How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work? - Setup

This is a discussion on How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work? - Setup ; I am using a 2.6x Kernel. My sound works normally for wave and mp3 files, and appears to work normally for games, beep, and other such tools, such as emulators, and things. However, if I want to play a midi ...

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Thread: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

  1. How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    I am using a 2.6x Kernel. My sound works normally for wave and mp3 files,
    and appears to work normally for games, beep, and other such tools, such as
    emulators, and things.

    However, if I want to play a midi file, I am unable to hear any sound from my
    computers speakers. I have noticed this before on other systems, using various
    sound cards or onboard sound chips. Presumeably, I have to load some sort of
    module, but I don't know which one.

    At the moment, I am using Debian, and I want to use my internal midi
    synthesizer. This is built onto my motherboard, but I don't know what type of
    motherboard I have. Is there some way I can find out the detected system
    properties from within Linux?

    I start rosegarden, and this produces an error as follows:

    Sequencer startup failed: MIDI subsystem has failed to initialize. You may
    continue without the sequencer, but we suggest closing Rosegarden, running
    "modprobe snd-seq-midi" as root, and starting Rosegarden again. If you wish to
    run with no sequencer by design, then use "rosegarden --nosequencer" to avoid
    seeing this error in the future.

    As root, I type:

    modprobe snd-seq-midi

    I start rosegarden again, but the error still appears.

    How do I go about fixing this?

    Regards,

    Mark.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Telephone: (0121) 247 1596
    International: 0044 121 247 1596

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  2. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    I demand that Mark Hobley may or may not have written...

    > I am using a 2.6x Kernel. My sound works normally for wave and mp3 files,
    > and appears to work normally for games, beep, and other such tools, such as


    > emulators, and things.


    > However, if I want to play a midi file, I am unable to hear any sound from
    > my computers speakers. I have noticed this before on other systems, using
    > various sound cards or onboard sound chips. Presumeably, I have to load
    > some sort of module, but I don't know which one.


    > At the moment, I am using Debian, and I want to use my internal midi
    > synthesizer. This is built onto my motherboard,


    Are you sure about that? Is it not just a MIDI port?

    > but I don't know what type of motherboard I have.


    Then stop posting here and find out :-)

    > Is there some way I can find out the detected system properties from within
    > Linux?


    $ lspci | grep audio
    $ cat /proc/asound/cards

    If it's a Creative card which uses snd-emu10k1, i.e. it's an SB Live or an
    Audigy card (Audigy 2 XS, I'm told, and Audigy 4), it will have a MIDI synth,
    and you'll need two things:

    # modprobe snd-emu10k1-synth
    $ asfxload /path/to/file.sf2

    The .sf2 (sound font) file can be found on the CD supplied with the card, and
    will be called ct4mgm.sf2 or ct8mgm.sf2.

    Once the file is loaded, pmidi will work with the hardware synth (actually,
    it'll work without the .sf2, but you'll just get silence); with snd-seq-oss
    also loaded, playmidi will work too.

    > I start rosegarden, and this produces an error as follows:


    > Sequencer startup failed: MIDI subsystem has failed to initialize. You may
    > continue without the sequencer, but we suggest closing Rosegarden, running
    > "modprobe snd-seq-midi" as root,


    That's just the generic ALSA MIDI support. Modules for specific hardware are
    also needed.

    [snip]
    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + Use more efficient products. Use less. BE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT.

    Any system that depends on reliability is unreliable.

  3. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    Darren Salt wrote:

    >> At the moment, I am using Debian, and I want to use my internal midi
    >> synthesizer. This is built onto my motherboard,

    >
    > Are you sure about that? Is it not just a MIDI port?


    I want to use the internal sound system. I don't want to connect a midi
    instrument. I could play midi files in Microcough cough Windows, but I no
    longer have this installed.

    >> but I don't know what type of motherboard I have.

    >
    > Then stop posting here and find out :-)


    Is there some sort of "system properties" that I could use to display details
    of my motherboard?

    My computers are shoved in funny places, and it really is a pain to have to
    remove and open one to look at the board.

    > $ lspci | grep audio


    00:11.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8233/A/8235/8237
    AC97 Audio Controller (rev 50)

    > $ cat /proc/asound/cards


    --- no soundcards ---

    The sound system is built onto the motherboard on this computer.

    Regards,

    Mark.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Telephone: (0121) 247 1596
    International: 0044 121 247 1596

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  4. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    Mark Hobley writes:
    > Is there some sort of "system properties" that I could use to display
    > details of my motherboard?


    Run lspci, look around in /proc.
    --
    John Hasler
    john@dhh.gt.org
    Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, WI USA

  5. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    I demand that Mark Hobley may or may not have written...

    > Darren Salt wrote:
    >>> At the moment, I am using Debian, and I want to use my internal midi
    >>> synthesizer. This is built onto my motherboard,

    >> Are you sure about that? Is it not just a MIDI port?


    > I want to use the internal sound system. I don't want to connect a midi
    > instrument. I could play midi files in Microcough cough Windows, but I no
    > longer have this installed.


    >>> but I don't know what type of motherboard I have.

    >> Then stop posting here and find out :-)


    > Is there some sort of "system properties" that I could use to display
    > details of my motherboard?


    lspci, dmidecode (needs to be run as root), ...

    > My computers are shoved in funny places, and it really is a pain to have to
    > remove and open one to look at the board.


    >> $ lspci | grep audio


    > 00:11.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8233/A/8235/8237 AC97 Audio Controller (rev 50)


    That does not have a hardware MIDI synth.

    You're going to have to use aconnect and timidity (this requires the
    snd-virmidi module), connect a MIDI device (and load the relevant modules),
    or buy a card with a hardware synth.

    http://alsa.opensrc.org/Aconnect may help, but that's a slightly bad example
    - they've only gone and picked a card with a hardware synth, and ignored that
    fact...

    >> $ cat /proc/asound/cards

    > --- no soundcards ---


    Load snd-via82xx and it will appear here.

    > The sound system is built onto the motherboard on this computer.


    That doesn't matter; it's still an audio device, so it still appears (if the
    driver is loaded!) in that file.

    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + Output less CO2 => avoid massive flooding. TIME IS RUNNING OUT *FAST*.

    Please update your programs.

  6. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    Darren Salt wrote:

    > That does not have a hardware MIDI synth.


    Hmmm, thats very odd. I am sure that my midi files used to play OK in Windows,
    but I can't remember if I was using a different machine. It has been about
    three years since the switch over, and I did have a motherboard blow at one
    point. This one was supplied by a third party as an emergency replacement.

    > You're going to have to use aconnect and timidity (this requires the
    > snd-virmidi module), connect a MIDI device (and load the relevant modules),
    > or buy a card with a hardware synth.


    Hmmm, I might have an ESS 1868 somewhere, but it is an ISA card. The onboard
    midi sounded very nice though. Much better than the OPL3 and soundblaster
    cards.

    I have got a Soundblaster Live card to fit a PCI slot, but I was saving that
    for another machine.

    I might try that timidity solution.

    > Load snd-via82xx and it will appear here.


    This still shows no cards installed:
    $ cat /proc/asound/cards
    --- no soundcards ---

    However, lsmod shows the module:

    $ lsmod|grep "snd"
    snd_seq_midi 8096 0
    snd_seq_midi_event 7552 1 snd_seq_midi
    snd_seq 46480 2 snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event
    snd_via82xx 26660 0
    snd_ac97_codec 59268 1 snd_via82xx
    snd_pcm 85384 1 snd_via82xx
    snd_timer 23300 2 snd_seq,snd_pcm
    snd_page_alloc 11144 2 snd_via82xx,snd_pcm
    gameport 4736 2 analog,snd_via82xx
    snd_mpu401_uart 7296 1 snd_via82xx
    snd_rawmidi 23204 2 snd_seq_midi,snd_mpu401_uart
    snd_seq_device 7944 2 snd_seq_midi,snd_rawmidi
    snd 50660 10
    snd_seq_midi,snd_seq_midi_event,snd_seq,snd_via82x x,snd_ac97_codec,snd_pcm,snd_timer,snd_mpu401_uart ,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_device
    soundcore 9824 3 snd,via82cxxx_audio,sound

    Regards,

    Mark.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Telephone: (0121) 247 1596
    International: 0044 121 247 1596

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  7. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    I demand that Mark Hobley may or may not have written...

    > Darren Salt wrote:

    [snip]
    >> You're going to have to use aconnect and timidity (this requires the
    >> snd-virmidi module), connect a MIDI device (and load the relevant
    >> modules), or buy a card with a hardware synth.


    > Hmmm, I might have an ESS 1868 somewhere, but it is an ISA card. The
    > onboard midi sounded very nice though. Much better than the OPL3 and
    > soundblaster cards.


    I recall timidity sounding a lot better than OPL3; OTOH, there's not a lot to
    choose between it and Soundblaster cards for general use. For certain
    purposes, timidity may well be better.

    > I have got a Soundblaster Live card to fit a PCI slot, but I was saving
    > that for another machine.


    Well, it's an option :-)

    > I might try that timidity solution.


    Once the other problem is solved:

    >> Load snd-via82xx and it will appear here.


    > This still shows no cards installed:
    > $ cat /proc/asound/cards
    > --- no soundcards ---

    [snip]

    Hmm, odd. Maybe its PCI ID isn't listed by the module - too old a kernel...?
    The output of the following command should be of some use:

    $ lspci -vn -s 00:11.5

    It might also be worth checking the BIOS in case the on-board sound is
    disabled (the fact that it's still listed by lspci *suggests* that it isn't).

    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + Burn less waste. Use less packaging. Waste less. USE FEWER RESOURCES.

    I've got two words for Van Gogh... 'Say what?'

  8. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    Darren Salt wrote:

    > It might also be worth checking the BIOS in case the on-board sound is
    > disabled (the fact that it's still listed by lspci *suggests* that it isn't).


    I can play mp3 files ok, so the onboard sound is enabled. It is just midi files
    that are not working.

    --
    Mark Hobley
    393 Quinton Road West
    QUINTON
    Birmingham
    B32 1QE

    Telephone: (0121) 247 1596
    International: 0044 121 247 1596

    Email: markhobley at hotpop dot donottypethisbit com

    http://markhobley.yi.org/


  9. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    Mark Hobley wrote:
    > Darren Salt wrote:
    >
    >> That does not have a hardware MIDI synth.

    >
    > Hmmm, thats very odd. I am sure that my midi files used to play OK in
    > Windows,


    Windows includes a software synth for playing MIDI files.

    --
    Markku Kolkka
    markku.kolkka@iki.fi

  10. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    I demand that Mark Hobley may or may not have written...

    > Darren Salt wrote:
    >> It might also be worth checking the BIOS in case the on-board sound is
    >> disabled (the fact that it's still listed by lspci *suggests* that it
    >> isn't).


    > I can play mp3 files ok, so the onboard sound is enabled. It is just midi
    > files that are not working.


    Then, presumably, the OSS module for it is loaded.

    --
    | Darren Salt | linux or ds at | nr. Ashington, | Toon
    | RISC OS, Linux | youmustbejoking,demon,co,uk | Northumberland | Army
    | + Buy less and make it last longer. INDUSTRY CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING.

    In the stairway of life, you'd best take the lift.

  11. Re: How do I get my onboard midi synthesis to work?

    Groovy hepcat markhobley@hotpop.deletethisbit.com (Mark Hobley) was jivin'
    on Sat, 28 Apr 2007 15:08:02 +0000. It's a cool scene! Dig it.

    > I am using a 2.6x Kernel. My sound works normally for wave and mp3 files,
    > and appears to work normally for games, beep, and other such tools, such
    > as emulators, and things.
    >
    > However, if I want to play a midi file, I am unable to hear any sound from
    > my computers speakers. I have noticed this before on other systems, using
    > various sound cards or onboard sound chips. Presumeably, I have to load
    > some sort of module, but I don't know which one.


    Here's the poop as I understand it. Linux support for synths on modern
    sound cards is rather poor. Creative cards with EMU10K synth chips are
    apparently supported. Older cards with OPL3 chips are also supported,
    apparently. But newer cards without EMU10K seem to be unsupported,
    synth-wise.
    To work around this problem, you have to use a software synthesiser such
    as timidity. The following line works well for me. Put it in a startup
    file (such as /etc/rc.d/rc.local) to have it running at startup:

    /usr/bin/timidity -iAD --sequencer-ports=2 -Os

    --
    Dig the sig!



    ----------- Peter 'Shaggy' Haywood ------------

    Ain't I'm a dawg!!



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