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New and a couple questions

Hi all.
I was finally able to install and work Qtractor. I watched the tutorials by Phil (if you're reading here, nice tunes, Yas) and checked the manual, even not extensively.
I have a question. I was trying to follow the part of the manual where it's written about the bach_inventions MIDI track by simonetto.
I loaded the track in Qtractor, chose Calf fluidsynth to try playing the track, but I cannot set up any bank.
If I click on the button there's no banks available.

Another question. Before to install Qtractor, I downloaded and installed Jackd2, I'm on Linux Ubuntu 16.04LTS and have a low latency kernel installed.
I had Qjackctl when using Ardour but I removed it.
I notice that when I start Qtractor, jack starts as well. The problem is when I quit Qtractor the system slowed down and the fan is running non stop.
I checked and I saw jackdbus continues even after the daw it's been closed. Is there a way for which when one quits Qtractor, jackdbus stops?

I'm coming from Ardour, is a great daw but doesn't feature MIDI. I record audio as first thing but I cannot think somebody in the world doesn't use at least one single MIDI track to record a keyboard, or a orchestra or whatever it is. So it's useless for me, or half-useless. Or half-useful, depends on where's the sighting point.

rncbc's picture

re. bach_inventions MIDI track by simonetto...

i dunno what you're talking about... but if is remotely related to Calf Fluidsynth LV2 plugin, and if you're referring to a GM soundfont/sf2, you'll be better off inserting it to an MIDI output bus (eg. MIDI Master) than making it on a MIDI track, which would only render to one MIDI channel aka. one soundfont instrument/patch/preset.

once you do that, maybe you can just import a whole multi-track/channel MIDI standard file arrangement composition and hear and behold!... :)

re. quits Qtractor, [do] jackdbus stops?

let me say this way: jackdbus is NOT the same as jackd.

a. having jackdbus running on your system does NOT imply that the JACK-Audio-Server is actually taking control or owns your audio soundcard ever.

b. jackdbus is somewhat as a service controller that listens when a JACK service or client applications asks for the, yeah, JACK infrastructure (server) to be up and running, and if it's not, then it starts it automatically (via d-bus facilities of course).

c. jackd is the classic and (old?) standard way to start the JACK service or server, which is usually done via the good old and traditional shell/command line way, something that qjackctl excels in doing for ages.

d. badass JACK die-hards, like me, often rely on the so called JACK1 implementation--that said, JACK1 is stubbornly stuck to the jackd command line interface, de tout couer! quite unfortunately, n00bies have been faced to the hellish and confusing JACK2 implementation which offers both the jackdbus _and_ the jackd interface for you to get in trouble with.

Anyway, although there's a chance that you may get things out of control with jackdbus, eventually i say, with (badass) jackd you probably won't. sorry if this come so bluntly as it sounds.

however, most in particular regarding to jack+pulseaudio co-existence, then you'll probably have a thorny path to walk over yet, if you go with the badass stance ;)

cheers && thanks

Thank you for the answer, Rui.
Actualy I'm very, very new to all this, and I'm trying to understand midi and all this stuff since a very short time, so don't get surprised if I ask silly questions.
Talking about my midi try, the track I wrote above is here:
I don't understand all the rest you wrote.
I opened up Qtractor, imported the "JS Bach, Invention in 1c minor etc etc", double clicked on the track, chose Plugins tab, added LV2 Calf fluidsynth, and closed the track properties window.
In the MIDI/Instrument part of the window I have Channel 1 - Calf fluidsynth - bank selection method NORMAL (in the options there are MSB bank, LSB bank, Patch) - Bank: 0 - Program: 8
The Programs window is plenty of numbers, the Bank window isn't selectable. There's only 0.
In the message window on the bottom there's written fluidsynth: warning: No preset found on channel 0 [bank=0 prog=7]
I haven't touched anything else, so I don't know if I have to setup something before to play the sample track.
In the connection window, I have this devices:
I've tried to connect everything but it didn't work.

About jackdbus: it sounds arabic to me. Lol
I start Qtractor directly, I don't start jack also because I removed Qjackctl from the system. But earlier I quit Qtractor, stopped and killed jackdbus process, tried to start again Qtractor (after sometime), and it freezed up. Didn't open. So I've tried open Ardour which has jack incorporated, and it started. I checked in the system monitor and I saw the jackdbus had started.
I downloaded and installed Jackd2 because I've read it's for multi core processors. I have a intel quad core i5 2.30GHz so I downloaded that.

rncbc's picture

remember that you'll have to load a SoundFont2 file (*.sf2) into Calf FluidSynth plugin anyway, otherwise it plays nothing! for that you'll have to use the plugin's GUI for sure!.


rncbc's picture

... it's for multi core processors.

jackd2, formerly known as jackdmp ("mp" for multi-processing), actually takes advantage of multi-core processors but there's a catch that you didn't read it through all the way down: it only has an edge on MP when you have parallel signal paths; for that you'll need at least two client applications, fed with same input signal and their outputs must not be connected to any of either; in that case, each of those client applications may run in true parallel fashion, each one running on each cpu-core, provided there's more than one suitable and available.

if you're only running jack applications in straight sequential signal-flow, one after the other, which are the vast majority of life cases, there's no marginal nor single advantage in having jackd2 over jackd1 whatsoever. not even if you're in a thousand-core, machine if that matters :).


Hi Rui, how silly: yesterday I loaded calf fluidsynth but I haven't loaded any soundfonts. So the V meters were moving, but I couldn't hear anything.
Anyways I tried today and it works fine.
There's one thing not working properly: as I said, I start Qtractor without touching jack and it starts automatically when I open Qtractor.
The problem is when I quit Qtractor I see jackdbus continuing working (I hear the fans not stopping and the higher temperature).
If I open Qtractor again, I have a error message window saying:

the audio/MIDI engine cannot get started

Be sure that audio JACK server (jackd) and/or ALSA sequencer kernel module (snd-seq-midi) are up and running, then restart the session.

But the jackd is actually running. I checked in the system monitor and the process is up and running.
I tried the same with Ardour and even if I quit a session and open it again, it works.
Could you check it out?
Thank you

rncbc's picture

this said "engine" is about internal, under the hood, qtractor's engine.

whenever this message is shown, you can please carry on with normal business in qtractor: later, it will try to recover or restart itself as soon you hit any transport controls or you open a new session for that matter.

otoh. ardour does not "incorporate" jackd whatsoever. it just happens that, when jackd is not currently working, it presents you with a qjackctl-like interface for you to start it on its own. quite frankly i find this interface design as one of a typical egoistical behavior... but, nevermind, ardour's prime author is also the one who gave us jack in the first place, so let's stop whining about that kind of treat ;P


Thank you for the explanations, Rui. Actually after having received that message I cannot do anything else because whatever I do the app doesn't produce any sound.
Anyway today I formatted the computer because there was some problem I didn't know, so I preferred to start from scratch.
One thing you should explain to me: I'm putting back everything, soundfonts, plugins, and so on. I tried again to import that "Bach temlplate...", I've chose the usual calf fluidsynth and a grand piano plugin, or some other. But I can hear the sound only through the computer speakers.
I checked the connections and in the MIDI windows I have this situation:

readable clients/out | writable clients/in
14:MidiThrough / 14:MidiThrough
20:FastTrack Pro / 20:FastTrack Pro
128:Qtractor / 128:Qtractor

How the hell do I have to connect the INs and OUTs? I tried everyting but I cannot hear any sound through the soundcard

rncbc's picture

now it's me who is confused :)

you say you "can hear the sound only through the computer speakers" but "cannot hear any sound through the soundcard" ? aren't the computer speakers physically connected to the soundcard? so, what gives?

otoh. when you play a MIDI file and drive in through a MIDI instrument plugin like Calf Fluidsynth, the thing you get on output is the rendered audio signal produced by the instrument plugin; you only have to connect qtractor's (master) audio output bus to the system soundcard / speakers to get the audible sound into your ears; you don't need to connect any MIDI in or out whatsoever, coz all that is handled internally in sequencer, can you understand?

hope so.

Yes Rui, sorry I haven't been precise. I have a laptop and with "computer speakers" I mean the internal speakers. And yes, without connecting anything in the connections window, I only hear the sound out of the computer speakers. But any connection I tried in the connection windows, I always hear the sound through the computer speakers and never out of the soundcard. It's strange because before formatting everything I was able to hear the sound through the soundcard. But I don't remember how everything was connected.

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