Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

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cfrancesmusic
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Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby cfrancesmusic » Thu Sep 19, 2019 1:49 pm

Hi everyone,

I've been toiling away trying to get my new setup working. I have a Yamaha keyboard with MIDI output, Reaper, Qsynth and QjackCtl. I also use a USB Audio interface which has two Jack/XLR inputs. I also use a USB-midi cable from the keyboard to my computer.

So far I usually run Jack with the USB audio interface as the "Interface" in QjackCtl.

Basically, I am struggling to get my midi controller to show up in Carla and/or use it in Reaper. I have successfully followed some of guidance here: http://tedfelix.com/linux/linux-midi.html and can hear my keyboard in Qsynth. The midi input also registers in Reaper when connected, so I know the MIDI input is actually making it through to my laptop.

But now I just can't work out the final step to actually use the keyboard in Reaper (and Carla). :?: :?: :?:

All thoughts and questions welcome.
Cheers!

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:14 pm

Can you post a screenshot of the "Connect" window of Qjackctl? The "Alsa" tab should show your midi stuff and the "Audio" tab should show your audio hardware and software. You should properly connect those.

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Digital Larry
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby Digital Larry » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:29 pm

I haven't tried Carla but I've used Claudia and she seems not to know about ALSA MIDI devices so I wind up making those connections using QJackCtl. Maybe I am missing something?

cfrancesmusic
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby cfrancesmusic » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:27 pm

Hiya,
Yup, I'm going away for a week tomorrow, but will post some Screenshots of the elements when I'm back!

cfrancesmusic
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby cfrancesmusic » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:41 pm

Hi!
So this is what I see when I open Carla and turn on Jack. I have also included a screenshot of the set-up for both Jack and Carla. My Yamaha keyboard is on and connected via USB midi (that's the UM-ONE port).

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing
(I couldn't upload images as they were always too large, even when compressed)

When I connect everything up, Carla still doesn't register the Midi input (even when it's connected).

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:15 pm

I'm having trouble to exactly understand what you want to do (= my bad). You have a Yamaha Midi keyboard that you want to use in Reaper? Is it the Windows version of Reaper, or the Linux one. Why do you use Carla? To connect your hardware keyboard to a virtual VST synthesizer?

Anyway, I see in the screenshots that you probably started Jack w/ support for "Jack Midi". I always start Jack and "tell Jack to use Alsa's Midi" (i don't know how to explain that properly). Confusing isn't it, that alsa Midi and Jack Midi stuff? However, I can also see that you started Carla with Jack audio but Alsa Midi. That ain't gonna work. I always start Jack via the command line before i start Qjackctl (which also can start Jack, but I find it's configuration screen confusing):

Code: Select all

jackd -d alsa --device hw:1

That is, if the number of your (USB) audio device is 1. This will start Jack w/ Alsa Midi. Determine the number of your audio card with the command:

Code: Select all

cat /proc/asound/cards


Linux appears to name your Yamaha Midi keyboard the "UM-One" which actually is the Roland branded cable (link) that you use to "convert" 5-pin DIN Midi to USB Midi. I cannot see in the screenshorts of Carla or Qjackctl any (Midi aware) VST instrument to which you can connect said keyboard. So what exactly do you want?

cfrancesmusic
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby cfrancesmusic » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:18 pm

No that's fair, I haven't articulated myself very well.

I'd like two things out of this:

1) to be able to play my keyboard as a midi keyboard, record directly into Reaper and be able to edit notes after the fact in Reaper.

2) Use the keyboard as a midi controller for controlling virtual instruments (VSTi?) in Carla. To be fair I am only trying to intergrate Carla at this point as it has such good reviews for being able to support lots of different types of plugins. I'm guessing you can also just do this directly through reapers fx tab without going via Carla.

So far I haven't worked out how to do either of the above with my set-up. A lot of the time Reaper refuses to acknowledge the midi input even when it is connected via Jack Ctl.

Linuxmusician01 wrote:I'm having trouble to exactly understand what you want to do (= my bad). You have a Yamaha Midi keyboard that you want to use in Reaper? Is it the Windows version of Reaper, or the Linux one. Why do you use Carla? To connect your hardware keyboard to a virtual VST synthesizer?


I am using the Linux version of Reaper.

I have played around using Jack or Alsa midi support and Alsa seems to work best. Intuitively the "seq" instead of "raw" or "none" option in Jack seems to work best as well? Does this mean I should be using the MIDI or ALSA tab in Jack Connections? I also have Cadence (which came with the Carla package) that has "Jack Bridges" as options. Not sure if these are useful though... They create a separate connection option called a2j...

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:20 am

cfrancesmusic wrote:No that's fair, I haven't articulated myself very well.

I'd like two things out of this:

1) to be able to play my keyboard as a midi keyboard, record directly into Reaper and be able to edit notes after the fact in Reaper.

2) Use the keyboard as a midi controller for controlling virtual instruments (VSTi?) in Carla. To be fair I am only trying to intergrate Carla at this point as it has such good reviews for being able to support lots of different types of plugins. I'm guessing you can also just do this directly through reapers fx tab without going via Carla.

So far I haven't worked out how to do either of the above with my set-up. A lot of the time Reaper refuses to acknowledge the midi input even when it is connected via Jack Ctl.

Linuxmusician01 wrote:I'm having trouble to exactly understand what you want to do (= my bad). You have a Yamaha Midi keyboard that you want to use in Reaper? Is it the Windows version of Reaper, or the Linux one. Why do you use Carla? To connect your hardware keyboard to a virtual VST synthesizer?


I am using the Linux version of Reaper.

I have played around using Jack or Alsa midi support and Alsa seems to work best. Intuitively the "seq" instead of "raw" or "none" option in Jack seems to work best as well? Does this mean I should be using the MIDI or ALSA tab in Jack Connections? I also have Cadence (which came with the Carla package) that has "Jack Bridges" as options. Not sure if these are useful though... They create a separate connection option called a2j...

I understand what you want now. :)

I never play a Midi keyboard to record the midi notes in my DAW (that's what you want), and I don't use Reaper. But a lot of other people do. So I'm convinced that they'll help you out w/ that. If not, I hope that there's a Reaper forum around...

Your problems are the "standard" problems people have w/ DAW's and Midi in any OS and w/ Linux in particular. Let me explain something 'bout that in general. After that you might be able to solve your probs by yourself or I might give it a try. The way I see it is as follows and it is by NO means the proper or right formal way to see it. NOR is it complete.

There are "plugins" for DAW's. They can be effects (e.g. delay) or instruments (e.g. a Minimoog synthesizer "emulator"). The most used plugin format in the world is VST from Steinberg (or VSTi for an instrument). However, one can compile the source code in which a VST is written to Linux or Windows. For Windows the VST code then results in a dynamic link library: a .dll file. For Linux that results in a shared object library: an .so file.

Some DAW's support VST's, some don't. Reaper supports VST's. Native Linux Reaper supports Linux VST's, the Windows version of Reaper supports Windows VST's. Sounds logical doesn't it? Not a lot of companies and free programmers compile their VST's to the Linux format. If you've got a VST, 99% chance that it's a Windows one. So bummer for us Linuxers, right?

Well, not so. To make Windows VST's usable to Linuxers there is "bridging" software. We can use Carla (has a graphical user interface) or LinVST (is best when compiled from source code). Now how does that work in the practical sense: Carla to bridge your favorite (Win) VST to Linux? Carla will "present" itself to your DAW as a plugin that your DAW actually does recognize! Like:
  • a Linux VST
  • an LADSPA plugin
  • a LV2 plugin (dunno for sure if Carla does this...)

In Linux Reaper you must look for the "Linux VST version of Carla". This plugin is located on my Linux PC in: /usr/lib/vst/carla.vst/. You must tell Linux Reaper to search for plugins (read: Linux VST's!) in that path. Do that in Linux Reaper via: "Options > Preferences > (left-hand list) Plugins > VST > (right-hand panel) VST plugin path > Edit > Add". Now you can use Carla as if it was a Windows VST. When the Carla window opens you can add/use your favorite Windows VST in Carla.

How to use Carla is a separate story all together. This might be why some Linuxers use the Windows version of Reaper instead of the native Linux version...

Now what about all that Jack and Alsa Midi: seq, raw, none. There are two ways of using Midi in Linux: via Jack or via ALSA. Confusingly (or better: conveniently) Jack can also use ALSA's midi implementation. Alsa has a secret code word for Midi: it's "sequencer" or seq for short. What "raw" is: I down't know. Probably Jack's Midi. If you use the command line method to start Jack that I gave you in my post above then Jack is started w/ it's default options. That is: with Alsa seq Midi.

Now what about all those cryptic tabs in the "Connect" windows of Qjackctl. "Audio" means exactly what it says: you can connect audio in- and output signals there. Like the output of your DAW to the audio input of your computer system (i.e. your speakers). The "Midi" tab means Jack Midi. The "Alsa" tab means Alsa Midi. That's the one you want.

I think that's enough lessons for the day, Grasshopper.

Good luck! :)

P.S. More caveats to be explained when there is a need for it:
  • 32 bit VST's versus 64 bit VST's and how to use them
  • Connect Midi and Audio outputs to inputs via Qjackctl
  • Use LinVST instead of Carla
  • Use LinVST w/ 32 bit VST's
  • Use Qtractor instead of commercial (Windows) DAW's
  • Use Audacity w/ effect plugins for quick 'n' dirty multi track recording
Last edited by Linuxmusician01 on Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.

merlyn
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Re: Carla, Jack and Midi (ALSA?)

Postby merlyn » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:31 pm

@cfrancesmusic : You can make connections in the Carla patchbay window. Click on the red port labelled 'UM-ONE' and drag -- a wire will come out. Now connect the wire to Carla 'midi-in'.


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