Troubleshooting MIDI

From Loopy Pro Wiki

This page is intended to help you solve MIDI related problems. Common issues are:

  • MIDI Learn not working correctly (or at all)
  • MIDI device not being seen
  • MIDI bindings and MIDI learned commands responding in unexpected ways
  • Latency when responding to MIDI learned commands and MIDI bindings
  • A MIDI feedback loop that causes unusual behavior in Loopy or on the controller itself
  • Response to MIDI messages changing.
  • Hardware issues (a problem with a hub, power supply, or cable, for instance).

If MIDI Learn is not working at all or surprisingly, start with the MIDI Learn and Connection Troubleshooting below.

If strange things happen when you trigger a MIDI learned command, there may be a MIDI feedback loop. See MIDI Feedback below.

If MIDI bindings start triggering the wrong widget or clip, the problem may be related to the profile being used. See Control Profile Issues below.

MIDI Learn and Connection Troubleshooting

Loopy Pro's MIDI Learn is generally straightforward and transparent. If you run into problems, the information on this page should help you solve the problem and, if not, it should provide you with the details needed for Loopy Pro support or other users to resolve your problem.

If you have not yet seen it, you main want to see the page Getting Started With MIDI Learn.

Here is a video showing how MIDI Learn should work.

The most common problems people run into related to MIDI Learn are:

  • The controller not being seeing at all. The Basic Troubleshooting Procedure will help you identify if your iPad or iPhone is seeing the controller at all.
  • Controller not sending an "on" message on press and an "off" message on release. Loopy Pro's MIDI Learn expects a controller to send an "on" message on a button/key press and an "off" message on button/key release. If your controller is not set up to do that, Loopy Pro will likely guess wrong about what the intended trigger is. It might choose Hold instead of On. This issue can generally be solved by manually setting the trigger to "On" in the binding or by configuring the MIDI device to send On on press and Off on release. (See the section MIDI Learn below).
  • Controller Feedback. By default Loopy Pro sends feedback back to a controller so that it can update its LEDs. If Loopy or your controller act unpredictably when the controller sends a message try turning off feedback to the device in Loopy Pro's Control Settings panel.
  • On/Hold/Double-Tap mapped to the same event. Loopy Pro can map different actions to On, Hold and Double-Tap but some care needs to be taken when setting them up. Hold and Double-Tap triggers have a Defer Other Actions option in the trigger setup. If this option is not turned on, Loopy Pro will immediately process the On as soon as it comes in. So, on a Hold, for instance, the On is processed and then the Hold is activated. If you turn on Defer Other Actions, Loopy Pro will wait to act until it knows whether the the On is part of a hold or double-tap. This will result in a slight delay but ensures that On is not falsely triggered. In some cases, Loopy Pro can correct for the misfire, but in some cases that is not possible.

If MIDI Learn is nog working at all, start with the Basic Troubleshooting Procedure below.

If MIDI Learn is "kind of" working, jump down to the MIDI Learn section further down the page.

Basic Troubleshooting Procedure

If you aren't sure where to start, start with this procedure. The outline is

  • Reboot your device.
  • Use a standalone MIDI Monitor to see if your iPad or iPhone is seeing MIDI from the controller.
  • If MIDI is seen, make a note of what messages (and on what channels), your controller is sending
  • MIDI Learn triggering a clip in a new project made from Loopy Pro's default document.
  • If strange things happen when you send a MIDI message you mapped, turn off the Feedback Enabled for the controller in Loopy Pro's Control Settings

Use A MIDI Monitor to See if MIDI Is Received

Before troubleshooting:

  • Fully shut down your device using "Slide to power off" rather than putting it to sleep at waking it up.
  • Disconnect everything connected to your device.
  • Power the device up and log-in.
  • Re-connect your peripherals.
  • Proceed as described below.

Use a standalone MIDI Monitor such as ShowMIDI (which can also be loaded as an AUv3), MIDI Wrench, MIDI Scope, or any of the other MIDI Monitors that can run standalone. ShowMIDI is convenient because it runs as both and AU and a standalone app and it gives you a picture the recent activity (as opposed to the long type monitors that can sometimes show an overwhelming amount of data).

When you launch the monitor, check to make sure that your MIDI Device is listed. If your controller is connected to an audio/MIDI or MIDI interface with a standard MIDI cable, the MIDI will come from the MIDI port of the interface.

If your device is not listed, the OS does not see it. Loopy Pro will see any device seen by the OS. If the device isn't seen, you should check your connections and make sure that it is receiving enough power. You may want to contact the MIDI/audio interface manufacturer to ensure that it is compatible with iOS. Check to see if there is a firmware update for the interface.

If the interface is listed, press a button on your controller and make note of what is being sent. If no message is received, check your cables and confirm that the interface or controller is compatible with iOS.

If the controller is connected via USB, make sure that you have supplied enough power. Some controllers require more power than the iPad or iPhone supply. Some require more power than the Apple Camera Adapter plus Apple USB charger supplies.

See MIDI Monitor Usage for more information about using a MIDI Monitor in Loopy Pro.

Perform MIDI Learn

If you have confirmed that your device is receiving MIDI, the next step is to see what happens when you MIDI Learn from the device.

Here is a video showing how MIDI Learn should work. If something different happens, make note of what happens differently as that will point the direction to how to solve the problem.

To troubleshoot after confirming that MIDI is being received from your controller:

  • Launch Loopy Pro
  • Create a new document using Loopy Pro's default document
  • Choose Clip Settings from the main menu
  • Scroll to the bottom of the settings panel and choose Restore Defaults
  • In Control Settings, turn off any Global Profiles that are enabled. This step is to ensure there is not some conflict with MIDI bindings that might be interfering.
  • Turn on MIDI Learn mode
  • Tap on the upper-left clip
  • Tap or press the button or key or pad on your controller that you want to trigger the clip.

At the bottom of the MIDI Learn Panel, you should see the name/type of event followed by the word ON. If you see anything other than ON, read the rest of this section. If everything seems to have worked correctly till this point, skip to the next section.

Loopy Pro's MIDI Learn assumes that the MIDI controller sends an ON message (MIDI note on or a MIDI CC with a value of 127) when a controller pedal or key is pressed and an OFF message when the pad or key is released.

HOLD rather than ON learned. Some controllers only send an ON message and no release/off message. If this is the case, Loopy Pro will see that as a HOLD message. You can tell Loopy Pro to use ON instead of hold. Hold messages will result in delayed response. To change HOLD to ON, tap on the part of the MIDI Learn panel that displays the learned message. You will see options for the triggering event, choose ON. If your controller is configurable, set it to send an ON when pressed and OFF when released.

MIDI Feedback

If you get surprising response when controlling Loopy via MIDI, the problem may be an inadvertent feedback loop, or the controller may not respond well to the feedback that Loopy Pro sends.

By default, Loopy Pro sends feedback to a controller when Loopy received MIDI that you have mapped to something. For many controllers, this allows them to update their display to reflect Loopy's state. For example, if a pad is mapped to play a clip, the pad will light up with the clip is playing. Some controllers, however, misinterpret the feedback and may send it back to Loopy (creating a feedback loop) OR it might interpret as some sort of button press or bank change.

To see if feedback is the issue, open Loopy's Control Settings panel. Find your MIDI controller in the list of MIDI sources at the top of the panel. Turn off the setting labeled Feedback Enabled and see if that solves things.

If that does not solve your problem, you may want to see if your pedal has a setting to ignore incoming MIDI in case something else is sending MIDI back to your device.

Control Profile Issues

Check Your MIDI Bindings

If MIDI events are resulting in unexpected behavior and you have turned off MIDI Feedback, look at all of your MIDI Bindings. Bindings can be view in the Control Settings panel.

If a particular MIDI event is causing a problem, make a note of what the event is. If you aren't sure what the MIDI trigger is, use a MIDI monitor (as described elsewhere on this page) to see what MIDI message is resulting in the unexpected behavior.

  • Choose Control Settings to display the panel.
  • Look inside each listed profile.
  • The MIDI messages that are bound to action are listed in the profiles.
  • Find the MIDI message and tap on it to view the details of the actions bound to it.
  • Look through all the profiles in case the same message is mapped in multiple profiles.

Global Profile Issues

MIDI bindings learned to or created in a global profile can behave unexpectedly if the target is a clip or widget. Global profiles are best used for actions that don't reference specific items on the page.

MIDI bindings are stored in profiles that you view and edit via the Control Settings panel. There are two types of profiles project (sometimes called local) profiles that are stored inside the project and global profiles that are accessible to all your projects. Project profiles can reliably store bindings to anything in your project and the bindings will work even when the project layout changes. Global profiles identify clips and widgets based on the object order which can change when clips and widgets change position or when clips and widgets are added to a page.

If you have bindings in a global profile that refer to objects specific to particular layouts, it is best to copy the profile into the project and delete or disable the profile -- or delete the project specific bindings.

To move the profile, navigate to the profiles in Clip Settings. Tap on the profile to view it. Tap on the duplicate profile icon and choose Project Profiles as the destination.

Changing/Correcting A MIDI Learn

If you MIDI Learn and something isn't quite right, you can edit the trigger and other options. For example, if Loopy Pro chose HOLD as the trigger rather than ON, you can fix that. Tap on the MIDI Learned message to see options you can change.

Other Causes of Common Problems

If the troubleshooting procedure didn't identify the problem, perhaps you are encountering one of these common issues:

  • Insufficient power supplied to the device. Some MIDI devices require more power than the iPad or iPhone can supply. Some require more than the Apple USB charger supplies. This can be an issue when using Apple's USB Camera Adapter to connect a power-hungry device. When this is the case, you may need to use a higher wattage USB charger than the Apple charger, or you could use a powered hub. When using a powered hub, make sure that it is being provided sufficient power.
  • Bad cables or bad connection. If your iPhone/iPad doesn't see your wired MIDI device or the MIDI is intermittent, a bad cable or connector could be the cause.
  • Poor quality MIDI adapter. Some cheap 5-pin MIDI to USB connectors don't work well.
  • Network MIDI. For reasons that remain mysterious, there are some external MIDI devices that do not work well when Network MIDI is active. By default, Loopy Pro leaves Network MIDI off. Check the setting in Loopy Pro's System Settings to make sure that Network MIDI is off.


MIDI-Controlled Effects Not Responding

If you have an AUv3 such as a sampler that responds to MIDI and which is not responding, you may need to turn off idling for that effect. Normally, Loopy puts effects that aren't receiving any audio input to sleep in order to free up CPU. This is called idling. To turn off idling, open the AUv3 window. Long-press on the label that says On, Off, or Idle and turn off Enable Idle Mode in the panel that pops up.

Find out what your pedal is sending

The Loopy Pro's MIDI Learn assumes that a pedal sends a value when pressed and another value when released. If your pedal does not send a CC value of 127 (or note velocity of 127) when pressed and 0 when released, it may throw off what Loopy Pro thinks you are trying to do. Loopy Pro allows you to specify the correct trigger if it makes the wrong guess about what the trigger is. You may want to use a MIDI Monitor to see what your pedal is sending. Using a MIDI Monitor is covered elsewhere on this page.

Make Turn Off Feedback in Your Controller - Morningstar Pedals

For the Morningstar pedals, use the pedal's global configuration menu to turn Cross MIDI Thru Off and Ignore MIDI Clock On.

Here's a helpful video for the Morningstar pedal from John Paul Music UK