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MIDI Port Limitations
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mamero
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#1
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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MIDI Port Limitations

I've recently upgraded and added a second networked MOTU MTP AV. I now have a total of 4 x Midi Timepiece AV's running off 2 USB ports. I also have a Virus TI, V-Synth XT, and Machinedrum each running off their own USB midi ports. So I have roughly a total of 35 midi ports I need access to. My DAW is Sonar 8.5 in Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3. In Sonar some of my MIDI ports are no longer showing now that I've added the extra MTP. Have I reached the limit of XP's capabilities? Are there any work arounds to increase the number of ports available? Do I need to upgrade my OS? I really hope not. Please help.
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1st March 2012
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32 is the limit
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1st March 2012
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Uhm....do you really need 512 midi channels ?

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1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altitude909 View Post
32 is the limit
This is true... Windows XP MIDI Port limits

You must be pretty slutty to need 35 midi ports!
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2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamero View Post
I've recently upgraded and added a second networked MOTU MTP AV. I now have a total of 4 x Midi Timepiece AV's running off 2 USB ports. I also have a Virus TI, V-Synth XT, and Machinedrum each running off their own USB midi ports. So I have roughly a total of 35 midi ports I need access to. My DAW is Sonar 8.5 in Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3. In Sonar some of my MIDI ports are no longer showing now that I've added the extra MTP. Have I reached the limit of XP's capabilities? Are there any work arounds to increase the number of ports available? Do I need to upgrade my OS? I really hope not. Please help.
Midi THRU? = )
mamero
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2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
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The issue for me (and the reason to add another pair of networked Midi Timepieces) is not the number of midi channels. I agree 512 channels is WAY over the top. The issue is the number of physical ins and outs. For my workflow I mostly sequence. I do very little audio except for some occasional vocals and final mix. It’s important to have all my gear with a direct MIDI IN and MIDI OUT connection whenever possible. This allows me to record knob movements into Sonar and also allows for proper communication with SYSEX and patch editing. Yes I’m old school.

MIDI Thru does work to some degree and I have used this a lot in the past. It has one major limitation though. Only the last device in the chain will transmit data out to the DAW. So, I can record knob movements on the last device but not others further up the chain. There also is a limit on how many devices you can reliably chain together before you start having issues. Especially when syncing MIDI clock.

If XP has a 32 port limit then I guess the time has come to upgrade. I’m considering making the jump to Windows 7 64 bit. Can anyone confirm if the 32 MIDI port limitation in XP has been corrected and increased in Windows 7?
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4th March 2012
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mamero
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5th March 2012
Old 5th March 2012
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This weekend I bit the bullet, formatted, and installed Windows 7 64bit. After installing the MOTU drivers and Sonar I can confirm the MIDI port limmitation has been corrected. I now have 35 midi ports showing under MIDI devices.
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5th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamero View Post
This weekend I bit the bullet, formatted, and installed Windows 7 64bit. After installing the MOTU drivers and Sonar I can confrim that MIDI port limmitation has been corrected. I know have 35 midi ports showing under MIDI devices.
Thanks for the info. I thought I was slutty because I was going to get another MOTU but you really are blazing a trail ;-) I totally understand why you want all your devices on a separate physical port.

I am guessing you have no problem with the current driver for the MOTU MTP AV USB in Windows 7 64 bit. I also am running Sonar.
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6th March 2012
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You are not at all alone with these issues. Just for the record, you can also network a USB with a old parallel port for 16 total. There is a large difference in street price between the USB and parallel port version.

As I understand it, I could purchase a 3rd or even 4th MIDI timepiece for another 8 or 16 ports which Cubase would also recognize, however my Unisyn librarian editor would only access the first 2 MIDI timepieces. Actually...as mentioned above...there is no limit.

I have many synthesizers in my studio that I like to have immediate access to. Substitutions have been mentioned above, but considering I have a old dedicated computer that runs MOTU Unisyn for the specific purpose of editing several old synthesizers, and...a library that took months to build up...I don't see any alternatives.

I run Cubase 6 64bit under Windows 7.

I don't see it as slutty at all. It's necessary if you want to edit old synthesizers, especially units like an Oberheim Matrix 1000 or Emu rack synth with a 1x2 inch display with 4 buttons controlling 16 menus and 64 sub-menus.
mamero
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6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpsiegel View Post
Thanks for the info. I thought I was slutty because I was going to get another MOTU but you really are blazing a trail ;-) I totally understand why you want all your devices on a separate physical port.

I am guessing you have no problem with the current driver for the MOTU MTP AV USB in Windows 7 64 bit. I also am running Sonar.
So far everything seems to be okay. Mind you, I haven't had the chance to put everything to a serious test other than checking the number of ports visible under MIDI devices. My free time has been consumed with rebuilding my PC. Now this is done. My current task is re-patching midi cables now that I have the extra ports available. I'll report back once everything is back together.
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6th March 2012
Old 6th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greggybud View Post
You are not at all alone with these issues. Just for the record, you can also network a USB with a old parallel port for 16 total. There is a large difference in street price between the USB and parallel port version.
This is the way I've done it. I have 2 x MTP AV USB’s each networked to a parallel port version. 4 MTP AV's total. 32 Physical INS and 32 OUTS = SWEEET!

This latest USB MTP AV I bought for $100 + shipping of Craigslist. The parallel versions you can get very cheap if you are patient. The last one I bought of my local Craigslist for $20 CAN.
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15th March 2012
Old 15th March 2012
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Hey guys, its a good thing to know that I'm crazy, but I'm not alone. 44 Midi I/Os done with three Motu's (two ExpressXt and a Timepiece AV, all paralell) and 10 PCI Audiointerfaces with Midi, running on three systems, two running Win XP and one still relying on Win98 for "Heritage Synths" editor/librarian software and for running Mesa II to my Akai. Each of the systems is running one of the Motu's and several PCI's all slots are used.
Together with three ADAT's and two MOTU 828, the Marian audio interfaces are given me a total of 60 audio I/O's and I go out with 16 Stereo and 8 Mono tracks onto my mixer. But I'm searching for a bigger console by now, something modular, maybe a MITEC EX based system. Or one of the TASCAM DM Series, I'm still unsure about that, but I'm a hobbyist so I got all the time I need to get deeper into that, and then I will know which one to buy.
Everything is hooked up, 9pin ADAT-Sync from the timepiece to the ADAT'S and on to the first 828, the second is synced over ADAT-optical. The third system has wordclocksync and all three Motu's are timesynced with SMPTE/LTC together with my MPC2000XL. This took a long time to work together like it should.
The reasons for that monolithic system are the same as named above, plus some for the audio routings that the systems enable me to do.
Like many people in this thread I work with Sonar, which is not very popular in Europe till now, I got one system running Sonar 7 Studio, and one is running Sonar X1 Producer (I didn't upgrade the second system cause the benefits would have been small ones, and Sonar 7 is always stable, in running and in timing, and hooks up faster to SMPTE.)
And I want clean MIDI data, and daisy-chaining of MIDI-Equipment is dirty when it comes to sending controls through a device, cause you don't know what happens to the first in line it might always react to the messages in a unpleasant way which is not documented. SYSEX data might get corrupted or even "swallowed".
The same with audio "one signal, one line" means that every signal get to the AD-Converters before passing any analog equipment and in case of effects one more time afterwards, so I can record any clean and effected signal in my system. And then play them out to the mixer again. At last it all runs into a Lynx ONE Pci card, the best converters i got (IMHO, but also in its specs)
Most other homeproducers i know think i overdid it, lol.
So its good to read that I'm not the only one on that way. And yes I consider this kind of working as "oldschool" too, but on the other hand I deeply feel it is more "professional" in some way, as it is extending the modern "in-the-box" working (from which I started with one pc and a M-Audio Audiophile2496, after aeons with a 4 track cassette recorder) and getting me the best of both worlds.
And i love my hardware synths for both, haptics and sound. In direct comparison some vsti's sound as good as or even better than some older hardware, but it's mostly faked. They do just include some kind of compression and a eq and thats all. BUT you can't changed the parameters of this stage, its like being built into them, some even add a amount of reverb. Ergo you get problems if you wan't to add further effects onto them, the sound gets fuzzy. Most don't fit into mixes well, cause their sound is so brushed up, just to shine if you test-listen to them, but this often leads to no usability at all. ReFX Nexus is a good example, lots of ohh's and ahh's when your listening to the presets, lots of F... and S... when you try to mix it with other stuff. I don't own many softsynths, but I love my Rob Papen Predator and my Cakewalk Z3ta+, both sound great in mixes even if the Z3ta tend to be overpresent at times.
So, bye then, love to ya guys, good thing to know your not alone.
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