Yamaha Piano USB Connectivity Woes. Best Sound Card?

Posted on 2005-03-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2006-11-17

I have a Yamaha digital piano which, using the Piano Suite Premiere software, I'd like to connect to my Dell PC.

I purchased a USB cable, both the piano and the PC have USB ports.

I am first going to try installing the latest driver for the Yamaha, because during the setup, there's no listing under "MIDI in" devices.

Should this fail to send data (sound) from the piano, I belive my next step is likely to be upgrading my generic sound card.

What do you recommend in an inexpensive MIDI-supporting sound card?

Question by:jnowlin
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Expert Comment

ID: 13453890
The Creative Sound Blaster Live! should be sufficient: http://www.dealtime.com/xPR-SB_LIVE_24BIT_PCI_SC~RD-168765525636
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 13456126
ANY full duplex sound card supports midi-in, as midi is a DOS-based device driver.  The sound card is not so much the issue here as the connectivity to make it work.  You can hook up the Yha to the PC and the PC will find some USB device -- but it is the "DRIVERS" for that device, which make it work -- including the proper MIDI synthesis for that device.  ANY card will do this, full duplex, the key is to have the right drivers for the Yha piano.  D you have those?

Author Comment

ID: 13458849
I downloaded what was supposed to be the latest driver. There were many .INF files in this self-extracting file. The first one in this list was the one I installed through XP's Add New Hardware program. Upon launching the software, what before had no listing for MIDI in, now listed Yamaha. It has a test control button on it. I click on it and a message box appears telling me that "You should hear sounds from the keyboard." I turn down the volume on the piano and tap a couple of keys - there's no sound.

So, my next step should be, as I don't know if I got the correct driver in this download, to take the CD which came with the Yamaha and see if I can get sound from the piano.
I agree. I don't believe that this is a sound card issue. I merely posted this question because of the possibility of this being a sound card issue, my luck 'n' all.
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

sciwriter earned 2000 total points
ID: 13460473
Sounds like you just used the wrong install method -- you only got ONE driver in, not the MIDI emulation.  IS there are setup.exe in this extracted download driver set?  If so, simply RUN that, and it should put all drivers in.  If not, you will have to go to Device manager and remove all devices relating to this Yamaha, especially any "unknown" devices with yellow exclamation marks, or in the "unknown" group in device manager (you might even have to remove the .INF files from the system32/inf and /inf/other directories that relate to this device, then reboot so everything detects anew.

At that stage, just point it to the directory where the drivers are, which you downloaded, and let WINDOWS decide the right drivers, based on Yamaha model.  The right INF file will put in all the drivers, with several multiple detects, which takes about 1 minute.

When you have the right drivers installed, you can go to Control Panel, go to the sound and audio section, and in the devices to use, you should be able to select the click down list and choose a MIDI driver from that list for the sound emulation.  Keep experimenting with these until you get the right one.  

Also, there should be a plug from the Yamaha going to LINE IN on the sound card.  Then in sound and audio properties -- middle tab -- sound recording, you have to enable the line-in option by checking the check box below it, and slide up the volume.  This recording control is well hidden.  Keep looking and changing these settings until it works.

Author Comment

ID: 13460722
Additionally, I used the directions in the README file which was contained in the zipped file. I did not see any 'Setup' contained in the file after extraction. The README instructions told me that the "Found New Hardware Wizard" would pop up, but it never did. Hence, my journey into Control Panel | Add/Remove Hardware.

README instruction #13 (after #12 to re-boot) said to go to "Start | Control Panel |Sounds and Multimedia. In "Audio", select the port you want to use as the "MIDI music playback device."

#14 Check "Use only priority device", click "OK" and finish the settings.

>>I have no such area in my Windows XP Home SP2 known as | 'Sounds and Multimedia' that I could find.

Also sciwriter, as your answer states, do I need a separate cable from the Yamaha to my sound card in addition to the USB cable?

I'm not new to working my way around MS Windows with this stuff, it's just that I'm a bit rusty and Microsoft keeps changing things around.

LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 13461614
Yes you need a sound in, as far as I know.  I don't know that the USB cable itself will carry the sound, although it might.  Look on the back of the piano.

The reason you don't see the drivers in control panel is, they were not installed.  The sound and Multimedia is in DEVICE MANGAGER -- My computer right click, properties, hardware tab, device mananger button -- that is where you have to go to remove the devices that are not installed correctly.  Reread my earlier post.

Author Comment

ID: 13471656
Still working on this. I DID remove the device and let the "Found New Hardware Wizard" run. I found a .INF file which corresponds to the model of the piano - PF-500.INF.

I've contacted the company which developed the software I am using to see what they say. I very well may need a MIDI-out to a new sound card's game port. So, I will get back here once I find out which cables I need, other info, etc., since there's doubt in my mind that the USB is the right way to go. XP finds it, it lists 'Yamaha MIDI driver';


Author Comment

ID: 13541871
I'm back and thoroughly confused now. The Yamaha's CD with drivers had a folder containing a 'Setup.EXE' for installing the Yamaha CBX, I assume it's some sort of MIDI driver. During the installation, the program prompts me to select a COM port, something I haven't dealt with since Windows98 solved many a COM port/IRQ conflict. COM port? Why do I have a USB cable if we're talking COM1, COM3, etc.?
I accept COM1 and let the program install.

After re-booting, I launch the Piano Suite application. I go to its "Keyboard Setup Wizard." I click on one part I never clicked on, and it tells me to make sure MIDI end is connected to MIDI device's MIDI out and the other 15-pin end to the sound card's corresponding joystick port. My sound card doesn't have a joystick port.

Why do I need this, I ponder, when my USB connection should handle all this data transfer?
Continuing on in the wizard, in the MIDI device list that was once empty now contains "Yamaha CBX" in it. I lean over a press a key, wizard asks me if the note on the screen flashed. It didn't, so I click continue and it displays a suport email address. I have sent an email to them. They respond by saying it's likely a driver issue and contact Yamaha.
Meanwhile, I can't launch the application because the "MIDI port is unavailable or in use by another application."

So, I think, at this frustrating stage, that I probably need to return the USB cable and get an updated sound card (with 15 male for 15-pin port) and a 15-pin/MIDI connector combo.

Author Comment

ID: 13586591
I'll need to re-post. Thanks for your time.

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