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Hi there, I'm trying to learn the new Cakewalk.  I am using version 2021.12 Build 102, 64-bit on Windows 10 (winver reporting version 21H2 OS build 19044.1466)  I have previous experience with a version from 1993, but the UI has changed too much.  When I open an existing MIDI file, I can play it just fine, but I'm having trouble with getting audio when composing something new.  I'm not sure if I'm using all the correct terminology, but here are steps I am doing:
    * Launch Cakewalk by Bandlab (Cakewalk Start Screen appears)'
    * Select New Project, Empty Project.cwt ("Project Successfully Opened" and "Keep up the momentum" appears in blue box)
    * Insert->MIDI Track (Track 1 appears)
    * Double click the Track 1 row below the timeline (piano roll view appears with "Double-click or drag to add articulation")
    * Audition the piano roll (I'm expecting audio here but hear nothing)
    * Draw notes on the piano roll timeline (blue rectangles appear)
    * Play Track 1 (bar graph VU meter lights up with green about 80% high when the timeline cursor passes each note, but still no audio)

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The difference between inserting a MIDI track and the Add Track menu is

  • adding a MIDI track does not necessarily result is MIDI data going anywhere useful. The DAW makes a guess where to send the MIDI data, but this may not be very helpful.
  • by default, the Add Track menu adds the TTS-1 plug-in along with an instrument track. An instrument track is a one-track presentation of an audio+MIDI track pair to handle the I/O for a synth plug-in. 

Consider browsing the tutorial section of this forum. There are quite a few videos that may be helpful.

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I might have made the process sound smarter than it really is. The DAW defaults to the first MIDI output selected in preferences.

By going to the Add Track menu and selecting TTS-1, the plug-in is added along with the instrument track to send the plug-in MIDI and receive audio back from it.

The DAW does not natively contain a synth engine to interpret MIDI data into audio. This is a job for plug-ins or external hardware synths.  It has always been this way. Cakewalk includes several synth plug-ins and all PCs contain the MS GS Wavetable synth, a very basic GM hardware synth.

Generally, if one does not have other hardware synths, it is best not to rely on the MS GS Wavetable synth instead use TTS-1 for General MIDI and have nothing selected in the MIDI output devices preferences.

When no MIDI output device is selected in preferences, upon opening a MIDI file the DAW will automatically add and setup TTS-1 to play the MIDI file.

 

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13 minutes ago, scook said:

I might have made the process sound smarter than it really is. The DAW defaults to the first MIDI output selected in preferences.

By going to the Add Track menu and selecting TTS-1, the plug-in is added along with the instrument track to send the plug-in MIDI and receive audio back from it.

The DAW does not natively contain a synth engine to interpret MIDI data into audio. This is a job for plug-ins or external hardware synths.  It has always been this way. Cakewalk includes several synth plug-ins and all PCs contain the MS GS Wavetable synth, a very basic GM hardware synth.

Generally, if one does not have other hardware synths, it is best not to rely on the MS GS Wavetable synth instead use TTS-1 for General MIDI and have nothing selected in the MIDI output devices preferences.

When no MIDI output device is selected in preferences, upon opening a MIDI file the DAW will automatically add and setup TTS-1 to play the MIDI file.

 

Ok thanks.  I was still curious though so I checked the "Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth" box in Preferences/MIDI/Devices and auditioning the piano when using Insert->MIDI Track works now too.

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