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Topic: sudden volume drop

  1. #1

    sudden volume drop

    I have been experiencing sudden drops in volume while playing my Garritan libraries. I actually looked at the KP2 synth rack window when this occurs and the mod wheel is jumping down to zero - without me touching it. It is intermittent, but also an annoyance!

    This is occuring in both Sibelius 5 and Sonar 7. It is not a function of a controller change that has been recorded, as it occurs when I am simply playing on the keybaord - live, and as I said before, it is intermittent, never occuring in the same place twice, and at times, not occuring at all.

    I have no other controllers connected or routed to the mod. The fact that it is occuring in two programs has me extra confused.

    Any ideas?



  2. #2

    Re: sudden volume drop

    Perhaps your keyboard is sending controller reset data or its modwheel is occasionally firing down to zero (short circuiting)?

    Try loading MIDI OX and monitoring the incoming MIDI data stream from your keyboard.

  3. #3

    Re: sudden volume drop

    Along those lines my M-Audio controller developed a problem with the pitch bend wheel and was sending pitch-bend data sporadically. It made for some "interesting" performances let's just say.

    I troubleshot it by recording some midi data in Sonar then took a look at the event list which showed tons of pitch wheel data even though I hadn't touched the thing. I had to take the keyboard apart and remove the connections to the pitch wheel.

    So it is possible that your keyboard is malfunctioning.

    Steve Winkler

  4. #4

    Re: sudden volume drop

    Thank you Reegs and Steve. I will check out the kekyboard - it sounds like that may be the culprit.

    Reegs, could you please explain MIDI OX to me, I am not familiar with this.

    Thank you.


  5. #5

    Re: sudden volume drop

    Quote Originally Posted by mikul View Post
    Thank you Reegs and Steve. I will check out the kekyboard - it sounds like that may be the culprit.

    Reegs, could you please explain MIDI OX to me, I am not familiar with this.

    Thank you.


    MIDI OX is an extremely robust midi monitoring utility. You can tell it which ports to look at and it will keep a running tally of the activity occurring on that port (any data--- midi note ons, offs, controller changes, pitch bend events, sysex, (n)rpns, program change, etc).

    It can also do a great deal of midi filtering and remapping of one sort of data to another. For instance, if you have a knob on your keyboard that puts out CC7, but you really want it to go into Sonar as CC1, you can route it through MIDI-OX first with the proper patching applied and not have to worry about converting it. MIDI OX works with MIDI Yoke, a set of virtual midi ports that let you send the keyboard input to OX, then send OX's output to another midi-enabled program on your computer, like Sonar.

    Get it at http://midiox.com/ for free and follow the instructions to install. Then launch it and go to Options>MIDI Devices. Highlight only the input from your keyboard, click OK, then go to Options>MIDI Filter and ensure that the Pitch Bend box is NOT checked. Then, wait and watch. Play a few keys on your keyboard to see how it responds (you'll see the code comes in as hexadecimal).

    Hope this helps,

  6. #6

    Re: sudden volume drop

    An easy way to find out if your keyboard hardware is emitting sporadic mod-wheel zero codes (and it can happen) is to play back your piece with your midi-cable unplugged. Assuming that you have checked that the drops to zero weren't recorded on the midi track, then if it still drops to zero, then what you may have is the old 'drop to zero' bug:


    It doesn't affect most users (this old thread is the last time I have seen it mentioned). Contrary to my comment in that thread though, it does also happen in Sonar and also in other non-Garritan NI products (for those affected by it).

    The cure I use is to put continuous mod-wheel data in the affected channels and never let there be any 'flat lining' on the modwheel data. This of course is a blessing in disguise or the cloud's silver lining as that is also what is needed to make the performance more realistic and lifelike.
    Last edited by L0W; 12-03-2008 at 03:11 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Senior Member rpearl's Avatar
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    Jan 2005

    Re: sudden volume drop

    I had a related problem in that one instrument would play back and suddenly drop in volume - it was the controller. For some reason, whatever volume I set in the Mixer (using Sibelius) would be fine, until for some unknown reason, it would "reset" to whatever the volume level on the controller was set to; it was only the top instrument of the score ( I thought there was a problem with the flute sample). I'm certain the controller is the issue - the suggestion to playback without it connected is a good one, although if you have played the score in, it will "record" the volume change. Try it from a notation score that wasn't put in in real time; that should settle it.
    Ron Pearl





  8. #8

    Re: sudden volume drop

    Thanks to all. I will troubleshoot using your suggestions.


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