midi maybe

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midi maybe

Postby ditdah » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:12 pm

hi all, hello,

I am as new to linux as they come and just joined the the site today.

I am hoping for some mentoring and may not even be in the right place I guess as I don't see a lot of seemingly new would-be-converts, so please re-direct me as necessary.

My lack of knowledge is not in years but in terms of linux may as well be!

I have installed the mandriva LE2005 cover disk on to a fairly old Toshiba satellite pro 4600 laptop, this after trying to install SuSe 9.3 and failing miserably after hardware recognition problems.

I am hoping to learn about linux by finding out how to achieve things I want to do on it.

For example, I visited a site for simple guitar tuning and I am advised I need a midi player to hear the generated tuning guide.

I have not settled on a preferred browser yet and I am trying what came bundled.

So my first Q is; Which midi please, Where do I get it and how will I then install it.

Regards,
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RE: midi maybe

Postby Dave2 » Tue Nov 01, 2005 12:38 pm

Depends what they mean by MIDI player; if it's - as the name implies - just something which plays MIDI files, you'll probably want to use TiMidity++ (or the original, old, TiMidity). This can use up quite a bit of CPU power, though. I'd imagine that Mandriva has a TiMidity(++) package; I've not used it, though, so I can't help you there.

Using TiMidity is a case of opening a console and typing:
Code: Select all
TiMidity file.midi


I'm not sure of any GUI applications, if that's what you'd prefer, unfortunately. They probably exist, just I've never looked for them.

Given that it's a laptop, I'll assume it doesn't have a sound card with SoundFont support; if it did, that would be an option which would offload the "rendering" to the sound card.
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Postby ditdah » Tue Nov 01, 2005 8:36 pm

Many tks for the only response dave2!

I am just muddling through on my own at the mo, trying to find solutions to doing things as I go at a very early stage of the learning curve.

This is clearly not a site for the beginner and no one seems to have the time to teach or make newbies welcome.

Before I level any more criticism, perhaps I should try settle in a while and then direct some comments to the management. I appreciate the site, I just hope they appreciate my patronage of their publications.

I will persevere because it is my nature to find out how things work and in particular what drives me to start learning about linux.

I am unable to add much to my original Q, but I found on the site I was referring to, a link to where they allow download of their midi files.

What I want to achieve though is that if I visit a music site like 8notes.com that I will be able to hear the audio for things like guitar tuning from their tuning guide while actually visiting the site.

I downloaded some midi files from said site so I have some files to play around with.

I downloaded some .tar.bz2 which I believe to be for a midi player (Kmidi-1.7), so I am now trying to learn how to unzip and install etc, (looks like fun)

I seem to have problems with my basic installation as I am having trouble just getting the 'Amarok' player to work with errors occuring over files and folders not existing and streaming plugins being missing.

Another bundled item was KsCD and that works fine except for having low volume.

Anyway, enough for now, thanks again!

ditdah
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Postby GMcG » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:40 am

I guess I'm not quite as new as you, but I'm also using Mandriva, and I'm also having volume problems between the various players, AND I'm also having MIDI problems. I'm using Soundgarden (I think that's what it's called...) and although the player thinks it's playing the file, no sound comes out. I've tried fiddling with the sound-desk programs to no avail, but then, just to annoy me, when I close Soundgarden down it promptly gives me a "Thank you" tinkle.

Did you load Mandriva from the CD or DVD edition?
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Postby ditdah » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:19 pm

Lo GMcG,

I used the four cd pack (3 + updates). re Soundgarden, I have a thing called rosegarden on the list but have not ventured there yet. Volume seems ok on Amarok and is limited mainly because of being on a laptop I suspect.

Perhaps if i can get to a stage where i can trust my own abilities i will put a Linux distro on one of my other setups and really get rockin.

For Dave2 also,
i have resolved most of the problems with Amarok now and also set up Tmidity you suggested, this is fine for the down loaded midi files thanks but i have yet to get something working while browsing.

I have also started setting up Bit Torrent which I am a fan of on my other sys, I have a couple of Q's re this and will take it to a new topic heading.
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Postby GMcG » Thu Nov 03, 2005 11:42 pm

Rosegarden. That'll be the one. Soundgarden is the name if a band. Give it a whirl, I'd be interested to know if it works for you. The DVD version has several MIDI players, unfortunately they don't all appear in the 'Sound' list, so unless I can remember their names at some point I can't try them. I don't know if they'll all be on the CD version though.
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Postby shifty_ben » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:09 am

Hi
Just to let you know I used Rosegarden whilst studying Music tech at Sixth form, its a brillaint program, but I did have a few problems actually hearing the MIDI, whihc soundcard are you using? if it is any creative one then what you need to do is find your driver CD and copy the default MIDI soundfont bank to a suitable location on your hard drive, whetehr that be in your home directory or in /usr or anywhere else is up to you. You then need to load the soundfont into the soundcard bank, im afraid Ive forgotten the command, but I have it written down so I will hunt it out for you. The reason you can hear MIDI in Timidity but not rosegarden if you are wondering is because Timidity uses its own set of sounds.

By the way if you are interested there is also a program called Muse, it is very similar to the Logic applications used in many commercial recording studios.

Hope this helps and I promise I will post the command asap
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Postby shifty_ben » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:14 am

OK ive foudn the command, it only took me a few seconds because Ive been toying with a few programs I used, the command is as follows

sfxload /path/to/soundfont.sf2

obviously replace the last bit with the path to the actual soundfont. You either need to set a startup script for this to do this at every boot or issue the command yourself before using rosegarden, muse or audacity. Oh and whilst i remember in rosegarden make sure you have the correct bank selected, because it is not always the default one. If you dont have a copy of the creative CD for whatever reason P.M me as I still have mine.
Enjoy playing with MIDI, and most importantly enjoy the freedom Linux provides
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Postby GMcG » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:26 am

I've just replaced my dodgy old motherboard and I'm currently using the onboard sound that comes with the new board. I guess the principle is the same though. I have to find the driver disc and use the same process. If that doesn't work I can always put the Creative card back in.

Thanks for the help!
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Postby shifty_ben » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:26 am

Forgive the huge amount of posts, but im part way througha bottle of wine after a long day at work, so am kinda forgetful.

Incidentally if you arent using a creative card, then obviously the sfxload method wont work. I did try fiddling with another soundcard before I got my audigy but without much luck. If this is the case for you then check out fluidsynth

http://www.fluidsynth.org/

it basically loads a soundofnt into memory for you and so gives you MIDI, once again if you need GM soundfont then I have the creative one, the only thing with this is it is not technically GM, it doesnt support reverb and several other effects, but there are programs that are similar to the Edirol VSC that will allow you to overcome this issue. OK hopefully I have manged to get all my advice down.
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Mandriva Midi Blues

Postby ahill3780 » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:48 am

I use the Mandriva 2006 distro with onboard sound through the KDE GUI and I am using Amarok to play my mp3 collection. My sound was working just fine the other week and one day it just quit playing music. I cannot remember what I was doing when it died (as I am currently learning linux myself) but I have confirmed that the system sound is still working fine, it is just the midi that is not playing which in turn, I can only assume, is causing my mp3's not to play back.

This sounds close to what you guys are talking about is the only reason I am posting. Since the sound stopped working I pulled out one of my old PCI Sounblaster Live 5.1 cards and installed it. Mandriva recognizes the card and says its working but I cannot hear any sound out of it. This is not really a big deal for me as I can dual-boot into Windows if I really want to hear music, but if anyone can give me a few pointers on how to restore original 'drivers' for midi that would be great. I plan on having to reinstall the OS several times before I get it right so no biggy if it goes down.

Many thanks on all your current information and any that you may be able to provide me with!
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Postby shifty_ben » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:34 am

OK in response to your MP3 and MIDI sound going down it sounds more like your volume is not turned up high enough, don't take any offence at this assumption becaus eits not as simple a mistake as it sounds. I assume you are using kmix or something similar, this doenst always show all the controls. Open Konsole and type

alsamixer -V all

then check that none of the relevant controls are muted, if you are using SB Live then it is likely that some of them will be labelled fairly odly, mine has loads of PCM routing etc, but some of them make a big difference. If it helps I can post a listing of my setup, every sound problem I have had has mor eor less fallen down to this. Once you have set the volume to the right level then you want to store it. Run the following command, you may need to be root to do it though

alsactl store
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Postby crispibits » Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:29 pm

Hi ditdah,
Just a couple of things...
I use ubuntu, and just installed timidity, and guess what, no sound! BUT running it from the commandline (opening a terminal and typing
Code: Select all
timidity

showed that it couldn't find a file called /etc/timidity/freepats.cfg. This is a configuration file to enable timidity to use a set of soundfonts from this site.
I downloaded freepats-20040611.tar.bz2 from there to my home directory and then extracted it by opening a terminal and typing
Code: Select all
tar xvjf freepats-20040611.tar.bz2

This created a directory in my home directory called freepats, and within it there was a config file called freepats.cfg.
This contains lines like:
Code: Select all
25     Drum_000/025_Snare_Roll.pat

I altered each line to give it an absolute path name, so it was:
Code: Select all
25     /home/me/freepats/Drum_000/025_Snare_Roll.pat

and then copied the file to /etc/timidity/ by doing this:
Code: Select all
su
cp /home/me/freepats/freepats.cfg /etc/timidity/

You need to be root to copy configuration files to directories under /etc as a rule.
Once I'd done that I tried using it by typing
Code: Select all
timidity /home/me/test.mid

And it played some music!

Try following this process and let us know how you get on. Bear in mind that my username is 'me', hence the paths being /home/me/... yours will be different.

That's the first thing. The second thing is, saying things like :
This is clearly not a site for the beginner and no one seems to have the time to teach or make newbies welcome.

is not really fair. There are all sorts of people using this forum, most of us are newbie friendly, others aren't. If we haven't encountered your particular problem, there's no real point in replying. I happened to have a couple of minutes (well, a lunch hour) spare, so decided to have a look at this problem. You won't always get a reply to your questions ( I speak from bitter experience :-) ), and you may get a few 'curt' replies - but hey, that happens everywhere. Good luck, and stick with it...
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Postby ditdah » Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:16 pm

Hello crispibits,

Many thanks, I really do appreciate your time, and your comments about my comments are totally fair.

It was my first post on my first forum believe it or not and I was not being lazy about looking for help on previous posts, I just had not found much that seemed to tie in with an absolute beginner.

In frustration at getting nowhere fast, I thought I may provoke a response, even if it only meant being told to take a walk and for someone to advise me if I was wasting my time here.

I will stick with it and I am making some progress in simply dealing with the file system and stuff, which being a normal xp user is all new to me as well.

Anyway I will work through the advise you have given, I have just tried the 'timidity' in cmd line and no problem reported, it just gave the copyright info things.

I know this will be my lack of understanding, but at the mo, if I just double click on a previously downloaded midi file, KMid opens its gui and reports error; could not open device sequencer, probably another program using it!

And all I wanted to do originally was to be able to hear a midi file when visiting a particular site. :?
But I am enjoying learning to control what is going on in the box.

In line with the KMid para I would appreciate some advice on the best way to view what is up and running and how to determine what is using what, if that doesn't sound too daft.

Regards
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Postby crispibits » Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:04 pm

I like the bit where you say:
And all I wanted to do originally was to be able to hear a midi file when visiting a particular site.

That sems to happen frequently with me - I start off deciding to sort something out relatively minor, and ending up doing something completely unrelated. Now as far as KMid complaining about not being able to open the sound device, this is possibly down to something called the sound server. On Linux (it's all about choice, man) there are several ways of handling sound. I don't quite understand it myself, but it boils down to the fact that when one sound server is running, you can't use a program that uses a different sound server (I think, someone will probably correct me here), or tries to access the sound device directly. I suspect that - if you're running Mandriva - you'll be using KDE. This uses aRtsd (a sound server, don't ask). It could be that KMid is trying to access the sound card directly, but it's locked by aRtsd. Unfortunately after all this I'm not going to give you an answer, 'coz I don't know it. I'm just trying to help you understand the problem. Can anyone else help here please? :-)
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