SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-30 @ 00:35

Hi...
I have seen a couple of mini din to standard din kables, that should be able to connect a standard 5 pin din to a SB Live card.
Is it possible to use a SB-Live card, on a Windows machine, in order to run something like Munt or use a soundfont?

In theory, this should make another option for building an external midi module out of a computer.
Just like Phil has done using a laptop, only using a PCI soundcard's midi-in instead, under Windows.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby RJDog » 2016-12-30 @ 04:25

If you have drivers for your OS that lets you see/use the MIDI port(s) of the Live! card, then absolutely! I've done this very thing with an SB 128 PCI. You will need a MIDI "patching" program like loopMIDI for Windows, or the built in 'aconnect' for Linux, if that's your poison. Note that loopMIDI supports Windows XP at minimum, so that's probably the OS of choice to also fully support the Creative drivers for the Live!.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-30 @ 08:13

Cool... So basically this:

- Soundcard being supported by the OS.
- Run the program "Loop-MIDI".
- Use the correct cables.
- Start MUNT/Fluidsynth.

Speaking of the cable....
Can I just use 2 x 15-Pin Gameport to 5-Pin DIN cable, combined with a female/female gender converter between the two DIN plugs of the two gameport/midi cables?
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-12-30 @ 09:31

If the MIDI IN is available to Windows, you won't need Loop MIDI.

This is the best program to turn that PC into a General MIDI SoundFont Module:

http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=48207

The homepage has tutorials and even YT videos wit instructions.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-30 @ 10:37

Cool. Thanks. I am beginning to think about getting some sort of Mini/sff and silent pc now. With room for a full size PCI card. Slam XP on it and a small 8 inch monitor. :-P

Still need to know if I can use two of those 15/5-pin cables and a 5pin gender changer plug?
Last edited by brostenen on 2016-12-30 @ 10:39, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby yawetaG » 2016-12-30 @ 10:38

brostenen wrote:Speaking of the cable....
Can I just use 2 x 15-Pin Gameport to 5-Pin DIN cable, combined with a female/female gender converter between the two DIN plugs of the two gameport/midi cables?


I don't see why not, the same kind of converters are used to connect MIDI equipment together.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-30 @ 10:41

Thanks.... Hmmm.... Is there by any chance a ready made 15 to 15 pin midi cable for connecting two soundcards?
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby RJDog » 2016-12-30 @ 14:24

brostenen wrote:Thanks.... Hmmm.... Is there by any chance a ready made 15 to 15 pin midi cable for connecting two soundcards?

I thought of doing this myself for my setup (SB 128 PCI on a Linux host), but a proper configuration would include optocouplers to isolate the grounds of the two systems (don't want to create unnecessary ground loops). This in mind, the easiest thing would be to use two DB15-to-DIN5 (Gameport to MIDI) cables and connect them with female-to-female DIN5 adapter as you suggested.

If you're in to the homebrew scene, you could create this setup yourself without pre-manufactured cables.. you would just need some DB15 connectors, some 220 ohm resistors, and an optocoupler or two (one for each direction of signal flow you want to support). I have a schematic for this lying around somewhere, as I planned on doing this myself at one point, but I'm on my phone right now... I'll see if I can find it later.

Now... if you like to live dangerously and don't care (enough) about ground loops... you could just wire the DB15 connectors together... pin 12 to 15, 15 to 12 and 4 (or 5) to 4 (or 5) for ground... with some 220ohm resistors as current limiters... that would theoretically work.

And by 'theoretically', I mean that's what I did.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-30 @ 18:47

As much as I like the idea of crafting something on my own, I really have no balls to do that. What if I blew an AWE64 Gold?
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby RJDog » 2016-12-30 @ 19:14

brostenen wrote:What if I blew an AWE64 Gold?

Yeah, definitely a legit concern, especially in the method that I did which does not isolate ground between the systems (therefore not recommended).

The best, safest, and most supportable solution is to use two DB15-to-DIN5 cables (gameport to MIDI) and couple.them with female-to-female DIN5 adapters. These adapters include the optocouplers built in.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-30 @ 19:47

Yeah.... That might be the best way to go, as I can not find any 5pin DIN to mini DIN cables. My SB Live has those MIDI ports wich are of the propriatary mini DIN types.

It is the Live model with golden jack plugs and with a breakout card to mount in an extra slot.

If someone knows were to get a cheap cable like that, I will be highly interrested.

EDIT:
Found this little interresting image online....
It looks like the SB Live, can take MIDI input signal through the pins on the card it self.
Is it possible to use something like an arduino MIDI shield?
I was thinking, if someone know how I might be able to hook something up on that connector on the Live card?

Image
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby RJDog » 2016-12-31 @ 03:30

brostenen wrote:It looks like the SB Live, can take MIDI input signal through the pins on the card it self.

Neat! I guess it makes sense, to simplify the breakout box/card.

brostenen wrote:Is it possible to use something like an arduino MIDI shield?

Absolutely! The Arduino MIDI shields are pretty simple devices and includes an optocoupler! It would just be a matter of wiring the Live! to the shield... probably not as pretty as the pre-manufactured cable, but perfectly functional. The shield would require +5V (VCC), ground (both conventiently able to be provided by the Live! header), Live!'s MIDI OUT to the shield's TX and MIDI IN to RX.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby Ampera » 2016-12-31 @ 07:24

You can load soundfonts directly into memory by using the Sound Blaster Live! configuraiton utility. Size is limited to 500MB for 32 bit systems, but that should be good enough. Coolsoft's VirtualMIDISynth is useful for large soundfonts.

If you want to make your SB Live machine into a Sound Canvas style MIDI synth, get a Gameport to MIDI converter, load up your favourite soundfont, and patch in the line out from the SB Live into the Line in for your application.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-31 @ 09:56

Ampera wrote:You can load soundfonts directly into memory by using the Sound Blaster Live! configuraiton utility. Size is limited to 500MB for 32 bit systems, but that should be good enough. Coolsoft's VirtualMIDISynth is useful for large soundfonts.

If you want to make your SB Live machine into a Sound Canvas style MIDI synth, get a Gameport to MIDI converter, load up your favourite soundfont, and patch in the line out from the SB Live into the Line in for your application.


Yes, I know...
The reason for me creating this tread, was not only to explore that. It was actually to explore every kind of sound possibilities.
I am talking about running: Munt, Fluidsynth, Coolsoft-VirtualMIDIsynth, Roland Soundcanvas VA, BassMidi and finally the internal
soundfont capabilities of Live and other cards on Windows. You know... A different approach to Phil's 50 dollar Roland Win-Device.
He has made a video on youtube.... And there are other possibilities out there too. You know... RaspberryPI and Arduino.
This is just to have yet another aproach to all this "External MIDI Synth device Emulator" thingy/idea/concept.

I might not have explained this in dept. I have only asked some basic questions on what I have no to little info or knowledge of.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2016-12-31 @ 10:04

RJDog wrote:Absolutely! The Arduino MIDI shields are pretty simple devices and includes an optocoupler! It would just be a matter of wiring the Live! to the shield... probably not as pretty as the pre-manufactured cable, but perfectly functional. The shield would require +5V (VCC), ground (both conventiently able to be provided by the Live! header), Live!'s MIDI OUT to the shield's TX and MIDI IN to RX.


Hmmm...
So I should not use the 3.3 volt pin on the Arduino MIDI shield then?

Basically speaking. I should only use the "TX", "RX", one GND and the 5v pin's on the shield?
(5volt can be sourced from the red wire of a molex plug)
Then I have pretty much just crafted my own kind of butt-ugly and super simple breakout box?

Finally...
I have seen that the Audigy2z has these kind of pin's too.
http://pinouts.ru/Multimedia/sb_audigy2_ad_ext_pinout.shtml
And I bet the Audigy has that too. Making more options avaliable for different versions of Windows.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby RJDog » 2016-12-31 @ 14:12

brostenen wrote:So I should not use the 3.3 volt pin on the Arduino MIDI shield then?

Well, it of course depends on the exact wiring of the specific MIDI shield you have, but I can just about guarantee they will use the 5V source and not the 3.3V source, as the MIDI spec is geared to 5V.

brostenen wrote:Basically speaking. I should only use the "TX", "RX", one GND and the 5v pin's on the shield?
(5volt can be sourced from the red wire of a molex plug)
Then I have pretty much just crafted my own kind of butt-ugly and super simple breakout box?

Correct, and the 5V can actually be sourced from the Live! header (pin 1 and 2 on the header pinout you provided) rather than needing to source it from a separate molex connector.

brostenen wrote:I have seen that the Audigy2z has these kind of pin's too.

You are correct, but beyond that, I realized that the pins we are talking about using on the Live! and Audigy headers are actually not all that special for this application... they are exactly the pins presented on every gameport/MIDI DB15 connector. Pin 1 or 8 on the DB15 provides 5V, pin 4 or 5 proves GND, 12 is MIDI OUT (TX on the shield) and pin 15 is MIDI IN (RX on the shield).

Therefore, depending on your comfort level, you could connect the two sound cards just with two Arduino MIDI shields rather than the pre-manufactured cables. As mentioned before, not very aesthetically pleasing, but perfectly functional, and per the MIDI spec.
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Re: SB Live recieve midi signal in Windows?

Postby brostenen » 2017-1-01 @ 20:06

RJDog wrote:You are correct, but beyond that, I realized that the pins we are talking about using on the Live! and Audigy headers are actually not all that special for this application... they are exactly the pins presented on every gameport/MIDI DB15 connector. Pin 1 or 8 on the DB15 provides 5V, pin 4 or 5 proves GND, 12 is MIDI OUT (TX on the shield) and pin 15 is MIDI IN (RX on the shield).

Therefore, depending on your comfort level, you could connect the two sound cards just with two Arduino MIDI shields rather than the pre-manufactured cables. As mentioned before, not very aesthetically pleasing, but perfectly functional, and per the MIDI spec.


Mmmm. Yeah... It is a possibility. Well... Not until I get that thing going. I just happens to have a MIDI shield floating around in the closet. My initial thought, regarding the aproach, using a shield, was to create something for a 5.25 inch bay.
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