Converting Midi to Audio with M-Audio 2496

Discussion in 'Pro Audio' started by Phil, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Phil

    Phil Guest

    Hello everyone. I finally did away with the Soundblaster Audigy Mp3
    and replaced it with an M-Audio 2496. The card has a real nice sound,
    but I don't know how to convert the midi to audio.

    With the Soundblaster I would simply insert another audio track, "arm"
    that track, and with a single click record all the midi and audio
    tracks onto the new audio track. I would export the audio track as a
    wav and convert the wav to an mp3.

    If I try doing this with the 2496, the audio tracks record onto the
    new track but the midi tracks won't.

    So what's a boy to do,
    Phil
     
    Phil, Nov 23, 2003
    #1
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  2. Phil

    GDoxta Guest

    What program are you using to sequence your data?
     
    GDoxta, Nov 23, 2003
    #2
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  3. Phil

    Phil Guest

    I failed to mention that I‘m using a Yamaha PSR-520 keyboard connected
    to the MIDI (5-pin) input and output connections of the 2496 card.

    And also, I'd like to know why the Gain control of my Behringer MX602A
    needs to be turned almost all the way up when recording with a mic.
    The volume faders in the monitor mixer of the 2496 are all the way up.
     
    Phil, Nov 24, 2003
    #3
  4. Phil

    Mike Rivers Guest

    That's because there's no audio in a MIDI track. It's just a bunch of
    data that tells something when to play audio. Your SoundBlaster card
    had a synthesizer built into it, and that's what provided the sounds
    played by the MIDI data. Your M-Audio card is for audio only, and it
    has no MIDI synthesizer.

    You could put the SoundBlaster card back in your computer if you have
    an available slot and use that to play your MIDI files, but you'll
    need some sort of mixer to mix the output of the SoundBlaster and the
    M-Audio cards if you want to hear MIDI and audio at the same time.

    There are a number of "soft synths" out there which use MIDI data to
    play sampled sounds that are stored on your computer's disk.
    Gigastudio is perhaps one of the most popular, but it's possible that
    your M-Audio card came with one bundled with it. If you install a soft
    synth, you'll be able to play the MIDI-controlled audio through your
    M-Audio card. It will almost certainly sound better than your
    SoundBlaster.

    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers ()
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
     
    Mike Rivers, Nov 24, 2003
    #4
  5. Phil

    Peter Larsen Guest

    In which case windows installs an excellent softsynth, but he has to
    select to use it, i. e. to RHFM .... O;-) ... it is explained how to
    there. The issue is that the default setup expects him to have an
    external synth, so he has to modify the setup to point at the one Steve
    Ballmer provided on behalf of Bill.
    Don't, the actual soundblaster may be different, but the soundblasters I
    have met do not mix well with other cards, specifically removing them
    helps greatly with a DiO2448 because then it works.

    Kind regards

    Peter Larsen
     
    Peter Larsen, Nov 24, 2003
    #5
  6. Phil

    Phil Guest

    Sorry I didn't mention it in my opening post, but my Yamaha psr-520
    keyboard records midi to the Cakewalk (home studio xl) midi tracks.
    There is no problem recording midi. But the only way I know to make an
    mp3 file of my song project (for the internet) is to bounce all midi
    and audio tracks to a single track, export it as a wav file and
    convert the wav file to an mp3 file. I use Musicmatch for this. Then I
    upload it onto soundclick.com.

    The audio tracks bounce very nicely onto a single audio track, but not
    the midi. I like really like this card and want to keep it. The sound
    better and there's very little hiss.

    Thanks in advance
    Phil
     
    Phil, Nov 24, 2003
    #6
  7. Phil

    Arny Krueger Guest

    Ironically, all versions of windows since WIN98SE have included a Roland
    softsynth. It gets rolled into action if you hook up many different consumer
    USB sound devices such as speakers and audio interfaces.

    It's always been a bit of a mystery to me why the various people who make
    pro audio cards haven't included the commands to load Windows's built-in
    softsynth in their .INF files. This may change in the future as vendors
    recognize that many consumers see audio production interfaces as high end
    audio products.
     
    Arny Krueger, Nov 24, 2003
    #7
  8. Phil

    Mike Rivers Guest

    Is this excellent softsynth a Windows thing (when was the last time
    you saw a Windows manual?) or one that comes along with the M-Audio
    card? Do I already have one on my Windows XP (pre-installed by Dell)
    that I could be using instead of the sleazy sounding SoundBlaster
    compat that's built into the motherboard? If so, how do I do that?



    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers - ()
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
     
    Mike Rivers, Nov 24, 2003
    #8
  9. Phil

    Mike Rivers Guest

    Right - it records MIDI tracks, but you need the PSR to play those
    back. You could connect a cable from the keyboard's audio output to
    your sound card line input, play the MIDI tracks from Cakewalk, and
    record the audio on a new pair of audio tracks. Then mix the newly
    recorded audio version of your MIDI tracks with any other audio tracks
    you have recorded, and you'll have the complete song with all the
    parts in audio format, ready to convert to MP3.



    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers - ()
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
     
    Mike Rivers, Nov 24, 2003
    #9
  10. Phil

    Mike Rivers Guest

    Well, I'll be hornswoggled! After poking around in the Windows control
    panel, I found (under MIDI devices) Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth. In
    fact, that's the only MIDI playback device available on this computer.
    After sorting through several mixer applets, I found the one with the
    MIDI Wavetable Synth on it, unmuted it, and I could play a MIDI file,
    but it played back through the laptop's built-in speakers, not through
    the VX Pocket card. I don't know how to route it to that, if it's even
    possible.
    Maybe they did, and they just didn't tell me. And maybe the guy who
    was asking about it just doesn't know how to turn it on.




    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers - ()
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
     
    Mike Rivers, Nov 24, 2003
    #10
  11. Phil

    Arny Krueger Guest

     
    Arny Krueger, Nov 24, 2003
    #11
  12. Phil

    Mike Rivers Guest

    So how does it know where to go? Seems like if the VX Pocket is the
    default audio device, and I have the "use only the default device" box
    checked, it should route the softsynth audio there. When I click on
    About, it shows the Roland logo and also lists the "VXpocket out #1"
    as the audio output deveice for the synthesizer. Very puzzling.

    But . . . there's a choice of VX Pocket devices. There's "VXpocket #1,
    which I think got set when I was playing with Cubasis on this computer
    (came with the US-122 that I reviewed). When I change that to
    "VXpocket Audio Card (WDM)", I get playback through the VX card. Maybe
    the "#1" variation is an ASIO driver. Seems like maybe that's what let
    me use the VX at 24-bit resolution.

    Since I don't normally have any other MIDI sound devices on the
    computer, the Wavetable Synth is the only choice in the pulldown
    window for MIDI. When I plug in my USB MIDI Interface, that appears in
    the pulldown window. So maybe if there's another MIDI interface in the
    system (like the original poster, who had a MIDI keyboard plugged into
    something, unless I'm getting this mixed up with another thread) all
    he has to do in order to get his MIDI tracks to play out the sound
    card is to select that and make sure he has a WDM (rather than ASIO or
    something else) driver selected for it.

    You might guess, correctly, that I don't play many MIDI files around
    here any more.

    I love laptop computers. They're so much easier to throw across the
    room than desktops, and they do a little less damage to whatever they
    hit.


    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers - ()
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
     
    Mike Rivers, Nov 25, 2003
    #12
  13. Phil

    Phil Guest


    I think you got something there Mike. Tell me if this sounds right.

    I connected the two AUX Outs from the keyboard to the two soundcard
    inputs. This worked and I recorded a Midi to audio track. But, even
    with the keyboard volume all the way up, the midi to audio track
    wasn't loud enough. I was able to get the volume loud enough by
    turning the track's volume control all the way up and I also had to
    turn up the trim control.

    Thanks,
    Phil
     
    Phil, Nov 25, 2003
    #13
  14. Phil

    Phil Guest

    up and I also had to turn up the trim control. (Then I could bounce
    all tracks onto an audio track with a good audio mix.)

    I'm at it again early today. I found that if I do the following, I can
    get the new audio track (containing the midi sounds) to record into
    the red:

    1. Change the keyboard's volume default setting from 100 to 127
    2. Turn the keyboard master volume control to the max
    3. And raise the velocity levels in the piano view of the Cakewalk
    project
    from the default setting of 100 to 127

    But what is it with the low volume levels with this soundcard? I can
    just about hear the metronome count-in thru the pc speaker. And as I
    said earlier, recording thru the mic requires that the gain control be
    turned up almost all the way. With the soundblaster I had to turn it
    up very little. And all faders in the monitor mixer of the delta
    control panel are all the way up.
    Phil
     
    Phil, Nov 25, 2003
    #14
  15. Phil

    Mike Rivers Guest

    Nothing wrong with doing that if you can stand the noise. The problem
    is that your keyboard's analog outputs are probably scaled to a
    "non-pro" or "instrument amplifier" level, perhaps as much as 20 dB
    lower than the level that your M-Audio interface requires to reach
    full scale digital level.

    Does the sound card's mixer or driver applet have a switch to select
    the nominal input level (typically +4 dBu to -10 dBV)? If so, make
    sure it's set to the -10 level. That will get you more gain at the
    input of the sound card and increase the record level on disk.


    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers - ()
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
     
    Mike Rivers, Nov 25, 2003
    #15
  16. Phil

    Phil Guest


    Well actually the keyboard is TOO loud this way. I have to plug
    headphones into it to get the sound down.


    I don't believe I have this switch. But I found that if I connect the
    two AUX Outs of the keyboard to the soundcard by first going thru the
    Behringer MX 602A (I'm using Line In 5/6), I can raise both the
    "level" control of 5/6 and the "main mix" control of the mixer to give
    it the boost it needs.

    I can also maybe try:
    1. Uninstalling and reinstalling Cakewalk.
    2. Uninstalling and reinstalling the 2496's drivers.
    3. Record from 1/2 instead of Mon. Mixer

    Phil
     
    Phil, Nov 26, 2003
    #16
  17. Phil

    Phil Guest


    First I tried going into the computer and moving the card to another
    slot. Then I tried all the above and nothing happened. I'll just have
    to work with what I have.

    Thanks anyway,
    Phil
     
    Phil, Nov 29, 2003
    #17
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