Setting up Yamaha DGX-500 as MIDI via Behringer UMC204HD

Yamaha PSR/PSS & DGX Home Keyboards. If your particular model PSR/PSS/DGX keyboard doesn't have it's own section here is the place to post.

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ben1991
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Setting up Yamaha DGX-500 as MIDI via Behringer UMC204HD

Unread post by ben1991 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:00 pm

I'm stumbling my way through getting setup using my new Behringer UMC204HD and have gotten to the point where the MIDI in signal is detected on the audio interface but not the out. Does anyone have any advice or can point me to a better tutorial than those i've found?

Currently I have the MIDI out cable from the keyboard going to the in on the interface and then the out on the interface to the in on the keyboard (that's what I found online, correct me if that's wrong).

I have installed the Behringer drives on my laptop and already recorded directly through line-in. Keyboard recordings sound fine but my guitars sounded bad, but i'll learn about why that is later.

For now I want to focus on using my keyboard as a MIDI controller. I bought the Keyboard a number of years ago so I have no idea exactly how old it is or where to find MIDI drivers for it if required. I found a MIDI driver on Yamaha's site but it is throwing an error saying no device detected.

I'm using Audacity as my DAW and no MIDI controller is being picked up in preferences. The keyboard itself is from 2002 so perhaps that is the issue?

Any help would be greatly appreciated as i'm learning.
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SeaGtGruff
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Re: Setting up Yamaha DGX-500 as MIDI via Behringer UMC204HD

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:27 pm

It sounds to me like you're doing everything right except for your choice of DAW. I'll get to that shortly, but first let me back up for a moment.
ben1991 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:00 pm
Currently I have the MIDI out cable from the keyboard going to the in on the interface and then the out on the interface to the in on the keyboard (that's what I found online, correct me if that's wrong).
That's correct-- OUT goes to IN, and IN goes to OUT. It might seem wrong at first, but think of it this way-- the keyboard's MIDI output needs to go into the interface, and the interface's MIDI output needs to go into the keyboard. So the keyboard's MIDI OUT goes to the interface's MIDI IN, and the interface's MIDI OUT goes to the keyboard's MIDI IN.
ben1991 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:00 pm
For now I want to focus on using my keyboard as a MIDI controller. I bought the Keyboard a number of years ago so I have no idea exactly how old it is or where to find MIDI drivers for it if required. I found a MIDI driver on Yamaha's site but it is throwing an error saying no device detected.
You shouldn't need to install Yamaha's driver, because that driver is for USB-MIDI keyboards, and the DGX-500 has MIDI DIN ports, not a USB-MIDI (or USB TO HOST) port. MIDI DIN ports don't need drivers, but USB-MIDI ports often do-- although some USB-MIDI devices are "class compliant," in which case they normally shouldn't need you to install drivers because they should be able to work with the computer's built-in drivers. If it turns out that you do need to install drivers, they should be the drivers for the interface, since the interface is the device that's actually sending USB-MIDI signals to the computer. That's why the installation program for Yamaha's USB-MIDI driver isn't detecting a device-- it's looking for a device that identifies itself as a Yamaha keyboard, and instead it sees a device that identifies itself as a Behringer interface, or something like that.
ben1991 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:00 pm
I'm using Audacity as my DAW and no MIDI controller is being picked up in preferences.
I believe that that's your problem right there-- as far as I know, Audacity doesn't work with MIDI, only with audio. I think the latest version of Audacity does have some MIDI capability, but not in the way that you need. Unless it's been updated since the last time I looked at it, I believe Audacity lets you load and play MIDI files, but all it's doing is reading the MIDI file and using the computer's built-in "MIDI soft synth" to play the MIDI data. Audacity cannot accept MIDI input from an attached keyboard controller and then either record it or use it to play virtual instruments.

The Behringer interface should come with a complimentary license for the Tracktion DAW, so I would suggest that you download, install, and activate the license for the Tracktion DAW. Tracktion's practice is to charge for the newest version of their DAW-- currently Waveform 10-- and then the previous version of their DAW-- currently Waveform 8-- is available as "bundled OEM software" with selected equipment, such as the Behringer interface. The version that preceded the previous version-- currently T7-- is available for free to anyone who wants to download and install it.

So you could download the free version of Tracktion T7 and get a free license for it from Tracktion, but it would be better to download Tracktion Waveform 8 (assuming that's the version Behringer gave you a license for) and activate it with your complimentary license, because Waveform 8 has additional features beyond what T7 has. Or you could buy Waveform 10, which should be available to you at a reduced upgrade price if you first install and register Waveform 8 using your complimentary license.

Of course, you could also use any other DAW of your choice, as long as it can accept MIDI input-- which almost all DAWs can do. Some people might even say that all DAWs can accept MIDI input, and that Audacity isn't really a "true DAW," but is merely an "audio recording program," or something like that. In any case, if you feel that Tracktion is too overwhelming to learn how to use, you can look around at other DAWs to see if there's one that's more to your liking. Personally, I happen to like Acoustica Mixcraft, which I find to be very easy to use-- but Mixcraft doesn't accept SysEx messages, whereas Tracktion does, so Tracktion is a better choice from that perspective. I happen to have Tracktion T7, as well as a number of other DAWs that I use on occasion-- Ableton Live 10 Lite, PreSonus Studio One 4 Prime, and Steinberg Cubase Elements 9, among others-- so if you run into trouble with a particular DAW then I might be able to help you out.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
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ben1991
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Re: Setting up Yamaha DGX-500 as MIDI via Behringer UMC204HD

Unread post by ben1991 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:51 am

Hi,

Thank you very much for your help and the in depth reply. Shortly after posting I did read some MIDI related things about Audacity which your reply has now confirmed. Behringer do have a bundled download for a bunch of free stuff which included Audacity but I will look into the DAW you suggested instead. I opted for Audacity initially since it is what I am familiar with.

I'm totally new to MIDI so this is all new learning for me.

Thanks for your offer of help with the DAW you use and I will certainly take you up on that if I get stuck.

Ben
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SeaGtGruff
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Re: Setting up Yamaha DGX-500 as MIDI via Behringer UMC204HD

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:00 am

All proper DAWs are very similar as to functionality, but not all DAWs are equal as far as things like user interface, capabilities, advanced functionality, included plug-ins, and perhaps most importantly, price. Most commercial DAWs have three or more editions with varying numbers of features and included plug-ins, and the prices vary from totally free for the "lite" version to several hundreds of dollars (close to a thousand dollars!) for the "ultimate" version. Usually when you buy a DAW that costs a small fortune, I think most of the cost is due to the number and quality of the included plug-ins, which is why the free versions or less expensive versions usually come with either no plug-ins or an assortment of free plug-ins.

I don't think Tracktion includes any plug-ins with their DAWs-- they're sold separately-- but you can use third-party plug-ins with most DAWs, although some may have certain restrictions on what types of plug-ins you can use (meaning VST versus AU versus something else, or more usually 64 bits versus 32 bits). The software bundles that you got with your Behringer interface should include many free plug-ins.

The Acoustica Mixcraft DAW that I love so much comes with a few of its own plug-ins, plus some free third-party plug-ins. As I said, Mixcraft doesn't let you work directly with SysEx messages (although there are free plug-ins that can add SysEx capability to Mixcraft), and neither do Ableton Live nor PreSonus Studio One. But I find Mixcraft to be very simple to use as far as playing virtual instruments using my Yamaha keyboards as controllers, and the 64-bit version of Mixcraft lets you use either 32-bit or 64-bit plug-ins without needing to install a third-party "bridge" program such as jBridge.

The free version of Studio One doesn't let you use third-party plug-ins at all, so you'll be limited to using the included effects and soft synth-- which is pretty darn good, so it might be all you need to start with.

If you're mainly just interested in playing virtual instruments-- as opposed to recording and editing MIDI tracks-- then you might also want to consider just using some sort of standalone plug-in host (such as VSTHost), or standalone virtual instruments and soft synths that don't need a separate host program. There are many excellent virtual instruments and soft synths available from commercial companies like AIR, Arturia, UVI, and many others. Some of them can be rather pricey, but many companies have free software to give you a taste of what's possible and whet your whistle for their other offerings.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
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ben1991
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Re: Setting up Yamaha DGX-500 as MIDI via Behringer UMC204HD

Unread post by ben1991 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:19 pm

Thanks again for your help. I'm going to look at Tracktion right now and hopefully get going.

I was experimenting with simply capturing loops from my keyboard and editing them but for simplicity you can't beat drag and drop for blocks of audio like many editors have.

In an ideal world I want something that feels quite 'plug and play' where I can say I want this instrument, here is my keyboard, capture it. Then afterwards tweak the notes to make the loop fit perfectly to time before saving the loop to a library that I can later use to create a track in a drag and drop format.

edit: The links for the free license of Tracktion on their website no longer seem to work so i've sent off an email to them to check.

The free download that Behringer offer for my product on their site includes some hosts but the only DAW is Audacity it seems. The hosts are chainer103, savihost, svh14 and vsthost

I'm taking a look at Cakewalk also as it was recommended by someone at work.
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Re: Setting up Yamaha DGX-500 as MIDI via Behringer UMC204HD

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:20 pm

Cakewalk is a well-established DAW that is now available for free from BandLab, who had purchased it from Gibson. So it would also be a good choice.

You should have gotten a complimentary license for Tracktion with the Behringer interface, but I don't remember how it works-- that is, whether I actually received the license from Behringer, or just received instructions on how to request the license from Tracktion after providing them with the details of my Behringer product, such as the model ID and serial number, or something like that. But even if you have trouble getting the complimentary license for having bought a Behringer interface, you can still get a free license from Tracktion for their T7 DAW.

But as I said, Cakewalk is also a good choice.
Michael Rideout
Current keyboards: Yamaha YPT-400, PSR-E433, PSR-E443, PSR-EW400, MX49 BK
Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
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