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KMid (was Re: [fluid-dev] Re: lost connection to Jack server)

From: Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas
Subject: KMid (was Re: [fluid-dev] Re: lost connection to Jack server)
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 14:00:23 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.9.6 (enterprise 20070904.708012)

On Tuesday, October 20, 2009, jimmy wrote:
> --- On Mon, 10/19/09, David Henningsson:
> > Out of curiosity, you mentioned aplaymidi before. Do you 
> > play the song via aplaymidi and alsa-seq drivers, or do you
> > supply the midi file to fluidsynth on the command line?
> Short answer:  for this test, I use aplaymidi to send midi events via
> alsa-seq to fluidsynth, which sends audio to jackd to the hardware driver. 
> Later I can look into having audio effect plugins (i.e. jack-rack), have
> tried it, but don't use sound effects much yet.
> Round-about answer, it depends on what I feature(s) want to use.   I'm just
> trying different things with different apps.
> I used to use Kmid, but no one ported it to Qt4/Kde4 yet, not sure how long
> before it would be called an orphan.

I'm already starting the adoption process.

> If I find time to practice playing the midi keyboard, I would like to play
> (practice) along with some midi file(s).  With a separate app, I can use it
> to send the midi event to "virtual midi port" and not having to worry about
> the various midi-port number/name changes.  Patchage, or various other
> conneciton saving apps haven't wow'ed me yet.
> Sometimes I want to pick up a sequence of fast notes, for keyboard or
> guitar practice, tempo control allows me to slow things down.
> I want to be able to eventually play live on a midi keyboard, having the
> PC/laptop as a decent sound module and arranger keyboard functions (live
> rhythm machine with chord change cappability for accompaniments, with maybe
> a couple of separate PC-keyboards for the arranger function controls). 
> Most of the hardware arranger keyboards and rhythms machines have very
> limited user interface, to me at least.
> Generally for computer stuff, I prefer the Unix approach of using the best
> tool for each task rather than a monolithic app, only run the tasks I need
> and each of those can be changed or switched out for something better
> without too much difficulties.  Most of the time monolithic apps are
> resource hogs and slow, it would be worse if you don't like some part of
> it.  Users don't use all the feautures all the time anyway.  I cringe
> everytime I bring up RoseGarden, especially on some older laptops, or even
> older desktops.
> For midi's with lyrics, I like Kmid's ability to display midi text/lyrics,
> tempo change, transpose, keyboard note display.  Timidity lyrics display
> sucks, only one interface allows decent control for skiping
> forward/backward, tempo change, transpose, while note display maybe just in
> win32...  PyKaraoke is good at lyrics display but doesn't have any other
> controls I want from time to time like tempo change, transpose...
> Rosegarden doesn't show lyrics, it does display notes for each midi channel
> in realtime pretty well.  It allows lasso-select from the mouse to play the
> selected notes as each note (or a bunch of notes) got selected.
> Also use Timidity from time to time, it used to have an annoying "clicking"
> problem with some soundfonts, which has been fixed in recent code change
> (last few months to a year I think).  It was about some release parameters,
> or looping ability of the sample, if I remember that right.
> It may be nice to have all of those feature(s) in one huge app, but then
> the UI might suffer, or I may not like how it may be presented, or the
> logical flow sequence...  Also, for large apps like Rosegarden, or even
> Fluidsynth, it is a pitty task to try to revamp, refactor, or add new
> functions.  No pun intended, just a fact of life.

KMid is about 10 years old. It is time for a revamp. My plans for it are:
* Remove the deprecated OSS /dev/sequencer interface support. It has been 
dropped from OSSv4, anyway. 
* A fair ALSA sequencer implementation: don't create/destroy the client and 
port instances on each play/pause/stop action. This would allow the usage of 
KMid with a MIDI patchbay application like qjackctl.
* MIDI Output implemented on pluggable backends. First one will be the ALSA 
sequencer backend, but I would like to develop win32 and Mac native backends 
some day. Also, a multiplatform backend based on libfluidsynth would be 
interesting for casual users, needing only to configure a SF2 file and the 
audio output. Some new features would be needed in libfluidsynth to create 
this backend, for instance: parse and process the lyric and text SMF events.


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