[lug] MIDI Keyboard for Linux

Jed S. Baer blug at jbaer.cotse.net
Sun Dec 27 10:18:35 MST 2015

I'm definitely looking at a MIDI keyboard. Plenty of those available,
even under $100. At the moment, I can plug things together using
patchage, and I don't know that, for my purposes, I need to switch to
using Jack. I recall quite a lot of hollering when Pulseaudio first came
out, and articles about how to get rid of it, and get Jack working.

Amsynth plays through the sound card, and I can use pavucontrol to turn
on capture on the Alsa interface, if I want to record. It all seems to
play well together, though I'm not wild about the UI for Amsynth or
patchage. But they're functional, which is good enough for my current
purposes. I'll probably try some other softsynths at some point.

While I recognize the tradeoffs, I think a 2 octave keyboard is good for
now. I really need to be in the mode of getting rid of things, vs.
acquiring more stuff, so smaller is better.

I've been able to capture the output of vmpk using nted, but trying to
edit from there was not a happening thing. Perhaps I will need to read
the instructions.

I'm currently on kernel 3.11 (long story, different topic), but
everything seems to be working OK.

On Sat, 26 Dec 2015 14:13:21 -0700
Lee Woodworth wrote:

> Things I have discovered fiddling with a 61 key Casio keyboard w/
> usb-midi. It was a special sale ~ $80. Seems to be a common price is ~
> $100.
> o Not all of the low-end keyboards have USB midi.
> o The Casio works w/o ucode loading or a dongle, just needs a USB cable.
> o Keyboards may be able to receive midi events (be played from the
> computer) as well as send key events (the casio does this)
> o AFICT, a controller requires a connection to a synth of some kind.
> Thats why I went with a keyboard.
> o If you want to hear multiple sound sources via the computer
> head-phone jack (e.g. play a music file and hear a soft synth)
>   ALSA device exclusivity can be a problem.
> o Using jack will allow simultaneous use of multiple sound sources but
>   does complicate usage. Also your software needs to support jack and
> be configured o Qsnyth + soundfonts works as plain soft synth and works
> with jack o Rosegarden records midi and converts to music notation and
> works with jack o Qjackctl helps with connecting jack sources/sinks
> Software I have installed:
>     media-sound/fluid-soundfont-3.1
>     media-sound/fluidsynth-1.1.6-r1
>     media-sound/rosegarden-14.12
>     media-sound/jack-audio-connection-kit-0.121.3-r1
>     media-sound/qjackctl-0.3.10
> Kernel 4.3 config/drivers that work for me:
>     snd_usbmidi_lib        16064  0
>     snd_seq_midi            4448  0
>     snd_rawmidi            14992  2 snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_seq_midi
>     snd_seq_midi_event      4416  1 snd_seq_midi
>     snd_seq                39320  2 snd_seq_midi_event,snd_seq_midi
>     snd_seq_device          2376  3 snd_seq,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_midi
> Kernel modules that are explicitly loaded:
>     snd-seq-midi
>     snd-usbmidi-lib
> On 12/26/2015 09:33 AM, Jed S. Baer wrote:
> > Hi Folks.
> > 
> > Idly pondering picking up a small MIDI keyboard controller. I can't
> > call myself a musician, as such, so I'm not looking for something
> > like a Nord Clavia. But, on rare occasions, I get the urge to play
> > around. I discovered, yesterday, that using an on-screen keyboard
> > (vmpk) was nuts.
> > 
> > Just looking around, I note products such as the Alesis V25 can be had
> > quite cheaply.
> > http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IWWBSD6/
> > It gets mixed reviews, but I'm not sure the issues raised will matter
> > to me.
> > 
> > Right now, there's a nice price on the Arturia Minilab too, and I
> > suspect it's a better piece of gear. But I'm reading comments about
> > needing a "USB License key". Ruh-roh - not Linux compatible?
> > 
> > Akai and M-Audio have cheap stuff too.
> > 
> > I will have to do some looking about for Linux compatibility issues,
> > but I figured I'd see what recommendations / advice anyone here might
> > have.
> > 
> > Best,
> > jed
> > _______________________________________________
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