[SOLVED] Understanding basic midi workflow

Manjaro KDE, Ardour 6.9 / 7.0 / 7.1

I have successfully set up jack in accordance with the manual to make Ardour read input from a Novation Impulse 25.

However, it looks like I should be able to make the chosen track play all sorts of cool instruments by clicking on the “Generic” dropdown button in the track:


But regardless of the choice here, I just get the default ACE reasonable synth sound. I tried with Calf organ, and got the same result - it sounds like an organ whatever I choose from the dropdown list.

I’d love to try to play a Steinway or some of the other instruments. How do I achieve that?

The button you are clicking is to change the MIDI device (hardware) you’re using. Look at this page in the manual : The Ardour Manual.
To change the instrument, you should click on the plugin itself, the red button in the mixer slice “ACE Reasonable Synth”.

Took me a while to understand I have to change the channel on the MIDI keyboard to access those different sounds, but thanks!

There is progress now :smile:

Are there good places to find opensourced MIDI instruments? Like electric and acoustic pianos, strings / brass, etc. Nothing wrong with the above, I just want more to choose from.

I’m specifically searching for something sounding like (Fender) Rhodes.

Depending on your tastes, the “MDA e-piano” instrument (available via the ‘mda-lv2’ package on Ubuntu / Debian) might be just fine. If not, then you might look at this thread:

as well as:



I personally prefer the Rhodes implementation in Pianoteq’s “electric pianos” set:

Modartt: Electric


Thanks! I’ll test these :+1: