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Topic: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

  1. #1

    Angry Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    I've been out of music making for a while, and am just finishing off setting up my new bedroom studio. For the first time I'm setting up with a Windows 7 machine as my main DAW. Being naive I just assumed that USB MIDI would still work, since it worked fine in XP, but I'm having all kinds of problems.

    I have an AKAI MPK88 keyboard, which is USB powered. It installed itself fine, and appears in the inputs in all my applications, but then doesn't actually seem to send any MIDI information to them. Occasionally if I unplug it and plug it back in it will send information for a little while, but will sometimes randomly stop. If I close an application and restart it then it is guaranteed to have lost sight of the keyboard again.

    I also have a TEC USB breath controller, which also installed fine. WHen I open the editor-app for it it seems to be sending information, but then when I try using it to control Kontakt I get absolutely nothing. Again it does appear in the inputs, and I've set it to be active.

    I found the support forum for my keyboard, and they mentioned the problem of Windows 7 not seeing it, but claimed it was a well-known fault in Win7, rather than the keyboard driver. But I would expect them to say that if they'd written a poor driver and couldn't figure things out.

    I've seen loads of people on Youtube making music successfully with Win7, and noone ever mentioned that it had basically screwed up USB-MIDI. Am I missing something?

  2. #2

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pingu View Post
    ...and no one ever mentioned that it had basically screwed up USB-MIDI. Am I missing something?
    What a huge bummer you're going through, Pingu-- Oh man, I'm really sorry to hear about it.

    I pulled out the quote to say - no one ever mentioned that W7 screwed up USB-MIDI, because it hasn't. I've been sailing along since day one of having my W7 machine, and that's been 2 years now. Everything about W7 made it feel like I'd just jumped on a super powered rocket, with XP being a WWI biplane in comparison.

    BUT, don't you Hate it when someone replies with "Well, never happens to me. I'm fine and dandy."-?

    I just wanted to emphasize that what you're describing is totally alien to me. You need to not think in terms of W7 having screwed up MIDI - Most of us here can raise our hands and say it's working fine for us. SO - yes, you have to be missing something. Your keyboard interface has its own driver - Something must be messed up with it, maybe just out of date. The wind controller--? Hmmm -

    Despite not being able to offer you any ideas of what to start investigating, I wanted to at least assure you W7 works fine for me and a lot of MIDI people- AND to help draw attention to your post, so the more technically minded members here might jump in and help.

    This Will get worked out - Wish I could give you something specific to try.


  3. #3

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    FWIW - I don't run Win 7 on my DAW, but when I bought a new computer for my development work with Win 7 installed, it took WEEKS for me to customized it so that I could actually get any work done. By that, I mean overriding stupid choices that Win 7 made for me which turned out to be very difficult to change.

    The one thing that frustrated me more than anything else was the sheer volume of misinformation on the web about how to correct most of these issues. It seems like people assume that because the problem went away after they changed something on their systems, they found the cause. More often, it turned out to be something entirely different and their assumptions were based on coincidence. The best rule of thumb advice I can give is vet your sources and use a bit of common sense before you change something that could make things worse for you. If you see a remedy posted in a forum and lots of posts from others saying it didn't work for them, it's probably bad advice. (And this goes for every OS.)

    Another sore point with me about Win 7 in particular is the lack of 64 bit drivers for many of my high end peripherals. (I'm using a crummy $179 monochrome mfp now because the manufacturer of my $2k+ color laser version says they just can't seem to produce a working Win 7 64-bit driver for it and I'll be damned if I'll buy another one from them after this. Ditto for more peripherals and applications than I care to list at this juncture.) That's why I don't dare put Win 7 -- or Win 8, which my clients tell me is even worse -- on my DAW.

    Best of luck.

    Allegro Data Solutions

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tom_Davis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ellendale, ND

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    It is SO frustrating when things don't work well together. As a Windows7 user I can only say that using ARIA and related programs, I have had absolutely no problems. I wish you the best.


  5. #5

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    No way this is a "Windows" problem, my guess is that it is definitely due the specific drivers involved.

    From what you say, the breath controller gets recognized and sends data. If the receiving software shows MIDI activity that means the midi data get sent, no doubt about this. If no output is heard then this must be a problem of different nature. Do you regularly have audio out of your DAW? Is the problem specific just on these USB MIDI inputs?
    Which audio driver are you using? Asio drivers get ruled out if another audio driver kicks in. Microsoft's internal GS synth does the damage, here. When Microsoft' synth kicks in, Asio gets kicked out and you hear no output. You should find a way to rule it out in your host program. Try it in your DAW, not directly in Kontakt, DAW have better handling of these stuff: Open the DAW, configure it to rule out the midi synth, THEN load kontakt in it and try the controllers.
    Getting back to the AKAI... the fact that it is recognized randomly is strange. MIDI configuration should be working if it stably recognizes the breath controller. Might be its driver... or try it on another computer, a friend's maybe, to rule out any doubts.

    Complicated situation....
    Let us know.


  6. #6

    Unhappy Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    I'm sorry to hear that, and I suppose it's hardware related (drivers and setup) because for me also it was very easy and nice experience going to Win 7, but only updating almost all my old MIDI tools drivers.

    (I'm using TEC breath controller on my Win7 workstation, the installation was perfect)

    I'm not a Microsoft Windows supporter, and the only and true reason I use it, is it's cheap: no way to buy the same computational power I got from my PC workstation on the Mac, pricing comparable CPU's and setup 2 or 3 time higher.

    But I have to say that Win 7 has been the most powerful and smooth OS I ever got from Microsoft.

    I had lot of troubles with XP and Vista, very few with Win7, and again a huge amount on Win 8 (lucky enough I installed Win 8 on a test machine, and after a while simply turned it off and back to my Win 7 workstation, waiting for improvements and bug fixes LOL).

  7. #7

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    I've been using 7 since my Vista machine mercifully up and died about two years back. Found my current laptop on the "demo" desk at the local store for nearly half price. I have to say that it is a quantum leap up from Vista, and my only serious problem is that I have never been able to get ASIO drivers working on it, so I have to rely on continually updated "regular" sound drivers, which are not quite as good at eliminating delay when using MIDI interfaces into my DAW. However, I've tweaked everything and it's working okay- just took a little longer than ASIO would/should have. What I really need is a better USB/MIDI interface, the old POD is the oldest piece of my current system.

    But that's a problem with the chipset, not Windows. Other than that, Win7 is still a ways ahead of Vista.

    I'm on an HP laptop with a quad core processor, 3GB of RAM and I run dual monitors to keep the real estate from becoming too small to read.

    Kevin F..

    KM Frye- (SOCAN)
    Music Director- Four Seasons Musical Theatre- 2016

    Bella Vista Studios

    GPO4, JABB3, Garritan World Inst, REAPER, Roland VS2480 DAW

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Chandler, Arizona

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    I've been using Windows 7 x64 almost since it came out with very few problems. Any USB device related problems are usually are driver issue. I've run into a couple devices that didn't like certain ports on my computer. Try different ports to see if this fixes the problem. This would be more of a motherboard issue than a Win7 problem. Make sure you have the latest chipset drivers for your motherboard which usually include USB drivers. Then get the latest drivers for your hardware. I have a couple peripherals that had to be retired as the manufacturers either went out of business or just are not supporting the device any longer.

    I would recommend retiring XP as soon as possible if your machine is connected to the internet. Microsoft is killing support for it and it will become vulnerable to attacks from the outside.


  9. #9

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    I have no problem whatsoever with USB-MIDI on W7/X64.
    I'm using a silent electronic piano, Oberheim MC1000, for MIDI, sent to the system by means of a DIN-to-USB cable with an automatic driver. The electronic piano doesn't need any driver at all. It is also working with a M-AUDIO Oxygen 25 USB hardware, which needs a driver.

    The only thing I have to do is setting the right channel for sending MIDI info. If that differs from the channel to which your tracks is assigned, then nothing happens. The device plays, but there is nothing to receive this info.


  10. #10

    Re: Is Windows 7 really this bad?

    Thanks for your responses everyone. I'm sure I'll get to the bottom of it eventually. Sec2, sadly it's not as simple as being an audio issue - very definitely a MIDI one. My breath controller sends MIDI information when it's connected to its own editor app, but definitely isn't sending to Cubase, or anything else.

    At least I'm encouraged by the positive reports here - sounds like I'm in for a good time once I find the right combination of hardware and drivers.

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