Attaching MIDI keyboards in Linux

Installation of the Miditzer on Linux machines
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Altivo
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Attaching MIDI keyboards in Linux

Post by Altivo » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:47 am

Tried the Miditzer Quartet distribution on Puppy and it works nicely. Or at least, it looks right and will play and operate using the mouse, computer keyboard, or a MIDI file input.

I can't seem to get it to see externally attached MIDI keyboards though. Tried this first with one that uses a USB attachment, and then one that uses the original 5-pin DIN cable, which I plugged into a MIDI adapter that in turn goes to USB. Both of these work with Windows and with my normal LinuxMint 14 setup on this PC. Is it a limitation of the Puppy LiveCD that it doesn't recognize external keyboards? I don't think I've seen that noted here.

I do want to congratulate everyone who has worked to pull this together. I have two late model Wurlitzer electronic console organs at home (a 950 and a 4500) and while they are quite nice, they just don't sound like the real thing. It's amazing how good Miditzer sounds even through a pair of tiny PC speakers. I'm eager to link it to my big tone cabinets and see how it does that way.

I'll probably dedicate a Windows XP machine for this purpose eventually, but I usually run Linux and I'm glad to see that it works with Wine.
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Gary Phillips, Rural Illinois
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Altivo
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Re: Attaching MIDI keyboards in Linux

Post by Altivo » Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:56 pm

I suppose I should clarify this a bit.

Miditzer 216 is running under WINE.

A MIDI keyboard is plugged into USB on the Linux host.

Running either qjackctl or aconnect -i on Linux shows the kayboard ready and waiting to be connected. I can use aconnect or qjackctl to link this keyboard to an output or through device, but none appears for Miditzer or the FluidSynth that is running in WINE.

Likewise, if I go to Miditzer and open the settings, there is no visible input source to be selected other than a mysterious "MIDI Through" port.

Consequently I can't figure out how to link the external keyboard as input to Miditzer/Fluidsynth. I can start up Qsynth or Timidity in Linux, and then link the kayboard to the synth running in native Linux mode. Everything seems to be working there. But there doesn't seem to be any way to pass the USB/MIDI input into WINE where, presumably, Miditzer would be able to see and use it.
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Gary Phillips, Rural Illinois
Please be patient with me, I'm only half-baked.

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Altivo
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Re: Attaching MIDI keyboards in Linux

Post by Altivo » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:38 am

OK! Got it going with the Yamaha keyboard at last. So many settings to match up. So far I can play the solo division alone, solo and accomp together in unison, or split the keyboard to get pedal on the left with either solo or solo+accomp on the right. That seems like a good start at least.

Now I need to swap computers because my poor little EeePc is too laggy at this for anything other than slow ballads like Summertime or Ashokan Farewell. The sound is amazingly true though. I can hardly believe it.
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Gary Phillips, Rural Illinois
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Re: Attaching MIDI keyboards in Linux

Post by Jim Henry » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:26 am

Glad to hear you are making progress.

The lag is always a problem when software synthesizers are in use. The situation can be improved with careful tweaking so good luck with that.
Jim Henry

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Altivo
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Re: Attaching MIDI keyboards in Linux

Post by Altivo » Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:01 pm

I'm sure I can lose the lag once I get onto a PC that meets the full requirements. The EeePC was just handy because I use it to store and update patches and such for the Yamaha YPG. I have an idle Dell P4 processor at 1.2 GHz sitting here with XP already installed, but need to scare up a monitor to use with it.

Took me longer to get the Alesis Vortex going but that works now as well, and can actually change combinations and operate the swell pedal from the keyboard. Since it's a keytar it is limited to a 37 note keyboard, but surprisingly capable in spite of that and it feels pretty amazing to activate the sounds of a Mighty Wurlitzer with that little thing. Keyboard splitting and octave shifting internal to the keyboard controller itself is surprisingly nimble.

Is there a chart or table anywhere that lists the actual default piston settings for the 150 and 216 setups?
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Gary Phillips, Rural Illinois
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Re: Attaching MIDI keyboards in Linux

Post by Jim Henry » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:41 pm

Altivo wrote:Is there a chart or table anywhere that lists the actual default piston settings for the 150 and 216 setups?
I think someone might have posted that somewhere on this Forum but I'm not sure about that. You can generate it for yourself by using "Export Memory Level" which creates a CSV file and then looking at that file with a spreadsheet program.
Jim Henry

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