or the drivers were not installed properly. If the drivers are not properly installed, go back and repeat step one.

Step 3: Launch your Windows MIDI software.

When launching your MIDI software for the first time, it may ask you to configure your MIDI device input and output settings. If so, you should be able to choose your MIDI interface for the input and output.

Sonar 2 MIDI Outputs

Windows MIDI Devices

You may or may not need to configure your MIDI software to work with your MIDI interface. Refer to your users manual for specific instructions on your MIDI software.

Step 4: Connect your MIDI interface to your MIDI keyboard or instrument.

Remember the "MIDI IN" on your interface goes to the "MIDI OUT" on your instrument and the "MIDI OUT" on your interface goes to the "MIDI IN" on your instrument. Once you've got it, go back and double check it. This is the most common mistake when setting up a MIDI studio.

Step 5: Power on your MIDI keyboard or instrument.

You may need to put your MIDI keyboard in some sort of MIDI, mix, or layer mode. Refer to your owners manual for specifics.

Step 6: Choose the proper MIDI pc settings for each MIDI track in your MIDI recording software.

Sonar Track Properties

For each track, you'll need to choose the proper MIDI channel and patch.

For example (generic example), let's say you have piano (patch 001) on channel one.

  1. On your keyboard, select the piano patch for channel one.
  2. In your MIDI software, set "Track 1" to "Channel 1."
  3. In your MIDI software, set the patch to "001 piano."

Congratulations! You are finished setting up your Windows MIDI PC recording studio.

Troubleshooting!! If you are still having problems there are a several places you can go for help.

  1. Use the Windows "help" features.
  2. Refer to your MIDI interface instructions.
  3. Refer to your MIDI software instructions.
  4. Refer to your MIDI keyboard owners manual.

Back to Windows MIDI Setup Options.

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