Most USB audio and MIDI computer peripherals are "Class Compliant" devices. This means that to communicate with the computer, they use drivers that are built right into the host computer’s operating system. These drivers are written by Microsoft (or Apple for Mac OS X), and come pre-installed on all computers. In some cases, these devices may have trouble connecting due to software settings, changes to the operating system, out-of-date system drivers and even hardware problems.
This guide discusses some common troubleshooting steps to determine the cause of these issues and provide some potential solutions.
A class compliant device is one that does not require extra drivers to connect to your Windows or Mac computer, or to your iPad. Class compliant devices use drivers which are built into the host (i.e. the computer or the iPad) operating system.
To find out if your Alesis USB audio or MIDI device is class compliant, check the corresponding product page for your product at Alesis.com.* This will tell you if your device is class-compliant for your operating system, or provide you with a download link to the appropriate drivers.
*Please Note: Some devices may be listed as class-compliant even though they come with additional drivers. The drivers add additional support for more complicated audio/MIDI functions (i.e. reduced latency, mapping support, SysEx transfers etc.). Check the product page or the driver download page for an available driver.
Some typical problems with a class-compliant USB device include:
Remember that these devices are built to use drivers that come pre-installed in your operating system. Most potential causes will be because these drivers are not installed, were not updated properly, are in conflict with other devices or drivers, or have become corrupted. Other potential causes include:
The first steps when you encounter a device not connecting properly should always be to try different USB cables, different USB ports and even a different computer. You will also want to disconnect other USB peripherals and avoid USB hubs (though it's often useful to take note of the response with and without a hub involved). About 95% of these inquiries can be resolved by doing so and can help confirm that the device itself is at least working properly.
With this in mind, the following sections will go through some steps to test the response of your device and provide some potential solutions.
When you're frustrated with not being able to get up and running, or if you're thinking you might have a defective product, this 10-second is-it-broken test can restore the confidence necessary to continue working with the product and to complete any needed software setup or authorization process.
An M-Audio Keystation Mini 32 will be used as an example for these tests. Please use any reference to the Keystation Mini 32 as a reference to your own device.
If the device does pass the test above and appears in the System Report, it is not defective, and the difficulty is caused by misconfigured software settings or options. Carefully follow the setup instructions for the software you are using, or navigate to the Further Troubleshooting section for additional tests and troubleshooting.
If the device does NOT pass the test above and does NOT appear in the System Report, this may indicate that the device is defective. At this point, you will want to test different USB cables and USB ports. It may also be a good idea to run the same test on a different computer. If you continue to run into trouble, contact our Technical Support team for further assistance.
The three resources below are to be considered prescription medicine... only to be used to remedy a specific symptom. These are not general maintenance tools. It is not recommended that you use these resources unless you are confident you are affected by the specific scenarios that cover them above. Use these files at your own risk. If you are uncertain whether or how you should use the resources below, contact Technical Support.
It's impossible to cover all of the possibilities of USB troubleshooting in a single guide but this should act as jumping off point. The suggestions above should at least help you quickly determine that a product is functional, and to help you overcome common setup obstacles such as poor USB communication or out-of-date drivers. If you require further assistance with product setup or have determined that the product is NOT functioning correctly, contact the Technical Support team or refer to some of the related articles below: