No sound when importing a midi file

openSUSE Tumbleweed, Ardour 8.1.0

I have googled my issue, but I am only getting more and more confused.

Also watched UNFA’s vid about midi and Adour.

I am a long time LMMS user, and wonder if I just need to point to a soundfont file.
The midi files I am importing do work in LMMS.
I see vu meters moving, so to some extent it seems to work, but I hear nothing.

Is there maybe a hint here, or can I safely ignore all these messages / errors?

23-10-24T23:37:59 [ERROR]: Patch without patch name list - patchfile will be ignored
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [INFO]: AlsaAudioBackend: adjusted output channel count to match device.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [INFO]: AlsaAudioBackend: adjusted input channel count to match device.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [ERROR]: AlsaSeqMidiIO: Device initialization failed.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [WARNING]: AlsaMidiOut: failed to open midi device '142:0'.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [ERROR]: AlsaSeqMidiIO: Device initialization failed.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [WARNING]: AlsaMidiIn: failed to open midi device '142:0'.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [ERROR]: AlsaSeqMidiIO: Device initialization failed.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [WARNING]: AlsaMidiOut: failed to open midi device '143:0'.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [ERROR]: AlsaSeqMidiIO: Device initialization failed.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [WARNING]: AlsaMidiIn: failed to open midi device '143:0'.
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [WARNING]: LADSPA</usr/lib64/ladspa/>: LADSPA module "/usr/lib64/ladspa/" has no descriptor function ('ladspa_descriptor': /usr/lib64/ladspa/ undefined symbol: ladspa_descriptor).
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [WARNING]: LADSPA</usr/lib64/ladspa/>: Cannot load module "/usr/lib64/ladspa/" (/usr/lib64/ladspa/ undefined symbol: _ZN3DSP10Polynomial5one53Ef)
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [WARNING]: LADSPA</usr/lib64/ladspa/>: Cannot load module "/usr/lib64/ladspa/" (/usr/lib64/ladspa/ undefined symbol: waveguide_nl_process)
2023-10-24T23:38:06 [INFO]: Scanning folders for bundled LV2s: /usr/lib64/ardour8/LV2
2023-10-24T23:38:09 [INFO]: xjadeo version: 0.8.12
2023-10-24T23:38:11 [INFO]: Loading menus from /etc/ardour8/ardour.menus
2023-10-24T23:38:11 [WARNING]: Falling back to Reasonable Synth for Midi Audition
2023-10-24T23:38:11 [INFO]: Loading user ui scripts file /home/guus/.config/ardour8/ui_scripts
2023-10-24T23:38:11 [INFO]: Loading plugin order file /home/guus/.config/ardour8/plugin_metadata/plugin_order
2023-10-24T23:38:11 [INFO]: Loading history from /home/guus/Untitled-2023-10-24-23-38-00/Untitled-2023-10-24-23-38-00.history
2023-10-24T23:38:11 [INFO]: Untitled-2023-10-24-23-38-00: no history file "/home/guus/Untitled-2023-10-24-23-38-00/Untitled-2023-10-24-23-38-00.history" for this session.

Maybe Ardour is not using the audio device you expected. Open the Audio/MIDI setup window and verify what device is in use. The most common error is that some built in chipset device gets used when you are trying to use a USB audio interface, or the audio interface in the HDMI video card is selected but you are not using speakers in the video device.

1 Like

Thank you and because of your reply I made some progress. :grinning:

I selected on starting Ardour my focusright scarlett solo as output.

This instantly killed the sound from firefox, but I now have sound when I play the imported midi file.

It sounds quite poor, but that was expected.
These midi files never sound great in LMMS either.

Now for testing and learning lets see if I can get better sounds.

In LMMS its usual as simple as replacing the sf2 player by synths.
I should be a good exercise to figure out how to do this in Ardour. :grinning:

Its good news my install of Ardour is fine. For other opensuse users, add the pro audio repository.
There is also Carla, a version working better then the Carla from the normal repositories.

1 Like

You will need to:

1 Like

Thank you. I had a quick look and that processor box seems to be one of the reasons why I want to learn Ardour.

About those midi files, I always wondered how they would sound on real midi hardware.
But unless I win the lottery that wont happen anytime soon.

What synth plugin do you use?

The General MIDI Synth included with Ardour is excellent and comparable to a hardware wave synth.

I think its called reasonable synth.

But some background information about me.
I once saw a demonstration, with a Yamaha DX7 , a drum computer (808 ?) Cubase and an Atari St.

The big difference between this and how I use Ardour (and LMMS) is that the Atarti ST did not make the sound. It only did the sequence part. The sound came from real midi hardware, and sounded damn good.
Compared to that, the midi file in Ardour sounds quit poor, but thats also why I said that was expected.

We do not know who made the midi file, or what software was used to create the midi file.

For now I am just getting my feet wet with Ardour, and started with importing a midi file.

Bottom line, importing some random midi file into a daw will never sound great.

Next step will be to use different synths and maybe learn how to tweak reasonable synth.

I am a long time lmms user (over 8 years), but am getting getting fed up with the slow progress on plugin support.
It still misses stuff, Ardour can do for years now. Lv2 is one example.
In LMMS we cant automate most of zynaddsubfx. :frowning:

I feel I waited long enough.

I owe a lot to at least one of the LMMS devs though, he helped me from being kinda tone deaf, to be able to hear if something is in tune or not. Never give up never surrender.

About two years ago I tried to learn C, but then learned I will also have to learn to use QT? for the gui’s.
At that point I gave up on becoming a coder.

So here we are now, learning to use Ardour. :slight_smile:

cout << "the computer is mad"; 

is were I gave up

Ah, that is just a super simple piano-like sound.

Sadly most GNU/Linux distro do not ship General MIDI synth (comes with official binary Ardour from Download Ardour | Ardour Community).

You can grab it from x42 General MIDI Synth.

Well, it works surprisingly well for general MID files and GM compatible synth.

1 Like

I think I found X42 in the openSUSE repositories.

lv2-x42-plugins - Audio plugin collection (standalone LV2 version)

x42-plugins - Audio plugin collection (standalone JACK version)

It says you made it. But I need to investigate this further. For now I do not see if the gm is included.

For other openSUSE users:

its like the kxrepositories, but then for opensuse.

Dexed is an excellent yamaha DX7 virtual synth.

If i remeber correctly, there are also 808 drums in the General MIDI synth.

1 Like

Sadly that plugin is missing. I reported the problem, hopefully will be fixed soon.
For now, download from x42 website and put the plugin in ~/.lv2

The sound came from real midi hardware, and sounded damn good.

Not directly what you asked, but here is something that I think is important to understand so that you can improve your results. From what I read in your posts, I think you confuse MIDI with Synthesizer.

MIDI hardware controller will give you a better performance compared to, for example, writing a MIDI file in MuseScore. If you learn to perform on a good MIDI controller and capture your performance in a MIDI file, you will have much better and realistic dynamics.

It will not give you better sound by itself though, because MIDI does not provide the sound.

To get better sound engine, you need the synthesizer - or another type of virtual instrument. There you would compare a hardware synthesizer to a virtual synthesizer. There’s plenty of great virtual synthesizers out there that you can achieve comparable results, from free to commercial.

So if you want to get the best results, you will want to focus on both of these aspects.


Most distros cannot ship gmsynth.lv2 due to the license of the soundfont:

Oh… damn…
Generaluser.sf2 is already available in another external repo (Packman). Maybe we can ask him to add your plugin too.

That might be a very good idea.

OpenSUSE is quit strict on licenses and such, that is why there is the packman repository in the first place.

It might be not that hard to compile it our self though.

I once compiled Doom 3 for Linux and that was easy.
With compiling LMMS though, I hope I will never have to do that again.
I was successful twice, but also ones got errors of which even the LMMS devs did not have a clue on what was wrong.

In general compiling is as easy as installing the libs and dev files, then run a few commands in the console. The readme file usual tells you what libs you need.

Then in YAST, you check if you have those libs installed together with the dev files

Thank you, but I do understand the difference.

Thats also why I said the Atari ST did not make the sound.

The Atari only records the midi data, not the actual sound.

What made the Atari special though, it had an midi in and midi out connection. (The round DIN ones)

In those days Cubase had an Atari and Mac version. pc users from those days could not use Cubase.

The Atari ST is still as far as I know the only computer that came with midi ports by default.

To work with midi in those days, you needed to spend a lot off money on midi hardware like a DX7 synthesizer and or a midi box, and a drum computer like the 808.
You could buy a car, for that money. :grinning:

the cp command in the readme file does not work, for me on openSUSE.

But :stuck_out_tongue:

guus@localhost:~/.lv2/x42-gmsynth> ./

 ** gmsynth.lv2 **

Install Plugin to ~/.lv2 ? [y/n]: y
Installing to ~/.lv2:
'gmsynth.lv2' -> '/home/guus/.lv2/gmsynth.lv2'
'gmsynth.lv2/manifest.ttl' -> '/home/guus/.lv2/gmsynth.lv2/manifest.ttl'
'gmsynth.lv2/' -> '/home/guus/.lv2/gmsynth.lv2/'
'gmsynth.lv2/GeneralUser_LV2.sf2' -> '/home/guus/.lv2/gmsynth.lv2/GeneralUser_LV2.sf2'
'gmsynth.lv2/gmsynth.ttl' -> '/home/guus/.lv2/gmsynth.lv2/gmsynth.ttl'

Installation completed.

Press ENTER to exit installer

What I did was: create a folder called .lv2 with the command from the readme file
Then copied with dolphin the tar file, extracted the archive there, and run the installer.

Fingers crossed it works.

What about replacing generaluser with fluidsynth-gm ? Yes it’s bigger then generaluser but can be done ? Is there somenthing related to generaluser harcoded inside the plugin ? We are looking for a solution, if possible…

Baby steps, while importing the midi file I selected something different.

A general midi synth ?
I don’t have a clue yet, if this is the x42 or not.

It does sound a lot better though. The Moroder base line even sounds quite good. (donna summer I feel love)

I still feel totally lost, and need to investigate some stuff.

Not sure what is happening, nor if this is pulse audio or Ardour doing this. (Edit: pipewire not pulse audio)

It seems that when I stop the sound in Ardour (playback) something decides I want to use the audio part of my vid card.

Its almost funny it picks from 3 options the worst.
Onboard sound, Focusrite solo or the vid card.

I fear this is pulse audio being “smart”.

Maybe I need to start using jack without pulse audio.
I was never a fan of jack, but at least that was predictable. (and it crashed on openSUSE, but that was many years ago)

I also notice almost every time, I click on the kde audio settings, things get changed with using Ardour.

This proofs my point though, computers are made to annoy us :stuck_out_tongue:

For those wondering
Giorgio Moroder with some help, plays I feel love.

In the midi file there are two tracks. One panned to the left , the other track panned to the right.
The midi notes of the second track are moved a bit forward.
That one way of making a delay.