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Topic: Any chance to change to Mac?

  1. #1

    Any chance to change to Mac?

    About a year ago I bought a PC, Personal Orchestra, and Big Band. I have had little luck getting the system to work. The MIDI/USB connection to my Casio keyboard hangs frequently, on an average of about every five minutes. I DID get it to work for about a week, but never since. It is hard to say what is wrong other than Garritan is not responsible, as the same things happens if running MIDI-OX only.

    I've consumed God knows how much time asking advice and trying to debug this thing and have concluded that it will never be reliable. I think I have to get another computer. I would like to get a Mac but can't afford to do that if I take a total loss on the Garritan software. I live in Indonesia, so I believe that I would not be able to sell my Garritan software used. Is there any way I can trade it in on a Mac version?

  2. #2

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    GPO should work on both Platforms. You shouldn't have to sell it- just transfer it. Perhaps get a license transfer or something. In these times, most programs/libraries work on both PC and Mac. It's better for the customer and cheaper for the developer to manufacture a single disc with both platform installers on it. Ever since Apple went with the Intel chips, there's greater compatibility between PC and Mac.

  3. #3

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    Could the MIDI-USB cable be at fault? The Casio keyboard itself?

  4. #4

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    I would suspect the cable first, the Casio second, the MIDI interface third - not the machine or the software.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  5. #5

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    Hi Frisbieinstein,

    while making music on a Mac is a COMPLETE pleasure, it is possible to make music with a PC since literally millions of people do every day. I think if you have a 64 bit Windows PC, you most likely have a driver issue with the Casio. Unfortunately, Casio does not make professional keyboards, and probably does not have a driver that is compatible with the 64 bit system, at least not yet. I would go to Casio's website and try to find a new software (driver) for your specific model keyboard.

    GPO4 is perfectly compatible on both Mac and Windows platforms and Garritan's software libraries can be used legally on up to four computers with just a single license... isn't THAT nice!

    I highly recommend getting a Mac, you will love it, but getting the proper driver software for your keyboard is far more practical from a monetary standpoint.

    Something else I recommend, is purchasing a Midi interface for your computer so you can connect the midi keyboard with a standard five pin midi cable. MOTU makes very nice midi interfaces that are Windows and Mac compatible, and are reasonably priced too, especially considering their quality.


  6. #6

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    Thank you for the helpful suggestions. If you want the gory details, here they are.

    When I first got the thing the MID would hang on the average of every half hour. Could be two hours, could be two minutes. Then I got it to work perfectly for a week. Then it hung every ten seconds. Today it hangs every five minutes. Each such mode seems to be stable for weeks at a time. So whatever the problem is has to fit these facts.

    The first thing I suspected was the cable. But cables tend to be either working/not working and this sort of intermittency would be strange. I'm not touching or moving the cable. Wiggling the cable makes no difference: one would think it would make things worse.

    It could be the keyboard, but I'd be surprised if it were so inherently grossly bad. Also the inconsistent intermittency would be strange. I was able to download music to the keyboard and play it.

    The driver is a likelier suspect. If it drops a byte then MIDI will hang. The driver isn't certified by Microsoft as compatible with Windows XP so that's a red flag. On the other hand, Casio is a big company, they are upgrading their image with the Priva and so forth, and surely can afford to write a decent driver. One would also wonder if the driver is no good how I got it to work for a week. One thinks it would be more consistent. At any rate I have the most up to date driver and Casio hasn't updated it for three years, so I'm not likely to get anything better.

    Viruses are also a likely candidate. There are viruses carried in data sticks and such a virus tries to reproduce by getting out the USB port which I'm using for MIDI. If the virus reads a byte from the USB then MIDI would crash. That would explain why the problem has these different modes: the mode changes as the viruses come and go. Everything fits except one wonders why everyone else in SE Asia seems not to have this problem.

    I have a Yamaha keyboard now too but it has a MIDI output socket, not USB. I went to Denpasar to get a MIDI/USB converter and they wanted $75 for it. They are $3 on Amazon, but Amazon won't ship a cable to Indonesia. Arrrggh! My family is coming but carrying a cable that weighs maybe eight ounces is too inconvenient and they won't bring it. Nice. I guess I could have a friend mail it.

    I observe the cacaphony of manufacturers that results in the impossibility of thoroughly testing anything for PC. Putting it another way, if these guys can't or won't get something as simple as a USB/MIDI interface to work then I want no part of what they sell. I look on Amazon and all the audio interfaces have complaints about unreliability. I felt I was building on sand, so Mac seemed like the only way out. Though I may be disappointed.

    Fortunately Amazon will ship audio interfaces so I could buy an audio interface with a MIDI connector that supports both PC and Mac and hope that the Yamaha works through that. If I later go to a Mac I have lost nothing. The Yamaha is weighted and it would be very nice if I could connect with my unweighted keyboard too, but I can live with weighted.
    Now that I notice that some audio interfaces also work with both PC and Mac it would make sense to give that a try first before canning the computer. Stone Age man didn't realize. Thanks for the tip.


  7. #7

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    +1 for macs...i am on pc now, but i miss my old macbook DAILY.
    it does make more fiscal sense to try getting things sorted out first though. you CAN make music on a pc...and shouldn't be having the problems you are.
    i've been hearing a lot of good things about the new focusrite usb interface...not sure about how well the midi works, though. it supports both plaforms (winxp sp2-win7x64, and mac osx10.4.7 or better), and is pretty good sounding. it's also one of the less expensive audio/midi interfaces out there.

    in terms of "unreliability", take that with a grain of salt. a lot of times, the only posts you see regarding things are negative ones...if something just works, you're too busy just using it to bother posting...

    also, you mentioned viruses...and you really need to deal with that before proceeding anyway. there are a few free ways to go (i use the free avast home version), so i'd do some research there, either way.
    i hope you get things sorted...

    "...you get to drink from...THE FIREHOSE!!!"

  8. #8

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    Hi Kell,

    You might consider reformatting your computer and re-installing the operating system if it's been bogged down over time by viruses and such. But if you have had these problems from the start, than this is an unlikely fix.

    If you are looking for an interface (which would be a very good idea), MOTU is a good bet as DPDan mentioned. MOTU combined audio/MIDI interfaces are certainly not cheap compared to some others, but they would serve you very well. They do make a straight MIDI interface that's more affordable, if you already have an audio interface. There are also reviews on most interfaces out there at Harmony Central:


    For the PC vs MAC argument: I personally prefer PC to mac for most work, as I can get right in there and mess around/configure stuff easily, as well as physically build and mod my desktop (fanless water cooling for quiet operation, for instance). But, I do use both. My laptop is a mac, and I enjoy using it when I don't need triple display and a quillian things running at once. If media is your main game, mac is a good choice.

    Also, a MAC will typically emit less noise than a store bought PC from what I've seen, as Apple puts some time into industrial design. But oh my does my macbook processor run hot under heavy load, and when it does, the thing makes too much noise for me to comfortably make music/edit on it (this is a core2 duo macbook that's a few years old, not a macbook pro). My DIY built PC barley whispers and never shouts and runs very cool even when safely overclocked, and that is the main reason that I prefer it over mac (the customizability). But this is a very unfair comparison, as I'm comparing a quad core desktop with a dual core macbook.

    "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." – Henry Thoreau

  9. #9

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    yup. formatting would really be the best bet. i've never had virus issues myself, it was just a recommendation to the OP to at least get some sort of protection going on...

    i likewise like the MOTU interfaces, particularly on mac, though i never had trouble with my traveler on pc either (other than having to get a firewire pcmcia card).
    they are making a couple of usb interfaces as well now.

    "...you get to drink from...THE FIREHOSE!!!"

  10. #10

    Re: Any chance to change to Mac?

    It is almost certainly a driver issue from what you have described.

    What you haven't indicated is the manner of the crash.

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