Keystation 88es driver not showing up in Cubase 6

So recently I wanted to try composing some songs so I invested in Cubase 6 along with a Keystation 88es for sequencing. I am totally new to this so if something here seems weird or doesn’t make sense please correct me because my understanding of this process is minimal at best.

I formatted my computer, installed Windows 7 64-bit, installed Cubase 64-bit, and then installed the M-audio USB driver 5.0.1 in that order. Everything seemed OK.

Unfortunately when I go into Cubase and go to Device Setup, I can only see the default ASIO drivers that come with Cubase (“ASIO DirectX Full Duplex Driver” and “Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver”). I checked Device Manager and the M-audio driver is there and installed without any issues.

Now if I use one of these default drivers, for example the “Generic Low Latency ASIO Driver” I can get my Keystation to work with Cubase. But the latency is too high (~20 ms) and it makes recording anything very unnatural. I was expecting to see an M-Audio driver in the list that way I could perhaps decrease the buffer size to get the latency down or perhaps setup a direct monitoring of some kind.

What should I do? Should there be an M-audio driver that I can setup Cubase to use? Is there some way to set up direct monitoring to reduce the latency I hear when recording? Am I even asking the right questions?

Any help would be appreciated.

Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5 gHz
RAM: 4.00 GB
Software: Cubase 6
Keyboard: M-Audio Keystation 88es

The keystation is only a controller there is no audio interface built into it.
Only midi (commands, not sounds inside the keyboard that need to get into cubase via audio).
You need a sound card for audio in/out. The computer either came with one or you bought a better one that you either installed inside or is external in a rack or sitting ontop of your desk somewhere.
That’s what Cubase will recognize as your audio in/out. And that’s what should be hooked up to your sound system for playback (or headphones or coming out of your computer’s speakers).

if you have no interface that you had installed inside or out, then you should have some minimal sound card that came stock with the computer otherwise you wouldn’t be able to hear anything including mp3’s, audio cds, movies, etc.

So the default audio in the device menu is your system audio default. (not sure what it’s called in your PC, in a mac it’s something like core audio or system default, etc.). You shouldn’t have more than one or two choices in that window, if you don’t have an audio interface to choose. Again the M-audio ES 88 is not an audio interface, so you won’t find that in there no matter how many drivers you’ve installed. The driver for the Keystation will only enable you computer and software to recognize that it’s there as a midi keyboard, not as a sound source.

If that is all you have, you’re using a world class software with a decent midi controller with a minimal audio card.
You might be able to be satisfied with that (I don’t really know since I’m a mac guy and the mac built in audio is do-able as a last resort). But you might want to add a couple hundred bucks to your budget and get a starters audio interface so you can sing & or play and a real instrument into Cubase for recording. If you just want to use the sounds that came with Cubase (do-able too) then you can use the VSTinstruments that came with it. or buy more VSTinstruments there’s so many of them I wouldn’t know where to begin, but a good music store has many of them and you can just type in your search window VST Instruments and you’ll find a ton that you can audition over the internet. But again you won’t be able to appreciate the demos if you don’t have a good audio playback setup (via some kind of decent audio interface).

from m-audio website: Top Features
88-note velocity-sensitive, semi-weighted action
built-in USB MIDI interface w/ MIDI out jack
powered via USB or 9VDC
class-compliant with Windows XP, Vista (32 bit), and Mac OS X

as you can see there is no mention of an audio in/out or any sounds, it’s a midi controller you play it and it sends MIDI (musical instrument data interface) commands.

If you want to hear sounds, you go into cubase and load a VSTinstrument and setup a track for it and
if none-of this makes any sense to you…you have to watch the Cubase 6 tutorials it’s all explained in them.
They are on the 2nd dvd disc in your Cubase 6 package.
copy them to your hard drive and watch them all.
Then start to read the manual as you need to learn all about this stuff.

eventually you’ll be up and running and making music like mad!!!

all the best,

el profe, LG

Thanks for the detailed explanation! So far I have watched the 5 video tutorials on the CD that came with, and that was what confused me…in the tutorial they were selecting a driver associated with the keyboard they were using I was expecting to be able to select something similar for my Keystation. :frowning:

I have been using the “Generic Low Latency driver” …I tried it again later that night and now I can’t hear a delay. I’ve been laying down some simple melodies and messing around with the HALion synthesizer. The first time I was using piano as the instrument and I could hear a very noticeable delay, and now it sounds instant. Strange…the driver is still reporting a delay of about ~20ms when I check it in Device Setup. Anyways I can’t hear it now so not a problem!

I forgot to mention…I am using the built in sound card that comes on an EVGA nVidia 780i motherboard. I just want to use the keystation as a controller, and the VST instruments in Cubase are more than enough, so I guess there is no reason to invest in a better sound card for the moment…

Thanks for your help. :slight_smile:

Just curious: did you already try to open and play the demo project that’s on the C6 DVD? Or maybe try to import a standard midi file (you can find 1000’s of free midifiles on the net), with every track routed to a VST instrument (standard: halionSonicSE) and play it ? What did the ASIO meters tell you (hit F12)?

You’ll quickly find out that investing in a dedicated soundcard with real ASIO drivers is a necessity, not a luxury. It doesn’t have to be expensive, even the simplest low-budget USB unit from Edirol (50€ or so) gave me good results, as long as it has ASIO drivers. Why? Because all this audio I/O has to be calculated in real-time, you can’t let the communication between Cubase and the audio card be (mis)handled by Windows. ASIO-drivers were designed to give Cubase direct access to the audio i/o 's.

If you’re still not convinced: cheapest option is to search for ASIO4ALL, a free generic asio driver that you can use even for your onboard soundcard. But no guarantees…

Hmm I will try this when I get home from work today. Thanks