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I'm trying to build a Linux Audio Workstation. This is for multitracking audio and MIDI. Rosegarden and Ardour are some good examples of applications I'd like to use.
Mostly, though, I'm a programming geek and I'd like to take advantage of Linux to build a lot of my own tools.
At the moment, I've installed Fedora Core 4, and added the Planet CCRMA extensions. However, I've found it's not a very good audio workstation. The ALSA serial port MIDI driver simply doesn't work (and I haven't found any way to debug it), and even XMMS has serious problems playing audio. Loading a new (static) page in Firefox will cause the mp3 playback to stutter (!). Rosegarden often locks up the computer when I close the application (to be fair to Rosegarden, it's probably a driver bug).
What would Linux gurus recommend as a distro/drivers? Is there a good forum for this sort of question? Are there any Linux-based musicians around? Have you found ALSA to be a reliable platform, or do you recommend something else? Should I even bother with serial port MIDI, or should I get a simple card that supports midi out?
Many thanks for any help or suggestions. I've been tinkering (and re-installing distros) for a week or so now, and haven't had much luck getting reliable audio performance.
check out http://linux-sound.org/ they have links to alsorsts or music software, also have a section on audio distros.
You dont mention it, but have you tried using JACK ("professional-quality low-latency audio server").
Ive just switched over to Arch linux from slackware, it has a nice packaging system with quite a few audio tools and isnt too hard to create your own packages. I find it pretty quick, bugs are squashed quickly and very up to date.
Should I even bother with serial port MIDI, or should I get a simple card that supports midi out
Most half decent soundcards game ports double up as a midi port.
Are there any Linux-based musicians around?
me (I dual boot, so get the best of both worlds). Hydrogen (drum machine) is probably what I use the most in linux though, and it syncs up quit nicely with other apps (sequencers etc) using jack.
I hope some of this info helps, good luck with your search.
Sorry to keep posting. I'm about to stop work for the day, and I thought I'd post where I was in case any technically-minded people had any suggestions on my configuration.
Again, my problem is that I can't seem to get midi apps (Rosegarden, KMid, pmidi) to play midi to external MIDI devices. I've tried both serial port, and game port. I'm currently troubleshooting the game port setup.
If I try the alsa midi player ("% aplaymidi -l") I see
Port Client name Port name
14:0 Midi Through Midi Through Port-0
I think that's just the serial port? Which didn't work in any case. Or is that the emulator? (I'm not interested in emulators at the moment).
pmidi gives the same result as aplaymidi.
Here is what I get when I cat /proc/asound/oss/sndstat: