UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Anything to do with Midi. Controller Keyboards, Midi gear, software etc.

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UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Xlyophonetic » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:36 pm

Hello, everybody.

I registered just because I am desperate about a problem I have been having for two years now, on and off. I had decided to build a mini studio in my room (a makeshift studio; only the basics, as much as budget allows) a few years ago and to purchase a DAW because I could not afford studio time, so I could make some demos in the lack-of-better-choice bedroom tradition. After some deliberation I decided to purchase the most affordable DAW at the time (this was in 2017. I will not name the DAW here because whenever I mentioned I'd had a problem in this official DAW's forums, I was excoriated from the fanboys, and I am not a proponent of fanaticism about anything (i.e. because this is perfect for me, and it is the whole meaning of my life, it cannot possibly not be so perfect or even be flawed for anyone else), and I am in no mood for any potential fanboys trying to flay me here (they lurk everywhere) and accuse me of fabricating the problems I am having (because that's what people do, invent problems, because problems are fun; if you don't have them, invent them!) like I was accused there.

So I purchased this DAW, and I purchased THE UX16 MIDI connector for my YAMAHA PSR portable grand keyboard (I don't know which exact model it is, but it is an older one), and from the beginning, I have been having problems with getting the keyboard to transmit signals to the DAW, so I can play my virtual instruments. These problems have been occuring on and off; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Now, my problem is that I don't know whether this is the problem of the MIDI connector or the DAW.

The reason I don't know is because I have had many, many issues with the DAW, and I have Googled this problem to find that other people say this is a DAW problem. I had asked for help on the aforementioned DAW forums, but was mocked and derided for daring to suggest this might be the percious DAW issue, instead of being helped. I then reached out to their so-called ''tech support'', who did nothing but immediately point the finger to YAMAHA and invested the energy and time to tell me ''shrug. Write to Yamaha''. This was their solution. I need not mention I am done with this DAW as soon as I can afford anything in the higher price range with tech support that is not just a bunch of idle, clueless bots (if there is such a thing; I have not tested beyond this DAW yet).

So my only option is to ask here. The problem is this: I have all my FUNCTION settings on my YAMAHA set correctly, as per manual (the numbers 82, 84, and 85, most importantly). The MIDI hubs are set up correctly. The problem is, as far as I understand it, the UX16 MIDI connector has two lights; the red, indicating the driver is installed and it's working, and green, which should only light up if MIDI signal is being transmitted from keyboard to DAW. This is not the case. Both lights are on constantly, whether I play or not, only green is flashing ever so slightly. When I open my DAW and try to play my YAMAHA, nothing is being transmitted, and I don't know whether this is the problem of the DAW or the UX16 (which I have also read was problematic, and I assume is why it has been discontinued). The other day, for example, it worked for awhile, and I could play my virtual instruments, then I closed the DAW, and opened the next day, and it wasn't working again. That's why I thought some setting in the DAW must have reset itself, but the ''tech support'' insist they are impeccable, and the problem is YAMAHA. Their finger-pointing techniques--even if the problem is the MIDI controller--are hardly inspiring.

I hope someone here has an idea of what I am talking about and has a few suggestions as to what I might try. I am certain I have forgotten some vital data here and there, so if you need any other information, ask me. Thanks!
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Saul » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:20 pm

Hi Xlyophonetic and welcome to the forums :)

First let me assure you there will be no flaming here, we simply do not allow it. Everyone can post on this forum without having to worry about being ridiculed so please do not worry about mentioning the name of your DAW.

I suppose the first thing we need to sort out is to establish if MIDI data is moving to and from your PSR. Given that you said it works sometimes I am guessing it is not an issue to do with your keyboard or the UX16.

You may already know this but I will mention it for others who might not but, with older non usb compliant keyboards...i.e ones that need a midi driver, you have to start things in a certain sequence or they won't work. In this case it means you must always turn on the keyboard before you start your DAW software or it will not see the keyboard.

If you are doing that then it points to either the midi driver or the DAW but we need to know which DAW it is so do let us know?
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Derek » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:19 pm

Hi,

No flaming is allowed here, so feel free to mention what is relevant, including the DAW you use. People may have had similar problems....

If I were you, I'd verify the MIDI connection independently of the DAW, as this will veryify that the basic MIDI data is getting to the computer. Basic trouble shooting advice is to try and work through the chain component by component so you can either eliminate what it isn't or find what it is...

If you have a PC then get a copy of MIDI OX, if a MAC then Snoize MIDI Monitor . Install one of these, set it to use your MIDI driver and monitor the MIDI traffic to see that things happen when you use your PSR.

Some other things to be aware of....

Whilst USB 2 devices (and most musical devices remain USB 2 as USB 3 gives little advantage over USB 2 for audio) are meant to work in USB 3 ports, I have had several examples where they do not work reliably in USB3 ports, and all problems are resolved when you either plug them into a USB 2 port on your computer, or you put a USB 2 powered hub in circuit. As your problem is intermittent, this is something well worth checking. My MOTU MIDI Express 128 is USB 2 and is rock solid in a USB 2 port, but you get all sorts of problems if you plug it in a USB 3 port,

Second, whilst hopefully the fact that the UX16 is made by Yamaha, so hopefully it is a good interface, my own view is if you are serious about MIDI then avoid these "USB MIDI Leads". 99 times out of a 100, MIDI problems reported about my Java Librarians are resolved when a decent interface is used to replace a $10 lead purchased from Ebay. I note that this Yamaha interfac is in a different price Range, so hopefully it is more reliable with better drivers and a decent sized MIDI data buffer. A "proper interface" like a MIDISPORT 2x2 do not cost much. It might not be your problem, as I would hope that a Yamaha USB MIDI lead would be one of the best, but.....

Anyhow, some things to check before getting anywhere near your mystery DAW. :)
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Derek Cook

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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:02 pm

It would definitely help if you tell us the name (and possibly the version number) of the DAW, as well as the model number of your keyboard. There should be a plate or label somewhere on the keyboard with the serial number on it, and the model ID should also be printed on it. If you have the Owner’s Manual, the model name should also be prominently printed on the cover. Knowing the keyboard model and the name of the DAW will let us look up the appropriate reference manuals for each.
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by parametric » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:13 am

Hi Xlyo - and welcome to the forums . . . .

That is ALL good advice.

Do NOT be shy to admit to having problems. We ALL had to start somewhere with this stuff, and in these Forums you are

amongst people that will understand what you are trying to do . . .

Let us know the details of your Gear and software, and we'll almost certainly be able to help . .

ATB

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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Xlyophonetic » Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:57 am

Hello, everyone,

I want to thank you all for your prompt responses; I searched this forum for similar problems and the closest I found, the OP only received one reply, if that, so I was afraid I would lose even more time (as you are all fellow creative types, if I dare presume, you know what it is like with the urge to simply create, not get bogged down with the technical stuff) waiting for a reply, perhaps in vain. Also, thank you for welcoming me and assuring me I will not be flamed (I have my fire-proof armour on, just in case, because internet :lol: ).

Again I must emphasise that because this DAW is giving me a difficult time, I am not implying it is a terrible DAW. If people say it works flawlessly for them, I will not contest that; for me, though, it has been more trouble than joy so far. If you need to know the DAW, I will tell you.The mystery DAW in question here (truly in question, because I have no answers to it yet) is Studio One, made by Presonus. I should also mention that I am using another Presonus product, the AUDIOBOX96 as an interface(which has since been discontinued); I believe you can still Google it (tested: yes, you can), to see what it looks like.

Ah, my YAMAHA model. I don't have a manual for it, because money is tight, and I most of the things I've got for recording I had to purchase off other people, more or less used (expect for AUDIOBOX and UX16, which were new when I bought them). So, my YAMAHA is PSR-225 FE SER. NO 9154060 (info on the sticker on its back. A PORTATONE. This one:https://www.google.com/search?q=PORTATO ... re3XZhZQuM:

My keyboard is always on, so the FUNCTION settings don't reset.

@DEREK: I will install the MIDIOX, but I hope I can figure out how to use it. And the USB ports; I am on the beginner spectrum when it comes to USbs and production and a computer-challenged person, so I am a bit confused here. Are the USB ports numbered? Which one is which? I was advised by a Presonus tech person to purchase a USB hub, so that's where I have everything plugged in now.

My set up is like this: YAMAHA MIDI OUT (into which I have the MIDI in plugged; I was told the MIDI out should not be plugged in) > to USB hub, into which the AUDIOBOX is also plugged ( I used to have the out MIDI cable plugged into AUDIOBOX, but was told that was wrong). Then USB hub plugged into my PC. Both lighst are ON, and I believe the green light should not be on unless I am actually playing the keyboard. It is always on, but this notwithstanding, it used to work on and off.

Here is my MIDI cable: https://www.google.com/search?q=ux16+mi ... 20&bih=916


I hope I have provided some relevant info, but if you need more (and perhaps screenshots of my STUDIO ONE settings), please ask. I really, really want to be done with the cables and the USB ports and whatnot, and just get creative without trembling that something will stop working again. I have read about people giving up because the technological aspect of music-making is too difficult and time-consuming, but I have invested too much time, energy and money into this to give up. Most importantly, have no intention on quitting music because of a technical hiccup or two. Speaking of money, I will kindly ask for advice about what I can do with the gear I've got; as helpful as advice to buy this and that might be, I have spent thousands of euros on the gear over the span of three years (all my savings), and unless I win the lottery, there is absolutely no chance for me to purchase anything over 50$ (even that would be a problem, as I am still paying off a lot of this gear) for a long, long time.

I have given up on the Presonus tech support, and they have obviously given up on me, so I really hope I find a solution here. First step is establishing what's the problem, and I will be really angry if I find out this is a Presonus issue, because they have all but bet their lives on their proclamation that is is definitely, in no possibility, a PRESONUS issue, but YAMAHA'S.

I see you are kind, helpful people, so my hopes are wonderfully high that this may be resolved soon and I can get creative to make use of the gear I had spent so much money on :music-guitarred:

EDIT: Oops, double post. I just wanted to edit it, now there is no possibility for me to delete the first, typo-replete one. Any pointers on how to do that?
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Miks » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:02 pm

Xlyophonetic wrote:there is no possibility for me to delete the first, typo-replete one. Any pointers on how to do that?
Done :wink:
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Saul » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:46 pm

Thanks for all the info on the gear you are using, it helps a lot.

One thing though, if you have the Audiobox96..which is a great interface by the way, why are you using the UX16 connection?

Your PSR has standard 5 pin MIDI ports and so does the Audiobox. So if you took midi leads from the PSR into the Audiobox you would have a much more reliable MIDI connection than if you use the UX16.

I used to use Presonus Studio One myself for processing YouTube audio but now I go straight into the camera so do everything in Final Cut Pro...for videos that is. I do still have Studio One Artist although not installed at the moment.

I also had the Presonus Audiobox iTwo which again was a great bit of kit but I now use a USB desktop mixer as I find it more versatile.

There is an online manual for your keyboard here https://www.manualslib.com/manual/19688 ... tml#manual

I think it is crazy for people to assume that because a piece of software...in this case Presonus Studio One works faultlessly for them it should do so for everyone else. There are always a lot of variables involved when using and type of software and this is especially true if you are using a PC because there are so many different form factors out there. Different combinations of motherboard, cpu, memory and so on can all have an affect on how something works. Macs are less prone to this because the hardware is locked down by Apple but, even so things don't always work. I can't use Cubase on my iMac as it simply refuses to work no matter what I do and that includes Steinberg themselves spending weeks trying to figure it out. I gave up in the end.

Why on earth did a Presonus tech advise you to purchase a USB hub? Perhaps you did not have enough free USB ports on your computer?

From what you have said it seems you have been given some very bad and confusing advice. No wonder you are struggling to get things working!

Anyway, if I were you this is what I would do.

Forget the UX16 as it is just one more connection in the chain to get in the way. You have midi ports on your keyboard and your audio interface so you do not need the UX16.

Buy two normal 5 pin MIDI cables such as these https://amzn.to/2H8CVt3

Take the MIDI OUT from your keyboard to the MIDI IN on the AudioBox96

Take the MIDI OUT from the AudioBox96 to the MIDI IN of your keyboard.

In Presonus Studio select the AudioBox96 as your MIDI In and MIDI out.

Sam for any standalone soft synths you might be using. Just select the AudioBox96 as your MIDI In and MIDI out.

I don't think you mentioned what you are using to listen to the AUDIO on? Powered Monitors connected to the outputs of your AudioBox? Or perhaps you are listening through the computer speakers or headphones?

We will get you up and running one way or another so never worry about asking us to clarify something you do not understand. None of us were born with the knowledge of how to do all these things and even the most experienced of us can lear something new all the time :)
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Derek » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:10 pm

I agree with Saul, and it is a way to eliminate a potential problem if you have several MIDI interfaces. Do you get the same before with both? Yes then it is not the MIDI interface. No, then it is the MIDI interface....

MIDI OX is not that hard to use. There are probably plenty of tutorials on the Web, but if you get stuck let us know and we will help.
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Xlyophonetic » Sun Mar 10, 2019 8:17 pm

Thanks for your kindness and positive attitude, all!
I am so used to abuse from the Presonus forums (I Googled it, and found out a chap dedicated awhole blog just to talk about how dreadfully he'd been treated treated there, too, so it's not just me). I told them I was new at this, and that I am not in the least interested in music production or technology, only in writing songs, but that I don't know anyone who's into these things to help me, so I can either give up or teach myself the basics (after I'd said I haven't got ANYBODY to help me and asked them for help, they said ''why don't you ask your friends'' lol). They mocked me for asking the same questions (not that anybody bothered to explain, really, so um, yes, I kept asking the same questions). When you chaps talk about USB and connectors and cables and such, what I am reading is $#&/(#"%, really. It's a foreign language to me, as much as I try to keep up and learn as I go, so please bear with me.

I have found that manual online, too, and I've gone over many times, and I believe with a fair arrogant certainty that all my keyboard settings are correct now. The reason I have the UX16 is that I knew absolutely nothing about anything when I ordered all this gear two years ago. It happened to be Black Friday, I Googled really quickly, and ordered while I could afford it. Apparently I was lead to believe I needed it, I suppose. So if understand correctly, I don't need it at all, and should just purchase a regular USB cable? Ugh. The tech support chap and I had a remote control session where he fixed the settings to be as they are now--perhaps some screenshots might help you (if it still won't work)? It seems the cables you suggest don't cost a fortune, so I will try to find those and see if anything changes. If so, I've got a rodent roomie who is very fond of cables, and I shall be none to drowned in tristesse to offer him the UX16 that has caused me so much grief :p

I only have the AUDIOBOX96 as an interface, and even this one cost me a fortune (for my monthly budget, I mean), so I can't test it this way, nor have I any connection to the music production community so that I could borrow one, alas. However, the MIDI OX sounds interesting, although I will try the cables suggested first; perhaps that will solve all the problems, no bleeding lights to puzzle me and all.

I Googled the tech support chap, and it seems he's got 30+ experience in music production/gear, so I was very disappointed that the upshot of my ticket was ''write to YAMAHA''. He said I should get a USB hub because the computer may be using too much power and the cable may not work because of that or something.

Oh, yes, I use a set of headphones to listen. Just a regular set of headphones, and that works now (that, also, had not worked before).

I am going to try to find those cables tomorrow and set them up just like you said, and I am going to return with results. If I know myself at all, I will get stuck setting everything up and will come begging for help here soon enough, or I may surprise myself. I honestly thought this is the only MIDI I can use, because if I Google YAMAHA MIDI connector, this is the only result that I get. Now that I know it is not, I am going to try the cable you suggested. I shall report back tomorrow.
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:49 pm

I've only quickly glanced at the replies, so I don't know if this was already mentioned, but one thing you should be aware of is that PreSonus Studio One does not accept SysEx (i.e., System Exclusive) messages. This doesn't mean it isn't a good DAW, and it certainly isn't the only DAW that doesn't accept SysEx messages-- neither do Ableton Live and Acoustica Mixcraft. I use all three of these DAWs, and the last one-- Mixcraft-- happens to be my personal favorite DAW, with Studio One probably being tied with one or more other DAWs for second place.

The thing is, Yamaha and other keyboard manufacturers use SysEx messages for certain important functions, such as resetting the keyboard (or many of its settings anyway) with the "GM System On" and "XG System On" messages, or for selecting Reverb Type and Chorus Type and other DSP effects types, along with controlling many other settings and functions via XG messages and other Yamaha-specific SysEx messages. (XG messages are SysEx messages.)

If you are sending MIDI data from your PSR-225 to the Studio One DAW to be recorded, you might not even miss (i.e., need) the SysEx messages, because Studio One will dutifully record the various channel events and Control Change events. But if you are sequencing MIDI data from Studio One to the PSR-225 then you might notice certain things not sounding as expected due to the Reverb Type and other DSP effects being set differently on the keyboard than when you originally recorded it-- and Studio One didn't record the SysEx messages and therefore couldn't send them back to the keyboard to make sure those things were set up the same way as before. The worst case scenario might be if there's a situation where certain things on the PSR-225 need to be reset using "GM System On" or "XG System On" but Studio One can't send those messages.

I'll reply further later this evening to describe setting up the keyboard in Studio One and maybe suggest possible workarounds to the lack of SysEx messages in Studio One.
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Saul » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:36 pm

I think many of us forget how hard all this terminology is to understand if you are not familiar with it all. Just connecting something via USB can be a mystery for someone who only switches on the computer and checks email and browses the web. Also there are many different ways to explain something, personally I am what is known as a "Visual Learner". If I see something being done I understand it much easier than if I have to read about how to do it.

There is nothing wrong with using Studio One although as Michael mentioned if you want to do anything complex with it you might encounter problems with the lack of SysEx support but I don't think that is anything you need be concerned about at this stage of the game.

Anyway we will take it one step at a time and see how we get on.
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by SeaGtGruff » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:09 am

Just to be clear, I don’t think lack of SysEx support is the cause of the reported issue.

Based on the remark that the keyboard is being left on (if I understood correctly) in order to preserve its settings, I wonder if there might be a problem with the computer going to sleep, and when it’s woken back up it’s “lost” the connection with the PSR-225, or something along those lines?
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Current controllers: M-Audio Axiom 61-II
Previous keyboards: Farfisa Matador 611; Casio CTK-710
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Xlyophonetic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:59 pm

Saul wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:36 pm
I think many of us forget how hard all this terminology is to understand if you are not familiar with it all. Just connecting something via USB can be a mystery for someone who only switches on the computer and checks email and browses the web. Also there are many different ways to explain something, personally I am what is known as a "Visual Learner". If I see something being done I understand it much easier than if I have to read about how to do it.

There is nothing wrong with using Studio One although as Michael mentioned if you want to do anything complex with it you might encounter problems with the lack of SysEx support but I don't think that is anything you need be concerned about at this stage of the game.

Anyway we will take it one step at a time and see how we get on.
What you said exactly. I am glad to see you are aware of this; it is similar with a concert pianist trying to explain complex time signatures to someone who knows nothing about music theory, and not seeing why the first time student is slow to catch up. I know very little music theory, only the bare minimms, but I know more than I know about computers, USBs, DAWs, music production etc. I have never been interested in any of these things, to be honest, and exactly as you said, until about two years ago--when things soured between myself and a chap I used to work with (I did the creative bits; he did the production bits)--when I had no other recourse but to learn it myself, or wait for a producer/tech whiz to help me out of pure joy and for no charge to fall into my lap, and though I've got my head, hands, and a foot in the clouds being the chaotic creative type, I have one foot in the ground enough to be low on faith for the last option :lol: Before this, I used the computer for what you said--to browse the web and check my emails. I didn't even know what a folder was, I think. I am very happy I have come in contact with people like you, because it forces me to learn and improve, and as much as I can't say technology makes my heart beat faster like creative endeavours can, I have never regretted learning about it. I like to depend on myself for as much as I can, so a few learning curve-induced headaches are a small price to pay for that.

I also agree about the visual demonnstrations being more conducive to learning than manuals. It's like driving a vehicle. For me, at least, I would remember easier a path to somewhere if I drove through it a few times than if I were just handed a map.

What complex things did you have in mind?
Last edited by Xlyophonetic on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: UX16 MIDI TROUBLE BLUES

Unread post by Xlyophonetic » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:08 pm

SeaGtGruff wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:09 am
Just to be clear, I don’t think lack of SysEx support is the cause of the reported issue.

Based on the remark that the keyboard is being left on (if I understood correctly) in order to preserve its settings, I wonder if there might be a problem with the computer going to sleep, and when it’s woken back up it’s “lost” the connection with the PSR-225, or something along those lines?
My computer is set to ''never sleep'', so it's always on. Would you be as kind as to explain what exactly this SysEx support is? Like Saul said, I am finding these new terms rather difficult to follow, and in two years that I've talked DAWs on furms, nobody's mentioned this yet.

I have not been able to procure the cables today (I live far from any tech store), but it looks like I should have them by tomorrow. I think that's a great idea, to find out whether the problem is the UX16. If the new cables work, then it was. If not, and the problem is with SO, it must be SO. I don't think I should have trouble setting these up, so here's to hoping I can report the results tomorrow.
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