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Date:      Sun, 08 Apr 2012 18:41:45 +1000
From:      Da Rock <>
Subject:   Re: Music production on FreeBSD
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <>

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On 04/08/12 15:32, Conrad J. Sabatier wrote:
> On Sun, 08 Apr 2012 13:28:51 +1000
> Da Rock<>  wrote:
>> On 04/08/12 11:39, Mario Lobo wrote:
>>> On Saturday 07 April 2012 21:04:41 Tony wrote:
>>>> Hello!
>>>> Is anybody aware of any talented producers who produce their music
>>>> primarily on FreeBSD?
>>>> Thanks!
>>>> Tony
>>> Man, that has been my dream for a good while!
>>> Ardour is a fine multitrack but no MIDI, at least on FreeBSD. And
>>> FBSD itself has lots of issues with MIDI.
>>> Besides that, there is the driver problem with most professional
>>> sound boards.
>>> I am going to attempt something a quite bit out of my league which
>>> is try to port the alsa drivers for my echo Gina3G board to FBSD.
>>> If I can manage to do that, then I believe the rest will fall on my
>>> lap by gravity.
>>> I hope I don't blow up my desktop.
>>> I'm eager to read the replies to the OP.
>> I have. Or more accurately my wife and co have, with me behind the
>> wheel. My wife is a musician and music teacher, and we only use
>> FreeBSD, so its a given here (and a massive drive for me to find a
>> way to support it).
>> We used simple tools: audacity, rosegarden, and hydrogen. We used a
>> usb yamaha sound board, and a ribbon mic for the vocals.
>> The biggest problem here is that rosegarden refuses to use jack for
>> midi transport now, so even though there is a jack_umidi daemon in
>> the ports it still wont pick it up. I'll have to look at another app
>> like ardour and see if it is better there. Other than that, all good.
>> Incidentally, the reason for the emphasis on rosegarden is that it
>> does midi and audio multitrack; as well as notation editing.
>> Apparently they're hell bent on only using alsa (God only knows why -
>> must have a death wish or something...), with marginal support for
>> jack. Hence they only support midi through alsa, not jack. Madness...
> Yes, Rosegarden is a very nice app; it's just too bad we can't get true
> MIDI working with it under FreeBSD.  As an amateur (frustrated?)
> composer, I *really* like the notation editing.
I don't know about not having true midi, midi seems fine its just the 
software is (for some inexplicable reason) not supporting OSS anymore 
and chasing the horrid monster that is alsa.

Even jack supports the freebsd midi using the daemon, but the software 
doesn't suport jack midi. Like I said: madness...
> For several months now, I've been unable to use Rosegarden at all
> (under 10-CURRENT).  It crashes very early on startup.  Haven't been
> able to track this one down yet.
> Gosh, how I miss my early days with FreeBSD and my Soundblaster AWE64
> with the special MIDI apps for it in the ports collection (back in the
> good ol' days when OSS was our soundsystem).
>> The usb audio was a good call; the uaudio driver worked well in our
>> case with jack, and given all work was done on a laptop it made
>> sense. These days I think it makes more sense because of the
>> portability, not to mention if the power happens to go off in the
>> midst of a take you can keep going and finish the track ;)
>> The only other option that would be ideal would be firewire audio -
>> if that ever comes to FBSD. I think there may be some support through
>> jack, but I haven't investigated that fully yet.
>> And dont forget lilypond for notation... :)
> I wish driver coding and such were more my area of expertise; I'd
> gladly lend a hand to any efforts to improve our MIDI support.
> Unfortunately, every time I've tried looking at any of the actual code
> for the sound subsystem, it's left me in a veritable mystified
> stupor.  :-)
> And lately, even some of the timidity++ stuff isn't working right.  The
> Xaw interface refuses to build/install properly, ever since the removal
> of X11BASE from the ports infrastructure.
> This is really my single, my one-and-only gripe with FreeBSD: MIDI!
> Used to have a nice setup that was working beautifully, pretty much
> comparable to what you might find under Windows or Mac.  But the whole
> thing got yanked out and replaced with the newpcm stuff back in -- what
> year was it? -- sometime in the late 90s.  Most unfortunate.  I and a
> number of others protested at the time, that we were having
> functionality ripped out with no viable replacement in sight, and
> sadly, that's still pretty much the case.  MIDI support in FreeBSD has
> never been the same since.  :-(
The replacement is there now, but everything else has moved on.
> Oh well, I'll shut up now.  Hate to come off as a whiner or
> something.  :-)
No, I'd call it constructive criticism. Once my wife gets on my back 
about it I imagine I'll be driving it all forward again, so maybe there 
will be hope :)

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