Looking for EWI performance setup

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steve68
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Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by steve68 »

Hi there,
i'd like to set up a system whereby I can play my akai ewi 4000s through my computer using some software synths in a performance context. I'm not interested in music recording or production. I'm a sax player, and as I get older, I'm having some jaw issues, and I'd just like to use EWI as a main instrument.

I'm using linuxmint 21, I have carla, yabridge, wine, cadence, and a widi master (bluetooth midi). I can get a synth into carla and play using the mouse keyboard on the screen, but I don't know how to control this with my ewi. I've messed around with cadence, but I can't seem to figure out how to connect things so that the ewi inputs to carla and then out through the sound card.

Is anyone doing this already? I could really use some help setting it up. I have experience with linux, having used mint, ubuntu, puppy, etc over the last 20 years.

Thanks in advance!

BobUnderwood
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by BobUnderwood »

Hello,

I have no experience with the EWI 4000s but it looks like an interesting device.
https://cdn.inmusicbrands.com/akai/ewi- ... b86d99.pdf

Could you share what hardware you're using - computer, interfaces, amplifier?

How have you tried to hook it up and how is it going wrong?

steve68
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by steve68 »

Thanks for the reply.

The machine's a Dell Latitude 5410, Linux Mint 21.3 Cinnamon, kernel 6.5.0-42-lowlatency, processor Intel© Core™ i5-10310U CPU @ 1.70GHz × 4.

Code: Select all

**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC3204 Analog [ALC3204 Analog]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 7: HDMI 1 [HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 8: HDMI 2 [HDMI 2]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

I have carla, and a software synth (TyrellN6 3.0.0) I'd like to try. when I try to add it as a plugin, i get "Cannot add new plugins while engine is stopped." I see a menu item "Engine," and that dropdown offers an "Engine Start" option. clicking on that yields, "Could not connect to Audio backend 'JACK with ALSA-MIDI', possible reasons:
RtApiJack::startStream(): error determining available JACK output ports!"

And that's where I am right now. I have Cadence to manage JACK; that screen looks thus:

Let me know what other info I can post. Thanks again!

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sunrat
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by sunrat »

Do you have a2jmidid installed and running?

steve68
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by steve68 »

I have it installed; don't think it was already running as I was able to start it from the terminal. I imagine there's some other program that takes care of that like Cadence or Qjackctl?

anyway- after starting it, got same result. Here's what Catia says things look like:

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BobUnderwood
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by BobUnderwood »

Could you post the result of

Code: Select all

inxi -A

How do you have the EWI connected to the computer?

Last edited by BobUnderwood on Sun Jul 14, 2024 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sunrat
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by sunrat »

I don't use Cadence or Catia but I would have thought it would show in the ALSA MIDI JACK bridge in Cadence.
I don't have any devices connected except for the MIDI port in my soundcard but it shows on Qjackctl like this:

qjackctl-a2jmidid.png
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steve68
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by steve68 »

BobUnderwood wrote: Sun Jul 14, 2024 3:40 am

Could you post the result of

Code: Select all

inxi -A

How do you have the EWI connected to the computer?

Code: Select all

Audio:
  Device-1: Intel Comet Lake PCH-LP cAVS driver: snd_hda_intel
  Device-2: USB MIDI Interface type: USB driver: snd-usb-audio
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k6.5.0-42-lowlatency running: yes
  Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.20 running: yes
  Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.99.1 running: yes
  Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.48 running: yes

EWI's connected via wired MIDI-USB interface, although once i get up and running, i'd like to use a wireless WIDI master.

BobUnderwood
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by BobUnderwood »

Looks like Cadence starts a2jmidid when you start JACK.

I'd like to keep it simple for now. Do you have any stand-alone (not plug-in) synthesizers installed? If not, install Yoshimi (should be in the Mint repositories).

steve68
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by steve68 »

I have yoshimi installed.

BobUnderwood
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by BobUnderwood »

Open Yoshimi, set it to use JACK.

Connect Yoshimi audio out to playback_1 and playback_2
Click-drag from source to target

Connect USB MIDI Interface MIDI 1 (right-side) to Yoshimi midi-in

Give it a go...

steve68
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by steve68 »

ok, so I started yoshimi, went to Yoshimi>Settings>Jack, and clicked "Set as preferred audio." i can hear notes when I play the keyboard, so it appears to be working. The connection between yoshimi LR and playback_1/2 was made automatically.

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BobUnderwood
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by BobUnderwood »

Fire up the EWI interface

Connect USB MIDI Interface MIDI 1 (right-side) to Yoshimi input

steve68
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by steve68 »

ok, i can hear notes, but there's a pronounced echo. the echo also occurs when playing the virtual keyboard, which it wasn't doing before.

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BobUnderwood
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Re: Looking for EWI performance setup

Post by BobUnderwood »

Excellent! Notes are good. I'm glad it's working.

I suspect the echo is from the EWI changing Yoshimi's patch.

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