Adding a virtual keyboard to Ardour

Hi all,

Is there a way to create a keyboard in Ardour without an actual midi keyboard?
Basically, I want something like the functionality I remembered in FruityLoops many years back:

I remember a really cool feature where you could use a keyboard, and it would change the pitch (I think it’s the pitch) of the WAV file so you could create a melody out of one sample WAV file. Then, all you needed was a regular keyboard (no MIDI keyboard required), and it would bind a set of keys as keyboard keys that you could press while it’s recording, to create a melody from your WAV file(s). I really want that functionality badly. I don’t have a MIDI keyboard to use.

I found this image online of something that looked like the FruityLoops keyboard, but it looks like it’s for midi, and I don’t have a MIDI keyboard, and I can’t find documentation on how/what/where this is and if it’s applicable to what I’m looking for:

I’m a complete noob to Ardour and music production in general (though I’ve used FruityLoops in the past), and I’ve been trying to figure this out for a while without any success. Any help would or guidance on this is greatly appreciated.

@cgvirus: you do not need to use JACK in order to use Ardour, even with a virtual keyboard like VMPK. Ardour’s own ALSA audio/MIDI backend is perfectly able to interact with “virtual MIDI devices” like VMPK.

Also, this thread is nearly 3 years old.

From my research here is the way to work with VMPK+Ardour:
apt install qjackctl a2jmidid

Now open qjackctl>setup>Settings>Driver : ALSA> MIDI Driver: seq> OK
restart qjack. Start the connection.

Start Ardour session with JACK>start VMPK> create a MIDI track in Ardour.
Now right click in the track>inputs>Hardware>check midi_capture_1 or any channel appropriate.

you can also do this patching in qjackctl> connect> MIDI>system(OUTPUT PORTS)>Ardour (INPUT PORTS)

I like VMPK mostly for it’s high customizing options again jackKeyboard. Although Jack Keyboard is very good too.

Thanks, this is really helpful. How do I link the external MIDI keyboard with the sampler to change pitch? and can they somehow link to the tracks in Ardour?

I know setting it up has something to do with JACK because it allows inter-application communication as an audio server, but I don’t know how to get started or figure it out without some trial and error.

You can link VMPK & Samplv1 in QJackCtl Connections panel/ MIDI tab (or ALSA tab).

But you might prefers to launch “a2jmidid -e”, and use the sampler as a plugin in an Ardour MIDI track, so the best way will be to connect the out from VMPK into the MIDI track in, and the out of MIDI track to any sound bus you choose. HTH;

Considering you say you are new in pro-audio world, first : “Welcome!”, and second you could find really easier to discover it in video, so you will find a lot in youtube, just search for “Ardour3” in it.

Hi, so I am very new to all this. I am trying to use VMPK and here I can see that it needs to be “manually connected up to the input of a MIDI track in Ardour”. Could someone run me through how to do this please?