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µ MIDI Controller FAQ

General Questions

Configuration Questions

Q: What's new in the latest version of µ MIDI Controller?

A: Version 2.6 is "Universal" and runs on Intel-based Macs. Any image can be used as the background for a controller window. The transparency of the window can also be set. A few minor bugs were fixed.

µ MIDI Controller is now being offered for free. Just download and install. Controller documents from previous versions will automatically be converted to Version 2.6. We recommend that documents are backed up, as a precaution, before installing the new version. (back)

Q: Are there any limitations to using the keyboard to play music?

A: There are some inherent limitations on the computer keyboard. There are key combinations that the keyboard can't play together. Some key combinations will block other key presses from being sent. For example, pressing the "a" and "z" keys together will block any other keys in their rows from being sent. We recommend configuring the keyboard to get around these types of limitations or to refrain from playing "a" and "z" together. (back)

Q: How do I connect µ MIDI Controller to my synthesizer, notation program, etc?

A: There are two available means to connect µ MIDI Controller to other devices. If the device you want to connect to is available in the "MIDI destinations" list on the controller window toolbar, you can connect there. If your device does not appear in this list, try selecting "Virtual source" from the list. Then go to your device and see if µ MIDI Controller is available as a source to your device. (back)

Q: How do I make new feature requests or suggestions for µ MIDI Controller?

A: Contact us. We're always interested in new feature ideas, but we have no plans at this time for future development of µ MIDI Controller. (back)

Q: Can I try out the µ MIDI Controller without having to bother with configuration of a new controller?

A: Yes. There are example configurations included in the distribution. (back)

Q: Can I generate written notation of what I play with µ MIDI Controller?

A: Yes. We have found that µ MIDI Controller works with Melody Assistant, Sibelius, and NoteAbility. (back)

Q: How do I register the program?

A: µ MIDI Controller is now being offered for free. If you have an older demo version, download a new copy and install it. It will be fully functional. (back)

Q: Why does the controller sometimes lose notes when I'm playing certain combinations of notes? For example, when playing one chord and holding it while playing a second chord with some overlapping notes, when I release the second chord while holding the first one, only the notes that were not in common between the two chords continues playing. Why?

A: When you play the first chord, µ MIDI Controller sends a notes-on message to the connected synthesizer. When you play the second chord, a notes-on message for that chord is also sent to the synthesizer. When you release the second chord, a notes-off message is sent for each note in that chord to the synthesizer. How the syntheszier handles overlapping notes and notes-on and notes-off messages is defined within that particular synthesizer. You will find that playing the same exact sequences of chords with overlapping notes, can have different results from different sythesizers. You might also find a similar occurrence if you are playing chords where the melody contains the same notes as some chords, and you hold one specific note, while releasing that same note elsewhere. (back)

Q: What is a virtual source?

A: When the destination pop-up on the controller tool bar is set to "Virtual source," generated MIDI messages will be sent out on this "destination." Any MIDI application that wants to can then listen on this source. This is the destination that must be used to communicate with PropellerHead's Reason, for example. (back)

Q: What is a "note offset"?

A: Note offset is the value added to the base note. The base note number is the note that the mouse is pointing to on the controller surface. (back)

Q: What is meant by octave number? Where is middle C?

A: The range of octaves for MIDI is from -1 to 9. Middle C is C4 and is note number 60. (back)

Q: How do I configure a new controller?

A: Bring up a new document window by selecting the "New" menu item from the "File" menu. Click anywhere on this window to make it active. Select "Instrument parameters" from the "Window" menu (or press "command-shift-i"). This will bring up the parameters configuration window. Tool tips are provided for each of the entries. Please refer to the user guide for descriptions of each of the configuration parameters. (back)

Q: What happens if I configure the same character on my computer keyboard to play a single note and a chord?

A: µ MIDI Controller will configure both events to occur when the character key is pressed. However, note these interesting differences between single notes and chords. The single note configured to that character will change pitch, depending on the horizontal location of the mouse. Chords are fixed with respect to horizontal mouse placement, however, and will always play those notes defined for it in the chord note list. Vertical mouse parameters do apply to the chord, the same as for single notes, when chords and single notes are played through the same channel. When chords and single notes are split into different channels, MIDI effects will apply to the single notes, but not the chords. (back)

Q: A note is stuck on my synthesizer. How do I turn it off?

A: First, try to push the all-notes-off button on the toolbar. If your MIDI device ignores that message, double-click anywhere on the controller surface. This will shut off the controller and it will send a notes off message for any currently open note on the controller. To resume using the controller, double-click to turn it on again. You can tell by the color of the on/off LED in the upper left corner of the controller window whether the controller is on or off. (back)

Q: Why does my controller show up as "Untitled" in my MIDI programs?

A: When a new controller document is first opened, the document is identified as "Untitled" and this is how µ MIDI Controller differentiates the various virtual sources to MIDI destinations. To avoid confusing other programs, we leave the identification as "Untitled" until you close the document and bring up the saved configuration. At this point the controller identifier will be suffixed with the document name. (back)

Q: How do I remove the image from the background of a controller window?

A: Selecting a background color removes the background image. (back)

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