New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

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illphate
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New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by illphate »

Hello! So, I just got into MIDI on Windows, and just barely started to understand VST's and plugins, and then Windows died on me and got corrupted so I lost everything. Everything! It was just the kick I needed to come back to Linux and stay with it. So... Much like learning VST's on Windows... What works for Linux? I know they have their own special extension, or maybe some VST's still work? So let me break down my problems in a more organized way:

1. Once I have a DAW, where can I get (preferably) free MIDI samples to create music? Once I do that, how do I actually make it work? Use certain racks or plugins, because they don't just work on their own, right? This is where I had trouble on Windows. Some things used Kontact, others had to have something else to run it. I had a bunch of VST's but could barely figure out how to make them work.

2. If I use Reaper (for example) and find some free samples etc. online. How do I know what rack or plugin or w/e to run to make my new (hopefully) free sounds work in order for me to use them to create stuff?

3. Is there a prayer of things just working without having to set up JACK? From messing around with Reaper and LMMS, I have used some of their simple sounds to create some stuff and it seems to work fine without configuring anything. Did I get lucky or is JACK for completely unrelated stuff?

Thanks for all your help. All the questions I just asked, I actually read, and read, and read, but unfortunately, I don't understand any better than I did before I read about it :( I need some intensive help. If there is a YouTube video or something you're familiar with that will walk me through this as well, that's appreciated.
merlyn
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Re: New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by merlyn »

1. On Linux popular formats for free samples are .sf2 and .sfz, known as soundfonts. Search for 'free soundfonts'.

2. Soundfont players include sfizz and fluidsynth

3. You don't need JACK. If LMMS works it works. :D
The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that we make it, and could just as easily make it differently.
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TAERSH
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Re: New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by TAERSH »

To get some good help, I think you should decide what Audio-MIDI Sequencer to use. Reaper is very different to LMMS is very differerent to Ardour is very different to Qtractor etc. :wink:
illphate
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Re: New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by illphate »

merlyn wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 2:24 pm 1. On Linux popular formats for free samples are .sf2 and .sfz, known as soundfonts. Search for 'free soundfonts'.

2. Soundfont players include sfizz and fluidsynth

3. You don't need JACK. If LMMS works it works. :D
Awesome. Thank you!
illphate
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Re: New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by illphate »

TAERSH wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:06 pm To get some good help, I think you should decide what Audio-MIDI Sequencer to use. Reaper is very different to LMMS is very differerent to Ardour is very different to Qtractor etc. :wink:
Thanks!. Nice tunes also!
Death
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Re: New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by Death »

1. Midi isn't sound, midi is just a set of instructions for a midi instrument to use. In it's most basic form, midi is just a recording of key presses on a keyboard. So when you load up a soft synth for example, you would press a key on your midi keyboard and that would send a midi instruction to the soft synth, the soft synth would then make a sound. Midi is the recording of those key presses. Make sense?

There's sites all over the net where you can download audio and midi samples, though I can't recommend any because I make my own sounds instead.

There are two main types of plugins - instruments/generators & effects. instruments/generators generate sounds which are sent to whatever mixer track you assign them to. Effects add effects to these sounds. Effect plugins must be placed on mixer tracks.

There are many plugin formats such as VST, VST2, VST3, Linux VST, LV2, AU etc.. Some are for Windows, some for Mac and some for Linux. You can look up which formats each OS uses. If you're using Linux and using a Linux native DAW then you'll want to stick to Linux format plugins. Although, it is possible to run some Windows plugins on Linux but I think you're best off avoiding that subject for now.

2. If you want to play audio samples in your DAW, you'll probably want a 'sampler' which is just an instrument/generator that plays audio files. A drum machine, for example, is a type of sampler because it plays drum audio samples. Most DAWs have a sampler built in so you probably won't need to download one.

In most DAWs, you can just drop an audio file straight onto a playlist track and it should work. This is one way of doing it. The other way is to load it into the sampler directly.

3. I would just forget about Jack for now and come back to it at a later date. Most DAWs should work fine without it. Infact, some DAWs won't work with it in my experience (Bitwig studio, for example). But then there's Qtractor which I think might actually require it. Aside from those, it should not be a problem.

I hope that helps?
Gps
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Re: New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by Gps »

I agree to about anything written above my reply.

If your new to Linux, the best tip might be to forget about jack for now.
Jack makes things more complicated.

I am using LMMS on Linux (openSUSE) and just use the default sound system which is pulse audio.

This kinda works out of the box, not much if any setup needed.

Jack might be better, but its also more complicated.

About VST, you can use on Linux, windows VST, which most of the time are .dll files.
You need to install wine though, for the vst to work.

LMMS might not be the best daw on Linux, but its probably the easiest one to learn.

I am using LMMS for years now, and how fair is it to complain about a free program?
Although LMMS comes with plugins, I am sometimes a bit jealous when I see people using cubase or fruity loops on windows.

Most of the time though, I can do what they do, but its more work in LMMS.
If you want to record live music, LMMS is probably not the best choice.

LMMS can't record audio, although you can record audo with audacity and then import that track into LMMS.

LMMS does not need jack, but you can use jack if you want to.
tavasti
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Re: New to MIDI and Linux. I'm Dying! :(

Post by tavasti »

Gps wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 6:39 pm LMMS might not be the best daw on Linux, but its probably the easiest one to learn.
In addition, setting up it is easy. Install from package, and start using. Having basic samples and plugins included.

Only bigger thing missing is ability to record and edit audio. Sure, that can be handled with audacity, and then using recorded clip in LMMS.
Linux veteran & Novice musician

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