[linux-audio-user] Recommendations for audio software needed

Chris Cannam cannam at all-day-breakfast.com
Fri Jan 9 05:36:28 EST 2004

On Friday 09 Jan 2004 10:03 am, Conrad Newton wrote:
> From Chris Cannam on Friday, 2004-01-09 at 09:06:19 +0000:
> > Rosegarden does need JACK for audio, yes.  If you only want MIDI
> > and notation -- and when I say MIDI I include the ability to
> > drive ALSA soft synths such as Timidity, qsynth or Fluidsynth --
> > then you can build it happily without JACK or run a JACK-built
> > version without running jackd.
> I'm not sure that I understand this comment, although it sounds
> quite interesting.  Are you saying that I should rebuild the
> program without JACK?  Or that via a softsynth I can use the
> program anyway, without running jackd?

Rosegarden uses JACK to record and play audio files, i.e. WAVs.  If 
you want to include audio clips in a composition or record audio 
using Rosegarden then you need to have it compiled with JACK and you 
need jackd running.

If you only want to use Rosegarden to edit MIDI and score and to play 
to and record from MIDI devices, whether they're soundcard synths, 
hardware such as keyboards, or soft-synths, then you don't need to 
compile with JACK or run jackd.  MIDI and score support in Rosegarden 
are stronger than audio support at the moment anyway, so this might 
not be too much of a loss.  So, for example, you will be able to 
import MIDI files, edit them as score, record additional tracks from 
a MIDI keyboard, arrange and play the results through a separate 
qsynth or a soundcard synth, drive other MIDI applications such as 
Hydrogen, etc; you just won't be able to record the results as audio 
back into Rosegarden, or add audio samples to your composition.

Note that the soft synths Rosegarden can use (such as fluidsynth, 
qsynth or timidity) are separate applications that you have to run 
independently and that are then driven from Rosegarden; Rosegarden 
does not include or host synths itself.  MusE has a possible 
advantage in this respect as it does have a fluidsynth implementation 
built-in, as well as being able to drive other synths in the same way 
as Rosegarden.

(btw, "compiling without JACK" and "compiling with JACK but running 
without jackd" are pretty much the same thing, by the way -- either 
way you get all the MIDI and score support but no direct audio 
support.  There are two differences: first, if you compile with JACK 
you need to have libjack.so installed for Rosegarden to start; and 
second, if you compile without JACK you're eliminating any 
possibility of an enterprising user choosing to run jackd as well at 
a later time.)


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