[LAU] Record / playback MIDI through MIDI <--> USB cable?

Lorenzo Sutton lorenzofsutton at gmail.com
Thu Aug 22 12:25:19 CEST 2019

On 21/08/19 03:07, Kevin Cole wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm on an Arch Linux system, and now have an old Yamaha PSR-220 (TM)
> "portable keyboard" and an iConnectivity Mio (TM) MIDI to USB cable.
> My MIDI-fu is extremely limited.
> When I plug in the cable, it shows up (sans name) in lsusb as "Bus 001
> Device 005: ID 2321:000a"
> What is a good way to save keyboard stuff as .mid files and vice-versa
> (play MIDI files out to the keyboard)?

The most common way is to use a midi sequencer. There are many and of 
many flavours on Linux. See here for a list:

Then, to 'play' with the midi keyboard (i.e. you play notes on the 
keyboard and the computer generates sound), you need to use some sort of 
software synthesizer. These also come in many, many flavours on Linux. 
See these links for a good start:


Fluidsynth (and Qsynth as its GUI frontend) ar a good start for 'general 
midi' style - using an appropriate General Midi SoundFont (many free 
ones available).

Of course, the above assume your midi to usb device (and therefore 
keyboard) is correctly working and 'communicating' with the software. 
The two main ways are either Alsa midi or Jack midi.
Software accepting midi in and/or midi out will have to be connected 
to/from the device. QjackCtl is a nice tool for managing both Jack Audio 
and MIDI (both jack and alsa) connections. Opening QjackCtl's 
'Connction' window or its 'Graph' window should be quite intuitive about 
how this is done.

This is a short tutorial as a good starting point:

And this is a much more detailed article by Ted Felix with lots of 
useful information: http://tedfelix.com/linux/linux-midi.html

Hope this helps.

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