Flutterby™! : Linux = MIDI Nirvana

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Linux = MIDI Nirvana

2007-11-12 00:01:08.906756+00 by meuon 0 comments

I recently put Ubuntu Studio on my HP zd7000 laptop and was amazed at the array of musical/midi tools and software. Enough that when I saw a fair price on an Axiom 61 USB MIDI Controller (aka a Keyboard.. or "Surface") I bought it. It came with a CD with Windows software (Ableton Live) so I fired up WinXP, installed the latest drivers from the web, installed Ableton, and just could not get it to work. It seems to not want to recognize the keyboard as a MIDI input. Ableton sucked at figuring out what was wrong, so I downloaded MIDI-OX which promptly said: No Midi Inputs Available. I screwed with WinXP for a while and figured I might just have a bad keyboard, this should have "just worked".

Boot Ubuntu Studio. Start JackD, Started ZynAddSubFX and patch the Axiom 61 magically listed in "available midi inputs" into ZynAddSubFX (which I had played with pre-real-keyboard, it has a virtual keyboard) and start playing. Oh, what fun, lots of sounds.. weird adjustments.. play a few tunes, realize I have forgotten what little I knew.

Start up: hydrogen the drum machine for Linux. Patch the Axiom 61 to it via Jack. The drum pads on the keyboard work, and I can make some drum loops.. play sounds on the keyboard. Nirvana.

I need to tweak some to get Rosegarden working, seems FluidSynth and JackD are bumping into each other.. but what a fun rush. The dangerous part is it's addictive, I can literally play for hours and hours just for fun. And Linux just blew off WinXP's USB ports and drivers thanks to some incredible Linux coders that make things that just work.

[ related topics: Free Software Music Microsoft Open Source Software Engineering Work, productivity and environment ]

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