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Setting up your MIDI keyboard and external speakers to work with a program like Finale can be a bit tricky. Let's walk through the setup step by step. If this is the first time you are connecting your system, place your computer, MIDI controller keyboard, and speakers where you want to use them. Then make sure that everything is turned off. Let's first connect the controller to the computer. This can be done a couple of ways. If you're using an older controller that only has MIDI inputs and outputs, you will need to connect the MIDI output on the controller to the MIDI input on the MIDI interface.
Then connect the MIDI interface to your computer using a USB cable. Now, I'm using a keyboard controller that has a USB connection, and can be directly connected to the computer with a USB cable. If you have speakers, let's connect them, but first let me ask you a question. Are you using an audio interface? If you are, you can connect the speakers to your system via the monitor outputs on your audio interface. Otherwise, you will need to connect the speakers to your computer's line output, or to the headphone output on a laptop. Now, there are a number of different cables that might be used here, so you need to check the connections.
For example, the headphone output on your computer is likely a 1/8 inch stereo phone plug; sometimes they call that a mini-plug. At the other end, you might need two RCA, quarter inch, or XLR connectors to connect to your speakers. I suggest that you go to a music store, or an electronics store, and buy exactly what you need. It's best not to cobble together a cable using adapters. Now that your system is set up, go ahead and turn on your computer and MIDI controller. Leave your speakers off for now.
Let's open up Mac Audio Midi Setup. Let's go to Go menu. Down here at the bottom, let's click on Utilities, and in the Utilities folder, you'll see Audio Midi Setup. So I am going to choose that, and double-click on it to open it. Now, mine opened automatically with MIDI studio open. It's very possible that yours will open looking like this, and if it does, just go to the Window menu, and choose Show MIDI Window. Now, the Axiom Pro 61 is my MIDI controller, and it automatically shows up here in Audio Midi Setup, because it's what's referred to as a class compliant device, meaning that it uses the core MIDI in the Mac OS, and doesn't need a driver.
If you're using an older MIDI controller, it's very possible that it's not class compliant, and it won't automatically show up. In that case, you will need to go to the manufacturer's Web site, and download the latest driver, and then install it on your computer. Then reboot, and when you come back into MIDI studio, it should show. So we can test whether or not the computer is seeing the keyboard controller by clicking the Test Setup button, and then if I play a key on my keyboard, we should see the in arrow on the number 1 light up, and we also hear that sound.
That tells us that the computer is seeing this MIDI controller. So I will close this, and I will go up to Audio Midi Setup, and Quit. Let me close that folder for now. Let's open up Finale. Once Finale is open, I will close the launch window by clicking the Close button. Let's start setting up the audio and MIDI in Finale by going to the MIDI/Audio menu > Device Setup, and choosing MIDI Internal Speaker Setup. Now, getting Finale to work with your MIDI keyboard controller is fairly simple.
In most cases, you will just leave the MIDI system set to Core MIDI. If you've installed the driver for your controller, you may need to select it from the dropdown menu. Next, you can enable your controller by clicking the dropdown menu under Input Device, and choosing it from the menu. Here you can see that the Axiom Pro 61 USB 61 is selected. If you frequently change controllers, you can also check the Auto-Detect Input Devices checkbox, and Finale will automatically select the controller connected to your system, and assign it to input channels 1 through 16.
Next, let's set the playback to device. Click the pop-up menu, and I'd suggest choosing SmartMusic SoftSynth as the default playback device. The sounds are better than those available to the QuickTime playback device, and it doesn't use much CPU power. Now that the MIDI keyboard controller and MIDI playback device are set, close the window by clicking the OK button. Before we test the MIDI setup, open the MIDI/Audio menu one more time. I just want to show you that any time that the Play Finale through MIDI is enabled, the playback device will be assigned to the SmartMusic SoftSynth.
This is a good choice when you're building a score, because the SmartMusic playback device requires little CPU power, and won't interfere as you add notes and expressions. In a later video, we will talk about enhancing the sound of Finale playback by choosing the Play Finale Through Audio Units option. Next, let's test the MIDI setup. So let's go up to the File menu and choose New > Default Document. Next, click the Simple Entry tool, and then Option+Click in the first measure to set your cursor.
Now press some keys on your MIDI keyboard. You should see notes appear on the staff. Let's finish by choosing your Audio settings. Click the MIDI/Audio menu again, and choose Device Setup > Audio Setup. Start by clicking the Mic Source pop-up menu. If you're using an audio interface, it should be available, and you can enable it by clicking it, as I've done here with the Duet USB, which is an Apogee Audio interface.
If instead you're using the line input of your computer, you can select it, or if you're using a laptop computer, you'll also see built-in microphone as an option. Now let's check the output. Click the Source pop-up menu, and choose your audio interface, the Built-In Output, or the Built-In Line Output. Next, turn down the volume on your computer or speakers. Now go ahead and turn on your speakers, or put on your headphones. Then click the Test Audio Output button.
If you hear the short test tone, you're ready to go. Click the Test button a few more times, and adjust the level of your audio Output. Now that you've got your system set up, we are ready to start using Finale.
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