Controlling External Hardware Synths with Project5

Unlike Project5 2.5, the older 2.0 and 1.x series of Project5 did not have a built-in method to control external hardware synths, but there is a work around.


Project5 2.5 has external MIDI output as a core feature, so the MIDIout DXi plugin is not needed in version 2.5. But in Project5 2.0.1 and earlier, there was no way to send MIDI data to outboard, external, hardware synthesizers. Project5 was originally targeted for the softsynth environment--Cakewalk made a design decision to limit the scope of Project5 to this environment. In its outta-da-box state Project5 only sends MIDI timing/SPP data to external devices on a MIDI output port, but not note-on/off or other types of MIDI data.

However, all is not lost if you want to use Project5's sequencer, arpeggiator, and MFX plugins to control an outboard device. What you need is a freely available "softsynth" plugin called MIDIout DXi. This program was developed by René of RGC:Audio/Cakewalk fame. It's purpose in life is to eat MIDI messages from your controller/Project5 and then spit them back out a MIDI output port of your choice. The file is no longer available directly from Cakewalk, but you can still download it from our server.

After installing the MIDIout DXi plugin you should see it as one of the synthesizer instruments that you can assign to a new instrument track. Go ahead and create a new instrument track using the MIDIout DXi synth.

First, select your MIDI input interface and other parameters as normal within the new track.

Second, launch the MIDIout DXi user interface GUI and click on the name "MIDIout" in the GUI. This will allow you to select your MIDI Output port.

Once this is done you should now find that P5 is sending MIDI data to your external synth. At this time I don't believe Project5 1.0/1.5/2.0 sends MIDI SYSEX messages, but you should find that other MIDI note-on/off data and controller date is sent properly.

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