hopefully simple question about connections

Audio, MIDI and other software, not including effects or instruments
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JW
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Joined: 05 Sep 2014, 09:15

hopefully simple question about connections

Post by JW » 05 Sep 2014, 11:40

Hi, I am trying a very simple setup on a laptop (MacBook Air running 10.7). I have installed the softsynth ZynAddSubFX and connected it to the system audio output using Jack Audio. I can control the synth from the laptop keyboard, and I hear it fine through my monitors, via an Apogee Duet audio interface.

The problem is in connecting via midi. My external keyboard that I want to use to control the softsynth is routed through an Mbox2. In OSX's AudioMidi setup, I can see the Mbox2 as an available midi device, but I cannot see ZynAddSubFX to connect it. In the MIDI tab of Jack Audio's "connections" window, I can see ZynAddSubFX as a writable client, but the Mbox 2 (nor anything else) doesn't appear in the "readable clients" pane. So I have no way to connect the two.

Could anyone help me to troubleshoot this? My external keyboard is connected to the Mbox2 correctly but there are no indicator lights when I press the keys--should there be? It's been a long time since I used that unit.

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G
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Re: hopefully simple question about connections

Post by G » 05 Sep 2014, 23:57

Have you checked preferences in ZynAddSubFX to see if it sets MIDI input from there? Since your Mbox2 is showing up in Audio MIDI Setup, it may be available to ZynAddSubFX already.
MacBook Pro 15" (2016) . UA Apollo x6 + Quad . macOS Catalina . Logic Pro X . TwistedWave . FCPX . PS CC . Affinity Suite . Get Info

JW
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Re: hopefully simple question about connections

Post by JW » 08 Sep 2014, 06:45

Thanks G. All you can do in ZynAddSubFX is change the MIDI channel, you can't select the input device. But it turns out there was another step I had to do with the Jack server: before starting qjackctl, which lets you make the connections, I should have started the Jack server using JackPilot, where you have a chance to enable MIDI in Jack before starting the Jack server. It works properly now--except while all other audio is routed correctly through the Apogee Duet 2, audio from ZynAdSubFX is now just going to my laptop speaker. In Jack connections ZynAddSubFX is sent to system Audio, and in my sound preferences the output device is set correctly to Duet. So I don't know what's happening now to make the synth come out of my laptop speakers (the other day audio was working correctly but not MIDI, now it's the other way around), but I'll have another round of investigations.

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G
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Re: hopefully simple question about connections

Post by G » 08 Sep 2014, 12:35

Holy moly. Good luck! If you do get everything working perfectly, please let us know how. ZynAddSubFX looks interesting (I wasn't aware of its history).
MacBook Pro 15" (2016) . UA Apollo x6 + Quad . macOS Catalina . Logic Pro X . TwistedWave . FCPX . PS CC . Affinity Suite . Get Info

JW
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Joined: 05 Sep 2014, 09:15

Re: hopefully simple question about connections

Post by JW » 08 Sep 2014, 17:55

Ok, it works. There was an extra field in the Jack Audio preferences I hadn't seen that I needed to set in order to route the audio properly. ZynAddSubFX is actually a really good softsynth, it's extremely configurable, and it's completely microtunable which is what I needed it for. The only hassle is that it seems to require Jack Audio, which is a little complicated. There are two apps, JackPilot and qjackctl which both need to be configured properly--but now that it's done, it sounds awesome.

nbd
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Re: hopefully simple question about connections

Post by nbd » 09 Jan 2015, 13:32

Hi, could you share here what you needed to do? Maybe it will help someone else.

I got audio working, but my problem is the MIDI. I'm trying to figure out how to send MIDI from Logic Pro X to Zyn, but can't just figure it out. I was able to do it with Ardour so there is at least one working setup.

I thought the MIDI would just work out of the box since it is using CoreMIDI-to-JACK-MIDI bridge (0.90). JackPilot and QJackCtl both see those internal midi ports and I have connected them, but don't understand how to route midi from Logic and no success from vmpk either (Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard)

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