Inputs Page

All currently known MIDI ports able to receive MIDI data are listed here. This configuration is saved as part of the Global Rack file.

Select Input Ports

Select any ports you want to use for recording phrases with Synfire by checking the respective box. It will turn red. Any input received on those ports should make the MIDI connector icon on the top toolbar flicker. Note however, that only incoming note messages are indicated.

If you connected hardware to your computer that does not appear in the list, check your cabling and USB driver setup and press the Reset button on the top toolbar to refresh the list.

Tip: The Reset button can be used at any time to put the audio and MIDI setup back into a defined state (for example, if you suspect that something got messed up, or if there is no sound at all anymore). Your settings are not be affected by a reset.

Loopback Drivers

So-called Virtual MIDI Cables, or loopback drivers, can be used to route the MIDI output of Synfire to other software on your computer, for example a DAW. It also works the other way around. On the Mac, this is the IAC Driver made by Apple. For Microsoft Windows, there is a small selection of drivers available, for example LoopBe by, or MIDI Yoke, and others.

Since these drivers bounce back to Synfire all data they just received from Synfire, there is a high risk of an infinite loop to occur, if at the same time Midi Through is enabled (Feedback). This infinite loop puts an extreme load on the Audio Engine. To prevent this, please mark such ports as Loopback.


MIDI Through: If enabled, incoming MIDI data is forwarded immediately to the instrument that was last selected. This is helpful when you want to play the currently selected instrument with an external MIDI keyboard.
The icon also indicates incoming MIDI notes by flashing.
Verify MIDI Input on Start-up
If enabled, Synfire will issue a warning on start-up if it can not find any MIDI ports enabled for input.
Compensate Latency During Recording
After a recording finished, Synfire analyzes the Take for timing problems and corrects these automatically. You can disable this, if you feel it leads to undesired results.
Use Audio Engine For MIDI Input
The Audio Engine supports a tighter timing than the user interface application of Synfire. This option makes the Engine receive incoming MIDI data and forward it to Synfire with timestamps already applied. You can disable this, if you experience problems on Windows with sharing USB MIDI drivers among multiple programs.
Snap Input To Harmony
Snaps all MIDI input to the current vertical scale. This mode is active only during recording, live chord detection and palette playback. If a global Keyboard Split is set, only notes greater or equal this split are snapped to scale during Live Chord Detection. Of course all this only makes sense when a Harmony parameter is already present.
Operate Drone in MIDI Mode
A Drone can optionally be operated in MIDI-only mode. If so it will no longer host an audio plug-in, but receive and forward MIDI data only. Consider using a MIDI Drone instead.
CAUTION: Under Windows, problems may occur if multiple programs attempt to use the same USB MIDI drivers at the same time. Especially prone to this issue are cheap drivers that often accompany very inexpensive MIDI hardware. If you wonder why Synfire is unable to receive data from your hardware, there is probably another program already using the USB driver. In order for Synfire and other software to receive MIDI at the same time, you may need to use separate USB interfaces, or look for a more capable driver, if possible. Since this is a frequent problem, you should visit the user forum for the latest solutions (