Real-time MIDI input

After trying everything I can think of, I still can’t record MIDI content in real-time from an external Roland keyboard. Neither step-entry nor real-time entry works.
I’ve gone over the instructions in the Dorico user guide pp. 263+ (“Inputting notes using MIDI recording”) over and over. I’m following the instructions to the letter.
I see that an entry for “Roland Keyboard (3)” is activated on the Preferences / Play page.
I’ve confirmed that my hardware is correctly configured. I can record MIDI data sent from the same keyboard through the same USB port in other applications, such as Ableton Live.
I’m using Windows 10 and Dorico Version
Is there some configuration option or additional button I need to press, something that isn’t mentioned in the User Guide?
Thanks for any help that will get me on the right path.

It is worth trying following :
Go to the Preferences dialog, on the Play tab scroll all the way down, unfold the Advanced Options and toggle the WinRT option. Then restart Dorico and try again. Any better?
If not, please choose from the menu Help > Create Diagnostics Report and post the corresponding zip file here. Thanks

My Roland A-49 MIDI Controller Keyboard requires Roland drivers be installed for Windows. Roland is very good about supplying MIDI drivers, software and documentation on their web site. Find your keyboard model on the Roland web site and look under Downloads and Support.

It would also be useful to know, @cundare, whether you see a little flashing green circle in the very bottom right-hand corner of the project window when you play notes on your keyboard. If that is lighting up, then it shows at least that some MIDI data is getting through.

dspreadbury: Yes, the little green dot lights up.

…and don’t shoot me – but I just repeated the same procedure and it’s suddenly working now.

I did this a hundred times yesterday – and have been trying to get this to work, on & off, for weeks or months – with the same negative result. This morning it suddenly worked.

I’d left the computer on last night & didn’t reboot Windows or Dorico (I just continued working on the same, still-open project) and hadn’t even yet tried Ulf’s suggestion about unchecking the WinRT setting. (I am connected via USB, though, not BT, so I"m not sure whether having that box checked, as it was, should have been the correct setting; but I guess that’s moot now).

What’s disconcerting is that, as I discovered .during my previous career as a software engineer, when a function does not work for some inscrutable reason, then suddenly starts working for an equally inscrutable reason, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem won’t return .just as inscrutably.

Let me experiment further. If I discover anything useful that might help other users, I’ll post here. But right now, I’m gobsmacked.

Thank you guys for all your advice. Maybe it was just all your good vices that convinced Dorico to start cooperating! ??

I did find something. The FlexASIO audio driver I’m using is no longer accessible by my Ableton Live DAW. Ableton, from Day One, has refused to play nice with other music apps on my machine, preventing other programs from accessing any audio functions until I rebooted the computer. At the suggestion of Ableton Support, I replaced my old driver with FlexASIO, an open-source multitasking audio driver that cured my Ableton problems.

But this morning, when I got on my machine, I lied – one thing had changed: I had closed Ableton which had been running while I was experiencing the Dorico problems. And now, when I relaunch Ableton, even with Dorico still shut down, Ableton can no longer even find FlexASIO.

I have no idea how this could have affected Dorico’s ability to transcribe MIDI data that is being arriving at the computer correctly. But it’s a clue. Dorico suddenly working, Ableton suddenly not working.

Maybe I need to start a new topic re: cross-application driver compatibility.

I don’t think so. FlexASIO is an audio driver and has nothing to do with MIDI. It’s just a coincidence.

[Edit] Unless…while you had the MIDI problems in Dorico, did audio still work then? Because when audio does not work, then also no MIDI will be delivered to Dorico (I think.)

Does Ableton insist on a different sample rate than you have set for Dorico? I had problems with some software (perhaps even Cubase when I unwittingly chose an option to do something else) setting my sample rate to 48K and messing with my ability to use Dorico until I finally set everything (Dorico, Cubase, Sound Card) at 48K.

I’m trying not to rule anything out. Sherlock Holmes: “Once you eliminate the impossible, all that’s left is the highly unlikely.”

As Ulf says, it does seem counterintuitive that an audio-interface driver would affect real-time MIDI recording (esp. since my controller connects to my PC through an open USB port, not through the external interface). But still, somehow, this may be a factor.

Today Ableton suddenly became unable to even find FlexASIO on my computer. And Dorico suddenly became able to record RT MIDI input (with FlexASIO installed & working correctly). I can’t imagine what the connection would be & maybe Dan is correct about this being a coincidence. But it’s the only clue I have to working through this mystery.

Any fans of “Oak Island” here? I know how the Laginas must feel. Each answer raises more questions.

The only connection between audio and MIDI here is, the audio driver provides the heartbeat to the audio engine. If that one does not work then also MIDI does not get delivered to Dorico.
And you are not using Bluetooth-MIDI. WinRT-MIDI is a prerequisite for Bluetooth-Midi but it also works with USB.

Thanks, Ulf. One more piece of the puzzle.
FWIW, Dorico was receiving MIDI and the WinRT option was checked. I did toggle it twice, but I’d be surprised if that’s what made everything work.
I’m focusing now on the way that Ableton accesses and fails to release drivers. Surprisingly, there’s no option for “do not take exclusive control of audio drivers.”

FlexASIO works by default in shared mode.

Yes, that’s why Ableton support recommended it. With my original drivers, Ableton would force the driver to be dedicated exclusively to Ableton and then would not relinquish control when the program terminated. So when Ableton launched, no other audio-enabled application could make sound until I rebooted the computer. FlexASIO solved that problem.

And now what’s crazy is that Ableton can’t find FlexASIO, all of a sudden – one minute it could, a half-hour later I go back to the still-open Ableton window and it can’t – but the earlier problem of Ableton taking bumping every other application on the machine no longer exists.

There may be some strange thing I’m not thinking of – such as the order in which I launch Ableton and non-Ableton apps – but right now, I must be missing something.

Could it be like this then? Ableton not recognizing FlexASIO defaults back to your other, exclusive driver, then Dorico’s audio engine can’t access the hardware and the steady heartbeat from the driver is missing and so consequently no MIDI delivery either.

Ulf: I think the observed behavior was different. Dorico would not transcribe MIDI events that it was actually receiving so long as, presumably, Ableton was configured with FlexASIO. But once Dorico mysteriously returned to normal behavior, Ableton could no longer even find FlexASIO on my hard drives. Resetting Ableton to work with the original, exclusive driver & leaving Dorico with Flex finally enabled the two programs to work concurrently. Yeah – HUH?

IOW, the two programs now can no longer both use FlexASIO at the same time. Even if only one of them is running. What’s particularly confusing is that the reason I installed FlexASIO, at Ableton’s suggestion, was because the two programs could not both produce audio output with the original (exclusive) driver. So my next step is to configure both applications with the original driver to see if the original symptoms return.

Or just give up. You know, I wanted to use Ableton to mix and master audio files exported from Dorico. I prefer composing in a score-based interface to piano rolls, since I grew up in a pen-and-paper era. And if I could mix & master right in Dorico – perhaps using MIDI CC instructions or VST plug-ins – I could get away without a DAW completely. After all, I’m already mixing my work, to a great degree, right in the score, using conventional articulation & dynamics markings. If there’s a way to kludge an automation function – and other expert users have suggested ways to approach that problem – perhaps Dorico w/NotePerformer will be all I need.

Something for me to think about.

Yeah, now Dorico suddenly doesn’t even receive MIDI data, much less transcribe it.
I have no idea what changed. I’m about ready to lose my mind.
Dan, is there a way to send you a dump that would let you examine the state of my configuration? Or even take remote control of my machine?
Or anything?

Certainly you can do Help > Create Diagnostic Report and upload the resulting zip file here. Ulf and I can take a look and see if anything jumps out, though Ulf is more skilled at troubleshooting these kinds of problems than I am.

Update: I’ve attached a diagnostic report. Current state = using the FlexASIO driver; Dorico does not receive MIDI data (no green light blinking). Ableton, running concurrently does correctly receive and record data, using my original Meridian ASIO driver. Ableton cannot now find the FlexASIO driver when I try to install it.

One thing I just noticed is that there’s now a “delete automation” option in the Play menu in Write mode. I can’t find any documentation on this feature in the Operations manual. (I have Version for 64-bit Windows). If there is a way to automate volume levels, EQ, & compression for an entire score (or even individual players), that would relieve a lot of my sense of urgency. I’m trying to use Ableton solely for mixing & mastering exported audio generated by Dorico. If I can do everything with one program, that’s obviously a cleaner workflow, even if I lose access to some of the advanced functionality of a DAW. And there are may be VST plug-ins capable of adding some of that functionality to Dorico regardless, eh?

If we can’t solve the current issue, which continues to baffle, maybe there’s an 80/20-rule Plan B. Does that sound like something that might eventually be worth pursuing?

Dorico (561.8 KB)

Thanks for the diagnostics, though it is tedious to walk through all the logs.
I can see several things from the last 10 runs. In Dec 2022 you used Dorico and it did not recognize any MIDI ports at all. Then you started using it again Jan. 22nd and Dorico started suddenly to recognize your Roland, for reasons I don’t know. But even though it started recognizing the Roland, it does not always create a proper MIDI mapping, i.e. set up an internal connection, yet again for reasons I don’t know.
Could it actually be the same problem that we also have in Cubase, namely that the MIDI driver of your Roland keyboard is not multi-client capable? In that case, whatever application starts first using a MIDI-device “locks” that device so that no other app can receive MIDI from it until the other app releases the device. As I say, this limitation comes from the MIDI-driver. Some drivers, like e.g. our own MIDI driver of our UR series.
If that is not the case with you, then it would be good to have a remote screen sharing session. If you can agree, send me a private message and we’ll sort the details.