Low audio output but strong input connected to Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by o0Ampy0o, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. o0Ampy0o, Jun 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017

    o0Ampy0o macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2017
    When I connect a keyboard to a computer the audio volume from the keyboard is significantly lower than any other audio source in the computer. This is happening with three separate computer systems and two different keyboards.

    I have a digital piano (Casio PX150) connected to my Mac using a USB/MIDI cable. I am using Logic Pro 9 or Garageband for plugin sounds but the volume is significantly low even at the computer's maximum volume setting. It also requires impractical key force to generate volume. It produces a strong as should be expected signal according to the DAW meters but the actual audio I hear through headphones is weak. It seems like the default velocity settings are not sensitive enough but I really do not know enough to say whether it is not normal. From a practical standpoint this does not appear to be the way things should be by default.

    It is impractical to accommodate this weak volume from a keyboard. I have a powered speaker system for computers which has a volume knob and enables me to achieve more volume bringing the keyboard up to usable listening and playing level but I have to carefully lower all other audio sources. When I record, all other source tracks have to be reduced to accommodate the keyboard track's low volume. Yet they register the same general input range in the DAW meters.

    • The three computers are a Mac Mini running OS X 10.6.8, Mac Pro running OS X 10.10.5 and a Macbook Pro running OS X 10.11.3)
    • Keyboards: Casio PX150 and Yamaha MOX (I have swapped while experimenting with identical results).
    • Connection is with a USB MIDI cable (I have two which I have swapped while experimenting with identical results).
    • Tried Logic Pro 9, Garageband , with their native plugins and Kontakt as a plugin as well as Kontakt in standalone mode)
    • During experimentation tracks setup with Logic or Garageband loops played at normal volume.
    • Quicktime and VLC video as well as iTunes files play normally and match the system alert volume while I perceive the keyboards as abnormally low in audio output. This means when I have the keyboard audio maxed out in order to it I must turn everything else down or off in advance to prevent being blasted with volume if they are triggered.
    • I have tried two sets of headphones (both are Sennheiser, the HD 580 and HD 600) it is not the headphones as I hear all other sounds at normal volume but I swapped them anyway with identical results.
    • Using MIDI Meter I see the velocity range. The keyboards produce identical MIDI information. Generally, with an average suppression of a key they register between 45-63. Bringing a key down hard ranges mostly in the 80's with as much as a single 109.
    • Kontakt has a virtual keyboard. Probably inaccurate and unreliable eye candy but worth mentioning. Like a physical acoustic piano, pressing a key close to the pivot produces a softer note and when pressed at the front edge it produces the loudest note. If anything can be gathered from this both keyboards only achieve midrange volume or less and I have never been able to reach beyond 109. It took a significant thump to get to 109 and I doubt anyone would ever play that hard.

    Does anyone have any idea of what could be causing this?

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    I can't answer your question, but you should be aware that there is a Digital Audio subforum here on MacRumors. Try posting your question there.

    Also -- have you ever visited gearslutz.com?
    Lots of folks knowledgeable about digital audio there.
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    If you are triggering virtual instruments via the midi keyboard the volume/sound is depending on the velocity of the recorded midi note. Your keyboard is touch sensitive and should be working. You shouldn't have to change any "output" settings on the keyboard at all...make sure it's velocity range hasn't been altered. Some instrument plugins have a setting that can change the effective velocity range and there are midi channel plugins that can also affect the dynamic range of input.

    These are just musings that might get you headed in the right direction.

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