Linux MIDI: A Brief Survey, Part 2
In its fundamental aspects, MusE resembles Rosegarden and many other audio/MIDI sequencers. However, Werner Schweer, MusE's chief designer, has decided to remove the program's music notation interface, branching those facilities off into his MuseScore music notation program. MusE will continue to improve its audio and MIDI support, but from at least version 0.7 on there is no music notation interface in MusE. Thus, if notation is unnecessary for your work, MusE should suit your needs perfectly.
Basic operations are similar to working with Rosegarden. However, MusE plays a little more nicely with ALSA and JACK, allowing external utilities to be used for managing device connections (Figure 3). MusE also is well designed for synchronization possibilities, supporting MMC and performance synchronization by MIDI clock, MTC and the JACK transport control interface. MusE can be configured as either the master transport controller or a slave to incoming control signals in any of its supported formats.
MusE's audio capabilities include support for LADSPA plugins as well as a native softsynth plugin interface--MESS, the MusE Experimental Soft Synth. Although the MESS API has not been used beyond MusE itself, it is a promising interface. You can see an example in Figure 4, a screenshot showing off Alin Weiller's DeicsOnze, a DX11/TX81Z emulator running as a native MusE softsynth.
Seq24 is unique. It is a MIDI-only sequencer with no audio support, and its design philosophy resembles that of popular hardware sequencers such as the Kawai Q80 and the Alesis MMT8. A key feature of seq24 is its intended aim as a performance-oriented composition tool, with special attention given to its loop recording and playback capabilities.
You can loop record in real time from a MIDI keyboard, a virtual keyboard (see Figure 5) or the mouse drawing tool. Autoquantization can be applied to start-time and duration, so your efforts can sound better than your technique. Many editing operations are usable in real time, such as cut/copy/paste and pattern relocation, and a variety of keyboard controls are available for combining patterns in interesting ways during playback.
In some ways, seq24 also reminds me of the venerable Dr. T's KCS, a keyboard-controlled sequencer for the Commodore C64 that packed an amazing amount of power into 64 kilobytes of memory space. The KCS performance controls made the most of the machine's limited resources by triggering sequences from the computer or MIDI keyboard as needed, rather than keeping them in memory as an arrangement of linear tracks. seq24's performance controls similarly are the key to using the program to its fullest, letting the user combine and recombine sequence loops in imaginative ways.
seq24 is lean software, focused on doing a few tasks and doing them well. Programmer Rob Buse refers to seq24 as a simple program, and it is, but you still need to take a few minutes to study the SEQ24 text in the source package to acquaint yourself with the program's keyboard controls. seq24's simplicity conceals an excellent pattern-based real-time MIDI sequencer that's powerful live performance software and just plain great fun.
Jazz++ has an interesting history. It originally was developed as cross-platform commercial software for Windows and Linux, with a GUI based on what then was known as wxWindows. At some point, its developers decided to open the Jazz++ source code and distribute the program under the GPL.
Jazz++ was the first Linux audio/MIDI sequencer. It also was designed with various experimental features, a consideration I find musically thoughtful in software design. The wxWindows graphics were used well in interfaces for randomizing pitches, velocities and controller curves, but alas, interest in Gtk and Qt proved to be powerful competition.
Nevertheless, wxWidgets (as wxWindows now is known) has evolved into an attractive and powerful graphics toolkit, and a new group of programmers has taken up the evolution of JazzPlusPlus, updating the program's interface to the more modern toolkit. Binaries are not available yet, and the source code currently is available only in CVS.
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide