What am I missing with midi?

I’ve been trying to get midi to work unsuccessfully but I think I’m getting close so maybe someone can point me in the right direction. I’ve read all kinds of online docs & watched tons of youtube videos but still no go. I’ve got a MAudio Audioplhile 2496 with a Yamaha KX88 keyboard controller & I can’t get any midi to record using Jack. Using Alsa I can record midi but it’s ridiculously delayed & skips notes. If I just use Alsa & the reasonable synth then midi seems to record OK but I can’t change the sound. Everything I play into it sounds like I’m playing a bass. I also can’t figure how to get the recorded midi to play through my external synth. Are the any beginner midi tutorials for Ardour that actually show you how to do it from start to end?
I really want to record with Ardour especially now that I finally got the audio working right.

I guess you do have buffer under/overruns due to the USB devices on a default system. Check the x-run counter and DSP load top-right in Ardour’s status bar.

What Audio/MIDI settings do you use?

Yep, reasonable synth is just a simple, basic piano-like sound.
You can select the instrument when you create the track or later change the synth-plugin in the Mixer.
Ardour from http://ardour.org/download also comes with a general-midi synth. That is usually a good start (and also default if it’s available). Other than that, perhaps check out http://linuxsynths.com/

PS. Ardour/ALSA does perform better and more reliable than JACK for both audio and MIDI. In general you only need JACK when you want to route audio or MIDI between applications.

Thanks for the reply,
I’ll work on it some more & hopefully get it in the end. I’m sure it’s easy once you know how to do it but everything is just trial & error at this point.