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Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem #2936355 01/20/20 03:54 PM
Joined: May 2005
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Riddler Offline OP
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Hi,

I have been struggling with a MIDI recording problem for several years. I am close to going bonkers over this – or maybe I'm there already! I am hoping someone here can give me a clue to what is going on.

The problem occurs when I use Band in a Box (BIAB) to record from a Yamaha Clavinova digital piano. You can see the issue here - note the bottom red/green line, which indicates overlapping notes.

Recording Problem

So my questions are: What is causing those? And how can I prevent it?

A few basic facts before I get to the nitty-gritty:

• The problem does not occur with other midi recording software such as RealBand, Aria, Anvil Studio, or Pianoteq.
• The problem does occur with two different Yamaha piano models (Yamaha P120 and Yamaha Clavinova).
• The problem occurs whether I connect with a USB cable, or with a Yamaha MIDI cable with MIDI/USB adapter.
• The problem occurs whether I use the built-in drivers or the Yamaha MIDI USB driver.
• The problem occurs with BIAB2006 (yes, 2006, I just recently re-installed it and checked), and BIAB2020, and all BIAB'S in between that I have had.
• The problem has occurred on three computers (2 laptops, 1 desktop), with different versions of Windows.
• The problem does not occur with my old CASIO LK-220 keyboard.
• The problem is repeatable, in that if I play and record for a few minutes, it almost always happens; but it is random, in that it does not always happen at the same time or on the same notes. The randomness makes it hard to troubleshoot.
• If I record a longer piece, more of those lines accumulate.

There was a suggestion that perhaps the Yamaha sends a flood of MIDI messages that overwhelm BIAB. To check, I installed software called Midi-Ox, which monitors incoming MIDI messages. I don't know how to devise a good diagnostic test, but I have run a few simple tests, with results that seem normal. If I press ten keys at once, ten note-on messages show up; if I release them, ten note-off messages are displayed. If I do that test many times, rapidly, I still get ten note-on and ten note-off messages. If I monitor the input while simultaneously recording in BIAB, the only MIDI messages I see are the notes that I press on the Yamaha. Nothing I did seemed to stimulate a flood of messages.

If I set Midi-Ox to see all messages, not just the notes, I do get a continuous stream of Active Sensing messages, a few per second. I assume these are benign; however, it is interesting to note that the Casio keyboard does not send Active Sensing messages, and does not cause overlapping notes. There does not seem to be any way to tell the Yamaha to stop the Active Sensing.

I have varied just about everything I can think of, with no change in results. Things I have played around with, to no avail:
• ASIO vs MME
• MIDI Through ON/OFF
• One-way MIDI comm (disconnected other cable)
• MIDI input and output drivers
• VST settings
• Playing with/without pedal
• Yamaha transmitting on different channels
• Latency settings
• Record on the soloist track vs melody track in BIAB
• Jbridge settings
• 32 bit vs 64 bit for BIAB
• Quantizing settings
• Timer resolution settings
• Ethernet function disabled
• Antivirus off
• Record filter – various settings
• MIDI file resolution
• Windows audio sample rate settings
• Piano Local Control ON/OFF
• Set piano to not send Pitchbend, Systemrealtime, Sysex, Program, or Control messages
• Uninstall BIAB, reinstall (twice!)
• Send Extra Note Off Messages set to YES in BIAB
• Piano Local On set to OFF, at both piano and in BIAB software
• Monitored CPU load while recording, no spikes noted
• Reset priority of BIAB process in Windows
• Isolate the computer from the internet
• Turn off WI-FI
• Stop programs running in the background
• Computer cleanup measures – defrag, disk error check, PC Cleanup, etc


Recently, I began to wonder if some other software on my computer was causing an interaction of some sort. (I had a strange problem once with MS Word, and MS told me to upgrade Adobe Acrobat to fix it. They were right. I guess the two programs used the same DLL file or something like that, so there was an interaction that I would not have expected.) With that in mind, I deleted the Vanbasco MIDI Player to see if that would fix the MIDI problem. Nope.

I had previously assumed two things that I am now not sure of. I assumed that the problem was due to losing a note off message, but now I think that is not right, because sometimes the problem occurs when I am sure I was still holding down the key (i.e., I am sure no note off message has been sent). Also, I assumed that the problem was most likely when there are a lot of notes coming from the piano, but sometimes there are lots of notes, and no overlap problem, and sometimes there is a problem when there are not so many notes.

How accurate is my data? I have no expertise in these things, so I may be misinterpreting some results. Also, I have always assumed I was on the brink of solving the problem, so I was never motivated to keep detailed data for the future analysis; the result being that the quality of my note-taking was not what you would call meticulous.

Questions that seem to point to a culprit:
• Why does the problem occur with BIAB but not RealBand, ARIA, Anvil Studio, or Pianoteq? What's different?
• Why does it occur with Yamaha pianos but not with the Casio keyboard? What's different?

Thanks for any suggestions or comments!

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

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Re: Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem [Re: Riddler] #2936362 01/20/20 04:16 PM
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I have no idea what reason could cause this, but it seems some "compatibility" issue between Yamaha and BIAB. I believe the problem must be solved from software perspective. Did you try to report this directly to PG Music?

Re: Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem [Re: Riddler] #2936367 01/20/20 04:35 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
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You said, problem has occurred on three computers (2 laptops, 1 desktop), with different versions of Windows, with Yamaha keyboard but not with Casio and only with BIAB.
First conclusion, there is a problem between BIAB and Yamaha keyboard.

BIAB is a great software but on macOS it's awkward and unstable, so I'm not surprise you have a strange bug. Maybe things are better on Windows. You can give PGmusic a call or an email. I called them 10 years ago for a problem and they were really helpful.
Sorry, I don't have a better suggestion.



"The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.“
Maria Cristina

Re: Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem [Re: Riddler] #2936436 01/20/20 07:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2007
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello Ed,

You don't mention which Clavinova model you own, however assuming it features the GH3 (or newer) keyboard action, it could be that the issue you are experiencing is related to the action's triple sensor system.

If this is indeed the case, I expect Pianoteq, Anvil etc. are able to interpret the MIDI data sent by the Clavinova correctly, while BIAB is not.

I'm afraid I don't know what the solution might be, other than to contact the BIAB developers to ask them to check the software with triple sensor keyboard actions, preferably those developed by Yamaha.

While rare, I have seen similar cases from Kawai VPC1 customers in the past. On most occasions, the software developers updated their software to resolve the problem. However, we also implemented a "2-sensor mode" compatibility setting into the VPC1 via a firmware update.

In the case of your Clavinova, I don't believe there is a similar "2-sensor" compatibility setting, however it may be possible to use software such as MIDI-OX to filter-out the additional NoteOn messages sent by the instrument before they are received by BIAB.

Again, I am not 100% certain that this is the issue that you are experiencing, however it's certainly something to consider.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem [Re: Riddler] #2936677 01/21/20 11:08 AM
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Thanks for the comments.

I agree, the finger of suspicion points in the direction of software.

BIAB is awkward and crashy in Windows too! But it can be very handy.

I emailed all the info to PGMusic (creators of BIAB) a few weeks ago. No reply to my email so far.

I also posted it all on their forum too. There has been a lot of discussion, and questions from the PGMusic rep, but no paydirt so far.

My Clavinova is CLP-535, which does not have the graded hammer thing, according to the user's manual. However, that is interesting and I think I will bring address it with Yamaha and see if that leads anywhere.

Thanks,

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem [Re: Riddler] #2936930 01/21/20 11:32 PM
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Kawai James Offline
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Originally Posted by Riddler
My Clavinova is CLP-535, which does not have the graded hammer thing, according to the user's manual.


According to the specifications on the Yamaha website, the CLP-535 uses:

GH3X (Graded Hammer 3X) keyboard with synthetic ivory keytops, escapement

...which is a 3-sensor action.

Kind regards,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019
Re: Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem [Re: Riddler] #2937017 01/22/20 08:52 AM
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James,

You are indeed correct!

The hardcopy and softcopy specs for the Clavinova cover several models, and I misinterpreted the table in the spec to mean that only the CLP-585 and CLP-575 models have the capability. My mistake.

Stepping through the menu on my piano, I don't find any options for switching to a two sensor mode, as you say.

But I feel that this is something of a breakthrough. Up till now, there has been a bit of a mystery behind this problem because no one has been able to suggest a plausible physical mechanism that was consistent with the results I have been getting. But it seems quite plausible that the triple sensor technology could result in overlapping notes.

I will take this info to PGMusic and see what they can do.

I thank you for taking the time to help me with this. As far as I'm concerned, you get the Post of the Year Award!

Ed


http://edsjazzpianopage.blogspot.com/

My fingers are slow, but easily keep pace with my thoughts.

Re: Yamaha Clavinova MIDI Recording Problem [Re: Riddler] #2937302 01/22/20 07:49 PM
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Kawai James Offline
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Hello Riddler,

Originally Posted by Riddler
I thank you for taking the time to help me with this. As far as I'm concerned, you get the Post of the Year Award!


No problem, happy to help - fingers crossed this matter can be resolved by the software developers.

I will gratefully accept the "Post of the Year Award" - it's still only January, but I think I should perhaps quit while I'm ahead. wink

Cheers,
James
x


Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

"I agree that the User Manual is very good." - arc7urus, March 2019

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