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Why have Live's MIDI ports turned orange and do not work?

  • Live Versions: 1 - 9
  • Operating System: WIN

Symptom

  • I can't use my MIDI controllers anymore - all actions I do with them don't have any effect in Live.
  • In Live's MIDI preferences, the related MIDI ports appear in an orange color.

Reason

In general, an orange color means that a MIDI port is not available for Live - either because another application is using this port at that moment, or because Windows believes a different application to be using it.

Most likely, the MIDI communication is handled via USB, with either a MIDI interface or dedicated USB controllers involved, and the whole USB port handling is a Windows task. If you switch those devices off and on, change their USB ports or generally change anything with the current USB configuration, Windows often doesn't update correctly. This may result in ports being blocked for use with Live.

Solution

  • Close all running applications that might use the MIDI ports, including Live.
  • Disconnect all USB hardware.
  • Reinstall or update the drivers for your MIDI and USB hardware. Make sure to completely uninstall the old drivers first.
  • Reconnect your USB hardware one after another. Try different USB ports per device and re-start Live in between. Make sure that there are no other applications running that might use the MIDI ports (e.g. plug-ins running stand-alone).
  • Read this article from Microsoft's support, which gives further solutions and workarounds for USB ports.

Related tags: controller MIDI