Hi, it's been a long while since I've been in these forums, so it's good to be back. I just recently bought a PC for explicit studio purpose and installed Mixcraft Pro 5. This was a budget project, and I can't say I could have been any happier. My setup is a Yamaha keyboard and line 6 pod xt live both connected by usb to the pc for direct guitars, keyboards and midi control, with Monitors off the system. Any latency or popping issues have been easily and effectively handled by manipulation of buffers and use of the Wave RT drivers.

My question is:

In the future, IF I elect to upgrade or expand, are there any options in which I could maintain strict USB connectivity from keys and guitar interface? My keyboard does not have midi in/out connectors, and I love the ability to use it as a controller. It seems that every external audio interface I've seen requires midi in/out to maintain this. Is there a recommended type of sound card that I can replace the stock one with, or use in the PCI slots that will allow me to keep things connected as is and dramatically improve performance of simultaneous recording/playback? I apologize if these questions have been addressed thoroughly in previous threads, but I spent a lot of time searching and winding up with threads that didn't quite answer this.

I will in all likelyhood purchase an external audio interface, but only for mics and expanding guitar capabilities as I prefer not to use my DI box for this.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Last edited by Reildeal at Mar 14, 2012,
The only time you need midi in or out ports these days is say you have a keyboard that has sounds you like. Run midi out to keyboard and record via line out.

Another time would be if you have a vintage keyboard or a keyboard that doesn't have a USB port.

As for internal interfaces I don't know much about them but they exist. Probably a little more expensive. If you upgrade I don't see why you just wouldn't replace current interface.
Thanks for the reply. A friend of mine mentioned the same thing about the midi in/out. And actually I think I may be a bit confused by a couple things with regards to midi as I'm relatively new to using it in any depth. If I ran usb from computer to keys, then audio from keys to an external interface such as a Fast Track or a Focusrite unit, it would operate essentially the same then?
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Last edited by Reildeal at Mar 14, 2012,
Most USB keyboards these days will use the USB bi-directionally... in other words, it will use the USB to send data as well as receive it. Keyboard then acts as its own MIDI interface, via USB (don't forget, you can send MIDI signals without a MIDI cable, through USB or FireWire etc. as it is still a computer language and not an audio signal) and in this case the keyboard simply acts as an input controller for the soft synths on the computer.

All you're doing is sending information from the keyboard to the computer about note pitch, velocity and duration. It's as simple as that. The audio outputs on the keyboard are only necessary if you want to play the keyboard live (onstage) with sounds from the soft synth, and want to use the keyboard output into the PA (maybe because you're using the computer's audio output to hear a click track/backing mix in some headphones and don't want that going through the PA).
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Ok, this is beautiful. As I mentioned, the whole midi world is pretty new to me, and absolutely counter-intuitive for me as a guitar player. I'm glad I came here, thanks a ton for the help guys! I think I'm going to pick up a decent interface pretty soon.
No probs, all you have to remember about MIDI is that it is a computer language*, not an audio format, and you should be able to understand it easily enough

*Technically, it's a way for computers to interface with music-related hardware and software, as it uses a hexadecimal format usually sent back and forth as binary 'words'. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface, I believe) was basically set up to allow a standardised system for computers, keyboards and other digital gear to interact without too many problems occurring.
Hey, look. Sigs are back.
Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Mar 14, 2012,