Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
Scope - Spectrum - Spectrogram - Signal Generator
Software for Windows
Science with your Sound Card!
The following is from the Daqarta Help system:



Spectrum Analyzer

Signal Generator

(Absolutely FREE!)


Pitch Tracker


DaqMusiq Generator
(Free Music... Forever!)

Engine Simulator

LCR Meter

Remote Operation

DC Measurements

True RMS Voltmeter

Sound Level Meter

Frequency Counter
    Spectral Event

    MHz Frequencies

Data Logger

Waveform Averager


Post-Stimulus Time
Histogram (PSTH)

THD Meter

IMD Meter

Precision Phase Meter

Pulse Meter

Macro System

Multi-Trace Arrays

Trigger Controls


Spectral Peak Track

Spectrum Limit Testing

Direct-to-Disk Recording



Frequency response

Distortion measurement

Speech and music

Microphone calibration

Loudspeaker test

Auditory phenomena

Musical instrument tuning

Animal sound

Evoked potentials

Rotating machinery


Product test

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your application!

MIDI Device Select

Controls: Sgram/PT Dialog >> Pitch-to-MIDI >> Device
Macro: SynthDev


This control is a duplicate of the Device Select in the Synthesizer Control Dialog.

When you change to a new device, the Pitch-to-MIDI On/Off control is automatically forced off before the change. You may use the new device immediately (unlike the main Sound Card Device Selects, which require restarting Daqarta).

If you have only one MIDI device in your system, this control is disabled.

Hardware Synths:

Most sound cards do not have on-board synthesizers, and use the Microsoft GS Wavetable Software Synthesizer as their only MIDI device. However, the excessive latency of that synth makes it nearly useless for live performance. If you have a hardware synth already installed in your system, you will probably want to use that for Pitch-to-MIDI operation.

If you have an outboard hardware synth with MIDI connections, you can buy an inexpensive USB-MIDI converter cable that plugs into your system's USB port and your synth's MIDI In jack. It will install as a normal MIDI device that you can select here.

With a hardware synth, whether on-board or external, there is no noticeable Pitch-to-MIDI latency.

Software Synths:

Some software synths can be quite fast, especially when used with special ASIO drivers. The problem is that most of these synths typically aren't installed as MIDI devices themselves, such that they could be selected here. (See CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth, below, for one that is.) Instead, they are complete stand-alone applications that expect to receive MIDI input commands from a hardware keyboard.

The solution to this is to use a "software MIDI cable" or "virtual MIDI port". These are special drivers that, once installed in your system, appear as MIDI Output devices that can be selected in Daqarta. Likewise, they appear as MIDI Input devices that can be selected from the software synth, instead of a hardware keyboard.

Two free alternatives are:

MidiYoke (<http://www.midiox.com>)

Maple (<https://web.archive.org/web/20060429235036/http://www.hurchalla.com/MapleVMCv356.zip>)

Hint: To install on Vista or Windows 7 or later, you may need to right-click on the file name, then go to Properties - Compatibility and select XP or Prior Windows Version. Then go back and left-click on the file to start the installation.

After installing either of these you will need to restart your computer, but after that the extra MIDI devices will always be available. Open Daqarta and select an output device here, then open the software synthesizer and select the matching input device. MIDI notes from Pitch-to-MIDI will now play through the synth.

Make sure the synth has ASIO selected. If your sound card didn't come with an ASIO driver, download and install the free ASIO4ALL (<http://www.asio4all.com>), and select that from the synth.

An excellent but inexpensive (and free to try) software synthesizer that works with the above virtual MIDI ports and ASIO drivers is SynthFont (<http://www.synthfont.com>). It suports different SoundFonts (SF2 files, among others) that allow you to change the synth's instrument sounds. A huge variety of inexpensive or free SoundFonts are available from many sources.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You may need to start Daqarta and toggle Input on before toggling the synth's input on when using ASIO4ALL (and probably other ASIO drivers). Otherwise, the ASIO driver may prevent Daqarta from using Input... the button will be disabled. If that happens, simply exit Daqarta, toggle the synth off (or just its input), restart Daqarta, and then toggle the synth input on.

Afterwards, if you leave the synth input active (even when the synth is minimized to the system tray) you can start and exit Daqarta as many times as you want. But if you exit the synth or toggle its input off, you will again have to start Daqarta prior to the synth input.

CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth:

This is a free software synth that installs as a MIDI device that you can select directly from this MIDI Device Select control. It does not require any separate "software MIDI cable" or "virtual MIDI port" such as MidiYoke or Maple, which are needed for most software synths.

Download VirtualMIDISynth from CoolSoft (<coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth>) and install. (There is a link to detailed installation instructions by Maxime Abbey on the main page.) You'll also need to download and install one or more SoundFonts, links to several of which are provided at the CoolSoft site.

Then click the Windows Start icon (at the lower left in the System Tray) and select 'Configure VirtualMIDISynth' from the Start Menu. The main screen allows you to select the SoundFont to use.

Select the Options tab and make sure that the boxes are checked to enable hardware mixing, preload the whole SoundFont, increase process priority to REALTIME, and override MIDI SYSEX messages. (These are usually the defaults.)

Note that when the whole SoundfFont is preloaded there may be a rather large delay (10 seconds or so) when you first toggle Pitch-to-MIDI on. Subsequent toggles in that same session will only have a 1-2 second delay.

Now select the Advanced Options tab and reduce the maximum number of notes to play at a time to 64 or so (not critical). Leave the default sample rate at 48000 Hz.

The most important control on this tab is the bottom one, for setting the additional output buffer size. The default is 250 msec, which is fine for normal DaqMusiq script performance but has lots of latency (like the default GS Wavetable). For interactive performance like voice input pitch tracking you will want to reduce that to 10 msec or below. 5 msec is probably OK, but lower values may cause stuttering... test on your system to see.

See also Pitch-to-MIDI dialog, Pitch Track Toolbox - Overview, Spectrogram / Pitch Track Controls, Spectrogram / Pitch Track (Sgram/PT)


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