dumb midi questions

Atom Smasher atom at smasher.org
Sun Jan 25 05:55:42 GMT 2009

brief introduction: i've been playing with hardware synths for ~15 years, 
and i've been running freeBSD on my desktop for almost that long. i have 
ideological reasons for not using closed-source OSes.

i recently installed ubuntu-studio on a desktop, and it seems like a step 
in the right direction for integrating my hardware synths with a (mostly) 
FOSS environment.

i've got a very solid understanding of midi in the hardware world, but the 
software is new to me and i'm not sure where to start. i'm having a hard 
time finding any recent how-to guides and it seems like a steep learning 
curve to sort out alsa, dssi, vst, ladspa, jack, etc, and how they all fit 
in together... if anyone can point me to some current doco on "all that 

and i recently bought what seems to be the worlds cheapest usb-midi 
adapter. when i connect it to my pc1600x, i have to add >40uS delay per 
byte, or else amidi doesn't get to see all of what's coming in. at least, 
a delay of 40uS/byte lets the computer receive a complete sysex dump 
(~19K), but i'm still loosing a lot of CC info when i move sliders on the 
pc1600x (verified with a few different midi monitors). this seems like a 
problem with the usb-midi adapter having too small a buffer... even using 
amidi to monitor the input from the usb adapter (pc1600x --> usb adapter), 
and using the pc1600x just to send control change messages, a lot of it is 
not getting past the adapter. if i use the usb port on my controller 
keyboard (bypassing the cheap usb-midi adapter), and turn a knob, 
EVERYTHING comes through. so, what should i be looking for in a 
low-end/entry-level usb-midi adapter that can handle large sysex dumps and 
plays well with linux?



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