How to Get Rosegarden MIDI/timidity++ Sound/Audio Working on Fedora Linux

There are some great Rosegarden tutorials on the Internet and even some specifically dedicated to making sound using Rosegarden, e.g. this sourceforge tutorial.

Of course, the simplest way of getting sound out of Rosegarden is just to export your composition to a MIDI file, then to use timidity++ (or another suitable MIDI synthesiser) to play it.

The next simplest way is simply to provide Rosegarden with a MIDI daemon to use to make sound through. This can be achieved by running timidity++ before starting Rosegarden:

timidity -iA

then start Rosegarden in the usual way. The above command works on Fedora 8, 9, 12 and 13, maybe on 10 and 11 (but not when I last tried.) See below for the specifics of making rosegarden and timidity play nicely on the various Fedoras.

On Fedora 14 and 15, the following approach works and has proved reliable for the last few years :) Create a new KDE application icon called, say, Rosegarden with Timidity. Use the 'Advanced' button to make KDE run a command in a shell, then choose an icon, perhaps with a rose on it. Put the following command into the Application/Command and Work Path fields:

rosegarden & (sleep 10; timidity -iA -Oj)

I have no information about Fedora 16. Please email if you have tried it (and succeeded!)

On Fedora 17 (fc17), the above commands no longer work, even if you have all the *jack* packages installed, so what follows will tell you how to get Rosegarden making sound under fc17. Thanks to Hans de Heode of RedHat for assistance.

I am assuming:
  1. That you're using Fedora Core 17 (FC17) with SELinux disabled.
  2. That you have an Internet connection so that you can use yum.
  3. That you are using KDE V4.x, since Rosegarden is a KDE application.
  4. That you do not have a sound card that supports MIDI directly (because most of us don't).

First install all the right packages:

yum install rosegarden* timidity* *soundfont*
Then, make sure that all your users are in the audio group using the User and Groups tool, or, for each user:
su -
usermod -G audio -a username
Note that you will need to logout (completely) and re-login again before you are in the audio group. Type
in order to check that you are in the audio group. If you are not, you will have to timidity as root, which is a bit naughty.

Start timidity like so:

timidity -iA &
That provides some ALSA ports for Rosegarden to use.
Then start rosegarden:
Click on Studio->Manage MIDI Devices, and point the General MIDI Device in rosegarden to Timidity Port 0 (Write) as per the picture below.
Rosegarden MIDI set-up with timidity

After that, rosegarden sound will simply come out through PulseAudio which is what everybody wants, really, nowadays. The Rosegarden packages still insist on havign jackd installed, but you don't actually have to use it :)

Make a new Link to Application in KDE and include the following command under Properties->Application->Command:

timidity -iA & rosegarden; pkill timidity
Choose the nice yellow rose icon (if you like). The above commands in the KDE icon/application will run timidity and rosegarden in parallel, and then kill off the timidity after you exit rosegarden. Easy.

Please send any improvements to this guide to dwlegg a t gmail d o t com.

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Examples of Rosegarden files and MIDI files on this site: Father of Mercies Immortal Honours Our God, Our Help in Ages Past

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