[Durham] Getting a MIDITECH keyboard running in Linux (for an idiot please)

mark mark at aktivix.org
Mon Aug 3 10:38:01 UTC 2015

Good morning David,

David Walland:
> Hi all,
> I have an elderly Miditech Midistart Pro 42 keyboard that I'm trying to be
> able to play and use to write music from.  I have little interest in
> anything much more than doing this as I'm not an electronic music whizz.
> I've got Rosegarden showing that it recognises and accepts data from the
> keyboard but as yet haven't worked out how to get any sounds out of the
> speakers or headphones.

Rosegarden is a good choice if you're more interested in scored music
and sequencing MIDI instruments than multi-track recording. If you want
to record, playback and process audio rather than note data, consider
switching to qtractor or ardour (both of which also support note data
but are more complicated digital audio workstations).

> The machine is one of my elderly laptops - a Toshiba Satellite Pro A10 with
> 1GB of memory and an 80GB SSD - running 32 bit Xubuntu 12.04 (I don't like
> 14.04 and it's noticeably slower on this machine).

That hardware is fine for a basic MIDI workstation.

The first choice you'll need to make is whether you're going to
disable/remove pulseaudio in order to use jackd. If you want to keep
things simple, and you already have audio working in ubuntu, and
rosegarden is seeing your note data from the keyboard, you might want to
leave jackd alone until you fancy another challenge, although it is the
audio server of choice if you want low audio latency and flexible routing.

> I've got Rosegarden, Qsynth, Qjackctl  downloaded from the Ubuntu Software
> Centre.  Any ideas how I go forward from here to get sound out?  Please
> assume that I'm stupid, slow and ESN in Linux in your explanations, as I'm
> bound to not get it right otherwise.

Unless you have some dedicated MIDI hardware you need to get your head
around the concepts of softsynths and samplers. If you want to use
qsynth, which is a sampler, you'll need to load some sample data. There
are instructions how to use qsynth with rosegarden without jackd here:


Good luck!


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