Legacy MIDI keyboard frustration and solution

I’ve recently installed Cubase 7 on a computer at work, and brought my old Oxygen 8 keyboard in from home for inputting. Connected it via USB, all is well. This thing always worked well with other DAWs, so I had no reason to think it wouldn’t this time. Cubase seemed to see it, I would see levels on MIDI in and MIDI out, I’d see velocities when looking at the Key editor and the notes I’m playing would highlight on the virtual keyboard. When I would press record and play something, the track would remain recorded, as if there were MIDI info in there. But no matter what key, control, slider, channel, program, etc. I adjusted, NO information would show up. I knew SOMEthing was there, because the track doesn’t show up as recorded if you just press REC and don’t do anything. It was driving me nuts. I uninstalled and re-installed drivers, anything I could think of. Nothing worked. I could even play VI’s, but no MIDI info would appear.

So I was poking around the Device Setup area, under MIDI Port Setup, and noticed a check box labelled “Use System Timestamp for ‘DirectMusic’ Inputs”. My keyboard shows up as a DirectMusic input, so, what the heck, I checked the box. Go back to try a test record, AND THERE IT IS! Now all the info records just like I would expect.

I looked in the manual. No mention of this checkbox. I looked online. All I found on the subject of system timestamp was timing issues. Nothing to indicate the kind of weirdness that happened to me.

Anyway, just thought I’d pass this little story along in hopes of helping someone else out who may encounter a similar issue.

What happend to you is strange, as the ‘Use system timestamp…’ option is here mainly for troubleshooting any erratic MDI events tempo positioning. I never had to use it, to be honest, and it is still unchecked here. The problem is that, indeed, there is nothing in the Operation manual about it, showing that it is clearly here to be used only when a problem arise. A little paragraph about it in the ‘Setup MIDI ports’ paragraph would be welcomed, though, just to clarify its eventual use.

FWIW, I always avoid USB for my MIDI devices and use good ol’ MIDI cables without any driver installed instead. So, if your Oxygen keyboard allows it, did you try to use your it with only these ?

Another thing is making me think : all my MIDI ports are labelled ‘Windows MIDI’ in the ‘Device’ column of the ‘MIDI Port Setup’ pane and, as your seems to be labelled as ‘DirectMuic’, maybe there is something here to check in your driver setup. As a general rule with Cubase, I avoid at all cost to use any device or port labelled as ‘Direct’-something…