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MIDI és un conjunt de tecnologies relacionades amb la descripció i transmissió de dades musicals, però no és un format d'àudio digital. Per utilitzar la majoria de programari MIDI a Linux, com en qualsevol altre sistema operatiu, es requereix disposar d'un sintetitzador MIDI.

Un sintetitzador MIDI converteix els esdeveniments MIDI en so. El sintetitzador pot ser un dispositiu de maquinari extern o integrat en una targeta de so. També pot ser un sintetitzador per programari, és a dir, un programa.

Hi ha fitxers MIDI amb l'extensió .MID, amb música en format de dades MIDI. Una manera d'explicar-ho és en termes culinaris. Escoltar música en un disc compacte és similar a dinar en un restaurant, i MP3 seria comparable al menjar ràpid. A més, un fitxer MIDI és com una recepta: Cal aconseguir els ingredients adequats i usar els estris de cuina. En comptes de forn, olles i paelles utilitzarà sintetitzadors MIDI. Igual que qualsevol usuari de Linux, haureu de canviar la recepta i els ingredients. Llavors, feu-ho! A KMid podeu obrir la finestra «canals» i canviar el piano per a una guitarra o el que sigui que preferiu.

Sintetitzadors MIDI externs

These are musical instruments that can be connected to the computer, or to other instruments through MIDI cables. To do this, your computer must have a MIDI interface. There are sound cards with MIDI interfaces, and also USB adapters supported by ALSA with the corresponding kernel module. There are even MIDI instruments that can be connected directly to your computer via USB. In any case, you should check that the MIDI interface model is supported by ALSA at the ALSA project site

In summary, this option will need:

  • MIDI Interface
  • ALSA Driver for the MIDI interface
  • MIDI Cables

Targetes de so amb maquinari sintetitzador

Some sound cards, such as the ones manufactured by Creative Labs (SB AWE, Sound Blaster Live! and Audigy) have a MIDI synthesizer using wave-table sound samples as a synthesis method. These samples are being loaded into the sound card before using MIDI software, preferably at system boot. If you own one of these cards:

  • In addition to ALSA, also install the software package awesfx which includes the sound samples loader, ALSA scripts and udev rules to automatically load on system boot.
  • Install SoundFont files provided by the manufacturer or other alternative SF2 files in /usr/share/sounds/sf2.
  • Edit the configuration file /etc/sysconfig/sound. On the value for the key SOUNDFONT_FILES, provide the name of one or several SF2 files that must be loaded on system startup. The file names and locations may vary from one distribution to another, these instructions apply to openSUSE.

SoundFont filescan also be loaded manually. Read the manual of asfxload for more information.

Sintetitzadors per programari

The classic software synthesizer for Linux is TiMidity++, but the latest release is from 2004. It requires sound samples in GUS or SF2 format. It can be used independently as a player, but if you want to use it in conjunction with other ALSA sequencer compatible programs, you must provide the "-iA" option, for example:

timidity -iA

Another software synthesizer, with modern and modular design and active maintenance is FluidSynth. It uses sound samples in SF2 format, and has a friendly graphic interface called QSynth. You can also run it from the command line, for example:

fluidsynth -a alsa /usr/share/sound/sf2/soundfont.sf2

o bé:

fluidsynth -a pulseaudio /usr/share/sound/sf2/soundfont.sf2

The graphical configuration of QSynth is quite simple. See the following example screenshots.

Fitxers SoundFont

These files represent the fish, meat and vegetables in your MIDI recipe. Here are some recommendations.

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