Essentially, I want to record myself playing the piano, which I've decided to do by recording the MIDI.

My hardware setup is a

  • Computer with Windows 10 x64
  • Yamaha P35
  • MIDI-to-USB cable

The cable has a

  • Male MIDI IN
  • Male MIDI OUT
  • Male USB
  • Interface (in lack of better words) which has three lights, one for each cable

The cable looks like this. MIDI-USB cable

How to connect the MIDI cables is counter-intuitive (to me), but I've done according to the manual by connecting the MIDI OUT cable to the piano MIDI IN and visa versa.

Manual's description of how to connect MIDI-USB cable

The order of connecting the cables and turning things on is important so I've done the following according to the Yamaha manual:

  • Turn on computer
  • Connect cables
  • Turn on piano

At this point, the USB light is on, but the others are off even when playing the piano.

I've tried to use different kind of software

  • REAPER v6.08/x64 (Evaluating)
  • MidiEditor v. 3.3.0 (32-bit)
  • Ableton Live 10 Trial (10.1.9)

But none of them register anything when recording.

I tried to unplug and plug the USB cable from the computer. Now, the MIDI IN flashes really fast to the point where it almost looks like it's constant. As far as I understand, the light is only supposed to be on when playing the piano.

The different programs tell me:

  • REAPER: "The following MIDI inputs could not be opened: USB20MIDI"
  • MidiEditor: "Input is not connected"
  • Ableton: Can actually record my playing but only weirdly. It doesn't always register when I press a key and never registers G1, D4, and B7. The keys that it registers are mostly sustained, but always. I believe that the MIDI IN light keeps blinking because the sustain pedal keeps sending MIDI data for some reason.

By searching on StackExchange, Google, and YouTube, it seems that people have a lot of different problems related to MIDI connections, and I can't find a problem that matches mine enough to find a solution.

I will appreciate any help that I can get.

The manual: https://uk.yamaha.com/files/download/other_assets/8/328158/p35_en_om_a0.pdf

  • 1
    I don't know how you tell for sure, but I bet you've got one of those cheap Chine cables that don't actually work properly :\ Check out the 1-star reviews at the bottom of this - amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000XRI3CC/…
    – Tetsujin
    May 31, 2020 at 16:17
  • Two things off the top of my head, one, does this USB interface require a driver to work and two, have you tried reversing the MIDI connections? Maybe they are mis-labeled. This is not worth spending a lot of time on, better to return it and buy one made by a well known company or maybe even step up and get an audio interface that includes MIDI connections in case you want to record audio at some point. May 31, 2020 at 16:28
  • @Tetsujin, ah, that's what I feared. I'll try to acquire another one. Thank you. Jun 4, 2020 at 14:30
  • @JohnBelzaguy, good suggestions. I have tried the driver with no change in effect. Wrt. reversing the MIDI connection, I actually started that way and it didn't work at all. According to the other comment and the answer, the problem is the cable. I will try another one. Thank you for your suggestions. Jun 4, 2020 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


Ah, the infamous Midi cable with the fantasy clef on it. It's garbage, never mind that it appears to be the most-sold thing under the sun. While you should be able to get it to work for single notes, it has problems with polyphony and will garble SysEx messages. Try getting a cable/adapter from a reputable manufacturer. It can be really antique: USB Midi was properly defined for USB1.1 (which also means that you won't need special drivers for anything but the most outlandish adapters) and the 12Mbps speed of USB1.1 is enough for a good adapter not to lose data. Off the top of my head MidiSports, MAudio, Roland, Yamaha should be reliable. Terrasoniq Midi One is great but no longer produced.

  • Where I live, only the Roland UM-ONE mk2 is for sale. I will try that when the stores restock it. Thank you for your funny and very helpful answer. I will accept it when I have confirmed that another type of USB-MIDI cable will solve the problem. Jun 4, 2020 at 14:35

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