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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Windows as a music workstation
How do I play GM from a keyboard?
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Thomas Henry



Joined: Mar 25, 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:07 pm    Post subject: How do I play GM from a keyboard? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi again, all,

I'm still struggling to figure out my new laptop and USB MIDI interface. I've done a few experiments to see where I'm going wrong, and have practically burned up Google searching for info. (See my other thread-starter for how I began this trek).

So not to bore everyone, I'll keep this to one single question:

I want to connect a MIDI keyboard to the USB MIDI interface connected to my laptop, and have it play the Windows GM voice in real time. I don't want to sequence, record, do any waveshaping, etc., just play the GM voices, and I'll worry about latency issues later.

What simple, small software will permit this?

My machine runs Windows XP.

Many thanks,

Thomas Henry
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2007 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm assuming you have something installed on your PC that can play GM sounds. This software should have a settings dialogue somewhere, maybe you can access it from the the system tray att the bottom right of the screen? In the settings dialogue, you should be able to change which MIDI interface and MIDI channel that is used for MIDI input.

If this is not possible, there might not be an already connected MIDI input in that software. No worries, download and install MIDI-OX (http://www.midiox.com), where you can route from MIDI OUTs to MIDI INs that are registered on the PC. You should be able to find MIDI out from your keyboard and MIDI in from the GM software in there. Don't remember from the top of my head where to click in MIDI-OX, but I don't think it will be too difficult.

Hope that works!

/Stefan

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Thomas Henry



Joined: Mar 25, 2007
Posts: 298
Location: Southern Minnesota
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Many thanks for the tip.

Yes indeed MIDI-OX is very nice. It's elegant, easy to use and relatively small. That's what I'll be using from now on.

Next, I've got to take care of the latency/delay problem. I can now play the GM synthesizer, but there is still that annoying lag from when I strike a key to when the sound actually comes out.

But that saga is for another thread...

Thanks again for helping a MIDI newcomer,

Thomas Henry
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Thomas Henry



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Location: Southern Minnesota
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi gang,

*** Windows XP users take note ***

Well, it's been an insane week of Googling, experimenting and using blasphemous language, but I think I've got a handle on this MIDI GM/delay thing. To save others the botheration, I thought I'd write up what works for me.

Here's the deal: The Windows GM Wavetable Synthesizer that comes with Windows XP sounds pretty good, in terms of audio clarity. But it suffers from an inherent quarter-second lag when using it as a standalone, realtime sound generator. As near as I can tell, nothing can be done about that.

So...I decided to forget it altogether and put together the following system:

MIDI-OX for routing MIDI signals within the computer:
http://midiox.com/

SFZ for playing a GM sound file (see next item):
http://www.rgcaudio.com/sfz.htm

FLUID General MIDI sound bank:
http://soundfonts.homemusician.net/collections_soundfonts/fluid_release_3.html

SFARK for decompressing the sound bank files:
http://melodymachine.com/sfark.htm

ASIO4ALL for tweaking the latency problem on audio output:
http://www.asio4all.com/


Note that all of these Windows XP programs are free for the download. With them in place, I can now play GM voices in real time without any appreciable time lag.

In other words, by using the above suite of programs, I can now ignore the disgusting Windows XP GM synth and start making realtime music again. It's not as elegant as simply turning on the computer (which is what I was hoping would be the case with Windows), but it works.

I spents hours and hours this week to arrive at this solutions, with the help of many people providing suggestions along the way. I hope this will save someone else the bother.

In short, if you have Windows XP, get the programs listed above and you'll be all set to go.

Thomas Henry
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Glad to read you found something workable Thomas, and thanks for the report on it.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great information. Thanks for posting. I moved this to the Windows as a music workstation forum since it is Windows specific. Smile
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deknow



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hi thomas,

i think the intended purpose of the xp gm player is for playing midi files off the net, where response time is not an issue. i don't do much music with the computer, but a few things that i suspect you might find interesting:

1. audiomulch- a modular environment that is pretty easy to use. there was a time when i ran audiomulch as part of live sets. this will do vst hosting as well....lots of juicy free vst synths/effects available.

2. synthedit- similar to audiomulch, except that you can save your modular device as a vst (and use them in audiomulch).

deknow
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