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OMS or Free MIDI with Pro Tools

Have you ever noticed how answering a question often raises more questions? This is one reason why we hold to our stance that technical support is best done in a real time conversation as opposed to e-mail. Today’s question is one that was prompted by our recent tip on configuring OMS to work with Mark of the Unicorn USB MIDI interfaces (see inSync 3/27/00). In that tip we outlined the procedure for proper set up, but neglected to close all the holes. Consequently the following question arose.

“This is in regard to having OMS notice my MOTU MIDI Time Piece USB I purchased from you. I read your tip in inSync, but it sounds like when you suggest that ‘once things are set up and working you can delete the FreeMIDI extensions from your system.’ I use Digital Performer and need my FreeMIDI. However, I would like to be able to use MIDI with Pro Tools as well. Can you suggest how to best do this?”

Actually it’s easy. Though we recommend deleting the FreeMIDI stuff for people who don’t need it (people who only need OMS) it is actually okay to leave the extension active on your machine. Pro Tools and any other applications that require OMS can use that, and Digital Performer can use FreeMIDI. The procedure to set this up is pretty simple.

  1. Before installing FreeMIDI make sure you have the current version of OMS installed on your computer. FreeMIDI needs to install components into the OMS folder in the System folder. If you installed OMS after installing FreeMIDI 1.43, you’ll need to reinstall FreeMIDI to update these components so it will work with the USB MOTU interface.
  2. Make sure the OMS and FreeMIDI extensions are enabled in your Extensions Manager.
  3. Launch OMS and create an OMS Studio setup document.
  4. In the Edit menu choose OMS MIDI setup. Make sure Run MIDI in background is enabled (actually there are some circumstances where you don’t want to enable this, but in general it is a good idea).
  5. Quit OMS and launch FreeMIDI. From the File menu go to FreeMIDI preferences and check the box for Use OMS when available. The next time you launch FreeMIDI or a FreeMIDI application your current configuration will be your OMS Studio Setup.

Some readers will recall that FreeMIDI used to have OMS emulation built in, and this emulation worked well enough to use with older versions of Pro Tools. This is no longer the case. Pro Tools 5.0 and above REQUIRES OMS and current versions of FreeMIDI now more fully accommodates OMS with the “Use OMS When Available” feature.

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