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MIDI *OUT* From Garageband

1669 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Nov 7, 2013 4:24 PM by Darth Fader RSS
zmonster Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 7, 2013 2:00 PM

I upgraded to the brand new Garageband and was dismayed to find that it still does not support sending MIDI signals TO my keyboard so that the keyboard's sound generator plays the music, as opposed to Garageband playing it locally on my laptop.


Am I doing something wrong, or is this just not supported?  If it's not supported I can't fathom why?  What good is GarageBand if it can't control an external MIDI sound generator to produce the sound?  I'm a music recording newbie, so please forgive me if I'm asking an invalid questions.


Another question: is there driver software I can install to get MIDI out working?


FYI: I have a Yamamha Disklavier piano with full MIDI support built into it.


Thank you,


  • HangTime Level 9 Level 9 (50,000 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 7, 2013 2:03 PM (in response to zmonster)

    zmonster wrote:


    Am I doing something wrong, or is this just not supported?


    not supported



    zmonster wrote:


    Another question: is there driver software I can install to get MIDI out working?


    you can try MIDIO:


    (Let the page FULLY load. The link to your answer is at the top of your screen)

  • Darth Fader Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 7, 2013 4:24 PM (in response to zmonster)

    Hi Eric,


    I understand your frustration.  I can't speak for Apple but I assume they don't offer this feature in GarageBand because it would complicate things for consumers.  By limiting you only to software instruments, it becomes easy to "bounce" your software MIDI tracks down to audio files that can be stored in your iTunes playlist.  Since the audio playback of your software instruments can be recorded within the software, the average consumer doesn't have to deal with cabling external devices, adding audio interfaces to record the audio output of the external keyboard, and routing MIDI data to specific channels within the instrument.  GarageBand simplifies bouncing files under the "Share" menu (export to itunes, ringtone, song to disk, etc.). 


    In order to send the MIDI data out of GarageBand to your external MIDI instrument, you have to address how it gets to the instrument.  Does your instrument have a built-in USB MIDI interface or does it require a third-party 5-pin din connector to USB MIDI converter interface?  Older keyboards only have the traditional round 5-pin din MIDI connector ports.  Newer keyboards include a built-in USB interface connection.  The other big difference is that using an external device requires the user to learn how to navigate it's interface to assign sounds to various channels.  I suppose Apple's focus upon ease of user interface is why they have never offered a MIDI out option.  Keeping you within the GarageBand environment allows them to control the whole experience.  Even if you are comfortable navigating your Disklavier's settings to assign sounds to channels, most consumers never bother to read manuals. 


    The bottom line is that, in order to simplify user interface, complicated options have to be removed.  As a consumer-intended application, GarageBand mostly delivers this ease of use.  I would recommend that you consider Logic.  It has many additional features (like the ability to send MIDI to external devices) and the new version (Logic X) has many similarities in user interface with GarageBand.


    Good luck


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