VMS installs, but does not appear as a midi output device [Windows Server 2003]

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Anonymous user
VMS installs, but does not appear as a midi output device [Windows Server 2003]

System:

  • Windows server 2003 SP1 x86
  • Athlon XP, 2GB RAM
  • ASUS Xonar D1
  • VMS 1.13.2
  • Various soundfounts

Installer appears to complete normally, and WINDOWS\system32\VirtualMIDISynth seems to be populated, but VMS does not appear in the list of MIDI outputs, either for the van Basco player, the control panel sound configuration, or DirectMusic output selection.  In fact, it doesn't even appear in the MIDI Mapper tab of the VMS configuration program.  The only option in each case is the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth (actually the vB player also has "MIDI-MAPPER" output, but this of course just goes to the MS one anyway).

I am unsure how to troubleshoot this; is there a way to see if the user mode driver is even being loaded?  Would it produce an event log entry if it weren't?  Are there older versions of VMS I should be trying?  Is there a missing component on server 2003?

Posts: 1536
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: VMS installs, but does not appear as a midi output device [Windows Server 2003]

AFAIK, Windows Server 2003 has the same kernel as Windows XP, so there's should be no binary compatibility issues.

I wondered if, being it a Server line OS, it has something disabled by default and I came to this MS document (look at the Windows Audio Services paragraph):
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff538687%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

Another suggestion to check that everything was ok during setup is FAQ#12 that shows how to uninstall VMS from a system.
Use those steps (without removing anything) to check if everything is where it's supposed to be.

Sadly I don't have any Windows Server 203 machine to test it on, hope that these info are useful to you...

Anonymous user
Re: VMS installs, but does not appear as a midi output device [Windows Server 2003]

I did a little more testing on this, and I don't think the OS is the problem.  As you correctly note, windows audio is disabled in 2003, but that is easily fixed, and anyway would have broader symptoms.  After looking at a disassembly of the .dll, it appears that the problem is trying to run SSE2 on an Athlon XP, which only supports SSE 1.  For this reason, the driver never actually loads (it just causes an illegal instruction exception).  I have seen this problem a few times on these computers.

It may be that something else is happening, of course: proper driver debugging in windows requires tools that I do not have access to.  I would be very curious to know if anyone is running the current version successfully on a 32-bit Athlon, or another chip that doesn't have SSE 2.  Alternatively, if there is an older version compiled without it, I could try that (I only saw the last two versions on the project page).

It seems getting MIDI working is rather a tough climb these days: most sound cards don't have synthesizers, and I have had no luck with any of the software synths beyond the (terrible) MS one.  At least on Linux there is Timidity++, I suppose.

Posts: 1536
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: VMS installs, but does not appear as a midi output device [Windows Server 2003]

Well, it could be.

VirtualMIDISynth does not use SSE2 instructions by itself, maybe BASS.dll and/or BASSMIDI.dll (the synth libraries it is linked to) do, but I don't have any way to check it.
I haven't found any specific minimum requirement in BASS documentation, maybe it worths a try to ask on their forum at http://www.un4seen.com/forum/

Posts: 1
Joined: October 17, 2015 - 03:49
Re: VMS installs, but does not appear as a midi output device [Windows Server 2003]

I'm having the same problem on Win XP SP3 Home (AthlonXP CPU). CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth does not appear in the control panel sound configuration, DirectX DirectMusic output selection, or the MIDI Mapper tab of the VirtualMIDISynth_configurator.exe drop-down menus as an available MIDI output device. It is also not present in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveMovie\devenum\{4EFE2452-168A-11D1-BC76-00C04FB9453B}.

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Posts: 1536
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: VMS installs, but does not appear as a midi output device [Windows Server 2003]

One of my testing machines has an AthlonXP processor, so it's not an SSE issue.

Please check the content of this registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Drivers32

Look at midi* values: one of them should be equal to VirtualMIDISynth\VirtualMIDISynth.dll.
If not, then something wrong happened during setup, try it again (double check administrator privileges).

Then check if folder C:\Windows\System32\VirtualMIDISynth exists and contains (at least) these files:

  • VirtualMIDISynth.dll
  • VirtualMIDISynth_configurator.exe
  • Bass.dll
  • BassMidi.dll