midi tracks

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stefabarta
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i used ardour mostly for recording and mixing real acoustic instruments. now i would like to enrich some textures adding synthetic bass or strings. i'm totally new to use midi. anyone can suggest plugins that i can download for this aim in ardour? the plugins i tried to learn to create a midi track did not work, ardour gave an error message related to the number of outputs that i did not understand. thanks for any help

veda_sticks
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calf fluidsynth is a pretty simple plugin that you should already have if you are using an audio based linux distro.

you will need to load a soundfont into the plugin so you can use it. there are soundfonts availible over the internet for free, just google. there are alot of not so great sound fonts but there are some really good ones.

When using midi, you have to create a midi track, if its complaining about inputs or outputs you either have the wrong tupe of track, or the plugin you are trying to use also uses audio.

stefabarta
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yes i already have fluidsynth, did not know though about need for soundfonts, maybe that's why no sound came out from the midi region i created? ok then, thanks, i'll try to download some soundfonts and upload it to fluidsynth, for testing the operation

veda_sticks
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yup they need soundfonts, .sf2 files. Load that into fluidsynth and you should get sound

stefabarta
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what i do not understand is, i already installed calf-plugins, so i should have fluidsynth too, right? instead when i choose the instrument for the midi track the plugins manager does not show fluidsynth, while instead showing other calf sound effects.
why can that be? thank you for helping me get into midi realm

stefabarta
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help! how do i get Qsynth to play in a midi track in ardour? i do not see Qsynth in the plugin manager although i installed it. many thanks !

LeatusPenguin
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You won't find it in the plugin manager as qsynth is a jack plugin ie. it is standalone. You can however connect it up to a midi track in Ardour. What you will need to do first, is to launch qsynth. Then within Ardour add an insert on your midi track and set it up so that it sends out to qsynth and is returned back to the midi track.

audiodef
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Bristol is a collection of (many!) analog synth emulators. These won't show up as plugins, but they can be controlled in the manner Leatus suggested above. Hexter is a DX-7 emulator. There's Amsynth, Rtsynth, zynaddsubfx, yoshimi, minicomputer, and quite a few others, most, if not all, of which can be MIDI-controlled. There's also psindustrializer, but I think that focuses on percussive sounds.

stefabarta
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@ LaetusPenguin and Audiodef, sorry but i could not understand the way this is actually done. i started amsynth, then how do i make the connection with the midi track? sorry, a real newbye. thx

ahellquist
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@stefabarta Assuming you have an external midi controller connected to your computer and that is supported, you should be able to connect the input for a midi track to your midi device. Usually you also need to run a alsa to jack bridge to get your hardware device visable as a jack midi port.

I start "a2jmidid -e" in a terminal to make that work (a2jmidid needs to be installed and jack need to be running before that step)

I normally run kxstudio which has all these things started at system start so I do not need to do these things manually.

http://manual.ardour.org/setting-up-your-system/setting-up-midi/midi-on-linux/

LeatusPenguin
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How did you start amsynth? Amsynth also comes as an LV2 plugin so it can loaded up directly from within Ardour. If you do it this way, there will be no need to worry about connecting it up as it will be done automatically for you.

veda_sticks
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what distro are you using?

In kx studio they are there. maybe the distro you are using has an older version of calf plguins which is missing a few of them.

stefabarta
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i'm sorry, i am completely lost now, what i was trying to do is to create a midi track and use the built in step entry to write a synth region. i do not have a external midi controller, i started amsynth and choose a strings preset. but then i do not know how to actually do anything in order to link the midi track to the amsynth, in fact no sound comes out from the part i recorded in the midi track. thanks everybody for trying to help, and excuse the need of EXTRA elementary language!

stefabarta
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i can hear the recording if i choose reasonable synth in the plugin manager, but can not find amsynth in there.
i added an insert where the output is conncted to amsynth, but this way no sound comes out. ???

LeatusPenguin
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First of all, how are you using amsynth? As a plugin within Ardour or an external jack plugin?

If you are using it as an external jack plugin -
I mentioned that you could use an insert but i tried that and actually don't think that it works with midi at the moment so apologies if i led you astray. Instead, you can route the output of the midi track to amsynth. You will need to route the output of amsynth somewhere then. By default it will be automatically connected to your playback system so you will hear it playing but it won't be playing through Ardour unless you manually route it back in. If amsynth, or any other external midi application, is not showing up as a midi connection in Ardour, you will need to use a2jmidid, as ahellquist mentioned. Ardour uses Jack midi but some applications use Alsa midi. A2jmidid will allow Jack midi to see these ports.

If you are using it as a plugin within Ardour -
If you are using it as an internal plugin, you don't need to worry about any routing as it will be automatically hooked up for you. If this is what you are doing, I am wondering if what you are having a problem with is that you can't hear the notes as you are playing them in the step entry dialog? In this case, go to edit > preferences and in the midi tab select "sound midi notes as they are selected".

stefabarta
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@ LaetusPenguin, no, i cannot see amsynth with the ardour plugin manager. so i installed and started a2jmidid, but without any result. maybe i should start with more simple stauff: what polyphonic midi synth can i use through the ardour plugin manager? thanks!

LeatusPenguin
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What distro are you using? If you're using a Debian based distro, you could add the kxstudio repositories -

http://kxstudio.sourceforge.net/Repositories

You can then download a number of lv2 midi instruments that you can try adding to your midi tracks via the plugin manager.

veda_sticks
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I really recomend trying calf fluidsunth if you have it. you will need to download sound fonts, you can find plenty for free from various sites though some of them are pretty naf but there are some good ones.

coursencore
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--- calf fluidsynth not allowing to choose instrument ----

My calf fluidsynth plugin does show on ardour 3.
Using the Host Calf (standalone), I can add the plugin fluidsynth and "edit" so I can have the instrument I want after loading the .sf2 file.
But I don't have the edit button on the ardour plugin.
I used to be able to hear instruments playing (and changing) passing through "fluidsynth" using the Host Calf with midi connection but now I cannot anymore (still ok for the midi connection but no sound comes out)
Even after rebooting, nothing better happened for the ardour outgoing fluidsynth sound, neither from the Ardour redirected Host Calf.

I am on debian 7 (wheezy) and using ardour 3.5.284

coursencore
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For info, I found a way to work it out:
I used the stand alone calf fluidsynth along with Qjackctl. (and updated to ardour 3.5.357)

LeatusPenguin - Wed, 2014-01-15 04:49 - Helped me a little bit leading me to this:

On Qjackctl, I linked fluidsynth-out to ardour midi-in and my-ardour-track-out to fluidsynth-in.

After restarting Ardour (because i wanted to test the export to audio and because I have no sound with vlc as long I have Ardour and Fluidsynth open) It seems that I did not need Qjackctl to be turned on.
Hope It can help a bit newbies like me.