I've a midi keyboard going to 'midi in' on a Focusrite 18i20 USB'd to Reaper on a PC. I can record a midi track using Reaper with this keyboard. I can also play back the track on an external midi sound module connected to 'midi out' on the 18i20.

The only problem is, I don't get midi to the sound module when I'm actually playing the keyboard. I can see Reaper's midi meter moving, but theres no sound from the module.

There used to be a concept of 'midi through' which is essentially the feature I want, in other words I want the midi data that is going to the PC to also go (approximately) simultaneously to the sound module. There's no way of controlling what the 18i20 does, so I assume this has to be done by Reaper echoing everything, but I can't find out how to do this. There's no mention of 'midi through' in the Reaper manual.

Just to be clear, no VSTs are involved.

2 Answers 2


Standard practise these days is to use the sequencer to provide the throughput to the correct out, which saves nasty doubling & chasing round in circles to find what went wrong. I don't know Reaper, so don't know where that routing might be.

a quick Googling provided this info…

  • You must click the IO button on the track and select the proper Midi Hardware out. (right above the volume slider)

  • Also you must have the track record armed and the proper input input selected.

  • Also you must have the monitor on (the little speaker right under the volume slider)

Hardware 'through' was used back in the day when you had little choice but to wire all these things in series.

(I'm speaking as one who used to have a DX7 without Midi, pre-production model;)

  • Thanks very much for your help. I also googled before asking the question, I had most of it right but couldn't find the speaker, which I've now discovered is only visible if you increase the depth of the box. You guessed correctly that my midi knowledge is a bit ancient - I'm using a DMK7 keyboard and a TG55 module that have been gathering dust for a few years.
    – Spalteer
    Dec 12, 2014 at 18:25
  • I've got to the stage, these days, where I have one midi keyboard [PSR 9000, the last hardware project I worked on], so old the battery-backed RAM has failed. It now does midi out & nothing else; everything else is in software now ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 12, 2014 at 18:29

Cheapest and simplest - Just use a simple 50cm midi Y splitter cable. This splits the signal so one goes into the Focusrite and one can go back to your sound module.

The midi splitter will split midi - it cannot combine midi (but that is not what you need anyway).

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