Play piano with a MIDI Keyboard and Linux

Play the piano with a MIDI keyboard

So you bought a MIDI keyboard and just want to play the piano? An easy way to start is using a Linux distribution which is optimized for audio production.

Install Ubuntu Studio

  • Download Ubuntu Studio and install it: https://ubuntustudio.org/
  • Start Ubuntu Studio

Configure your sound card

  • Start Studio Controls
  • Check if JACK status is running

If JACK is not running properly (increasing X-runs)

  • Choose JACK Master Device for PCI cards (onboard)
  • Choose “Device that should be master” for USB audio devices
  • Set JACK Sample Rate (The higher the better for latency)
  • Set JACK Buffer Size (The lower the better for latency)
  • Set JACK Periods to 2 for PCI and 3 for USB cards, (The lower the better for latency)
  • Hit “Start or Restart JACK”

There must be no “X-runs” after starting JACK.

Connect hardware and software

  • Start Carla

  • Press the “Plus” Symbol and navigate to “/usr/share/sounds/sf2”
  • Double click on default-GM.sf2 or another sound font of your choice until a plugin appears
  • Click on “Patchbay”
  • Connect your MIDI Keyboard with the red “events-in” connector from your sound font
  • Connect “out-left” and “out-right” from you your sound font with “system playback_1” and “system playback_2”
  • Play some notes on your keyboard

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