Support » Knowledge Base » PRB: No Sound During Playback

PRB: No Sound During Playback

Article ID:000001
Category:MIDI Setup and Playback
Applies to:Power Tab Editor (all versions)
Last updated:11-Feb-2005
Revision number:46
Author(s):Brad Larsen


When you click the play button, you can't hear any sound.

More Information

When the play button is clicked, Power Tab Editor generates a MIDI data representation for the score, and passes it on to the MIDI output device selected in the MIDI setup. (see Step 4 under Resolution) The MIDI output device then uses this data to generate the physical sound you hear through your speakers/headphones.


The following is a list of procedures to try in order to get the sound working properly on your system.

Step 1 - Check the Speakers

Make sure your speakers are plugged in and turned on.

Step 2 - Check the Mixer

Make sure the appropriate playback devices are not muted in the Windows Volume Control. (or your sound card mixer)

To check the mute status of the playback devices in the Windows Volume Control, proceed as follows:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open text box, type sndvol32.exe.
  3. Ensure that any Wave/Mp3 and MIDI mixer items are not muted.

If the sound card on your system installed its own mixer, load it up and then follow step 3 above.

Step 3 - Test MIDI Playback Using an External MIDI File

  1. Download the sample.mid test file from the link that appears later on this page.
  2. Once downloaded, double-click on the file. You should hear a piano playing the C major scale.


Step 4 - Check the MIDI Output Device

During the installation process, Power Tab Editor designates the first MIDI output device it finds as the primary output device for playback. This may be a device that isn't the optimal output device for playback on your system. Try selecting a different MIDI output device to use for playback, as follows:

  1. Load Power Tab Editor.
  2. On the MIDI menu, click Setup and then click the Output tab.
  3. Click the arrow at the end of the Device box to display the pull-down menu listing of all available MIDI output devices on your system. Click a device that's different than the one you're currently using.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Test playback. Be sure to test the playback at least a half dozen times for each output device, as there is a bug that can lead to a periodic loss of sound.
Note: When selecting a device, make sure the Technology box does not say MIDI Hardware Port. If you select this type of device, you need to have an external synthesizer hooked up to your computer in order to hear sound.

Step 5 - Check the Guitar Setup For Muted Guitars

  1. Load Power Tab Editor.
  2. On the Guitar menu, click Setup.
  3. Ensure that none of the guitars has an Initial Volume setting of "off".

Step 6 - Check for Missing Guitar In Symbols

Guitar In symbols are the symbols used to instruct the playback engine which guitar should be playing the notes on the staff. If a required guitar in is missing from the score, you will not hear the appropriate playback. For more information on this problem, see the article Guitar Playback Not Working Properly.

Step 7 - Use a Software Synthesizer

If the hardware on your system is incapable of generating MIDI sound, you can try using a software alternative. For information on this topic, see the knowledge base article Using a Software Synthesizer for Playback.

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Are you new to Power Tab? If so, check out the Newbie Guide.

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