[PD] Need help with midi!

Nicolas Lhommet nlhommet at netcourrier.com
Fri May 18 00:26:35 CEST 2001

Alfonso, I think you want to use your SB Live! internal synth.
I did it last week with my SB AWE64 ISA card. I think it's quite similar, so
I have adapted what I've done for your card, but I did not test it with a SB
Live card actually.
Please tell me if informations below worked for your card.

1) Alsa drivers

I installed 0.5 Alsa driver and PD works fine with the OSS
emulation (for me, it's quite buggy with the -alsa flag, but I don't know

> > As I said, audio works perfrctly well with the alsa
> > driver. Does alsa configure midi too?

I think Alsa configures midi by default, but you can use:
./configure --with-sequencer=yes --with-oss=yes
before you compile the drivers.

2) Testing midi

Please use pmidi, a utility for playing midi with alsa drivers, you can
dowload it at:
or, if you prefer RPMs :

then, you can use it with -l option, it lists the midi devices. You should
#> pmidi -l
 Port     Client name                       Port name
 64:0     External MIDI 0                   MIDI 0-0
 65:0     Emu10k1 WaveTable                 Emu10k1 Port 0
 65:1     Emu10k1 WaveTable                 Emu10k1 Port 1
 65:2     Emu10k1 WaveTable                 Emu10k1 Port 2
 65:3     Emu10k1 WaveTable                 Emu10k1 Port 3

If you don't get this, there is a problem with your alsa drivers setup.
May be you need to do:
/sbin/insmod snd-synth-emu10k1

3) Playing Midi

So you can play a midi file with this command :
pmidi -p 65:0 your_midi_file.mid

The "-p 65:0" means "use Emu10k1 Port 0" found with pmidi -l
If you can't hear any sound, please use alsamixer first, or:
amixer set Synth 100%
If you still can't hear anything, you should load soundfonts in your card

4) Loading Soundfonts

There is no preloaded wave tables in this card, so when you use pmidi and it
seems it is doing something but no sounds, it is just playing "blank"
sounds. SoundFounts is a trademark of Creative for wave tables in their
Live! and
AWE32/64 cards. Soundfonts are loaded in a RAM chip on the card, so you can
use other
soundfonts, or edit them.

To load these "soundfonts" in your card, you will need sfxload utility, from
the awefx package. You can find on your Red Hat cd-rom a awesfx RPM, install
Then you will need a soundfont file, you should find 8mbgmsfx.sf2 on your
SBlive driver disk, copy it in /etc/midi/
Then this should load the soundfonts:
sfxload -V100 /etc/midi/8mbgmsfx.sf2
And try again:
pmidi -p 65:0 your_midi_file.mid
you should hear something.

5) Using internal synth with PD

(I tried to understand how work alsa midi devices, but it's still not very
clear to me. If you have some details about this, please let me know.)

If you don't use any external midi synth, here is a "absolutely not elegant"
way to do it:
rm -f  /dev/midi
ln -s /dev/snd/midiC0D1 /dev/midi
Then run PD (without the -alsa flag)
Now you should hear something with the "Test audio and midi" patch.

I hope this could have helped you.
Nicolas Lhommet

---- Original Message -----
From: "Miller Puckette" <mpuckett at man104-1.ucsd.edu>
To: "Juan Reyes" <juanig at ccrma.stanford.edu>
Cc: <pd-list at iem.kug.ac.at>
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: [PD] Need help with midi!

> Hi all,
> I assume Alfonso is running OSS.  OSS's emu-10K1 driver doesn't allow you
> to "select" on incoming MIDI, so Pd sees no MIDI input.  The best
> solution is probably to download Alsa 0.5.10 (www.alsa-project.org),
> install it, and compile Pd to use it...
> cheers
> Miller
> On Tue, May 15, 2001 at 02:11:25PM -0700, Juan Reyes wrote:
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > MIDI and ALSA seem to be very strange to each other. There is a problem
> > ALSA while using ALSA native MIDI drivers and nobody seems to know about
> > it in the ALSA domain.
> >
> > Therefore I think that the question should go a bit further.. Does
> > have a MIDI IN & OUT setup working in Linux with Kernels 2.2.x or 2.4.x
> >
> >
> > As far as the ESS Maestro  chip, I have tried with OSS and ALSA and they
> > only work in MIDI OUT mode using /dev/sequencer which in ALSA is OSS
> > emulation. No duplex communication at all. Also many laptops don't have
> > game port and ESS assumes no need for MIDI. May be someday there will be
> > Linux driver for a USB MIDI Interface which could be used on Laptops.
> >
> > Juan Reyes
> >
> >
> > CCRMA, Center for Research in Music and Acoustics
> > Stanford University
> >
> >
> > > As I said, audio works perfrctly well with the alsa
> > > driver. Does alsa configure midi too?
> > >
> > > When I get to the midi help  patch (midi.pd) by
> > > clicking help on the menu from a "noteout" object I
> > > don't know what values should I put in midiout:
> > >
> > > Thanks a lot:
> > > Alfonso Acosta

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