Using virtual midi keyboard

Hi, I am using Ubuntu studio19. I don’t have access to any midi hardware right now. Can someone please post stepwise instructions to how can I use the jack virtual midi keyboard to record in ardour 5??

It would be a lllllloooooot help
Thank you

I usually do it with two ways depending on what synth application i want to use.
If I use bristol synths I use my [laptop] keyboard and I record audio files with both bristol synths and ardour connected through jack.

  1. open jack with Qjactl, 2) launch britstol synths with the jack backend (e.g startbristol -mini -jack) connect to the system output in order to hear what you play (Qjactl->audio) 3) open ardour, make an audio track connect bristol to the input of the track and you can record.

If i want to use a vst inside ardour I use VMPK

  1. launch qjactl, go to set up->options-> execute script after startup and put a2jmidid -e &
  2. start jack
  3. launch ardour, make midi track and find a2jmidi

there might be other ways to do it but this is how i usually do it

1 Like

a virmidi app can simulate itself to become a jack midi device and can get plugged to a midi track with the help of qjackctl’s patch panel or by using the pin-connection settings inside ardour, – possibly also using the midi changer pull-down from the mixer strip but here I think ardour ignores listing virtual midi devices, so you’ll have to resort to using one of the other two methods.


A tool I sometimes use when I want to test a synth’s numerous presets, I basically just use the 8x8 midi-step sequencer plugin (which auto-generates midi notes). It’s hidden somewhere in the list of plugins, just search “8x8” and you’ll spot it.

note: the virmidi device and the 8x8 midi-stepper can’t be used at the same time (to the same track) even if you “disable” the 8x8 midi-stepper. If you want to connect a “midi device” (a real midi device or the virmidi), you’ll need to remove the 8x8 midi-stepper plugin from the track so that the connected midi device can then be able to send notes.


Thank you very much. I connected the virtual keyboard to ardour, but I am unable to get any effects. on all midi tracks, I am getting the simple piano sound. I did some digging and inserted the calf synth plugin on one of the tracks.
can you please tell me how can I connect hexter and hydrogen to ardour?

I provided instructions for the virmidi because it’s not obvious for Linux users… If you are able to add a plugin, you should already know how to open it by double-clicking on it – which can be done as well for the the General Midi synth that is generating the default piano sound you are hearing…

check this thread for hydrogrn and ardour

his problem is he is still hearing the default synth plugin. There could be many reasons why that is, one is the general midi synth is not calibrated, the other is multiple things regarding midi channels being used across tracks… I don’t think he’s ready to connect advanced jack-transport things just yet.

The info is there, it involves some reading and trial and error so its up to him/her

I got it
Connect synth software from a2j to ardour tracks, and connect midi keyboard from output, to ardour same ardour input track.
Select the bypass option in the ardour mixer, to get only synth feedback