Mike Wilson's Blog

I was a MA/MST student at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Accoustics.

This is my weblog.

Click here for my main page.


I will be playing at CCRMA's Transitions concert on the 28th.  I'm
slowly working on my piece.  I've switched sequencers from Rosegarden
to MusE.  I couldn't get the MIDI thru routing to switch instruments
in Rosegarden, and that, coupled with how it wouldn't maintain my MIDI
device settings, made it very onorus to use in my composition
workflow.  Too much behavior has changed since last release; maybe the
next one will be something I can use again.  MIDI export also seems to
be broken in this version (note durations sometimes extend to many
times what they should be in exported files), so it was difficult to
move my project over.  But I got it there eventually.

MusE sequencer seems like it doesn't try to do so many things behind
the scenes, which is much better for what I'm trying to do.  The two
things I immediately miss are being able to resize notes just by
dragging the ends in the piano roll (instead you have to select the
eraser, then ctrl-right click) and "previewing" notes by selecting
them in the piano roll (I haven't been able to find out if this is an
option; so far it doesn't seem to be available).  The latter is
espeicially useful for me since I don't have absolute pitch, but I can
deal with not having it.  The former will just take a little getting
used to.

MusE also crashed once and my project got corrupted.  And overall CPU
usage seems higher.  But that's all the bad stuff.  The good stuf:

1) It has auto-backup so I was immediately able to recover my
corrupted project!

2) Setting up my synthesizer as a MIDI device was straightforward, and
all the settings were maintained across saving and loading.

3) MusE uses Jack MIDI, which I just started using in my synthesizer.
Timings should be much tighter now.

4) No "extra" MIDI events flying around.  It's just doing what I tell
it to, which I appreciate a great deal.

5) Most importantly, I can actually work on the piece now.

The great and terrible things about Linux audio (and perhaps Linux in
general) are choice and change.  People will direct projects in many
different ways, sometimes in the way you want, and sometimes in some
other way.  But often there are other choices which may suit your
needs better.  And a great thing about open-source is that you can
generally go back to an older configuration if you really need to and
are willing to spend the time setting things up.

I'm still going to try to write my own sequencer someday.  But in the
meantime I'm glad that there are multiple mature projects that I can
use for making music.

email mwilson@alumni.caltech.edu
Disclaimer: the views herein are my own and do not represent the views of Stanford University. All material copyright Michael J. Wilson.