Troubleshooting an RTP-MIDI Network

In most cases setting up an RTP-MIDI network with Ethernet should be relatively straightforward - see the article: How do I use MIDI over Ethernet or Wi-fi? for full instructions. However in case you are having a problem here are a few troubleshooting tips...

First thing to check are the physical Ethernet connections themselves. Ethernet cables and sockets are quite robust, but like anything else they can develop faults. Luckily many Ethernet sockets are equipped with small status lights so we can quickly check if there is a hardware connection issue. On most Ethernet ports you will find two LEDs. One of these shows the network link state (steady light) and the other shows network activity (blinking light).
 
Image result for ethernet port indicator lights


The Link light goes on when an active device is sensed at the other end of the cable.  Sometimes this connection light can be either green or yellow. Green usually means a high speed connection (1000BaseT / Gigabit / 1000 mbps) and yellow means lower speed (100BaseT / 100mbps). You can quickly check if there is a hardware connection fault by simply looking at the Link connection light - if that light is not on, then you probably have a hardware issue either in your Ethernet device or in your Ethernet cable.

The network Activity light blinks when data is sensed coming through the Ethernet port (either inbound or outbound). If no data is being sent, then it is normally off.

If the Link connection light is on, but the network activity light isn't flashing, then you probably don't have a hardware issue, but you might have a software or firmware issue in one of your network devices. This can be fixed surprisingly frequently by the simple expedient of switching your devices off, waiting for 10-20 seconds, then switching them on again (yes, this sometimes does actually work!). If that doesn't fix it, then you will have to look deeper.

Network systems work on a "layer" principle. At the bottom layer is the hardware connection itself - the Ethernet cables and ports. Above that you have different software layers that handle different jobs of making the system work. One of the most important layers in a LAN (Local Area Network) are the IP addresses of each network device. These usually come in the form of a set of 4 three digit numbers e.g. 192.168.1.1. Whereas people recognise things by their names, computers like each things to have a unique number instead. So while you may call your interface "mio10", the computer prefers to call it something like 192.168.1. 27. Normally your network switch or router will assign these numbers automatically, but sometimes there can be conflicts, especially if you have a network that devices are switched in and out of frequently. In a case like that it can sometimes happen that two devices have the same IP address, and then you can have all kinds of weirdness happening. Usually this can be fixed by telling your network devices to "Renew their leases" i.e. have them tell your router to give them a new IP address.

To renew the DHCP lease on Mac OS is very easy - see this guide.

To renew the DHCP lease on Windows 10, see this guide. Unfortunately it's not quite as easy as on Mac OS, and it does mean having to do some stuff with a command line, but don't let that put you off, it's relatively simple and straightforward and you won't break anything!

Other non-computer devices will have different ways of getting renewing their IP address lease, please refer to your network device's manual.

You can also tell your router directly to reissue IP addresses to the network using the router's control panel. Refer to your router manufacturer's instructions for this. Every router is different in that respect, so it's outside of what we can cover here.

In some cases it might be helpful to switch from using a dynamically assigned (DHCP) address to using a Static IP address instead. If you know what this means, and know how to do it, try it. If you don't know what this means, please do not try it, because you can screw up your whole network if you don't know what you are doing!