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Thread: software synthesizer

  1. #1
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    software synthesizer

    Hello everyone,

    I am looking for a way to play music via my computer. I want to connect a keyboard to my computer and convert the midi signal realtime into sound using a software program. I know it is possible, but I don't know how to do it. Can anyone point out good software and hardware to do this?

    regards
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  2. #2
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    Re: software synthesizer

    There are many software synthesizers. By default in ubuntu studio you have
    Yoshimi, Zynaddsubfx, phasex, to name a few. It depends what version of studio you have installed. Most of them works only with jack. You should first learn jack.
    If your keyboard has usb connection which transfers midi, you can try that.

  3. #3
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    Re: software synthesizer

    Hi, study these pics and details for connecting a great synthesizer

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ho...CtlConnections

    and more details about the system connection settings:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ho...KConfiguration

    and a nice magazine article:

    http://w3.linux-magazine.com/issue/6...dio_Server.pdf

    Use synaptic package manager to install zynaddsubfx and qjackctl
    if you don't yet have them. To load its soundbanks

    menu Instrument --Show instrument bank

    then at the empty banks panel that opens, at the top, click the little black triangle widget by the 'Refresh Bank List' button, and select from the list that appears. The default location for zyn
    soundbanks is

    /usr/share/zynaddsubfx.


    Phasex is another good synthesizer
    to install. Hexter is a Yamaha DX7 sound player, loads of DX7 sysex
    soundsets for it are on the net. Install dssi and Hexter from synaptic. Use qjackctl for connections.

    There are a nice mono-synth and organ in the Calf plugins,
    and the mda lv2 plugins have an e-piano and more.
    Install calf and lv2-core and all the lv2 plugins google will reveal in various PPAs like Falk and Autostatic.
    Cheers
    To use a midi keyboard, plug it into either usb, or a soundcard/interface with 5-pin midi ports, and use the alsa tab in qjackctl to connect to your hardware to your software, as in the links above.
    Last edited by sgx; October 25th, 2011 at 11:07 PM. Reason: mow

  4. #4
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    Re: software synthesizer

    Thanks for the replies!
    I tried a little bit around with ZynAddSubFX and monoBristol, but the sound was really bad. When touched more than 3 keys with monoBristol, the sound almost dissapeared.
    Do you know if I will need an external sound card or similar?
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  5. #5
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    Re: software synthesizer

    Hi, did you load sounds from the zynaddsubfx sound banks?
    The default sound is just a sine wave. Try the pads, choirs,
    arpeggios, fantasy and other banks sounds, usually about 8% of sounds have some appeal to average users. Very few folks love all the sounds
    of any instrument.

    Bristol is not noted for great sound, more for the variety of
    old synth gui. The Calf monosynth and organ, routed to
    rakarrack or calf/lv2 fx plugins, should sound very nice,
    as would phasex. Fx in small doses would help Bristol, as well.
    Cheers

    In qjackctl, change the audio tab synth connection from
    synth to soundcard, to synth to fx, then connect fx to soundcard.
    Look up rakarrack on youtube, for the visuals.
    Last edited by sgx; October 26th, 2011 at 11:43 AM. Reason: mow

  6. #6
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    Re: software synthesizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiel92 View Post
    I tried a little bit around with ZynAddSubFX and monoBristol, but the sound was really bad. When touched more than 3 keys with monoBristol, the sound almost dissapeared.
    Do you know if I will need an external sound card or similar?
    I've just tried bristol, never use it before, and sound is normal. I'm using jack for sound.
    Do you need external sound card? It depends what you want to do. Just to hear normal sound you don't need it.

  7. #7
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    Wink Re: software synthesizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiel92 View Post
    Thanks for the replies!
    I tried a little bit around with ZynAddSubFX and monoBristol, but the sound was really bad. When touched more than 3 keys with monoBristol, the sound almost dissapeared.
    Do you know if I will need an external sound card or similar?
    it's possible that the problem is in monobristol itself, it's on my opinion poorly maintained and resource eating program. My suggestion is to remove it and learn to start Bristol synths from terminal. Here you have one nice command to start with

    ~$ startBristol -v -h

    ps: Did you find out that most of your midi controller faders are active?
    ps..2:I just remembered that Klaudia (a KXStudio application) has a nice bristol launcher
    Last edited by Totalchaos; October 26th, 2011 at 11:54 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: software synthesizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Totalchaos View Post
    it's possible that the problem is in monobristol itself, it's on my opinion poorly maintained and resource eating program. My suggestion is to remove it and learn to start Bristol synths from terminal. Here you have one nice command to start with

    ~$ startBristol -v -h


    ps..2:I just remembered that Klaudia (a KXStudio application) has a nice bristol launcher
    Thanks. I didn't know monoBristol and bristol were different things.

    ps: Did you find out that most of your midi controller faders are active?
    What do you mean by that? What are midi controller faders exactly?
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  9. #9
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    Re: software synthesizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiel92 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am looking for a way to play music via my computer. I want to connect a keyboard to my computer and convert the midi signal realtime into sound using a software program. I know it is possible, but I don't know how to do it. Can anyone point out good software and hardware to do this?

    regards
    On the hardware side, an maudio pci soundcard, with real midi ports,
    is an excellent simple to set up linux choice, and most name-brand midi controllers will work by usb, or the 5 pin connectors. A vintage e-mu pk6, kawai K3/4/5 or yamaha sy55/77/99 and their variants are good for midi controllers, having good keybeds, and have the bonus of a fine hardware synthesizer under the hood.

    The faders are the mouse-controllable knobs on the softsynth gui,
    also used with gear like the korg nanocontrol, and various midi hardware controllers utilizing 'midi learn' where a mode allows you to select a knob on screen, then move a control on your hardware, to create a learned link, so you always can turn that software knob with the hardware.
    Cheers

    Cheers

  10. #10
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    Re: software synthesizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Totalchaos View Post
    ps: Did you find out that most of your midi controller faders are active?
    Yes, they are active.
    Vim - Comfortable text editing and coding
    vim-autoformat - a code-formatting plugin for vim supporting various languages - https://github.com/Chiel92/vim-autoformat
    Vimperator - Fast browsing using keyboard only

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