MIDI with Ardour, advice please

In summary, I’m looking for advice on how to create MIDI music from a set of samples, ideally using Ardour. I will record the samples (African balaphon). Then I need to load them into something. Then connect it to Ardour and compose in MIDI.

My setup is simple - I’m fairly newbie in all this. Ardour under Ubuntu Studio using Alsa rather than Jack. Core I7 processor / desktop. Focusrite 2i4 (older version). When a note occurs, I don’t want it to chop off the tail of any other notes already in progress. If the samples are played by software/plugin/Ardour, that’s fine. If it’s better to have dedicated hardware playing them, I don’t want anything too expensive, something costing the order of a 2i4 would be ok.

So I’m expecting to do lots of googling / familiarisation, but hoping someone experienced can give me some pointers / roadmap to get me going. Thanks.

HI Andrew,

Ardour cannot do this directly. To turn MIDI into sound, Ardour relies on synth plugins.

You basically have two options: Create a fixed soundfont from the samples, then load that into any of the many sample-players (e.g. a-fluidsynth, comes with ardour). http://polyphone-soundfonts.com/ is a nice tool to create .sf2.

Another option is to use a “sampler”, a plugin that can record samples, and allows to trigger them using MIDI. On GNU/Linux there are not a lot of sampler plugins. https://samplv1.sourceforge.io/ would be one.

Thanks Robin and thanks to the people who replied on the old email platform, also where Polyphone seems to be the frontrunner.