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

steve d groups at
Fri Jul 16 09:40:30 PDT 2004

On Wednesday 14 July 2004 04:25 pm, Dev Mazumdar from 4Front 
Technologies wrote:

> ... because there is so much one
> can do with digital audio rather than MIDI. VSTs are huge for
> professional music [...] and that's where the
> action is.

Your remark makes it seem like you are caught up in a fad and are 
ignoring some important technologies.

Digital audio cannot replace MIDI or MIDI's functionality or 
editability. MIDI captures a performance extremely well, and can 
be edited after the fact much more flexibly than digital audio. 
It can then be used to produce digital audio that needs a 
minimum of editing, if any at all.

Digital audio is great, but MIDI is extremely important as well, 
as is developing MIDI support (like MIDI via USB MIDI 

> 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.

That is a ridiculous statement. MIDI is not important without a 
good software synth? I was a professional musician for most of 
my adult life, and I have lots of MIDI and audio gear. I 
couldn't care less about a "soft synth," but MIDI remains very 
important to me.

I would love to be able to use a good MIDI-and-digital-audio 
sequencer/editor in FreeBSD, but I have been stymied at every 
turn for the last 4 years since I switched to FreeBSD.

As a result, I recently installed AGNULA Linux on a second hard 
drive, just so I could begin to use my MIDI and audio gear with 
my computer.
FreeBSD is still my favorite OS, but I feel like Conrad Sabatier 
does, frustrated with the clumsy support or lack of support for 
MIDI and digital audio in FreeBSD (in general).

I'm not a programmer, so I can't help in that regard, but 
whenever I download the latest ISO images of FreeBSD, I 
contribute money to one of the FreeBSD development teams, about 
the same amount that I would have had to pay for another OS.

Although the OS is superior in every other way I can think of, I 
am frustrated and disappointed with FreeBSD regarding music 
production, MIDI and digital audio.

And please, if you are developing for FreeBSD, do not underrate 
MIDI. While it may be less important to music producers and 
recording technicians, it is extremely important to the 
musicians themselves--those who actually create the music.


Steve D

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