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Old 11-07-2008, 09:58 AM
Daniel James
Default Timidity and Vkeybd

Hi Ruslan,

I've noticed your article in Russian LinuxFormat

I hope they translated it OK :-)

and should like to
present you the following information that may be interesting for you:

Thanks, I will post this reply to our 64 Studio users list.



Question : How to play virtual synthesizer with Timidity (on computer

Install vkeybd <http://mitglied.lycos.de/iwai/alsa.html>, run Timidity
<http://timidity.sourceforge.net/> (I recommend using freepats
<http://freepats.opensrc.org/> instruments) as ALSA or JACK MIDI server:
' timidity -iA -B2,8 -Os -q0/0 -k0 --reverb=G,127 -R 5000' (use '-Oj'
for JACK, similar command is also specified in 'README.alsaseq.gz' in
Timidity docs, you can insert this command to some start-up script like
rc.local) and then launch ' vkeybd --addr 128:0'. Now you can play this
synthesizer with usual computer keyboard or mouse. To choose instrument
go to 'View->Program list', octave and volume are in
'View->Key/Velocity'. '-R 5000' switch (delayed key release) works
perfectly for most instruments, but it's better to avoid using it for
instruments like organ, violin, electric guitars, accordion etc. or you
may get unrealistic, though interesting results. Changing 'Sustain'
(View->Controls) also may significantly improve sound quality. To get
keyboard layout similar to ZynAddSubFX (but with 3 octaves only), copy
this file <file:///ruslan/html/vkeybdmap>
(http://gnuit.narod.ru/vkeybdmap) to your home directory and rename it
to ' .vkeybdmap'. If you want to record what you play, you should start
'jackd -d alsa', than use '-Oj' switch instead of '-Os' in Timidity
launching command, run programs ' vkeybd --addr 128:0', ' patchage
<http://download.savannah.nongnu.org/releases/om-synth/>' and '
timemachine <http://plugin.org.uk/timemachine/>'. Having launched
everything, in Patchage window you should drag with mouse Timidity's
'port_1' and 'port_2' (those two connected to ALSA, these are right and
left channel) to respectively 'in_1' and 'in_2' of Timemachine to
duplicate Timidity output (you can additionally connect there output of
Hydrogen or any other JACK client if you wish to record its sound too
with Timemachine, the same way you can connect your sound cards's input
'capture_1/2' to sound card's output 'playback_1/2' to hear it,
recording incoming sygnal with 10 sec time shift). Then press that big
green button in Timemachine to start recording. Now you can play. Note
that resulting file has a bit non-standard, but valid WAV format (W64)
and usually has first 10 seconds silent, you can delete them with
Audacity and export result as WAV to normalize format. I use the
following script to simplify it all:

killall timidity
killall jackd
jackd -d alsa &
timidity -iA -B2,8 -Oj -k0 --reverb=G,127 -R 5000 &
vkeybd --addr 128:0 &
timemachine &

If you need LADSPA effects (like GVerb), launch JACK Rack
<http://arb.bash.sh/%7Erah/software/jack-rack/> and place it between
Timidity and ALSA in Patchage window (you can do the same for
ZynAddSubFX or any other JACK output program). You can also use Creox
<http://www.uid0.sk/zyzstar/?creox> guitar effects etc. All programs
listed here are present in Debian 4.0 Stable. Of course you can also use
Timidity server (having launched it without '-R 3000' switch) in KDE
Sound System MIDI setup, programs like KMid should use it without any
additional configuring.

Question : How to play MIDI files with ZynAddSubFX?

Launch ZynAddSubFX, find MIDI-in ports of ZynAddSubFX with ' aconnect
-o', and use them in a command like ' pmidi -p129:0 FUGUE.MID'.

Here's also a citation from one of my pages:

Freepats <http://freepats.opensrc.org/> — a kit of free GUS (Gravis
UltraSound) patches. They are actually a series of 16-bit mono waveforms
(samples) with looped middle, adjusted to desired note by speed change.
You can open and cut those samples (e. g. percussion) with Audacity
<http://audacity.sourceforge.net/> (Project -> Import RAW Data -> Signed
16 bit, Little-endian, Mono, usually 44100 Hz). The format of a GUS
patch is easily understood from Timidity
<http://timidity.sourceforge.net/> source (instrum.c). Some patches have
'Ping-Pong' flag, in this case every other loop (2nd, 4th, 6th...) is
played in reversed direction (like 'Seashore', 'Helicopter' etc.).

Feel free to use the above info.



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