[SATLUG] Getting sound from MIDI

Frank Huddleston fhuddles at gmail.com
Tue Dec 14 14:44:06 CST 2010


    I'm hoping someone can help me with getting sound from MIDI on my 
computer. I'm currently running Ubuntu 10.4.1 (lucid) on a laptop with a 
real-time kernel:
Linux trili 2.6.33-29-realtime #1-Ubuntu SMP PREEMPT RT Thu Aug 5 
12:28:39 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux

but I have had pretty much the same experience with Ubuntu Studio.
I have alsa, but have not installed pulseaudio.
I am not using any external MIDI devices.
I'm just not getting any sound out of MIDI programs. Alsa seems to work 
OK: mplayer, vlc, etc. work. I can play a MIDI file using Timidity, 
because that converts it to wav format. But programs like seq24, 
aplaymidi, Midi Virtual Keyboard (vkeybd), jack-keyboard: nothing.
MuSe starts, if Jack is running, but soon ends with:
looping waiting for sequencer thread to start
midi sequencer thread does not start!? Exiting...

At least it's an error message...
Rosegarden has played some of its example music, but I think it's 
bypassing jack and midi when it does. Furthermore, it's not at all 
consistent, as far as I've been able to understand: I think the audio 
device or program environment that it requires to produce sound is very 
sensitive and
fragile, and I have not been able to determine how to make it more 
robust. Even the documentation says sound in Rosegarden is a complex 

So: I've thrown out a bunch of stuff here, and don't really know what 
I'm doing. I don't even really know what they mean by a "sequencer": 
something that sequences a thing that was otherwise un-sequenced, I 
guess. More likely: a program to play some kind of sound file.
Is there a simple way to test my MIDI configuration? A simple app I 
should use to test and debug it?

Thanks for any help.

Frank Huddleston

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