[linux-audio-user] Midi app & Video app with SMPTE and/or MTC

John Check j4strngs at bitless.net
Thu Dec 23 04:53:26 EST 2004

On Wednesday 22 December 2004 06:58 pm, Brad Fuller wrote:
> John Check wrote:
> >Side note to list at large: Consider this mans problem and what he needs
> > to do to get his problem solved ASAP.
> >
> >On Wednesday 22 December 2004 05:02 pm, Brad Fuller wrote:
> >>I need to sync video playback and midi composition. I guess I should
> >>first ask if anyone knows of midi/audio apps that have video playback
> >>builtin -- that would be preferable.
> >>
> >>I don't know of any -- and that's why I am asking this 2nd question: if
> >>anyone knows of midi composition apps that can sync using SMPTE/MTC to a
> >>video playback app -- which would also have to have SMPTE sync
> >>capabilities.
> >>
> >>This seems to be a hole in the audio caps of Linux apps. Or, am I way
> >>off base?
> >>
> >>brad
> >
> >muse.seh.de
> >
> >MuSE will slave to time code, but can't drive. The 6 series has some
> > serious deficiencies with timing stability. I don't know how tightly it
> > will sync, but your best bet is probably version 7 (which needs some
> > tweaks to build out of the box). You'll have to check on the status of
> > what's in CVS on their lists, which are hosted @ sourceforge. Or if
> > they're lurking, now would be a good time to de-cloak.
> Thanks. Checking it out now. Setup says it can be master or slave.
> Hmmm... need to look at the doc.

The GUI is implemented but not the back end. Myself and another user
spent a not insignificant amount of time diagnosing and testing the sync 
capability of MuSE before the developer who implemented it decided to let us 
in on the fact that it wasn't a  complete implementation. 

> I have version 7. Kinda crummy that it crashed when I went to the Global
> Settings. It also never wanted to play an imported midi file (pressing
> Play did not advance the cursor). After the crash, it advanced the
> cursor, but I couldn't get it to play to qsynth.

Side Note to rest of list: I haven't mentioned this here yet, but it happened
and... I know they're working on it, but... well... You'll begin to understand 
why I'm condescending sometimes, like right now.  It's all a matter of public 
record, so I'll be kind.

Flamers: I'm gone until at least Friday night, so figure I'll be back to
humiliate you by Monday latest. Yer best bet? Go birddog some chicks
and get yer aggression out in a healthy way. You won't care about me anymore.

People who get it: Don't bother with the flamers, I can handle 'em and 
besides, nobody will care in 48 hours, so just let 'em rant and that should 
be humiliating enough where I can ignore them and do work instead.

we now return you to our regular email, all ready in progress.

Be that as it may, the 6 series is a total dog and it's just not going to cut 
it if you have any intention of using external synths. That is to say 
anything that isn't a MESS plugin, such as the wavetable on my soundcard or 
an external module. 
I know for a fact because I wasted about two and a half weeks cocking around 
trying to find out why it wasn't communicating with anything but the soft 
synths (which were broken because of changes in libtool, which meant I had 
ugatz (zero) to make noise. I don't know libtool, I have hardware, why should 
I have to tackle that learning curve for somebody else?). The only reason it 
took that long was I could not convince the developers it was a MuSE problem 
until I reluctantly made extensive unnecessary updates to several parts of 
the OS even though comparative analysis with ever other MIDI player on the 
platform supported my conclusion. 
Once _that_ was done, the developers could not reproduce the problem because 
they all use the softsynths and none of 'em had bone stock systems. I tried 
diffing CVS to pin down the introduction of breakage but due to some 
tomfoolery with CVS when they branched from 6 to 7, the actual commit that 
caused this breakage between 6.0 (seriously broken GUI) and 6.1 (seriously 
broken MIDI) was lost so trees had to be diffed "by hand".

Long story short, the change that broke the MIDI output was due to a poor 
realtime memory allocation implementation in the thread that handles the 
_external_ MIDI, so the change was rolled back for a final 6 series 
maintenance release. Unfortunately, the timing stability is so horrendously 
hit or miss, that unless you're blazing a new path where things like tempo, 
rhythm or repeatability aren't important it's basically a boat anchor.

I'd have mentioned it before but you didn't ask about usability and I try to 
answer the asked questions. Trashing somebody's program is also a good way to 
start a shitstorm and we've got plenty of that already. Anyway, they have a 
list archive (not searchable or easy to find).

> I'm sure it's my fault not being familiar with the app.

I can't say anything here that isn't going to piss off somebody so I'll
just say it; Unfortunately, MuSE is a steaming pile of dogshit. It's got a lot 
of potential but the developer pool is just too small for it to be useful for 
production any time in the foreseeable future. 
Rosegarden4 is the sequencer that works, but it doesn't sync at all.

> I'll check it out some more...

IIRC they have a release pending, so maybe you'll get lucky, but if history is 
any indicator expect to spend some time getting a build before you can test 

Apologies for having two conversations at once, but you demonstrate
a point that's a little too subtle for some people; It seemed like a good idea 
at the time to bring it up. The rest of this is the parallel track, so you 
can ignore it but, if you wouldn't mind terribly can you comment on the 
following question?

If I saved you two weeks aggravation in a business context, would you think
it was a valuable service? As in would that be an acceptable "cost of doing 
business" type of expense, like say insurance, but it was offset by reduced 
TCO as compared to proprietary systems.



Now I shall pontificate unto the rest of ye what knows who they are.

Developers: Here is my experience. Which project is yours more like?

Time spent as MuSE developer: Maybe 6-8 months
Number of patches accepted (and I'm not a coder): 2
Number of releases during my time as a user: 4
Number of "unbuildable out of the box" releases: 4
Number of releases that didn't have major problems after build: 0
Number of platforms supported by app: 1
Reason I walked: Developer pool too small, developers too dense.
Reason I started: App _looked_ pretty good, was fairly usable and was about as
far along functionality wise as FGFS when I got into that which is to say, it 
goes, but it doesn't behave anywhere like the real deal.

Time spent as FlightGear Flight sim developer (as in releases depended on me 
as a core developer designated by the project lead even though I don't code): 
5+ years
Number of patches accepted: "Several" but I approved incoming patches in my 
melieu (base package), so I've been on both ends of the deal.  I was also 
responsible for insure the integrity of the licensing on contributions being 
ported from the freeware MS flightsim community (I made it an issue too, not 
the project lead. He thought I made a good catch to head off trouble later.) 
Number of releases during my time as a user: ~8
Number of unbuildable out of the box releases: 1 (point release same day)
Number or releases that didn't have major problems after build: 7
Number of platforms supported by app/build system: EIGHT (8) probably more by 
Number of people that came up to me as boothmiester at LWCE with plans to
shrinkwrap FGFS and sell it without kicking back anything to the community: 
How many zeros in a bajillion?
Number of people that got bitched out over it: 0
Reason I walked: I really don't care about planes too much. 9/11 related
issues. Audio apps on linux reached usable state.
Reason I started: I contributed because I wanted experience with OSS 
development. I figured I could get a decent job because of propaganda
from ESR that said "if you know yer shit you don't need a degree". He 
neglected to mention he was talking about to working in the lab at the Uni 
where you dropped out of the CS program.

So when I say things like "generally speaking the audio apps appear to have 
deficient build systems as part of their charm", it's not to be a dick, it's 
because I know things can be better from experience. What I've seen isn't the 
only effective way to do things, but none of this is new to me, so if yer 
gonna challenge me about who's the "true stoner" you better be Bob Frikkin' 
Marleys ghost.

Peace and have a Merry Christmas

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