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Old 05-23-2007, 08:28 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: Arvada, CO USA
Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux
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No sound with Timidity++ server and ALSA.

Hello All,

I suppose I'm missing something obvious but ... I have two different machines both running Debian Etch (4.0) with kernel (if that matters). One is a Dell with a 2GHz Pentium 4 and an integrated Intel 82801BA-ICH2 sound card/chip, the other is an HP with a 3GHz Pentium 4 and a SoundBlaster PCI 128 (basically an early SB Live! card). On both machines sound works fine except for playing MIDI files ... sort of. With the Intel 82801BA I have no choice but to use a software synth to play MIDI files. On the other machine I could use the hardware wave table but I can't find any sf2 files I like while with Timidity I have a much better selection so I use Timidity there too. On both machines I can use Timidity from the command-line. That is:

prompt> timidity ghostbusters.mid

plays fine. But if I do:

prompt> timidity -iA -B8,2 -Os &
[3] 1857
Requested buffer size 128, fragment size 16
ALSA pcm 'default' set buffer size 7524, period size 3760 bytes
TiMidity starting in ALSA server mode
Opening sequencer port: 128:0 128:1 128:2 128:3

propmt> aplaymidi --port 128:0 ghostbusters.mid
Requested buffer size 128, fragment size 16
ALSA pcm 'default' set buffer size 7524, period size 3760 bytes

I get no sound. The system sort-of looks like it's trying to play in that 'top' shows timidity using a reasonable amount of CPU but there is no sound and aplaymidi never finishes. Just for completeness, lsmod | grep snd on the box with the Intel 82801BA shows:

snd_rtctimer 2720 2
snd_seq_virmidi 5120 0
snd_seq_dummy 2820 0
snd_seq_oss 27264 0
snd_seq_midi 6272 0
snd_rawmidi 18432 2 snd_seq_virmidi,snd_seq_midi
snd_seq_midi_event 6016 3 snd_seq_virmidi,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi
snd_seq 42224 11 snd_seq_virmidi,snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
snd_seq_device 6284 5 snd_seq_dummy,snd_seq_oss,snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq
snd_intel8x0 27676 2
snd_ac97_codec 86688 1 snd_intel8x0
ac97_bus 2048 1 snd_ac97_codec
snd_pcm_oss 36864 0
snd_mixer_oss 13440 1 snd_pcm_oss
snd_pcm 65288 4 snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_oss
snd_timer 18180 4 snd_rtctimer,snd_seq,snd_pcm
snd 41476 15 snd_seq_virmidi,snd_seq_oss,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq,snd_seq_device,snd_intel8x0,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm_o ss,snd_mixer_oss,snd_pcm,snd_timer
soundcore 6112 1 snd
snd_page_alloc 7432 2 snd_intel8x0,snd_pcm
rtc 7056 1 snd_rtctimer

What am I missing? Any help would be appreciated.

Old 05-23-2007, 10:14 PM   #2
Registered: Oct 2006
Posts: 460

Rep: Reputation: 31
i have no explanation accept it might just be poorly written applications and might have to do with the midi map they are using (not handling exceptions properly ?) I'm running Debian etch and while aplaymidi and pmidi work with timidity they do so in a way that only produces garbled noise. Kmid doesn't work with timidity at all and it just runs on like you described. HOWEVER if i run or when i run the more sophosticated midi applications like muse all works and sounds fine with timidity.
so if you are just running those commands as tests just move on.
Old 06-11-2007, 01:34 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2007
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
I have the exact same problem with the timidity plugin for xmms and audacious.

Interestingly, if I use the default timidity.cfg (uses freepats) it works fine. The moment I try to use an sf2 soundfont instead, the exact behavior you described takes place.


midi, sound

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