timidity++: Miracle of miracles, again

Seems like I’ve been fighting to play back midi tunes of any sort, for years now. My most recent attempt with pmidi failed abysmally, and to be honest I had resigned myself to a state of midi-challenged.

All that changed this afternoon.

2014-05-27-jk7h5f1-timidity-01 2014-05-27-jk7h5f1-timidity-02

I’m having incredible luck with intractable software this year. First mutt, then slrn, and now timidity++. I better buy a lottery ticket. 😯 :mrgreen:

Even better, timidity++ greeted me with a snazzy ncurses interface that has almost everything I look for in an application, except color … unless you count the graphical spectrogram. But I’m willing to overlook monochromatics, since timidity++ actually plays back music — as in, the vibrations that go in my ears and tickle my brain.

Surprise, surprise. The only embarrassing part was that my speakers were turned to the max setting in every direction, which drew some attention from people around me. 😳

All that can be brushed aside, since this is my first successful attempt to get anything audio out of a midi arrangement. And it sounds quite good.

Just as a note to future self, I installed timidity++ and the timidity-freepats packages out of the Arch repos, copied /etc/timidity-freepats.cfg to /etc/timidity.cfg, and started up the timidity service with sudo systemctl start timidity. In other words, I followed the instructions in the Arch wiki. 🙄

Why this works now and hasn’t with other software in the past is a mystery for later. I’m pleased for once to have gotten music out of a midi program. I haven’t been this proud of an audio accomplishment since I milked Revolution Void from the ISA-based hardware in a 120Mhz machine. Those were the days. … 😀

5 thoughts on “timidity++: Miracle of miracles, again

  1. darkstarsword

    My guess as to why this one worked for you and others didn’t is that this one does software synthesis of MIDI, whereas most of them either don’t do software synthesis at all, or need extra packages and special configuration to enable it. MIDI isn’t really intended for that purpose – it’s a standard way to communicate with musical instruments, either to record the notes being played on an instrument or to have the instrument play back the recorded notes later. Your speakers do not count as an instrument.

    What I’m saying is that most MIDI software would expect an instrument like an electronic keyboard to be plugged in to work, but thanks to a popular MIDI software synthesizer shipped with Microsoft Windows most people don’t quite realise what the format is actually all about.

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      I think you’re probably right. Most everything I’ve seen with midi falls flat, except for this. If there’s something else out there that will synthesize through software, I’ll have to hunt it down and see if it works as well. Thanks for the lead. 😉

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