[linux-audio-user] Newbie problems with 4 synths resolved
damon at karuna.eclipse.co.uk
Thu Mar 29 07:43:17 EDT 2007
I wrote a while back about problems getting synths up and running:
>I bought my first midi keyboard last week (a CME UF5), and it's great
>fun with the Reason demo in Windows. But I've spent hours and hours
>messing with about 4 different synths under Linux and each one failed
>(in a different way, of course!).
I've now managed to get them all working so I thought I'd report the
problems and fixes here, in case anyone is interested. (This is all on
Fedora Core 6, so other distros may have other issues.)
1) JACK - at first, qjackctl wouldn't start it (though ardour would).
I then tried running it as root, which worked OK but wasn't ideal.
Finally I found http://www.passback.co.uk/music/fedora-music-intro/
which explained about editing /etc/security/limits.conf and now it
works fairly smoothly. (And I got ZynAddSubFX working.)
Though I have to start JACK with qjackctl - the code to automatically
start it doesn't work. It outputs:
exec of JACK server failed: No such file or directory
This seems to be a known problem:
2) amSynth - the main problem was figuring out how to connect up my
midi keyboard to it and get a sound out of it. I still don't know
how to do this with ALSA, but the fedora-music-intro document
above helped me get it set up with JACK.
3) ams - the problem here was that most of the demos/tutorials required
various LADSPA plugins that I didn't have. I had to do a lot of
googling to figure out what package each one was part of.
4) bristol - at first it crashed on startup. This turned out to be a
bug in Fedora Core 6 - gethostbyname("localhost") was returning NULL
as the /etc/hosts file didn't have an entry for localhost.
I then tried it with ALSA, but it wouldn't start up because of
problems either with real-time priority or with the period size.
I eventually got it working with JACK.
5) fluidsynth - it seems that some .sf2 files work but some don't.
It outputs things like:
fluidsynth: warning: Ignoring sample mgtr: can't use ROM samples
I finally found Unison.sf2 which seems to work OK.
So the main problem was lack of documentation for new users. With just a
few sentences of good documentation I could probably have got them all
running pretty easily.
Hardly anyone explains how to connect up the inputs and outputs to get
the synths working with JACK. (Are we supposed to be psychic??)
I noticed that some synths automatically connect up the outputs
(bristol, amSynth), but not all of them. None of them automatically
connect to my MIDI keyboard. Why not?
Anyway, hope this helps in some way.
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