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Why does MIDI fail after a few minutes, but only the fake keyboard works?

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At first, when I open a KDB sound, it works fine. The MIDI keyboard goes through KymaConnect, the MIDI status window shows it's the right channel, the KBD Sound is set to the same channel, and the sound comes out. Yay!

And then it doesn't. Nothing has changed: same MIDI keyboard, same status info in the window, but it no longer works. And yet the fake keyboard works. Somehow the midi is not getting to the Sound, even though the MIDI status window says it's right there.

And then I restart everything I possibly can and it still doesn't work. Sometimes I can't get it again until the next day, and then the same thing: works for a few minutes, fails, repeat. I even tried to route MIDI in from another computer via audio/midi interface: same thing.

(I think this has only happened since the last update, but I'm not sure.)
asked Oct 16, 2020 in Controllers, OSC & MIDI by jim-brashear (170 points)
When you restart everything are you including rebooting the Pacarana?

If you can, the next time this happens, try setting your MIDI controller to channel 2. MPE usually uses channels starting at 2 for each touch. It could be that the Kyma Sound has incorrectly switched into MPE mode.

If a sound is in MPE mode it will sound one out of N notes when played on channel 2, where N is the polyphony setting. Repeatedly hitting keys should cause occasional notes to sound. That would be a symptom of being in MPE mode.

In my experience once that happens it can be difficult to get it to switch back, sometimes requiring a Paca reboot.
I have a similar issue: I'm using the Haken Continuum Fingerboard. I connected it directly to the Pacarana. I can see the incoming midi messages in the Midi Messages Monitor but there is no sound unless I use the fake Keyboard. Kyma is set to MPE- modeā€¦
I also tried to connect it via the Haken Editor and vPacarana. But then I have to manually select "Kyma mode" in the Haken Editor each time I compile a new sound. Otherwise the Continuum won't trigger any sound. Also I have to adjust the Polyphony setting. This might be a totally different problem -no bidirectional connection between Pacarana and Editor although I enabled virtual MIDI Port and Haken Editor to / from virtual MIDI port in KymaConnect (Beta). Any help appreciated. Mac Catalina, Macbook Air, Continuum Editor v9 (to Kyma and from Kyma via vPacarana).
I believe this is a different issue. It sounds like Kyma is in MPE mode instead of Continuum mode.

This could have been caused by the way Kyma automatically switches into MPE mode and tends to stay in that mode unless you manually restart the DSP or even restart Kyma. It will not reliably switch back into Continuum mode. Most Continuum factory presets have MPE mode selected. If one of these presets is activated while connected to Kyma then Kyma will enter into MPE mode. Note that the Continuum remembers the last preset it had loaded and will load that when it powers up. So it can cause Kyma to enter MPE mode even before you get a chance to select a different preset!
Just to close this mini-thread, the Continuum issues reported by Franz were caused by using an old version of the Continuum Editor instead of the required Haken Editor. Once that was corrected the Continuum, Kyma, and KymaConnect 2 BETA are all working together correctly on macOS Catalina.

1 Answer

0 votes
Hi! If you are using OS X Catalina, I have had some MIDI issues with that recently. First Logic X was not sending MIDI to MaxMSP if the Logic X window was not active (tried toMax virtual port and IAC). I couldn't find any solution to the problem. Secondly, Logic X was sending (or Max was interpreting?) the MIDI events wrong.

This week I've had some very consistent issues when sending MIDI from Kyma to Logic X using vPacarana virtual MIDI-port of the KymaConnect. Today I had time to look into it, and realised that Max 8 didn't receive the midi messages from vPacarana-port either and finally, my MIDI keyboard attached to Motu Fast Lane USB MIDI-interface seemed also dead!

I could resurrect everything by disconnecting  and reconnecting the Motu Fast Lane. Think there is something wrong with the Catalina MIDI.
answered Oct 20, 2020 by anssi-laiho (Adept) (1,150 points)
I am unable to duplicate any of your symptoms on a test mac running macOS 10.15.7. Perhaps you have a corrupted CoreMidi configuration, or there is a problem with the MOTU USB driver that is causing CoreMidi to have issues. Disconnecting and reconnecting the FastLane would have caused the driver to restart, and it probably also reset CoreMidi.

I suggest that you create a new macOS test account, log into it, and see if you have the same issues with Logic X and Max there. If you try to use KymaConnect 2 from the new account remember that you need to first stop it in your main account. It cannot run in more than one account at a time without issues.

If you think this may be an issue with the KymaConnect 2 BETA that you are using we should probably continue the conversation over in the Kyma 7 Forum's KymaConnect 2 BETA thread.
I can confirm, that I had the issues with 2 different computers. Thanks for the reply.
Interesting. These two other Macs were also running macOS 10.15.7?

Were you using the MOTU FastLane with the other two Macs?

Did you try the test account I mentioned?
To be accurate: The logic X/MaxMSP communication problems were actually on a remote job and my Kyma issues were at studio, so they were on different computers. I have not tested the issues on my "test user account". Both computers have KymaConnect though. I resolved my issues by connecting Kyma to Logic X via "old skool" MIDI cable. I have the Beta KymaConnect turned off for now.
If KymaConnect was not active (but installed) on the remote job computer than it would not be a contributor to the Logic X/MaxMSP communication problem. Let's continue this discussion over in the Kyma 7 Forum's KymaConnect 2 BETA thread. I'd like to try and understand what is causing this behavior.