Timidity++ as MIDI server (à la Linux)

Conrad J. Sabatier conrads at cox.net
Mon Sep 19 01:29:51 UTC 2011

On Mon, 19 Sep 2011 01:57:13 +0200
Juergen Lock <nox at jelal.kn-bremen.de> wrote:

> On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 05:29:09PM -0500, Conrad J. Sabatier wrote:
> > Would anyone have any idea if it would be possible to somehow tweak
> > the Timidity++ port to provide functionality similar to that under
> > Linux, where Timidity can be launched as a daemon, thereby
> > providing MIDI "ports"/emulation/functionality within apps such as
> > Rosegarden?
> > 
> > Is this even technically feasible under FreeBSD, or are the
> > differences between ALSA and our sound subsystem just too great?
> > I've worked with Rosegarden under Ubuntu, and having this
> > functionality greatly enhances the program's usability.  Very
> > tedious to have to continuously export one's work-in-progress to a
> > MIDI file and play it externally, not to mention the lack of a
> > number of user-configurable MIDI parameters (such as channel
> > assignment, etc.) within Rosegarden. 
> > 
> It seems both Timidity++ and Rosegarden only know the alsa seq midi
> interface which FreeBSD doesn't have nor emulate.  It also seems
> the linux folks are now moving to jack instead of using alsa directly
> which is less of a problem on FreeBSD, in fact I just committed a
> jack port update today and you can test an alpha version of ardour3
> that I even got working with a midi keyboard via jack_umidi:
> 	http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-multimedia/2011-September/012432.html
> (and qjackctl as jack config gui as well as fluidsynth for playback,
> the latter is a bit like a jack midi equivalent of what you did with
> Timidity++ on Linux.)
>  HTH, :)
> 	Juergen

Thanks, I'll have a look at that.  I've tinkered briefly with jack,
fluidsynth, qsynth, but have yet to arrive at something that actually
works for me.  To be honest, I haven't spent a great deal of time with
any of these.

I'm very partial to Rosegarden's Notation Editor (my preferred method
for inputting music).  To have MIDI playback working within
Rosegarden as it does under Linux, with realtime scrolling of the
score as the music plays, would be a real "productivity booster".

I do have a Yamaha SO3 MIDI-capable synth/keyboard, but it's currently
not connected to the computer (not really sure how to go about it
under FreeBSD).  I basically just like to use the Notation Editor for
composing, transcribing and arranging, and general "testing out" of
ideas that I couldn't possibly play with just two hands on the
keyboard, so having something/anything that could make MIDI playback
work within Rosegarden would be a real godsend.

I suppose I could always resort to using the "Live CD" feature of the
Ubuntu install CD, but I *hate* rebooting.  :-)  I really should spend
more time familiarizing myself with what's available under FreeBSD.

I just wish we had a "FreeBSD Studio", along the lines of "Ubuntu
Studio".  :-)

Conrad J. Sabatier
conrads at cox.net

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