Failing: Yamaha KX88 midi keyboard>MOTU MicroLite>UR44>Mac>CB 9.5 - Cannot figure out CB setup for incoming midi signal to track

Hey there Wizards!
I’m using Cubase 9.5, and I’ve got a Yamaha KX88 midi keyboard hooked up through my Motu MicroLite, to my UR44 (which works great with audio, so I know it’s dialed into Cubase), but… trying to create a track that would have the KX88 keyboard as the controller/creator, whatever it’s called. Can’t figure out what the setup is for that. I’d love to be using the VSTI instruments, etc. When I play on the KX88, I see the MOTU light up, so I know the setup to that is fine. I’m pretty sure the MOTU midi out is properly plugged into the UR44. Any other suggestions? I feel like an idiot working in the studio setup windows, I’m afraid.
BTW, I’m about to upgrade to 11 Pro, but doubt that’s my problem, more likely it’s ME! :wink:

… sounds like a great lyrical hook for a break-up song! A guaranteed hit!

More seriously:
There are several possible issues and probably more than one solution.

To give you the the simplest/best solution, we’d need to know a bit more about the general context of your setup - i.e.

  1. What else is connected to the MOTU midi interface (in addition to the KX88 and the UR44)?
    – For each additional device: Is it plugged into a midi input or midi output on the MOTU?

  2. Is the MOTU also plugged into your computer (via a USB cable)?

  3. What devices are currently plugged into the UR44?
    – audio inputs
    – audio outputs
    – midi input
    – midi output

@nico5, I’ll write that tune for ya, and credit the inspiration! Thanks for taking the time to assist!!!

So, by virtue of your asking, I looked closely at my setup to answer, and decided to try bypassing the MOTU with the KX88 and direct midi into UR44, and VOILA! So, it must be my MOTU/midi routing that is the issue.
I would like to be able to use my other controllers next, so I’ll continue with what I had set up:

The chain, from iMac down:
iMac has one incoming USB from the UR44.

USB to iMac.
Midi in from MOTU micro lite ( - micro lite Overview)
Midi out to MOTU micro lite
Currently no audio inputs, but often have a couple mics or 1/4 inch instrument cords for guitar, bass, etc. But nothing in audio at the moment, for this project.

MOTU micro lite:
Midi in: UR44
Midi in: Yamaha K88 keyboard (now just direct into UR44, but was here at time of question)
Midi in: Roland R5 Drum/controller
Midi in: Dr. Synth
Midi out: UR44
Midi out: Roland R5 Drum/controller
Midi out: Dr. Synth
Midi out:
I naively had thought that the synths midi out to the UR44 would convey more than just midi on/offs, and after watching this vid on using external synths (How to Utilize External MIDI Instruments in Cubase | Q&A with Greg Ond) I understand that I can forget about midi return from the Roland and Dr. Synth to UR44, I’ll be using synth audio out to UR44 Audio in per the videos easy instructions.

Anyway, I need to delve a bit deeper into the MOTU to understand what’s going on there, if I want to use that (and I do) to use external midi devices.

I’m about to post another query: I’m currently on 9.5 (about to upgrade to 11) pro, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out what happened to my Inspector tab next to Visibility on the left of the MixConsole. One step at a time!

Thanks for taking the time for your response above, and any additional thoughts are appreciated!

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Thanks for explaining the larger context of your studio. That gives a good idea, what your longer term setup can look like.

The biggest missing trick is, that you should be able to also connect your MOTU to yoru Mac via USB cable (and ensure that you’ve installed all the latest software i.e. the MOTU Midi Installer for MacOS from - Download

Doing that will make your midi signals go back and forth directly between the MOTU and the Mac - and Cubase will be able to communicate with all of your midi devices connected to the MOTU.

And after that - if you wish - you can also reconnect your KX88 to the MOTU. This is advisable, if you sometimes want to send MIDI directly from your KX88 to one of your other devices without having to use your Mac.

The way you had it routed before (MOTU midi out :arrow_right: UR44 midi in), can work, however I suspect you aren’t that familiar with the fact that the MOTU can route midi traffic in configurable paths between its various midi inputs and outputs. So I assume it was in a setting that didn’t route the traffic from the input of the KX88 to the output of the connection to the UR44. In order to make that method work, you’d have to familiarize yourself with the various available routing settings inside the MOTU and ensure that the traffic flows as you want to. You would also have to learn this, if you want to send midi directly between the connected devices without using your Mac.

If you just want to have all of your external devices communicate with the Mac, just use the MOTU for all of the midi connections and the UR44 for the audio connections. It would be the least confusing. – And use the midi on the UR 44 only as an extra, if you run out of midi ports on the MOTU. The Mac and Cubase can communicate midi traffic with both midi devices simultaneously.

I hope all of that makes sense, otherwise let me know.

Good luck and have fun!

@Nico5, that is just awesome, to give me that detailed of an answer!! I will go to work on hooking that up in that fashion and report back. Thank you!

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