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Re: midi software

David Stern wrote:
> On Wed, 1 Oct 1997, Timothy Phan wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> >   I'm in the middle of learning to play keyboard/piano.  I'd like to
> >   know if there is any MIDI software on Linux that can help me.
> >
> >   I've AWE32 soundblaster card.  I'd like to know what driver do I
> >   need.  Currently,  my Debian/Linux box can not play any sound and
> >   I guessed that I do not have the driver for the soundcard.  So, I
> >   would like to know how do I go about install the driver.
> >
> >   Thanks!
> First you need to get sound working, then you can see about midi progs.
> To get sound working,..
>  If you have the non-Plug-n-Play, you should be able to just compile
>  sound into your kernel.  (might need the awedrv kernel patch, below)

	Do get the AWE patch.  Be advised that the debian installation
scripts do not actually apply the patch (from deselect, e.g.)-- you will
have to run the script in /usr/src/awedrv manually before recompiling 
your kernel.

>  If you have the Plug n Play version of the awe32, you can either..
>    get the commercial OSS Commercial driver for $20 (a five day free

	They price is actually $30 if you include the $10 (50% !) markup 
for AWE suport.

>    trial) at some web address I forget, something like
>    www.4front-tech.com, (and then you're all done, no patches) or..
[ ...recompile kernel ]
> I don't have a keyboard recently, so I haven't got any tips on programs
> that would interest you.  Try a search for 'rose' and 'octave' in
> dselect, though.
	My current favorite source of sound software links is:


	The page, like Linux, is more for the technician than the musician, so 
don't expect to find a lot of instructional software.

Some bad news:

1) Only a tiny fraction of the available sound software has been
for Debian, partially because:

2) Sound applications for Linux have much lower ratio of free software
commercial or restricted software than you might be used to.  Many are
ports from other unices, especially Irix and NextStep.  The licences
to be of the "academic" and/or "free until you need it for a commercial
purpose, whereupon it will cost you plenty" type.  A lot of this
software is also really

3) The AWE driver written by Takashi Iwai does not, as far as I can
support the OSS API (e.g.: playmidi and jazz do not work when configured
to use 
"external midi" and OSS/Free, respectively).  I haven't been able to
figure out
whether or not OSS/Free will fully suport the AWE driver in future
releases.  I have heard that support is included in version of OSS/Free 
distributed in the current development kernels, but I was under the
that this support amounted only to the inclusion of Takashi's driver.  I
have the latest word on any of this, though.  Does anyone else have
rumors to
share?  Has anyone used the AWE drivers newer than 0.3.3c?  Do the OSS
have an NDA with Creative Labs?
	Programs that use the OSS midi API will all have to be altered to use
your card.  There are fixes available for some software (plymidi,
but no debian packages of the patched programs are available. 

	No offense to Takashi Iwai is meant here-- quite the contrary.  That
he managed to write a driver based on what little information was
available is
pretty amazing.

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