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Roland MIDI USB Interface Question
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roytheman
Tux's lil' helper
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Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Roland MIDI USB Interface Question Reply with quote

Hello Gentoo users,

I have the Roland UM-ONE USB interface and using the kernel drivers listed below (lsmod):

snd_seq_midi
snd_seq_midi-event
snd_seq
snd_usb_audio
snd_hwdep
snd_rawmidi
snd_seq_device

snd_hda_codec-via
snd_hda_intel
snd_hda_codec
snd_hda_pcm
snd

The last one in the above list (snd) is useb by the following, according to lsmod:

snd_usb_audio,
snd_hwdep,
snd_timer,
snd_hda_codec_via,
snd_pcm,snd_seq,
snd_rawmidi,
snd_usbmidi_lib,
snd_hda_codec,
snd_hda_intel,
snd_seq_device


As you may know, this device is for users who do not have a gameport to have MIDI access so they use a USB port instead.

And it seemingly works great, that is, I can play a MIDI flies in Rosegarden and they play through my electronic piano using its built in speakers, and I can also play the electronic piano and it will record nicely in Rosegarden, so MIDI in and MIDI out work fine. So what is my problem you may ask?

I can't get any MIDI sounds to go through my sound card to be able to use my computer speakers. I'm not even sure if this Roland device is designed to play through my computer speakers, so therefore I don't know if it is working right or not.

I am running a late version of KDE and it seems to be using Phonon for sound with gstreamer as a backend. I have alsa-libs installed and also have pulseaudio installed.

If I use Timidity or Fluidsynth to play MIDI files, the sounds come through my computer speakers fine.

So is this normal behavor for this Roland device to not use the computer speakers, or do I have something configured wrong?

Thanks for your time,
Roy
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XavierMiller
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Joined: 23 Jul 2004
Posts: 5568
Location: ~Brussels - Belgique

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

The MIDI protocol transport only command messages, not the sound. It is like TV remote : you can change the channel, mute or enable teletext, but not hear sound on it.

If you need sound of your sound module on your sound card, you need to plug the audio outputs in the sound card inputs.
And if you need a MIDI synthesizer in your computer, take a look at timidity++ or any other solution (fluidsynth, qsynth, ...)
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Xavier Miller
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roytheman
Tux's lil' helper
Tux's lil' helper


Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:39 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks for clarifying it for me Xavier. The reason I was confused is because a few years ago I had a Sound Blaster sound card where sound fonts were needed to be loaded into it and the MIDI would then play through my computer speakers. But apparently, that was because the sound card also had its own built-in tone generator that could convert the MIDI's command messages to wav, something the speakers could use. So in effect, the sound card was really doing the same thing my electronic piano is doing now. Am I correct in this assumption?

Thanks a lot.

All the best,
Roy
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XavierMiller
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Joined: 23 Jul 2004
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Location: ~Brussels - Belgique

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that's it : your soundcard was/has also a synthesizer.
If you want your Gentoo to do the same, you need to run a General Midi syntehsizer as timidity++ or qsynth with a general midi sound font.
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