Does anyone compose music using any oftheportsfromthe/ports/audio collection in FreeBSD?

4Front Technologies dev at
Wed Jul 14 15:25:55 PDT 2004

Dmitriy Startsev wrote:

> Hello, 4Front!
> You wrote to <freebsd-multimedia at> on Wed, 14 Jul 2004
> 13:51:44 -0700:
>  FT> We have some work to do in the MIDI Sequencer space. We plan to address
>  FT> this and we'll be happy to share our work with FreeBSD developers. Just
>  FT> that right now, we see that MIDI isn't important for music creation.
>  FT> Companies like MAudio are more focussed on pro audio than MIDI. The
>  FT> M-Audio Revolution 7.1 audio card doesn't even have a MIDI port.
> These companies don't create music, they create audio hardware (and
> software), and they focus on whatever is more profitable for them.
> Particularly M-Audio Rev.7.1 is not a professional audio card.
> MIDI is *very* important for music creation, I can tell this for sure as I
> know a lot of musicians. Too bad commercial project developers sometimes
> don't care about real people's needs:(


I know MAudio really well (they are in here LA) and they have the biggest 
following of the pro musician community. They say that there's a bigger emphasis 
on audio samplers and loops (acid loops or sonar or protools) because there is 
so much one can do with digital audio rather than MIDI. VSTs are huge for 
professional music (we've created our own VSTs check out and that's where the action is.

But as you said, MIDI is important for music creation and that's the space where 
currently OSS is deficient in but we're addressing this issue. We have tried to 
implement MIDI software synths but licesing sound banks is expensive and the 
synths available for free (fluidsynth and others) aren't pro quality. We've 
looked at implementing DLS synth but it's hard work for just one programmer. We 
have a softsynth that comes with OSS ( but 
it's not good and relies on old Gravis (MIDIA) patch banks. SoftOSS can be used 
together with Jazz or Noteedit - you just need to do the appropriate programming.

Without a good software synth, there's no point in putting effort into MIDI so 
we currently focus on digital audio and trying to make it better than anything 
available for Mac/Windows/ALSA. For the time being, timidity is pretty good and 
there is a way to use Timdidity as a softsynth for the OSS /dev/sequencer (you 
can then use apps like playmidi or ossmplay).

best regards

Dev Mazumdar
4Front Technologies
4035 Lafayette Place, Unit F, Culver City, CA 90232, USA.
Tel: (310) 202 8530		URL:
Fax: (310) 202 0496 		Email: info at

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