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2021-09-02 - play midi on linux
i've been doing more midi related things lately. here is how i play midi on linux.
audio group. ensure your user is a part of the audio group first. to add yourself to that group, run usermod:
install a soundfont. the only soundfont file format i'm aware of is the `.sf2` format. you can try random .sf2 files from online, but i like freepats the most.
freepats arch package
install timidity++. timidity++ is used to emulate midi hardware.
arch timidity++ package
update timidity++ config. once timidity is installed, add your .sf2 file path to the timidity config file:
install alsa-utils. midi hardware support is actually built into the linux kernel, but we need a binary the alsa project maintains that interacts with the built in midi support:
arch alsa-utils package
emulate midi hardware. this command tells timidity to act as midi hardware for alsa:
play midi. use the alsa utility to connect to the emulated hardware and play the midi file.
if you have a midi output device, you can actually skip most of these steps and just run aplaymidi!
some links that helped me understand this process:
arch midi guide
arch timidity guide
ted's midi guide