[linux-audio-user] rosegarden/timidity nigthtmare in linux 2.6

jeffrey milton jm at world.waena.edu
Mon Mar 15 11:51:41 EST 2004

It started out simple enough... all I wanted to do was have rosegarden play
a midi file :(  But it does not, can not, will not.  The more I look into
it, the more obtuise everything becomes.  Can anyone shed any light on 
as root...
$ /etc/init.d/alsasound start
Shutting down sound driver: done
Starting sound driver: snd-intel8x0 done
Starting sound driver: snd-virmidi done
I check the ports
[root at innanu ~]# aconnect -o
client 64: 'Intel 82801DB-ICH4 MIDI - Rawmidi 0' [type=kernel]
    0 'Intel 82801DB-ICH4 MIDI'
client 72: 'Virtual Raw MIDI 1-0' [type=kernel]
    0 'VirMIDI 1-0     '
client 73: 'Virtual Raw MIDI 1-1' [type=kernel]
    0 'VirMIDI 1-1     '
client 74: 'Virtual Raw MIDI 1-2' [type=kernel]
    0 'VirMIDI 1-2     '
client 75: 'Virtual Raw MIDI 1-3' [type=kernel]
    0 'VirMIDI 1-3     '
I test the midi
$ timidity /a-train.mid
Sounds great!
MYSTERY #1:  How does timidity know what port to use and what 
instruments to
use?  I never told it what bank, etc.
I start timidity as an alsa-seq
$ timidity -iA
TiMidity starting in ALSA server mode
set SCHED_FIFO(50)
Opening sequencer port: 128:0 128:1
I test it...
$ aplaymidi -p 128:0 /a-train.mid
nothing, until I hit Control-C, then I hear one note
$ aplaymidi -p 128:0 /a-train.mid
(I hear one note)
(timidity seq reports)
Playing time: ~13 seconds
Notes cut: 1360
Notes lost totally: 0
$ aplaymidi -p 128:0 /Blew.mid
MYSTERY #2: Why do some midi files play or some not play?  At other times I
have started the timidity seq like..
$ timidity -iA -B2,8 -s 44100 --realtime-priority=100 --sequencer-ports=2
This will play the a-train.mid file, OR freeze my system dead cold!
MYSTERY #3: What is timidity's default realtime priority?
So, I have the timidity alsa-seq working for at least one midi file.
Now I startup rosegarden
$ rosegarden
$ rosegarden --existingsequencer
DCOPClient::attachInternal. Attach failed Could not open network socket
MYSTERY #3: What is a DCOP client/server?  Why do I need it? and why 
does it
only appear when I use the --existingsequencer switch?
I go to Studio->Manage MIDI Devices->MIDI Software Device (128:0 Timidity
port 0 (write) and I import GM.rgd. The device name changes to "General 
I then right-click on track one and assign it to "General MIDI Synth #1"
and in the instrument parameters select Bank=General MIDI, 
MYSTERY #4: What is the significance is General MIDI Synth #10[D] ? I 
see teh [D] at slot 10.  What does [D] mean?
When I play, I hear nothing!  
The only thing I see that has changed is that rosegardensequencer has
started jack...
/usr/bin/jackd -T -d alsa -d hw:0 -p 2048
which is bad because jack, so far, has only succeeded in preventing any
sound to work in any manner.  I just want rosegarden to work with midi as I
have given uip on jack after about 70 hours of frustration with jack.  I'll
get back to jack when I have a few months of free time.
MYSTERY #5:  What is the '-T' option in the jack line?  I do not see that
option in any of the docs I have on jack
However, when I quit rosegarden, I hear a single note play!!
I then test again with 
$ aplaymidi -p 128:0 /Blew.mid
nothing, except when I hoit control-c, then I hear a single note.
Appearantly, my timidity port has been fubared by rosegarden (or something)
If I restart the timidity server aplaymidi works again.
Other mysteries...
MYSTERY: Port 64 is 'Intel 82801DB-ICH4 MIDI - Rawmidi 0' [type=kernel]
How do I load sounds into this external midi?  When I run rosegarden it
shows that there are banks of instruments available but no sound comes out
when I play "aplaymidi -p 64:0 /Blew.mid"
MYSTERY:  Some midifiles, when loaded into rosegarden have "Imported MIDI"
in channel 1, but nothing there, and things like 'Rhythm' assigned to MIDI
external device #10[D]"  (there's that 10[D] again). n In this example, the
file that have this information do not play with aplaymidi

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