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Getting parallel MIDI interfaces to work with PC Sound Cards

Today, a quick tip from our Technical Support department regarding PC parallel port MIDI interfaces.

There has been an issue regarding MIDI parallel port devices when being used with general sound cards found in most PC’s that is stopping the MIDI device from working properly. Quite often the computer will be configured so the sound card shares the interrupt with the parallel port, which ends up causing the device hooked up to the parallel port to not be recognized or not to work properly. There is a setting (especially in SoundBlaster cards) that allows you to turn the LPT interrupt sharing off. This usually cures any problems. Another issue with non-SoundBlaster cards is to turn the MIDI function off so that it does not “swallow” the MIDI from the parallel port. This is a significant problem that has been coming up a lot lately so we thought it a good time to review.

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