ubuntu studio 10.04 and novation x-station - trying to record audio 1 and 2
jay.gallivan at gmail.com
Tue Jul 20 03:41:40 BST 2010
Ardour just does audio. No wonder trying to feed it MIDI was a massive fail
I was able to startup ZyAddSubFx and connect its intput to my MIDI keyboard
output via Jack. Physical keyboard controlled software synth. I then
connected ZyAddSubFx output to a particular Ardour track for input...and
record. This was a major step forward in understanding for me. I then
connected my MIDI keyboard to Rosegarden...and was able to record.
Thank you so much for helping me over these hurdles!
On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 8:04 AM, Pablo <pablo.fbus at gmail.com> wrote:
> Neil Jensen escribió:
> > Hi All,
> > Along this subject line, I too have been struggling with audio
> > connections for jack.
> > In particular I want to either use Ardour, QTrackter, Muse, and
> > Rosegarden.
> > When I connect my midi keyboard,m-audio 88es, to these applications I
> > can get them to play and imported audio file track, but can't get it to
> > record AND play my keyboard.
> > I do have Qsynth and ZyAddSubFx hooked up to jack to get sound from the
> > keyboard just to use it.
> > Can anyone either make a dummy proof diagram or flow chart on how to get
> > this running?
> > I would be so grateful.
> Hi Neil, It is hard to make a diagram but I will try to explain and put
> some basic workflow examples.
> I think you are almost there. Please, forgive my poor English, I
> sometimes lack the words.
> I hope someone can explain it better than me.
> Qsynth and Zynadd are software synths. You connect midi to them and they
> output audio. If you connect your midi keyboard to their
> inputs in the alsa tab and you connect synths' audio outputs to
> "system_playbacks" in the audio tab,
> you have sound when you play the midi keyboard. So far so good.
> Now, Rosegarden, Qtractor and Muse have midi tracks (audio tracks as
> well but let's focus on midi
> first). So, they are midi sequencers. You can write midi notes on them
> with keyboard/mouse, in matrix or notation editors, depending on the
> program / your needs. You can also record notes on a midi track by means
> of your midi keyboard. But this is no sound, this is MIDI, it transmits
> event messages, such as pitch , note on, note off... To get sound of a
> midi track you need, again, a synth, something that translates MIDI
> events to actual sound. It is the same case as your midi keyboard. It
> doesn't make sounds by itself.
> To get sound of a midi track in these programs you need one of these:
> - A synth plugin, e.g., a DSSI plugin.
> - A external software synth
> - A external hardware synth
> In the first case, you "plug" the instrument inside the application.
> In Rosegarden you right click on a track and choose "synth plugin". Then
> go to instrument parameters and push the "No synth" button and load the
> synth plugin, such as hexter, fluidsynth (with a soundfont loaded)...
> This way you have sound from the master outputs of Rosegarden.
> In the second case, you route the midi track to the external synth, say
> In Rosegarden, go to Studio -> Manage MIDI Devices and, in the top left
> window, MIDI playback, add a new device and call it Zynadd (for
> example). You also can rename the existing default "General MIDI
> device". Above all, connect it to Zynaddsubfx, which you will see in the
> right column as an availabe output. Close that window. Right click on a
> track and choose Zynadd, you have 16 channels. Choose the same channel
> in Rosegarden and zynaddsubfx. This is an "alsa midi" connection and you
> can check it in the alsa tab of qjackctl (in fact, you can make the
> connection there as well).
> Ardour2 only has audio tracks, so you can't connect your midi keyboard
> to it, to record or play notes.
> Workflow examples:
> 1. You want to record in ardour the sound from your midi keyboard
> connected to zynaddsubfx, and hear (monitor) the sound at the same time:
> In qjackctl, connect (alsa) the midi keyboard to zynadd, connect (audio)
> the output of zynadd to the input of an ardour track (add a track
> first). To hear what you are playing, either connect zynadd's outs to
> system_playbacks, or
> choose in ardour: options, monitoring, ardour does monitoring.
> 2. You want to record the notes from your midi keyboard to a midi track
> in Rosegarden, while you listen to the sounds through whatever synth,
> then you want make some corrections in the midi track, via
> keyboard/mouse and once it is OK, you want to record the result to ardour:
> In Rosegarden, Studio -> Manage MIDI Devices, bottom left window, rename
> (if you wish) the capture device to "88es" or whatever, and connect
> the keyboard that you will see as an available midi input on the bottom
> right window. Arm the midi track to record (yellow button) and record.
> To hear what you are recording, you need to apply the above explained
> (either a synth plugin or an external soft synth). Once you have made
> the corrections to the midi track, you can record it to ardour. If you
> have used a external soft synth, disconnect (audio tab) rosegarden
> master outputs to ardour, you only want the synth connected to ardour.
> If you have used a synth plugin, then connect rosegarden master outputs
> to ardour audio track inputs.
> Computer music is not a piece of cake and, in Linux it is a bit more
> involved because of its modular approach (there are exceptions but it is
> a bit like: one program, one task. As opposed to integrated musical
> environments alà Windows/Mac). However, once you understand the basics
> (and learn some tricks and workarounds) you can make up your own
> workflow with the several and good tools you have. I mentioned ardour
> because I use it and it is "the" linux multitrack recorder, but for home
> recording it can be overkilling. You have audio tracks in Rosegarden /
> qtractor / Muse as well.
> I recommend these URL's:
> (linuxmusicians wiki, newbies section)
> (the forum, where linuxmusicians of all countries and distros meet)
> (a series of lectures on Linux & Audio)
> Also, www.ardour.org, www.rosegardenmusic.org, www.rncbc.org, and in
> general, official sites of the programs, in which you can find direct
> support form the devs and some advanced users.
> > On Sun, 2010-07-18 at 23:47 -0500, jay gallivan wrote:
> >> On Sat, Jul 17, 2010 at 6:34 PM, Pablo <pablo.fbus at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> jay gallivan escribió:
> >> > Thanks for your reply. I'm a total newbie to all of this.
> >> Hi Jay,
> >> Greetings. Long couple of days growing my understanding of audio on
> >> Linux. I've worked with micros since 1981, UNIX since 1988 and Linux
> >> since 1996. I've never had to pay attention to audio before now. Is
> >> this what happens when computer people find themselves in a band?
> >> That's how I came to this. I play bass. It's tough to get the the
> >> three of us together. So, the plan was to record the leader - who does
> >> the singing and plays acoustic guitar - so i could practice. The
> >> X-Station was lying around (bought for one of the kids years ago) and
> >> I have 'extra' Linux boxes. So, the adventure began....
> >> Pulseaudio is a linux sound system (audio server) desktop
> >> oriented and
> >> Jack (Jack Audio Connection Kit) is another one, oriented
> >> towards music
> >> production (low latency, anything to anywhere connections...).
> >> Both use
> >> the alsa drivers (jack can also use the ffado drivers for
> >> firewire audio
> >> devices but this is not your case) but apart from that, they
> >> are very
> >> different beasts.
> >> ALSA had been just another four letter word to me. No more.
> Alsa is a lot of things at the same time and depending on the context,
> "alsa" refers to completely different concepts. See
> >> Timidity is a default midi server. It can do jack, but it
> >> doesn't by
> >> default. In a musical environment timidity is not as used as
> >> qsynth for
> >> example, which is "jackified" by default. But you must load a
> >> soundfont
> >> in qsynth.
> >> I'm beginning to get the idea of MIDI. Another protocol. In Rosegarden
> >> I can seen MIDI message flow. That's helpful in the same way that
> >> looking at network packet traces are helpful. "Oh. So that's what's
> >> going on."
> >> In order to use Rosegarden (the audio part) you need the jack
> >> audio
> >> server and forget about pulseaudio interfaces (once jack takes
> >> hold of
> >> your soundcard, pulseaudio is useless, and, hopefully,
> >> harmless). You
> >> launch the server by means of a graphical front-end called
> >> qjackctl
> >> (Jack Control in the sound and video menu). First, you press
> >> "setup" to
> >> configure the jack audio server. In the interface field you
> >> select your
> >> usb audio card (you will see a generic usb-audio or similar, I
> >> guess).
> >> Then press start to activate jack.
> >> Pulseaudio drops out of the picture but the motherboard audio i/o
> >> still seems to be there. This appears to be the path to my external
> >> speakers for monitoring. So that would be something like....
> >> Ardour/Rosegarden -> Jack -> ALSA -> chips -> speakers?
> Jackified audio apps -> Jack -> ALSA driver -> hardware audio device ->
> analog in / outs -> micros / speakers
> For firewire audio cards:
> Jackified audio apps -> Jack -> FFADO driver (firewire) -> hardware audio
> device -> analog in / outs -> micros / speakers
> >> If jack does not start, this is the first problem you should
> >> solve (more
> >> below).
> >> I had quite a bit of trouble with Jack. First, a very slow box - eight
> >> years old. I moved to a newer box - maybe three years old - and found
> >> i had way to little ram. 1GB. Went to 2GB today and things are much
> >> better - with Jack grabbing 1.5GB. Ouch! Do i need to get more?
> Not really, although jack loves RAM. There is this infamous bug that can
> make that pulseaudio locks memory and jack is affected:
> I really can't understand the reason why the importance is set to low.
> It affects lots of people with little RAM.
> Check what you have in /dev/shm and remove the pulse files.
> qjackctl suspends pulseaudio and this should be enough but this doesn't
> kill the pulseaudio daemon.
> To kill pulseaudio and make sure it does not respawn, you have to, for
> the music production oriented user:
> edit ~/.pulse/client.conf
> and add the line:
> autospawn = no
> or edit the system-wide file:
> Then, you kill pulseaudio with:
> pulseaudio -k
> And you can always restart it with:
> pulseaudio --start
> Users find a problem when they try to play music, see youtube, etc, when
> jack is active, because most multimedia players are not jackified by
> default. There are several approaches to this issue, like: jackify the
> player, use the pulse-jack audio sink, use one audio card for music
> production and another for desktop use, log in with a "music" user where
> pulseaudio is permanently killed or completely removed...
> >> If it starts, then the jack audio clients, like rosegarden,
> >> and many
> >> more (most music oriented programs are jack-aware by default)
> >> will show
> >> their ports in the connect window, audio tab, when you launch
> >> them.
> >> The MIDI tab stands for jack MIDI which is not used by
> >> Rosegarden
> >> nowadays. The alsa tab refers to alsa sequencer or alsa MIDI.
> >> It has
> >> nothing to do with jack but it is there for convenience
> >> because several
> >> synths and sequencers use the alsa sequencer for MIDI and jack
> >> for
> >> audio. Some newer ones use jack MIDI and jack audio but not
> >> Rosegarden.
> >> This explains that you could capture midi in Rosegarden
> >> despite the jack
> >> server was not active.
> >> So both ALSA and Jack do MIDI? Can you point me to some data flow
> >> diagrams?
> Yes, both do midi. Jack midi is rather new on the scene. Alsa midi, the
> alsa sequencer, has been there for ages. Ardour3 will do jack midi. Some
> synths do both. There is not a lot of documentation on it. Supposedly,
> jack midi is more precise but I am not an expert. There is an alsa to
> midi bridge daemon called a2jmidid to allow connections between clients
> of both midi implementations.
> >> Also, take into account that Rosegarden does not make sounds
> >> by itself
> >> and it has not any default synth that makes it work out of the
> >> box.. It
> >> needs either a software synth plugin or an external synth,
> >> either
> >> software (say, qsynth, zynaddsubfx...) or hardware. But this
> >> is a
> >> second step. The first step is jack setup.
> >> I'm do have Jack running in RT mode. The Ubuntu Studio installation
> >> installed a preemptive kernel. First time I've ever needed that! I did
> >> come across some documentation describing what you outlined. That
> >> certainly caused me concern re memory.
> >> In order to have jack working in realtime mode (recommended)
> >> you need,
> >> as a user, some priorities that you can check in a terminal
> >> with:
> >> ulimit -r (this is realtime priority for the user)
> >> ulimit -l (this is memlock limit for the user)
> >> You need the first one at ninety-something and the second one,
> >> unlimited
> >> or a reasonable amount of your RAM, in kB. In turn, to gain
> >> these
> >> privileges, there must be a file called:
> >> /etc/security/limits.d/audio.conf
> >> with the relevant lines. So please, do a:
> >> cat /etc/security/limits.d/audio.conf
> >> and you must have something like:
> >> @audio - rtprio 99
> >> @audio - memlock unlimited
> >> Now you (you the user) have to belong to the "audio" group.
> >> Check in a
> >> terminal with:
> >> groups
> >> If you see audio (between others) you are done. If you don't,
> >> you must do:
> >> sudo adduser user audio
> >> where "user" is your login name. Then reboot and you will have
> >> the
> >> system prepared to use jack
> >> (check again with the ulimit commands)
> >> >
> >> > I don't see anything in Patchbay. In PulseAudio Manager I
> >> see
> >> > X-Station analong stero as a sink and the same as sources
> >> for stereo
> >> > and stereo monitor.
> >> Just don't use pulseaudio.
> >> >
> >> > When I connect (via Connect) X-Station to Timidity I am able
> >> to play
> >> > the keyboard and hear the results via my computer's
> >> speakers. And I
> >> > can record and playback via Rosegarden when I connect
> >> X-Station to
> >> > Rosegarden.
> >> Don't use timidity unless you do it jack-aware.
> >> >
> >> > I've tried Audacity on my Windows XP box and I've been able
> >> to
> >> > pickup/record from the X-Station audio ports - though merged
> >> into a
> >> > single track for some reason.
> >> >
> >> > So it seems that the X-Station is doing what it's supposed
> >> to do. But
> >> > that (some component of ) Ubuntu Studio is dropping the
> >> X-Station
> >> > audio. Any thoughts on that?
> >> See above.
> >> Cheers! Pablo
> >> So here's where things now stand. I bought an Alesis iO2 with a view
> >> to being able to capture the mic and guitar at the same time. I've
> >> been able to demonstrate that to myself by using the Puluseaudio
> >> volume controller and the Sound Recorder application. Sound Recorder
> >> created an ogg file which I then converted to wav. I was able to read
> >> the file into Ardour. Then I ran out of weekend.
> >> Right now I'm in a good place: I can make the recording I need to
> >> make. But I've also discovered a whole new area of interest! I've
> >> always like Linux - and avoided MS and Apple. It's wonderful to see
> >> how much amazing work has been done!
> just start jack and record to ardour directly, by connecting the right
> system_capture port to an audio track. If you see that ardour is
> overkilling for certain tasks and you want a simple jack-aware audio
> recorder, try with timemachine or jack_capture (jack_capture_gui2 for a
> graphical front-end).
> If don't want to compile, the first one is in the official repos and you
> can get jack_capture from the excellent ppa by Philip Johnsson:
> >> Thanks very much for taking the time to reply.
> You are welcome!
> Regards, Pablo
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