Sometimes it can be really hard to be sure if your MIDI keyboard controller or other your USB-MIDI interface is working correctly, particularly if you are using it with complicated software. My suggestion is to separate the two things! Test that the hardware is working OK first. Use your computer’s control panel then test the device with a MIDI diagnostic tool.
Once you can see the MIDI device is working you know that you need to work on the software configuration. Tip: Make sure you install, connect and turn on your MIDI controller first, then start up the software you want to use. Some software just won’t find devices if you turn them on after starting up the software. The video below will take you through some testing basics, then read on for links and more information. If you want a bit more info, then you might find our basic guide on what is MIDI helpful.
How To Test Your MIDI Controller – Step-by-Step Video Tutorial
Which MIDI Diagnostic Tool?
If you are using Windows, then download MIDI-Ox, it’s a fantastic piece of software that shows the stream of MIDI data on your screen so you can check every key, fader, pad and wheel on your MIDI keyboard and be sure they are all working OK. Download it here:
Then if you want a step-by-step guide on how to use it, this page on the M-Audio support portal is great, with easy to follow screen shots. Although it is referring to an M-Audio device you can use this software with any MIDI keyboard or interface.
If you are on a Mac then the SNOIZE MIDI Monitor software does a similar job and they have nice documentation on their site on how to use it. It is also possible to test your MIDI devices if you navigate to Mac’s Audio MIDI Setup Utility
If the above has not helped, then refer to our detailed post on MIDI connection. And you might also want to refer to our detailed step-by-step video course on how to record your digital piano or keyboard.
What If The MIDI Keyboard Isn’t Working?
If you still think the keyboard is not connecting correctly, then there is a useful post here on the Numark site which will help you to troubleshoot your plug and play device. Especially in Windows the native drivers can be missing or corrupted and may need to be re-installed.
If your device is not plug and play then you will need to go to the manufacturer’s site and download the correct drivers. NEVER do a ‘google search’ for drivers – there are lots of dodgy sites out there which will try to tempt you to download all kinds of things from them. Instead, go to the official site of the manufacturer of your particular device and navigate to their support/download page directly. The best manufacturers (Alesis, M-Audio, Numark, Roland, Korg, Samson etc) have telephone support as well, so take advantage of it. But do work through the above steps first!
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5 of the Best MIDI Controllers
We have tried all the following controllers, they work really well and if you have any problems then the manufacturer’s give fantastic support. As an added bonus, they all work on PC, Mac and iPad!
- Music Production and Beat Maker Essential - USB powered MIDI controller with 25 mini MIDI keyboard velocity-sensitive keys for studio production, virtual...
- Total Control of your Production - Innovative 4-way thumbstick for dynamic pitch and modulation control, plus a built-in arpeggiator with adjustable resolution,...
- The MPC Experience - 8 backlit velocity-sensitive MPC-style MIDI beat pads with Note Repeat and Full Level for programming drums, triggering samples and...
- 32 mini-keys velocity sensitive keyboard
- Pitch, modulation, octave, transpose function
- Sustain interface (Not include sustain pedal)
- MIDI Keyboard with 49 full-sized, velocity sensitive square-front keys, perfect for playing Virtual Instruments
- 8 velocity- and pressure-sensitive backlit pads for beat production and clip launching
- 4 assignable knobs and 4 assignable buttons interface with your music software. Seamless, visual feedback via illuminated buttons and knobs
- Pro Keyboard Performance - 61 semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive full-size keys and a premium piano-style keybed for unprecedented response and natural feel
- Beat Making Essentials - 16 RGB-illuminated MPC-style pads each with 4 banks for 64 pads - the perfect solution for triggering samples, loops, one-shots,...
- Assignable Control - 24 assignable Q-Link controllers comprising 8 control knobs, faders and switches engineered for hassle-free DAW / virtual instrument...
- Bring MIDI hardware and CV/Gate synths together
- Easily integrate hardware with your DAW
- The perfect controller for Ableton Live music-making software
Last updated on 2021-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API
Five Great MIDI Interfaces
Already got a nice keyboard, but no MIDI connection? Then you could get one of the following MIDI interfaces and soon be hooked up to your favourite MIDI software
- 4-IN,4-OUT MIDI interface(64 MIDI channels) low latency High-speed USB connection to PC or Mac MIDI in and MIDI out activity indicators for each port USB...
- No driver needed Compact size MIDI IN: MIDI input 1-4 jack MIDI OUT: MIDI output 1-4 jack USB B Type: connection between the MIDI 4x4 and the host computer
- ATTACHMENT: USB cable
- One-in/one-out MIDI interface with high-performance FPT processing
- Compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, and now with iOS on the iPad via the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit
- Data indicators for both MIDI input and output
- Capture every detail - premium component selection and 24-bit/192kHz resolution for professional recording and monitoring to your Mac/ PC;
- Low latency - Hi-Speed USB/ USB-C circuitry gives you the fastest connection, with a class-leading round trip latency of only 2. 59Ms*; USB and USB-C connection...
- Pristine studio grade capture - transparent crystal preamps and ultra-pristine ad converters for unsurpassed audio recording quality
- 10X 1/4” TRS balanced audio outputs for low noise connections on any stage. (Outputs are +48V phantom power resistant)
- 1X 1/4” TRS stereo headphone output for CONVENIENT headphone monitoring
- 2X USB ‘B' ports for connection of up to 2 computers simultaneously
- MIDI Connectivity
- Expansion and Compatibility
Last updated on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API