Problems

Do you know what is FUN?

Finally getting your brain in gear to compose again after at least a month of not being able to, and TECHNICAL ISSUES TAKE UP ALL MORNING.  That’s what is not fun.

Short version: I have keyboard controller, i.e., it doesn’t make sound on its own, which plugs into the computer via a USB cable.  I use it to a) input notes into Finale (itself a charming bundle of issues); and b) noodle around on a small software synth.

So when it stopped working recently, I was nonplussed.  It would play for four or five seconds, then stop sending MIDI data to the synth/Finale altogether.  Restarting it or rescanning the MIDI would fix it, but only for another four or five seconds.

I’m trying to get better about composing with the keyboard rather than just plopping notes on the screen, and this issue was not helping my efforts.

I have replaced the USB cable, reset the MIDI setup, etc. etc. etc.  It took me an hour and a half via Google just now to try and discard three different solutions, and then finally stumbled across someone in an Apple Support forum who figured out that his USB cable (essentially a power cable) was too long.  The computer wasn’t sending enough power to the keyboard to keep it running.

A shorter cable would fix it, but my set-up doesn’t allow for a shorter cable.  (I mean, I could clean off my desk, I suppose, but that would take a day and a half…)

A powered USB hub—one that plugs in and delivers power on its own— was a suggested solution, and of course I have one from days gone by.  Dug it out, and that may have fixed the problem.  I’ll report back.  Later.  After I’ve composed more than the two measures I squeezed out this morning before being sucked into the Intertubes.

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