Im losing my mind… basic midi config

Trouble with Synthesia, your keyboard, or adapter? Think you found a bug?
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  • If your keyboard has USB or MIDI ports, there is a tremendously high chance (>99%) it will work with Synthesia. See what you'll need on the keyboards page.
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Alathea_Squared
Posts: 5

Post by Alathea_Squared »

I’m usually pretty good with this stuff, and I’ve configured my controller to work in other Daws, XLN, Air, etc, but I cannot get it to make sound in Synthesia, most current version. Win11, Novation Launchkey 61 mk3, I’ve also run the Logitech registered check.

I get sound in free play, I get sound when setting key range, I get sound on the practice screen before I start a lesson. I DONT get sound when keying inside a lesson/midi. Now, I am using a downloaded midi file, but if I send my output to something else like my Fantom from within Synthesia I can play the notes as they fail but get my sounds from the Fantom (I have a patch with background fill for Robert Mile’s “Children”).

What is a default optimal config for synthesia for a basic midi controller, usb mii, running default factory out of box settings, just to get sound from the synthesia instruments, when you know it outputs to other vsts, etc if you quit synthesia and open up something else right after? I’ve had Synthesia working before with a different controller but it was a few versions ago.
Bavi_H
Posts: 92

Post by Bavi_H »

In the Synthesia settings "Music Output" section, what device do you have enabled for output?

If you are using the "Built-in MIDI Synthesizer", are you using the built-in sound set or another sound set?

Synthesia and most MIDI files are designed to use General MIDI instrument numbers. If your output device doesn't use General MIDI instrument numbers, then perhaps the instrument number that Synthesia is sending from your MIDI file is invalid on your output device and makes no sound at all.

Testing ideas:

In the Hands, Colors, and Instruments screen, try changing the left and right hand parts to the first piano sound and see if your notes play during the game mode.

In the Music Output settings, try enabling the Built-in MIDI Synthesizer. In the "Built-in MIDI Synthesizer" page, if the Sound set option is shown, try choosing the "Built-in sounds by Voice Crystal". Then see if your notes play during the game mode.
Alathea_Squared
Posts: 5

Post by Alathea_Squared »

I’ll give that a shot.

I’m just using default sounds, and I think I’ve tried with internal midi synth both on and off. How can I open a midi file to see what it’s sending on?

I figured that since I could hear it in Watch and listen, and in left or right hand so long as it’s the unplayed part, that it should be fine, and since I could play piano in any other mode besides where you practice a midi file that that was set up ok as well.
Bavi_H
Posts: 92

Post by Bavi_H »

Thanks for the information. Now I wonder if there's some other setting somewhere in the "Music Output" section that is causing the problem.

In Synthesia, if you go to Settings and look at the "Music Output" section, what devices are listed and what words are shown after each device? (For example, it might say "Off", "Everything" or something else.)

Alathea_Squared wrote: 11-29-22 4:38 amI figured that since I could hear it in Watch and listen, and in left or right hand so long as it's the unplayed part, that it should be fine
In my first post, my guess was your output device didn't support all the General MIDI instrument sounds. Now I know the left and right hand parts sound fine in Watch and Listen mode or as an unplayed part it sounds like that initial guess may be wrong.

Alathea_Squared wrote: 11-29-22 4:38 amHow can I open a midi file to see what it’s sending on?
Based on your additional description, I'm less sure this is related to the problem, but here's a way you can check what instrument number Synthesia is sending: In the Hands, Colors, and Instruments screen, what is the instrument sound listed for the left hand part and for the right hand part?
Alathea_Squared
Posts: 5

Post by Alathea_Squared »

Here are the settings I have so far for Input and Output. In the output my keyboard is set to "My Notes", Output is "on", all other tic boxes are "off", and Midi Channel is "all".

Right now I have L and R hand set to "acoustic Grand" Channel 5 (L), and Channel 1 (R), and Acoustic Grand (or similar) is what I hear by default when setting up the key range, etc.

I've tried some of the synth settings, etc, as well, and they all seem to be Channel 5 L, and Channel 1 R.

Midi Channel for 'keys' on my Launch key is channel 1

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Here is the Advanced Settings, currently. I turned on Bank and Sysex to experiment with, but same- no sound in practice mode regardless of setting, but if I let it play on its own (watch play) it sounds, even if I change instruments.

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Alathea_Squared
Posts: 5

Post by Alathea_Squared »

I found it. In the "super secret mode" (press shift when opening program) I found that the Midi Input channel was set to 16. Not sure what it is supposed to be (I think I changed it because I tried to get my Roland Fantom to work with this as well, and its default is set to 16). I changed it to 0 and my Launchkey now works with Practice mode.

*whew....* I knew all those years of programming and software testing would pay off some day.....

Thanks for your assistance and nudges in various directions! IF anyone knows what Midi 0 is in Synthesia, Id love to know. Assumption is that its "omni" or "all"?

Does this advanced edit mode also exist in the Ipad App version?
Nicholas
Posts: 13050

Post by Nicholas »

Alathea_Squared wrote: 11-29-22 10:45 amNot sure what it is supposed to be...
The "Reset" button there will always return each setting to its default value. If the button is disabled, it's already set to its default.
Alathea_Squared wrote: 11-29-22 10:45 amIf anyone knows what Midi 0 is in Synthesia, Id love to know.
In the advanced window you're seeing the totally raw, internal values that Synthesia uses for stuff. It usually treats MIDI channels as a zero-based value instead of the way the MIDI standard describes it should always be presented to the user as ones-based. So a zero in the advanced window is really just MIDI channel 1. (Sorry for the confusion.)
Alathea_Squared wrote: 11-29-22 10:45 amDoes this advanced edit mode also exist in the Ipad App version?
Nope. I've been trying to migrate the most important things from that list to inside the app so iPad and Android users can reach those settings, too.
Bavi_H
Posts: 92

Post by Bavi_H »

Alathea_Squared wrote: 11-29-22 10:45 amIF anyone knows what Midi 0 is in Synthesia, Id love to know. Assumption is that its "omni" or "all"?
Nicholas wrote: 11-29-22 1:28 pmIn the advanced window you're seeing the totally raw, internal values that Synthesia uses for stuff. It usually treats MIDI channels as a zero-based value instead of the way the MIDI standard describes it should always be presented to the user as ones-based. So a zero in the advanced window is really just MIDI channel 1. (Sorry for the confusion.)
As Alathea_Squared discovered, it looks like the advanced setting Midi.InputChannel controls what input channel number Synthesia requires during the game modes. According to my tests:
  • 0 means any input channel number will work during the game modes.
  • 1 to 16 means Synthesia will only accept input from channel 1 to 16 during the game modes.
  • Any other number disables input during the game modes.
However, for another advanced setting, Metronome.Channel, values 0 to 15 represent channels 1 to 16.


Technical Information - Channel Numbers
Spoiler:
MIDI Channels are numbered from 1 to 16. In the raw bits of MIDI messages, bit values from 0 to 15 represent channels 1 to 16. When reading source code or changing hidden settings, you may sometimes have to understand that a value of 0 to 15 corresponds to channels 1 to 16. Also, some MIDI software by hobby programmers will display channels numbers to users as 0 to 15, but this is a non-standard usage. The majority of MIDI software, hardware, and documents will refer to the MIDI channels by their standard numbers 1 to 16.

Technical Information - Omni and MIDI Modes
Spoiler:
By default, in the game modes, Synthesia doesn't care what the channel number is on input messages, it just looks at the pitch of the note. In MIDI terminology, this behavior of not caring about the channel number of input messages is indeed called "Omni" (one of the "Omni On" modes), but that's kind of technical jargon. I think it's more understandable to use words like the input channel is "any channel" or "don't care" or "all channels control the same sound".


If a device requires a specific channel number, and non-matching channel messages are ignored, that's called "Omni Off".

If a device doesn't care about the incoming channel number and any channel number controls the same instrument sound, that's called "Omni On".

If a device uses all the incoming channel numbers and remembers which instrument sound each channel is using, that's called "Multi" or "multi-timbral". A multi-timbral device can be considered as being made of 16 single-channel "Omni Off" sub-devices for channels 1 to 16 that are all listening to the same MIDI input.


In the non-game modes, Synthesia behaves in a "multi-timbral" way (all channels are unique). If you send a Program Change message to change the instrument sound of a single channel it is uniquely remembered for just that channel. However, each time you change to another screen, Synthesia resets all of the channels back to the first piano sound.

In the game modes, Synthesia behaves in a "Omni On" mode by default (all channels control the same sound). If you change the advanced setting Midi.InputChannel to values 1 to 16, Synthesia behaves in an "Omni Off" mode (only one channel is obeyed).


For older devices that are not multi-timbral and mainly work on a single channel, there's actually four so-called "MIDI modes". If you are technically curious, you can start reading about MIDI modes here and here. Modern devices are usually multi-timbral (all 16 channels are uniquely handled) and the four "MIDI modes" aren't used.
Nicholas
Posts: 13050

Post by Nicholas »

Bavi_H wrote: 11-29-22 8:37 pmAccording to my tests...
Ha! This is not the first time Bavi_H has been able to correct one of my off-the-cuff statements about how my own code works. :lol:

I just double-checked (even though I knew I didn't need to), and Bavi_H is correct. For that one (and only one?) setting, I'm using zero as a sentinel value to mean "it doesn't matter which channel input arrives on". In retrospect, to make it consistent with the rest of the zero-based settings, I probably should have used something like -1 instead of zero. Oh well.

I actually have a to-do item on the list (spurred on by this suggestion) to not only promote the "input channel" setting to inside the app (instead of using the configuration window) but to also make it a per-device setting, so each connected keyboard could have its own input channel.
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