[LAU] MIDI with scales *and* soundfonts

Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas pedro.lopez.cabanillas at gmail.com
Tue Feb 3 13:42:21 EST 2009

Laura Conrad wrote:
> I'm trying to set up my USB MIDI keyboard so that it will play through
> a synthesizer with a reasonable harpsichord (or for present purposes,
> lute) sound and also use tuning tables such as the ones from scala for
> meantone tuning.
> Running scala itself on my Ubuntu Intrepid system is problematic, and
> I haven't gotten it to actually make any sounds yet.  Almost
> everything I try hangs without giving me a useful error message.
> I can run qsynth with a .sf2 font from hammersound.com and get a
> pretty good harpsichord sound, but I don't know how to alter the
> tuning.
> I can run zynaddsubfx with a .scl tuning table loaded, but the plucked
> string sounds that come with zynaddsubfx aren't anything like as good
> as the harpsichord soundfonts.
> Has anyone solved anything like this problem?

TiMidity++ (mine is version 2.13.2) accepts sf2 files, and the following 
command line arguments:

-Z file, --freq-table=file
Cause the table of frequencies to be read from file. This is useful to define 
a tuning different from 12-equal temperament.  If ``pure'' is specified, 
TiMidity++ plays in trial pure intonation.

-Zpure[n(m)], --pure-intonation=[n(m)]
Play in trial pure intonation by Key Signature meta-event in the MIDI file.  
You can specify the initial keysig by hand,  in  case the MIDI file does not 
contains the meta-event.  Optionally, n is the number of key signature.  In
case of sharp, n is positive.  In case of flat, n is negative.  Valid values 
of n are in the interval from  -7  to 7.  In case of minor mode, you should 
put `m' character along with -Zpure option.

The format for the table of frequencies is a simple text file with 128 
integers representing the frequency in Hz of each MIDI note number.

As an example, the attached BC program generates a table of frequencies 
corresponding to the equal temperament.

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