Offline
Lun-dun

Hi all,

Long time reader, first time writer, as they say.

I've been having some trouble with mGB and getting it to work, essentially. I've spoken to Oliver who has been helpful but I still can't quite get anything to happen for me. If I list my gear below and what's been happening, could anyone perhaps post a complete, nothing-missed-out, complete numbskull's guide to sorting it out? As follows:

2 DMG gameboys (one modded with backlight and 2x prosounds, one completely original)
DMG04 link cable (2, just to be sure)
EMS 64M cart loaded with mGB (and LSDJ, though if I try and add both at once, only mGB is available on the "startup" list)
2 Nanoloop USB MIDI adapters (Oliver sent a second after it appeared the first wasn't working)
Pro Tools 10 on windows 7 laptop (Dell XPS15, if that has any bearing) and have also tried on a Mac Pro running Pro Tools 8 and Logic Pro 7 (I think it's 7)
Input keyboards I've used are an Akai LPK25 and an Alesis ION, both of which have no problem controlling virtual instruments.

What I've done:

Load Pro Tools, set up a MIDI track, set MIDI in as keyboard, set output as "predefined/nlMIDI" and have tried all MIDI channels.

On the gameboy itself, I've tried pressing B as is sometimes required, I've tried pressing everything, changing all settings... I've tried both cables, both adapters and both gameboys on my laptop. I've tried the grey gameboy on both computers with only 1 adapter and 1 cable (I also assume it's impossible to make mGB play sound without being connected to a computer - no "audition" button or anything?)

I've had issues with different instruments where you have to make sure you turn such and such on before loading this, or not turning something on until program x has loaded up... Are there any quirks like this that anyone knows of? I'm pulling my hair out so any help would be greatly appreciated, no matter how trivial you may think your suggestion is!

Many thanks,

Simon

Offline
Sweeeeeeden

First perhaps the most obvious potential error. You can plug in the plug either way around, and only one of those ways is correct. The flat side of the plug should be on the same side that has two connections on the sides.

<- Flat side on this side.

Next, there are two modes that the adapter can be in, sync and MIDI send. Sync mode is meant for LSDj and Nanoloop, and only offers synchronization, no note data. MIDI send is only meant for mGB, and does not work with LSDj. You can set the mode with the NLMIDI tool which is a command line tool.

To use LSDj synch, run this tool as nlmidi04 -sync to change the mode temporarily or nlmidi04 -SYNC to save the setting.

Synching LSDj can be done as follow. In the project screen, set MODE to SLAVE or MIDI. I *think* MIDI is the correct mode for use with the adapter. Either mode should work, but one of them might give a very small delay. To start playback, place the cursor where you want to start playing, and press the start button on the Gameboy. You should now see WAIT in the right corner of the screen. Now press start in Pro Tools, and the song should start playing. This of course assumes that Pro Tools has been configured to output synch data to the NL MIDI adapter and not just note data.

To use mGB, run the tool as nlmidi04 -midi to change the mode temporarily or nlmidi04 -MIDI to save the setting. mGB should work right away when you send note data to it. You must send notes on channel 1-5, and not on any higher channels. You are correct that there is no way to audition sounds in mGB without MIDI input.

Offline
Lun-dun

Many thanks for your reply.

I've made sure all the connectors line up - that's no problem. Oliver even sent me a picture, just to be sure!

Now here's a thing, I've got 4 tools that I downloaded: "command", "MIDI", "nlmidi04" and "SYNC". I've just been using MIDI or SYNC because whenever I try and open nlmidi04 it just flashes on screen and disappears - far too quickly for me to be able to read anything and too quick to be able to type anything... Perhaps that's the problem, though it shouldn't matter as the capitals simply set it permanently to either mode, right?

Now, sending sync data out of Pro Tools, there's something. I'll have to look into that but I'm trying just to get notes out of mGB for now, syncing LSDJ would be nice but isn't the most important thing to me at the moment.


NOTE: Having just tried a few more things before posting what I wrote above, I have actually managed to get the GB to make some sound as a result of actions on the computer, though it was only a super-quick first few notes of my LSDJ tune if I quit Pro Tools while LSDJ is "waiting". I suppose that at least means something is getting out.

It sounds an awful lot like I've got the setup wrong but I've tried it in Logic and downloaded Reaper just to make sure as well and I'm still struggling. Is the problem with the tool?

Offline
IL, US

you're supposed to use nlmidi04 in a command prompt window, not just double-click it...

Offline
reject of nintendoage

hi
just a shot in the dark, as i don't have the nlmidi adapter, but the previous non-midi-tranfer adapter thingy. Basically the same thing in green.
Seems you are using this kind of cables

what i need for the old adapter is one of these cables because the adapter's link cable side is for GBpocket-sized gameports. Dunno if this is the case on the newer NLmidi adapter.

not sure if it helps...

Offline
Ecuador
nitro2k01 wrote:

First perhaps the most obvious potential error. You can plug in the plug either way around, and only one of those ways is correct. The flat side of the plug should be on the same side that has two connections on the sides.

<- Flat side on this side.

Next, there are two modes that the adapter can be in, sync and MIDI send. Sync mode is meant for LSDj and Nanoloop, and only offers synchronization, no note data. MIDI send is only meant for mGB, and does not work with LSDj. You can set the mode with the NLMIDI tool which is a command line tool.

To use LSDj synch, run this tool as nlmidi04 -sync to change the mode temporarily or nlmidi04 -SYNC to save the setting.

Synching LSDj can be done as follow. In the project screen, set MODE to SLAVE or MIDI. I *think* MIDI is the correct mode for use with the adapter. Either mode should work, but one of them might give a very small delay. To start playback, place the cursor where you want to start playing, and press the start button on the Gameboy. You should now see WAIT in the right corner of the screen. Now press start in Pro Tools, and the song should start playing. This of course assumes that Pro Tools has been configured to output synch data to the NL MIDI adapter and not just note data.

To use mGB, run the tool as nlmidi04 -midi to change the mode temporarily or nlmidi04 -MIDI to save the setting. mGB should work right away when you send note data to it. You must send notes on channel 1-5, and not on any higher channels. You are correct that there is no way to audition sounds in mGB without MIDI input.

I used nitro instructions and they worked. I had one of these adapters lying around and just tried it. I used ableton 9, just double click the SYNC.bat from the nlmidi folder. Maybe you are not setting the DAW correctly.

Offline
IL, US
shizcake wrote:

hi
just a shot in the dark, as i don't have the nlmidi adapter, but the previous non-midi-tranfer adapter thingy. Basically the same thing in green.
Seems you are using this kind of cables

what i need for the old adapter is one of these cables because the adapter's link cable side is for GBpocket-sized gameports. Dunno if this is the case on the newer NLmidi adapter.

not sure if it helps...

i always use one of those 4-ended cables with my usb adapter, not sure if i ever tried a normal cable tbh

Offline
Sweeeeeeden
simonhpieman wrote:

Now here's a thing, I've got 4 tools that I downloaded: "command", "MIDI", "nlmidi04" and "SYNC". I've just been using MIDI or SYNC because whenever I try and open nlmidi04 it just flashes on screen and disappears - far too quickly for me to be able to read anything and too quick to be able to type anything... Perhaps that's the problem, though it shouldn't matter as the capitals simply set it permanently to either mode, right?

nlmidi04.exe is the actual application that does the work. It will quit instantly after doing its task, and should only be run directly from the command prompt, not by double clicking it.

MIDI.bat and SYNC.bat are actually script files which will run the commands to set the adapter to one or the other mode, and then pause. Those can be double clicked without problem.

simonhpieman wrote:

Now, sending sync data out of Pro Tools, there's something. I'll have to look into that but I'm trying just to get notes out of mGB for now, syncing LSDJ would be nice but isn't the most important thing to me at the moment.

NOTE: Having just tried a few more things before posting what I wrote above, I have actually managed to get the GB to make some sound as a result of actions on the computer, though it was only a super-quick first few notes of my LSDJ tune if I quit Pro Tools while LSDJ is "waiting". I suppose that at least means something is getting out.

It sounds an awful lot like I've got the setup wrong but I've tried it in Logic and downloaded Reaper just to make sure as well and I'm still struggling. Is the problem with the tool?

First, make sure the adapter is in the MIDI mode. You should run MIDI.bat while no other MIDI application is running, so the MIDI port isn't busy. Then try again I guess. Which type of link cable are you using? Maybe it's a GBA type cable, which may not work with the MIDI mode. You said its a DMG04, but better double check.

Do you have a second flash cartridge? I want to try something, but that requires that you can link two GB's.

Offline
Lun-dun

Thanks everyone. I definitely need to take a look at the command prompt, then!

Both cables are definitely dmg04s and Oliver said there shouldn't be any problems with them... May try and get hold of another if I don't have any joy.

I'll try this when I get home and let you know how I get on. Thanks for the generous help thus far!

Offline
Sweeeeeeden

No, you don't need the command prompt for anything you want to do. The .bat files should be enough.
And 'scuse me, you didn't answer my last question. Do you have a second flash cartridge that you can use?

Offline
Lun-dun

So sorry!! No, I'm afraid I've only got the one at the moment.

Offline
Lun-dun

So, some success!

Using the SYNC.bat file I managed to get Reaper to sync with LSDJ! Which is great, thanks nitro for the advice there.

However, triggering MIDI through nanoloop is still eluding me. I've turned off test mode that was enabled for the flash cart (which may have had some kind of effect) but still no cigar. I've used the MIDI.bat file to set MIDI mode while everything is closed. There's a picture of what I've got on the mGB screen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/10632622394/

I've tried various other things as well, pressed B, changed all of the settings and so am still not quite sure what's wrong unless sending MIDI data from a MIDI track in Pro Tools to "nlmidi [emulated]" and choosing channels between 1 and 5 (I tried all the others as well, just in case) is the completely wrong thing to do. I believe I've done it correctly in Reaper by selecting I/O on the chosen track and choosing MIDI Hardware Out as "nanoloop MIDI" and "send to channel 1", though I'm still finding my way around Reaper as I only downloaded it to have an alternative at home to Pro Tools to test all this stuff.

Can't thank you guys enough, though, this has already been really helpful!

EDIT: I can also confirm that both Pro Tools and Reaper are receiving MIDI input from both my keyboards, just to remove that potential pitfall!

Last edited by simonhpieman (Nov 2, 2013 9:05 pm)

Offline
Lun-dun

Just to update, I've had some time to fiddle around this evening and I've finally managed to get mGB working which is really great, what I was looking for all along. Turns out that in Reaper, clicking the "Record Monitoring ON" button does the trick...

Unfortunately, it's only Reaper that will do anything - I still can't get ANYTHING out of Pro Tools. And I couldn't get anything out of Logic either the one time I tried when I was at work on a Mac...

I may need to start a new topic to see if any chiptuners use Pro Tools at all, just to see if anyone can shed some light on that side of things. I thought I was pretty au fait with PT but clearly all this un-necessarily complicated MIDI stuff is getting the better of me!

By the by, thanks to all above who offered their assistance!