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Windows 7: Good Midi Keyboard for 7

13 Oct 2009   #1

Win 7 Ultimate x64
Good Midi Keyboard for 7

I am considering getting rid of my CME-UF5 Midi keyboard since there is no possibility of running it under Windows 7 and purchasing something new.

Anybody have any suggestions as to what I should be looking at? Besides this make, and M-Audio I really don't know what my other options really are. Although I did like the quality and weight of the keys with CME vs M-Audio, I suspect M-Audio would have much better driver support and customer support for future updates, CME was certainly lacking in this department considering they didn't even provide a Vista driver for this damn thing. I browsed through forums and it seems that someone had created their own Vista driver for it by modyfing the XP one while others claimed that due to the hardware inside this keyboard, there would be no way to run it outside of an 32bit XP environment.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Oct 2009   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by A320 View Post
I am considering getting rid of my CME-UF5 Midi keyboard since there is no possibility of running it under Windows 7 and purchasing something new.
Why would you think this? MIDI is MIDI and the model keyboard you have is irrelevant. It's all about the MIDI interface you have. If you are using an old interface through a game port you just need to upgrade to a USB port interface or purchase a card that has MIDI ports built in like some of the M-Audio cards do. If you buy a new keyboard and use the interface that doesn't work with Windows 7 you'll be wasting money.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2009   #3

Win 7 Ultimate x64

You know this occurred to me just shortly after I made that post. Currently I am obviously using it via USB. As for my audio I am using onboard sound. But say for instance, I upgraded my sound card to something better which had a midi input like a 'creative' or even 'M-Audio' card, you're saying MIDI is MIDI as long as the sound card has drivers to work with Windows 7 I can use my CME keyboard via MIDI interface with no issues under Windows 7. Do I have that right, if so I'll be relieved because I'd MUCH rather have this option as I really like this keyboard and got it for too good of a price to have to give it up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Oct 2009   #4

Win 7 Ultimate x64

PS - as for the interface, I am using Ableton Live 8 primarily which appears thus far to load up no problem under Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

I just checked the Ableton web site and they state in the FAQs that 64-bit Windows Vista is not supported. There's no mention of Windows 7 at all but if it doesn't work under Vista 64 it won't work under Windows 7 64 as you state in your profile.

Try downloading some shareware MIDI sequencers and see if they work. Also look for an updated driver for the USB interface. It's not necessarily tied to Ableton.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Oct 2009   #6

Win 7 Ultimate x64

As for the USB driver for the keyboard itself CME has dropped the ball and created ONLY and XP driver for this keyboard.

As for Ableton Live and it's compatibility it seems to be working so far in my Windos 7 environment, no conflicts yet. Maybe 'compatibility mode' is working ok.

So back to my original question, regardless of which MIDI sequencer program I end up using, will the keyboard itself work via MIDI as I described above with a proper sound card or any hardware add on that accepts MIDI.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64

Let's start with the basics. You say Ableton Live is working but yet you also say you can't use the keyboard. Just because the software loads doesn't mean it's working. You don't mention what function is not working. Can you play MIDI files from disk to your sound card? Can you record from your keyboard? I looked up the CME-UF5 specs and see it is only a controller with no on-board sounds. Do you have a separate sound module? Does the system recognize the device when you plug the USB cable in?

You typically don't have MIDI drivers for an instrument or even for a given sequencing program. You usually have drivers for the interface whether it's a card, a game port, or a USB device. You're software may be designed to control specific functions only you keyboard has but it also be able to handle General MIDI. Buy this: Buy CME U2MIDI USB Cable-Like MIDI Interface | Audio Interfaces & Convertors | Audio Interfaces | Musician's Friend before you replace your keyboard.

MIDI is an industry standard format that doesn't send audio signals but performance data such as which key is pressed, how long it is held down, how quickly it was pressed, and which instrument is mapped to that key. That's why MIDI files are so small and they work with every MIDI device.

Without knowing exactly what the specific problem is you should check the following:
  1. Check power to all devices.
  2. Check cabling.
  3. Move USB cable to a different USB port. (Mine burnt out once)
  4. Check USB status in Device Manager.
  5. Check MIDI Playback device in Sounds and Audio part of Control Panel
  6. Check the default Record/Playback device in Ableton.
  7. Download a shareware MIDI sequencer and see if that works.
  8. Finally, try the Vista driver at CME - Driver Download
Hope that helps some. You should be able to plug your keyboard into any MIDI computer and and any keyboard into your system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #8

Win 7 Ultimate x64

ok, I'm not sure if I am mis-communicating but we are making this a bit more confusing than it has to be I think.

I do know all about MIDI. This CME keyboard is simply a controller, ie, it cannot be run without software on the computer, it acts just like a regular keyboard, sending signals to the software.

This keyboard has USB and MIDI out. Prior to Windows 7 I was using it in XP, with the USB out, with the USB driver from their site, and Ableton Live, was one of my several MIDI sequencers I have been using. (FLStudio, Acid pro were some of the others but thats irrelavent). My point is that even with the USB driver this keyboard will not do anything until you have software with VST's (virtual instruments).

Under Win 7, I have Ableton Live running just fine. The software itself is doing it's job, for example I can load my saved work, and play VST instruments using my regular qwerty keyboard as the 'signal sender'. I cannot however use my CME keyboard via USB because there is no USB driver that works in Vista/7 for this model therefore windows or ableton does not recognize the device when I connect it via USB. The link you referenced is the main download page but the vista driver shown is not for my model keyboard.

So my question is, if I buy an audio card with MIDI in like this one:
As long as the audio card itself has appropriate drivers fir Windows 7 and functions properly, than I can switch and use the MIDI out on my CME to send the signals to my software correct?

Simply put, scratch the idea of using USB and finding a driver for the CME KEYBOARD (since there isn't one) and use the MIDI out which would only require an audio card with a driver that works.

Am I confusing you more or did this explain it better.

Thanks for taking the time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64

I've got it now. I've never had a controller that had a USB port on the controller itself. I have my MIDI keyboard connected using a cable that had a USB connector on one end and a MIDI connector on the other. The driver either does the appropriate signal remapping or there is a logic chip embedded. So you don't need a separate internal cuircit board.

There four of these inexpensive adapters here at: USB MIDI Interface Search | Musician's Friend for $30 to $50 USD. I would check for Windows 7 compatibility with those vendors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2009   #10

Windows 7 Professional x64

I started reading the reviews and it looks like the E-Mu, the M-Audio, and the Yamaha have quality issues. The CME appears to work in 64 bit mode if you download the Vista driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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