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Using a Windows PC as a MIDI synth via USB

posted Nov 15, 2011, 8:03 AM by Lewis Baumstark   [ updated Nov 15, 2011, 10:01 AM ]
Windows has a built-in General MIDI synthesizer, which is unfortunately tricky to control via MIDI even if you have a standard MIDI connection (I have an Instructable on how to do that here).

I'm working on a little Arduino project where I want to control Windows' MIDI synth from an Arduino.  I could hack a MIDI-OUT onto the Arduino and just use the setup from the Instructable, but it would really be nice to be able to send those MIDI messages over the regular USB connection back to the PC.  Turns out, someone else thought it was a good idea as well.  I'm using LoopBe1 as my virtual MIDI port, so the config for the Serial-to-MIDI converter are:

MIDI INPUT Port: LoopBe1
MIDI OUTPUT Port: Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth

I'm primarily seeing this as a way to prototype MIDI controllers on the Arduino without the overhead of needing to connect a separate keyboard/tone generator.


Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth was a bit laggy, so I installed SyFonOne and set its MIDI IN as LoopBe1.  With this, the Serial-to-MIDI Converter configuration is:

MIDI INPUT Port: LoopBe1

This took care of the lag issue.