Subject: Re: midi and spiralsynth
To: Ben Collver <>
From: Dave <>
List: tech-pkg
Date: 04/24/2005 02:32:22
On Sat, 23 Apr 2005, Ben Collver wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 28, 2005 at 12:05:05AM -0800, Dave wrote:
> > This patch did allow the midi keyboard to be used.  Using /dev/rmidi* was
> > also necessary.  However, now SpiralSynth is intolerably slow (about 1
> > second response time).
> Hi Dave,
> My brother gave me a MIDI interface for my birthday, and now I am able
> to test some of this stuff at home again.

An interface or a controller keyboard?  Interfaces are commonly found with
old-style joystick ports.

> Would you try:
> 	pkg_delete spiralsynth
> 	cd pkgsrc/audio/spiralsynth
> 	rm patches/patch-an
> 	make mps
> 	make patch
> Then apply the patch again:
> --- Synth.C.orig        2005-01-27 21:22:26.000000000 -0800
> +++ Synth.C     2005-01-27 21:27:14.000000000 -0800
> @@ -82,6 +82,7 @@
>         LoadPatch(1);
>         MidiDevice::Get()->SetDeviceName(SpiralInfo::MIDIFILE);
> +       MidiDevice::Get()->PackUpAndGoHome();
>  }
>  Synth::~Synth()
> Then install and see if it works better?

Hmm, it appears that this patch is applied already with the included patch
set.  Should I re-apply what was in patch-an?

> At home I get a delay, but it is less than 1 second and there is no
> difference between the delay on the PC keyboard and the delay on the
> MIDI keyboard.

That still is rather untolerable

> I think SpiralSynth on NetBSD may just be unsuitable for playing MIDI
> input in real time.  You might be interested in audio/csound4.  It has a
> steep learning curve, but the language is more powerful than the
> SpiralSynth GUI, and it is more responsive to MIDI input.

I'm familiar with old-timey analogue synthesizers.  That may give me an
edge up against csound4.  Last time I tried it, I couldn't figure out how
to even get it started.

Frustrated with not being able to use softsynths on NetBSD, I turned to
tinkering with homebrewed synthesizers using microcontrollers.  Check out for some nifty stuff.  There you'll find plans and
discussion on midi controllers as well as two synths.  One uses
Commodore's SID chip (up to four can be ganged together in one chassis).
The other uses the Yamaha OPL3 set.  There's discussion on making one
based on the Atari Pokey.  The plans are exceedingly simple: single-sided
circuit boards measuring a couple inches on a side.  The user interface
can be anything from computer-controlled (a java app) to a full rackmount
chassis with lots of knobs and switches.

David Griffith