Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

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Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:26 am

Hi,
since Cubase 6 will be supported on Windows 7 only, and since my discontinued emagic amt8 8in+8out-ports Midi interface doesn't have win 7 drivers, now I'm going to need a new multiport Midi interface.

I need 7 Midi in + 7 Midi out. Also, I need drivers with multiclient capability (i.e. having the ability to manage Midi from/to multiple Midi applications opened at the same time), and lastly good and trustable SysEx streaming capabilities.

Anyone (with actual experience) can please suggest me some model/make?

Ah, I forgot: I don't care about 64 bit, ATM 32 bits are enough to me.

Thank you all!

Paolo
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Hardware: i3-550 3.2 Ghz ; 4 Gig RAM ; Asus P7H55-M/USB3 ; Echo Gina 24 PCI sound card ; Emagic amt8 8x8 midi interface WORKING ON WIN7 32 BIT (serial connection); Steinberg CMC-TP.
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Bernard Focquet » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:58 pm

M-Audio (aka MidiMan) MidiSport 8x8 - if you can find one (this model is now discontinued).
The (new) MOTU MIDI Express 128 (8x8 USB MIDI interface).

Both are working fine here under Win7; don't know if there are multiclients capable - both are managed by Cubase in my config; SysEx ready.

The (new) MOTU MIDI Express XT (8x8 USB MIDI interface) is supposed to work too - it has an additional MIDI internal routing (patchbay) capability.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby shaquapa » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:48 pm

+1 for the Motu Midi Express 128. Have 2 I've been using for years now with no real problems. Only occassionally I need to disconnect the USB cable and reconnect after a reboot. BTW - I occassionally have that problem with other USB devices, including my iPhone.

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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:50 pm

Bernard Focquet wrote:SysEx ready.


Thanks Bernard. Does that confirm SysEx work? May I ask what kind of SysEx messages you send/receive (hardware model)?

shaquapa wrote:+1 for the Motu Midi Express 128. Have 2 I've been using for years now with no real problems. Only occassionally I need to disconnect the USB cable and reconnect after a reboot. BTW - I occassionally have that problem with other USB devices, including my iPhone.

Shaq


Thank Shaq, what about multiclient capabilities? Did you ever try to use 2 MIDI applications at the same time?

Paolo
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Bernard Focquet » Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:03 pm

Geppastro wrote:
Bernard Focquet wrote:SysEx ready.


Thanks Bernard. Does that confirm SysEx work? May I ask what kind of SysEx messages you send/receive (hardware model)?


by definition and by nature SysEx messages are proprietary... including and not limited to bulk memory download/upload, system firmware update, specific real time parameter messages send/receive, etc...

Cheers,
Bernard
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:48 pm

I think more important is how a MIDI interface handles SysEx at Windows level, and the only diagnostic tool I know of that will highlight this is MIDITest. Have a read of the section "DirectMusic and SysEx" for an explanation.

The MOTU 8x8s seems to be the only real game in town at the moment but there's a simpler device by ESI (the M8U XL) which has the advantage of being "class-compliant", meaning it will work without any 3rd-party drivers on Mac, Windows and Linux. The downside is that class-compliant devices are not multi-client under Windows, but that's Microsoft's fault and not the fault of the device. On Windows these devices all show up as "USB Audio Device" which makes it a pain to manange if you've got more than one.

After all that I have to say I don't own any of these devices although I'm thinking about the MOTU MIDI Express XT. It would be great if someone with one on Windows 7 would be so kind as to test it with MIDITest and let us know how it performs ;)
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:22 am

MrSoundman wrote:I think more important is how a MIDI interface handles SysEx at Windows level, and the only diagnostic tool I know of that will highlight this is MIDITest. Have a read of the section "DirectMusic and SysEx" for an explanation.

The MOTU 8x8s seems to be the only real game in town at the moment but there's a simpler device by ESI (the M8U XL) which has the advantage of being "class-compliant", meaning it will work without any 3rd-party drivers on Mac, Windows and Linux. The downside is that class-compliant devices are not multi-client under Windows, but that's Microsoft's fault and not the fault of the device. On Windows these devices all show up as "USB Audio Device" which makes it a pain to manange if you've got more than one.

After all that I have to say I don't own any of these devices although I'm thinking about the MOTU MIDI Express XT. It would be great if someone with one on Windows 7 would be so kind as to test it with MIDITest and let us know how it performs ;)


Yes some years ago I tried MIDITest on the amt8, serial conection went very well, USB a little less well, so I ended up using serial connection.
Comparative overwiev on that page is really outdate now, It would be great if someone could try MIDI test on Win 7 and some currently available MIDI interfaces.

Paolo
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:54 am

Bernard Focquet wrote:by definition and by nature SysEx messages are proprietary... including and not limited to bulk memory download/upload, system firmware update, specific real time parameter messages send/receive, etc...

What I meant is: did you actually try any long SysEx transfers from/to the MidiSport 8x8 or the MIDI Express 128 and that worked (for example patches dumps from/to any Midi workstation)? I just need a yes or no.

Anyway I've found that the dedicated drivers (not the class complaint ones) of the Midiman interfaces are both multiclient capable and are able to transfer long SysEx : please see here: http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=support.faq&ID=5cd8b889ce691ca8d6b1fa6e44f1c9ac

What about the MOTU?

I'm also interested in the Roland UM3G (3 ins + 3 outs, but you can chain three of them for a total of 9 ins + 9 outs). I've read they have a very good MIDI timing, but I haven't found anything about multiclient capabilities or SysEx capabilities (I guess SysEx capabilities should be good though).

Paolo
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Bernard Focquet » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:04 pm

Geppastro wrote:I just need a yes or no.


Yes.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby MrSoundman » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:31 pm

The E-MU Xmidi 2x2 is one device that is class-compliant, but if you load the Windows drivers it gets a proper "name" and becomes multi-client. It also performs well on large SysEx transfers (tested with MIDITest) but of course it only has 2 ports; I have however used two devices together to get a total of 4 ports, but I don't know how many more can be used simultaneously.

Still considering a MOTU but I don't like supporting manufacturers who refuse to develop Linux drivers or even supply enough information for the community to develop our own (hence class-compliancy is important to me).
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:37 pm

MrSoundman wrote:The E-MU Xmidi 2x2 is one device that is class-compliant, but if you load the Windows drivers it gets a proper "name" and becomes multi-client. It also performs well on large SysEx transfers (tested with MIDITest) but of course it only has 2 ports; I have however used two devices together to get a total of 4 ports, but I don't know how many more can be used simultaneously.

Still considering a MOTU but I don't like supporting manufacturers who refuse to develop Linux drivers or even supply enough information for the community to develop our own (hence class-compliancy is important to me).


Thanks MrSoundman, actually I already have an EMU XMIDI 1X1.

Anyway, for anyone interested here you are my findings so far:

- M-Audio MidiSport 4x4 (x2): both Multiclient and long SysEx capable driver available:
http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=support.faq&ID=5cd8b889ce691ca8d6b1fa6e44f1c9ac
I've no idea about reliability, speed and jitter though;

- Roland UM3G (x3): unfortunately, no good news. About multiclient ability, no definitive answer, but the driver "UM-3G Driver Ver.1.0.0 for Windows® 7 32-bit Edition" Readme file says:
"Cannot select/use the UM-3G device" ... "Could the UM-3G be in use by other software?
Exit all applications that are using the UM-3G, and disconnect/reconnect the USB cable of the UM-3G.
If this does not solve the problem, use the procedure described in "To reinstall" to reinstall the driver.
"
Means no Multiclient capable to me... I also have a Fantom X; I've installed USB/MIDI Win 7 driver for the Fantom, and I've found out they aren't Multiclient. I suspect the UM-3G Win 7 drivers are based on the same code, so...
Long SysEx: it seems there are serious problems here; see Cakewalk Audio & MIDI Interfaces Forum here: http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?m=1852997&high=sysex

- MOTU MIDI Express 128 (x1): according to Bernard Focquet they are SysEx capable, but I've found nothing anywhere about multiclient capability or about their speed and jitter.

- EMU XMIDI 1x1 (x1) + XMIDI 2x2 (x2 or x3): so far they seem the best option. Since I already have a XMIDI 1x1, I've tried the Win 7 driver (on Win 7 Enterprise). I confirm they are both multiclient and long SysEx capable. Unfortunately, I can't try MIDI test: the XMIDI 1x1 has male In/Out MIDI plugs; since I have no female/female MIDI cable available, I can't connect the Out port with the In port to do the test. I could connect for example the XMIDI out to the Fantom MIDI in and the XMIDI In to the Fantom Thru, but I don't know if that could screw the test.

Anyway, maybe I'll buy 3 XMIDI 2x2, plus my XMIDI 1x1 then I'll have the 7 In/out I need. I hope my PC has enough power for that, and that I won't find inexpected problems.

Bye for now...

Paolo
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby MrSoundman » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:36 pm

Useful research Paolo, thanks!
Geppastro wrote: - MOTU MIDI Express 128 (x1): according to Bernard Focquet they are SysEx capable, but I've found nothing anywhere about multiclient capability or about their speed and jitter.
I have a MOTU 828MkII and the MIDI drivers for that are multi-client, have no SysEx issues and are low in jitter according to MIDITest, so I'd be optimistic about the Express 128.
Geppastro wrote:- EMU XMIDI 1x1 [...] I could connect for example the XMIDI out to the Fantom MIDI in and the XMIDI In to the Fantom Thru, but I don't know if that could screw the test.
That will work perfectly and will introduce no jitter or delay as they are electrically directly connected, apart from optocoupler isolation at the input.
Geppastro wrote:maybe I'll buy 3 XMIDI 2x2, plus my XMIDI 1x1 then I'll have the 7 In/out I need. I hope my PC has enough power for that, and that I won't find inexpected problems.
That will use up 4 USB ports, but there will be no power issues as each USB port can supply up to 500mA, which is more than enough for each of the EMUs. The cost of 3x 2x2's will be very close to the Express 128, though ....
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:57 am

Thanks again MrSoundman, very appreciated and informative. About your MOTU 828 MKII, you mean on Win 7 of course, isn't it? So I'll have to reconsider MOTU...

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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby MrSoundman » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:49 pm

Geppastro wrote:MOTU 828 MKII, you mean on Win 7 of course, isn't it?
Yes, Windows 7x64, but has also been used on XP ... MOTU appear to have the same driver "package" for all. I just have a little bit of a thing about MOTU ... their Windows support was flaky up to a few years ago, favouring Mac, but most of all they simply refuse to consider supporting Linux (but then again, neither do Steinberg!). The MOTU Express XT is even more useful if you want to edit hardware synths because of the patchbay functionality, and I think in the meantime may be unique on the market for that reason. Maybe I'll grab one before MIDI is "obsoleted" entirely ....

(By the way, there are many MOTU Express XT's being offered second-hand, but almost all of them are the older parallel-port version, so if you're in the market be sure you're getting the USB version!)
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:43 pm

MrSoundman wrote:
Geppastro wrote:MOTU 828 MKII, you mean on Win 7 of course, isn't it?
Yes, Windows 7x64, but has also been used on XP ... MOTU appear to have the same driver "package" for all. I just have a little bit of a thing about MOTU ... their Windows support was flaky up to a few years ago, favouring Mac, but most of all they simply refuse to consider supporting Linux (but then again, neither do Steinberg!). The MOTU Express XT is even more useful if you want to edit hardware synths because of the patchbay functionality, and I think in the meantime may be unique on the market for that reason. Maybe I'll grab one before MIDI is "obsoleted" entirely ....

(By the way, there are many MOTU Express XT's being offered second-hand, but almost all of them are the older parallel-port version, so if you're in the market be sure you're getting the USB version!)


Hi MrSoundman, unfortunately, I've just received this e-mail from MOTU:

Paolo,
Thank you for your interest.
The Express XT, MTP AV, and micro Express are currently out of production. You will not be able to find a new unit anywhere.
Currently in stock interfaces:
Fastlane
micro Lite
Express 128
I look forward to answering all your technical questions.
If I can be of further service, please let me know.


Damn, that was the one really closest to the amt8!

Paolo
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:52 pm

Just another consideration: no more 8 port MIDI interfaces/patchbay combos available on the market! :evil: :evil: :evil: Maybe that means something? :arrow: :?:

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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby MrSoundman » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:55 pm

Thanks for that piece of research, Paolo -- I find it amazing (and sad) that almost nobody on the planet makes a decent 8x8 MIDI patchbay any more!
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Guest » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:09 pm

MrSoundman wrote:Thanks for that piece of research, Paolo -- I find it amazing (and sad) that almost nobody on the planet makes a decent 8x8 MIDI patchbay any more!


its very sad , midex is out the window and if i can't find a replacement i think i'll follow it ! :cry:

regards
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:43 pm

MrSoundman wrote:The cost of 3x 2x2's will be very close to the Express 128, though ....


Actually, 3 EMU 2x2 will cost me € 147,00 in total; € 254,00 for a MIDI Express 128 instead ...

Anyway, I'm waiting for my Cubase 6 arriving probably next Monday, then I'll try it on WinXp, if it performs well then I'm probably going to stay with my trustable amt8 for another while.

Paolo
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Guest » Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:52 pm

Geppastro wrote:
MrSoundman wrote:The cost of 3x 2x2's will be very close to the Express 128, though ....


Actually, 3 EMU 2x2 will cost me € 147,00 in total; € 254,00 for a MIDI Express 128 instead ...

Anyway, I'm waiting for my Cubase 6 arriving probably next Monday, then I'll try it on WinXp, if it performs well then I'm probably going to stay with my trustable amt8 for another while.

Paolo


c6 runs very stable on xp more stable than c5 , of course there are the minor bugs haven't all .0 got them but no issues after 4 days on this system which has saved loads on midi interfaces at the mo !

regard
john
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:04 pm

filterfreak wrote:c6 runs very stable on xp more stable than c5 , of course there are the minor bugs haven't all .0 got them but no issues after 4 days on this system which has saved loads on midi interfaces at the mo !

regard
john


Thanks Filterfreak.

BTW, in the meantime, I've already installed .net framework 3.5 sp 1 :ugeek:

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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Guest » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:10 pm

Geppastro wrote:
filterfreak wrote:c6 runs very stable on xp more stable than c5 , of course there are the minor bugs haven't all .0 got them but no issues after 4 days on this system which has saved loads on midi interfaces at the mo !

regard
john


Thanks Filterfreak.

BTW, in the meantime, I've already installed .net framework 3.5 sp 1 :ugeek:

Paolo


hi paolo

im sure you will have as many issues as iv'e had (NoN) ,its just the case of installing manually as the autorun does not run but from then on its pain free !!
best of luck
john
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:34 pm

Hi all,
some good news: I've been actually able to install my Emagic amt8 (8 port Midi interface) on Windows 7 32 bit.
This is just the serial (COM) port driver, not the USB one though. Maybe the same method can also work with USB, but since I won't use it I didn't even try.

The full history:
main problem was that the old 2.27 WinXP driver doesn't have a setup file, so you can't use Win 7 XP compatibility mode (the one you activate right-clicking on the .exe file -> Compatibility Tab).
You just have the driver files (.sys, .dll) and an .inf (text) file containing the instructions for the OS to install the driver. I've Tried to install the driver using the .inf file (using the option named something like "install legacy hardware"), but that gave me error messages.
So I've analyzed the .inf file and compared it to the System registry of a WinXP OS having the amt8 driver installed.

Then, I've copied the relevant registry keys from the XP registry, and pasted them to the Win7 registry.

So far it seems to work well, only little problem is I don't see the Settings Tab on the driver Properties from the Device Manager. Anyway, I can easily change those settings directly in the registry... anyone has a clue why I can't see the settings in the driver properties?
Thanks

Paolo
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby MrSoundman » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:11 pm

Geppastro wrote:anyone has a clue why I can't see the settings in the driver properties?
Registry permissions? Right-click the object in RegEdit and select Permissions ... perhaps add the Users group and give it full access?
Cubase 7.5.20 x64 | WaveLab 8.0.3 x64 | HALion 5.0.1 x64 | HSO 1.5 x64 | Midex 3/Midex 8 | Windows 7 x64
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Re: Multiport MIDI interface for Windows 7

Postby Geppastro » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:59 am

MrSoundman wrote:Registry permissions? Right-click the object in RegEdit and select Permissions ... perhaps add the Users group and give it full access?


Tried it: no luck unfortunately. Thank you anyway!

Maybe I didn't explain myself correctly. Here you are some attachments that explain the situation:

amt8 in Win 7
amt8_Win7.jpg
(162.5 KiB) Not downloaded yet


amt8 in Win XP
amt8_WinXP.jpg
(72.02 KiB) Not downloaded yet


amt in Win XP Settings Tab
amt8_WinXP_2.jpg
(67.89 KiB) Not downloaded yet


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Hardware: i3-550 3.2 Ghz ; 4 Gig RAM ; Asus P7H55-M/USB3 ; Echo Gina 24 PCI sound card ; Emagic amt8 8x8 midi interface WORKING ON WIN7 32 BIT (serial connection); Steinberg CMC-TP.
Software: Windows 7 Enterprise-SP1 (32 bit) / Cubase7.5 v7.5.10 (32 bit)
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