[Solved] Need help diagnosing MIDI keyboard connection

I’m helping a friend get set up to use Dorico. He had purchased Dorico 2 and never really got it to work, mainly because he had a very slow notebook. He has a new notebook and has installed Dorico 2. He has a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio interface. We were able to get the ASIO driver installed and output is now playing through the main outputs of the Scarlett.

The problem now is activating the keyboard. Most apps have a setup dialog where you can see the available MIDI devices and select your input device. I guess there is no such thing in Dorico. He has the keyboard (some kind of Yamaha device) connected to the MIDI port on the Scarlett. But no notes are displaying when entering into Dorico note entry mode.

I am having to work at a distance because of the COVID situation, so I cannot guarantee all the cables are plugged correctly. I can guarantee he was in note entry mode because we did this on a Zoom teleconference where I could see his desktop. That Yamaha keyboard does have a USB interface. He tried plugging that in and heard the Windows sound of a device being installed. I don’t know if extra drivers are required to run in that mode. Notes did not play in that mode. I don’t believe he restarted Dorico after that, so it might work if we plug in the USB cable and then start Dorico. I will test that later tonight.

My real question is how one would go about diagnosing this, if Dorico doesn’t display any information about the devices it sees? I feel like I’m working blind. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Please do Help > Create Diagnostics Report, which creates silently a zip file on your desktop. Please attach it here.
You might also want to unzip it and have a look at the VSTAudioEngine log files. They show which MIDI ports do get detected.
Dorico receives MIDI data from any input port it does detect.

Dorico (including Dorico 2) does display the MIDI devices it sees, in Preferences > Play > MIDI input devices.
If your friend is using MIDI cables between the keyboard and the Scarlett, ask him to try swapping the cables over; somewhat counterintuively the “in” generally needs to go into the “out” and the “out” generally needs to go into the “in”.

OK, thanks. It is probably something like that. We’ll give it another go this evening.

(I do see that “MIDI input devices” panel on my computer now. I thought I had seen that before, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I don’t really understand the logic of MIDI input devices being in the “play” category, when the “note input and editing” category immediately above that seems lot more intuitive. But really, I’d suggest all of these device setup things be consolidated in a “control room” or “hardware setup” section, which is how it is done in most programs.)

It sounds like I won’t get another shot at this until next week. But now that I know where to find the MIDI input devices, I think we ought to be able to clear this up.

The original system was logical and intuitive: the cable (and the MIDI data) went from “out” on one device to “in” or “thru” on another one. The labels were on the devices. Both ends of the cables were identical, and it didn’t matter which end of the cable was used for “in” and “out”.

Then, some computer designer tried to improve things by putting labels on the cables instead of the devices, and thinking it was more intuitive to connect “in to in” and “out to out” - which makes no logical sense at all, if you think about it.

None of my regular MIDI cables are marked like that, but I do have one USB gadget that includes cables marked in and out, and it did seem backwards to me. I suspect that is the problem here, but my friend is out of the loop for a few more days.

As I said, the label were on the boxes containing the devices, not on the cables. It didn’t matter which end of the cable was plugged into an “in” and which end into an “out”, the cable worked either way round.

This is all working now. When I was able to look at the MIDI Input Devices, nothing was there. It was a sequence problem. The user had started Dorico before plugging in the interface.

In theory, Dorico should be resilient to MIDI devices being plugged in and unplugged while it’s running; you should find that when you return to the MIDI Input Devices dialog, any newly plugged-in devices appear there without needing to restart Dorico.