Troubleshooting USB MIDI devices on Mac

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altThis guide covers basic troubleshooting steps to determine whether your USB MIDI device is recognized, and working properly on a Mac computer. 

  1. Testing to see if a MIDI device is recognized on Mac
  2. Testing to see if MIDI devices are transmitting data using MIDI Monitor
  3. What to do if your device isn't recognized or doesn't transmit MIDI
  4. Also see...

 

Testing to see if a MIDI device is recognized on Mac

  1. Open Spotlight by pressing Command + Spacebar, or clicking the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your desktop.
     
  2. Type in Audio MIDI Setup.

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  3. Hit Enter or select Audio MIDI Setup from the list.
     
  4. Two windows should open the Audio Devices, and MIDI Studio.
     
  5. If not click on Window at the top and make sure MIDI Studio is checked.

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  6. With the MIDI Studio window open, plug in your USB/MIDI keyboard or controller. Once the device is plugged in and recognized it will appear in the window as solid. If the device is grayed out it is currently unavailable. If your device is not listed or grayed out you may want to try a different USB cable and or USB port.

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    In the example above you can see that the Numark USB Audio Device is plugged in and recognized. The Keystation Mini 32 is either not plugged in or not recognized.

 

What to do if your device isn't recognized or doesn't transmit MIDI

  1. Perform the steps above to open the Audio MIDI Setup utility.
  2. Look for any greyed out MIDI devices.
  3. Highlight any greyed out MIDI devices and press delete or backspace on your keyboard to remove them from the list.  
  4. Reconnect your MIDI device, and look for it to appear in the window.

    If it appears, and is no longer greyed out, it should work properly.  Perform the steps below if needed to confirm it is transmitting MIDI notes.

    If your issue is not resolved, see the links the also see section below for further suggestions. 

Testing to see if MIDI devices are transmitting data using MIDI Monitor

 

What is MIDI Monitor?

Midi Monitor is a free utility for Mac OS X which displays MIDI signals in a variety of formats. It can watch both incoming and outgoing MIDI streams, and can filter them by message type and channel. Musicians will find it handy for tracking down confusing MIDI problems. Programmers can use it to test MIDI drivers and applications. MIDI Monitor is free to download and use.

  1. Download, and Install MIDI Monitor.
     
  2. Download
     
  3. Open Midi Monitor.
     
  4. Click on the Sources tab to view MIDI devices. Confirm that your USB/MIDI device is listed.

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  5. Once you confirm your MIDI device is connected and listed. Play any key(s) on your keyboard/controller to confirm each button or key is sending data to your computer. If you device is working you will see a message with data like below. The device is not sending data you may have a hardware issue. Contact the hardware manufacture for further support.

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Also see...

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