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Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To
Old 15th March 2016
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Post Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To

Hi Guys

After finding a thread on here earlier today I needed to setup my DAW to work with Windows software running in Parallels. Figured I'd post it here for those who'd like to do this.

Much thanks to Jim Singh (@electrojunky) for posting his research and synths, which was the impetus for me doing this.

Jim's Links:
Website
YouTube Channel
GS Thread

The following is how I setup DP8 on OSX 10.8 to run with Windows 7 Professional in Parallels, but it should be nearly identical for any DAW and virtual machine (VMware, VirtualBox) and should work up to Windows 10 using the same tools. It took about 10 minutes including downloading and figuring it out, but I already had Parallels and Windows installed. I am now able to play MIDI from DP into synths in Windows and have that audio routed back to DP for monitoring and recording.

Note: My Parallels is a bit outdated, but the basic settings should be the same. If not, feel free to post updated info. Also, I will not be explaining how to install Parallels and Windows. Just make sure you have the latest tools/drivers installed in Parallels or whatever you're using.

Anyone is free to add info for other DAWs and more advanced setups. This will get you going though.

----------

Some things you will need to install and setup:

1) Soundflower (virtual audio routing)
2) rtpMIDI (MIDI routing) Setup Tutorial
3) Bounjour for Windows (required for rtpMIDI)
4) Mac OS and the DAW of your choice
5) Parallels Desktop or similar to run Windows on top of OSX
6) Windows install disk

----------

Once you have your Windows virtual machine running, it's pretty straightforward to make all this work.

•••••••••• Step 1 ••••••••••

First you'll want to install Soundflower on OSX. When you run it, it just shows up in the top right of the system menu bar of OSX near the audio and WiFi icons and such. You shouldn't have to touch anything in this menu for it to work. I believe this is just for routing outputs and shouldn't even need to be on. Restart may be needed or not, just follow installer instructions.

Soundflower also has an independent buffer setting. If you need to change it, you do it from the same menu by going to the flower icon sub-menu.




•••••••••• Step 2 ••••••••••

Go to Audio MIDI Setup in your /Applications/Utilities/ folder of OSX and knock Soundflower input to around 34dB or whatever you find appropriate. Over here it's making the peaks hit around -15dBFS or so depending on the synth, which is better than the default which was clipping. This is useful for synths/apps that don't have output adjustments. If you use 64ch version you can adjust each input as needed.




•••••••••• Step 3 ••••••••••

Launch Parallels, and boot your Windows install and install Bonjour first, and then rtpMIDI. If you're new to this, you can drag and drop installers from the Finder onto the desktop in Windows in Parallels to copy files, or use shared folders. XP should also work as long as there's a Bonjour installer. I've only tested Win 7 Pro, but rtpMIDI works from XP to Windows 10.




•••••••••• Step 4 ••••••••••

On the bottom right of Parallels (looks like a web icon here) you'll want the network settings to at least be Host-Only. I do this because I don't need internet in the virtual machine.




•••••••••• Step 5 ••••••••••

Click the audio icon near the network icon and set the output to Soundflower (2ch). This will be for basic stereo routing of the audio. If anyone would like to suggest 64ch setup for routing to multiple apps, etc, feel free.




•••••••••• Step 6 ••••••••••

Launch rtpMIDI (it should create a desktop alias) and click the plus (+) button under Sessions. You can rename it if you uncheck it (disable it). Under Participants, my workstation ID automatically showed up (Octogon), and yes, it's not supposed to be spelled correctly Yours will show up most likely after the following step.




•••••••••• Step 7 ••••••••••

Now hop back to Audio MIDI Setup in OSX, open the MIDI Window, click the big Network icon, and Show Info—the little keyboard icon with the "i" document on top. I also have the IAC driver enabled for other MIDI routing I use in OSX, but not sure if this is required or not for talking to the VM.




The Directory should show up from rtpMIDI and the window looks just like the one in rtpMIDI. Click the plus (+) button to add a new Session and then click the Enable checkbox on the top right. Both rtpMIDI and the MIDI Network on the Mac side should now look nearly identical (short of the Directory area and what you named them).




•••••••••• Step 8 ••••••••••

In rtpMIDI, you may need to disable and re-enable the session in order for it to take affect.




•••••••••• Step 9 ••••••••••

For this example, I have installed Jim Singh's synths and am using NeuronoiZ.




Routing for different software will be different (Windows DAWs, etc). In NeuronoiZ you can see there is a little menu for the MIDI and it is set to my rtpMIDI session. Where it says Off on the bottom left, it will turn to ON or show the frequency when MIDI is playing.




•••••••••• Step 10 ••••••••••

Launch DP in OSX (or any DAW) go to your hardware setup (Setup > Configure Audio System > Configure Hardware Driver) and you'll want to command+click (multi-select) your audio interface and the Soundflower 2ch. This will make Soundflower an audio input.




•••••••••• Step 10 ••••••••••

Create a MIDI track and an Aux track. Set the MIDI output to Network > Network-1, and set the input of the Aux track to the Soundflower stereo input stream (you can create it in the track input or Bundles). If you use an audio track instead of an Aux, check your Input Monitoring Mode (Setup > Configure Audio System > Input Monitoring Mode). With an Aux it should work by default.




•••••••••• Step 11 ••••••••••
Now record enable the MIDI track and start playing on your MIDI controller. You should hear the sound coming from NeuronoiZ.




I also created a stereo audio track and recorded with the Soundflower input and it recorded just fine as you can see below. Mono would have sufficed in this case, but I was testing to make sure both channels worked.




•••••••••• End ••••••••••

So that's it!

Hopefully all that was clear enough, and I didn't miss a step. I'm no whiz at this, so anyone should be able to set this up with little fuss, especially if you already have a VM and Windows already installed and are comfortable using it. Parallels and Windows are obviously paid software, but the rest are FOSS. Virtual Box is a FOSS virtual machine if you already have a Windows install disk and don't have the dough for Parallels or VMware. Never tested VirtualBox with Windows (only Linux), so YMMV and setup will be different.

Thanks again to Jim for the cool toys and the developer of rtpMIDI. I'm having no latency issues so far, but they are adjustable as you can see in the images. The highest they have gone so far is 1ms iwth NeuronoiZ.


Below are all the attachments from the post in case the image hosting site I use goes down in the future. I expect them to show up out of order...

Cheers

.
Attached Thumbnails
Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-audiomidi_soundflower.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-parallels_windows.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-vm_audio-settings.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-rtpmidi.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-audiomidi_networkicon.jpg  

Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-audiomidinetwork.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-rtpmidi_disabled.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-launchicons.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-neuronoiz.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-dp_hardwaresetup.jpg  

Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-dp_tracks.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-dp8_mixer.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-neuronoiz_audio.jpg   Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-soundflower_buffer.jpg  
Attached Images
Routing MIDI from Mac DAW to Windows Virtual Machines — How To-vm_networksettings.jpg 

Last edited by gradivus; 15th March 2016 at 07:59 AM.. Reason: additional info
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