SoftStep App Blocks Ableton Live From Using Some MIDI Ports

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Sam_K
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 3:48 am

SoftStep App Blocks Ableton Live From Using Some MIDI Ports

Postby Sam_K » Thu Apr 21, 2011 4:51 am

Hi All,

I'm new here, just got my SoftStep last week. I've immediately hit a bit of an annoyance though.

If I launch the SoftStep application before I launch Ableton Live, then the MIDI ports for 2 of my devices cannot be opened by Ableton Live. They show up with an orange highlighted name in the MIDI/Sync panel of Ableton Live's Preferences window.

The two devices which get blocked are my Akai MPK61 Keyboard controller (all In and Out Ports) and the LoopMIDI which is the virtual MIDI connector I use to connect the SoftStep App to Live (I am using LoopMIDI as MIDIYoke is unstable on Win 7 64bit). On the other hand the MIDI ports on my M-Audio Fast Track Ultra (USB Audio/MIDI interface) are never blocked for Live regardless what order the apps are opened in.

As far as I can see, the ports for these devices are not in use anywhere in the SoftStep App. On the main window the "Main" input and output ports are set to "SSCOM" and the "Expander" input and output ports are set to "MIDIIN2 (SSCOM)" and "MIDIOUT2 (SSCOM)" respectively. I have also dug around in the other panels and can't find my Akai ports referenced anywhere by the app, other than being available in dropboxes for selection.

For the record I am running Win 7 Home Premium 64Bit with Ableton Live 8.2.1 and SoftStep V1.021. The Akai MPK is using the Microsoft "Generic USB Audio" driver.

If I close both apps and then open Live first it can open all the ports and everything works as normal. I can then open the SoftStep App and the SoftStep works as well. This is a workaround that works, but I am puzzled why this happens in the first place. It's annoying because I wanted to put the SoftStep app in the "Startup" folder so it launches when windows boots, but I can't, I have to wait until after Live is open before I can launch the SoftStep app.

This is also made even more annoying by the fact that the SoftStep App takes sooooo loooong to load. I have an Intel Quad core 2.6Ghz system with 4Gb RAM and Win 7 64bit on a 128Gb SSD drive and it still takes 45 seconds between clicking the SoftStep App and the SoftStep being ready to use (25s to open window, another 20s to initialise SoftStep). I don't even know what it is doing all this time as the HDD light barely flickers and none of the CPU cores gets over 50% load.

In this day and age that is atrocious by any standard, Windows 7 itself takes a mere 12 seconds to boot to the desktop on this machine! I could ignore this issue if I could have the SoftStep App launch on startup but I can't due to the port blocking issue, instead I have to sit through this 45 second startup each time after launching Live.

Any help in getting the SoftStep app to play nice with Live and the MIDI ports would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Sam

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