Parva USB host/device successes!


I received my Parva this week (backer #64) and verified that USB hosting works with Korg nanoKEY, nanoPAD, and nanoKONTROL. (These are the first generation Korg nano devices.)


I was able to use Parva as a USB MIDI device in Windows 7, which automatically found and installed the driver.

Parva also works great as a USB MIDI device in Mac OS X 10.5.8 (PowerPC G4) - no driver installation necessary! I’ve been re-listening to my MIDI music and enjoying the warm analog sound!


The USB Host port should work with any class-compliant controller. I use a CME XKey 25, an M-Audio Axiom 61, and a Novation SL-MKII 25 every day.

I also recently discovered that the Roland A-49 can be put into class-compliant mode by holding down certain keys on startup. Follow these instructions, but ignore the part about the powered USB hub – just hold down S1 and S2 while attaching the controller to the Parva.


Tried this with an Akai lpk 25 and this produced noisey feedback. So I don’t recommend this midi keyboard with Parva. I tried this with 2 Akai units so this behavior is confirmed. I’ll need to try this with other midi keys to rule out my unit being defective in this regard though all works fine via usual USB midi slot. I’ll test regular midi tomorrow.


Got my Parva 5 days ago in Luxembourg (number 98) and connect it to an M-Audio code 49. First when the Parva starts up I hear a loud low frequency stuttering sound best described as a “tractor motor running idly” but only when the keyboard is connected. The Parva doesn’t produce any noise on its own when powered up without the keyboard. I can play the notes with the init patch that is selected but the stuttering sound prevails. By turning the Parva off and on again the sound is gone and I can use the keyboard as expected. This happens every time I power up the Parva with the keyboard connected, switched on and powered externally by the Ableton Push 2 power source (there is no standard power source delivered witch the code 49) Any ideas?


Have you tried not using external power for the keyboard, and just letting the Parva power it over USB?


Yes, the stuttering noise is gone but the keyboard hangs on a high pitched note until i play the note and the sound stops. The level of the stuttering noise can be controlled by the sustain knob and playing a sound on attack, decay and release alone with sustain at 0 is played fine. With only the USB connection the Parva shut down once by opening the filter… Since then playing notes and opening the filter at maximun freezes the synth by displaying all the parameters on every screen in “Zoom mode” and i have to power Parva off and on again.
Hard or software problem?


I’m sorry, but I’m having a little difficulty understanding the exact behavior you’re seeing. Please try the following three configurations:

  1. With keyboard connected to Parva via USB Host, powered by Parva, and no other connections to a computer or other MIDI equipment, can you play normally?

  2. With keyboard connected to Parva via USB Host, powered externally, and no other connections to a computer or other MIDI equipment, can you play normally? (This produces the “tractor” sound, right?)

  3. With keyboard connected to Parva via DIN MIDI connector, powered externally, and no other connections to a computer or other MIDI equipment, can you play normally?

  1. Keyboard --> USB --> powered by Parva: High pitched note or “tractor” sound, varies between theses two but plays a sound before hitting any key on the code 49. When the Parva powers the keyboard, it sometimes switches off, especially when turning the VCF or resonance knobs. After restarting Parva i can play normally but sometimes by playing fast or pressing many keys at the same time, one of the notes played “hangs” and i have to play it again to stop the sound.
  2. Keyboard external power source --> USB --> Parva: “Tractor” sound more often than high pitched sound, i have to restart the Parva and very often the sound disappears and i can play normally except sometimes notes hang.
  3. Din Midi external power to keyboard: Channel 1 on the Code 49 and 0 on the Parva: I hear no sound at all by playing the keys.


Ok. Just two more things:

  1. Have you enabled MIDI output on the keyboard?
    From the Code 49 manual:

The MIDI Out port sends out MIDI messages from your Code Series keyboard. You can enable or disable this port. By default, it is disabled. It will not send out incoming MIDI messages from your DAW or the MIDI In port.
To enable or disable the MIDI Out port:

  1. Press Edit to enter Edit Mode. The Edit button will light up.
  2. Press the MIDI Out key to enable or disable the port. The display will show MID and whether the port is ON or OFF.
    To change it while the display still shows the state, press the MIDI Out key or a Preset Down/Up () key to switch between ON or OFF.
    To confirm your change, wait for 1 second. You will exit Edit Mode automatically.
  1. What firmware version is your Parva running? Check the Global / Firmware menu. The latest firmware (v0.45), along with upgrade instructions can be found here: Parva Software and Firmware Downloads


So, after enabling the midi out port of the Code 49 (I’m a complete noob and assumed that it was enabled as the usb port was working out of the box), Parva works as expected, no “tractor” or high pitched sounds when starting up and playing. The problem seems to be solved by switching to midi connection. Nevertheless USB seems to have problems at the startup but most of the time works by keeping the Code 49 powered and switching Parva off and on again.
The first thing I did getting Parva was to update to 0.45 which worked like a charm (using win 8 on a surface pro 3)
Thank you for your quick answers, I’m just beginning to peek into the world of synths and everything is very new to me. Still I’m really happy to have backed your project and love how this has turned out so far.


Just bumping this old thread to see what USB class-compliant controllers Parva owners are using and would recommend?

I want something that’s capable of being powered by the Parva’s USB socket (and does not require yet another wallwart!)

All suggestions welcome. :slight_smile:

Edited to add: Looks like the CME Xkey (polyphonic aftertouch) might be a good companion (no proper mod/pitch bend wheels though)


I’ve been trying to use my Arturia Minilab MkI controller through the USB host port with little success. I had no trouble using it before, but for some reason it hasn’t been working lately. Any idea what might causing this?


Assuming the Minilab works fine with a computer, do you have another controller you can try out on the Parva?