good sound card for beginners

Toby Smithe tsmithe at
Thu May 22 13:30:18 BST 2008

On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 5:38 PM, Christopher Stamper
<christopherstamper at> wrote:
>> A nice advantage with those is the ability to load soundfonts into the
>> wavetable, so you don't need to run a software synth to do basic midi
>> work. (obviously the quality is not professional, but it is good enough
>> for composing and learning) - In fact, back in the day it was good
>> enough to produce  a backing track for live performance.
> They don't really have enough onboard space to load any real soundfonts.
> Nothing beats a good software synth... :-)

With the snd-emu10k1 driver, you can use the max_buffer_size to
specify the maximum amount of memory to allocate for SoundFonts, in
megabytes. In my /etc/modprobe.d/local file, I have the line,

options snd-emu10k1 max_buffer_size=256

which ensures that the module is loaded by default with 256 megabytes
available for the wavetable.

I then use /etc/rc.local to call asfxload, loading the fluid-soundfont
files on every boot:

asfxload -b=0 FluidR3_GM.sf2
asfxload -b=1 FluidR3_GS.sf2

Then, all that's left to do is connect devices to the synth. I find
this "beats a good software synth" every time. ;)

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