Hello, everyone!

It's hard to form a user friendly subject, but the first word is the key:
I'm introducing myself to this list. Also joined the other lists (bugs,
dev).

Note: this post became quite long. At first there is a lot of background
info, not requesting feedback for those chapters. And in case you want
details of my equipment or links to web/IG/Twitter/Youtube, feel free to
ask directly. I don't consider it cool to spam about it here right away.
Rosegarden technical talk / issues in the end.

I'm over 40, from Finland and started using MIDI hardware in early 90's
with Amiga 500 and OctaMED 4 tracker. On PC I started using jeskola buzz
tracker around 2000, which I still use when needed (just made a remix to be
released later into the spring). Also done more music on Android phone
(Caustic 3). I still have the Amiga with MIDI-interface, also C64 but I
haven't used the C64  for music production, yet. I haven't made money with
my music, and I don't have a budget, but I've managed to build a studio for
electronic music. Major milestone was the purchase of my first real studio
mixer in the autumn 2016. And now, in February 2019 I've got what I call
"ready for work" studio. The focus is shifted to the computer and software.
I never picked up DAWs, either for lack of time, creativity or money for
Windows software or devotion for Linux and its software. Now I have had
Ubuntu Studio for years in my studio-to-be, but only now it was time for a
completely fresh install of Ubuntu Studio 18.04.

I got two M-Audio Delta 1010LT cards, which seems to be a common
configuration (or has been). I'm only using one card for audio, but the
MIDI ports of both. This works really well. At one point I really wanted to
make them one virtual card, and I was able to run it for a while with
glitches - though the MIDI ports were not available. I haven't found info
on how to deal with MIDI on aggregate devices. Most likely I will have USB
MIDI interface(s) later on.

I really wanted to use Ardour, but I don't see its MIDI highly usable. It
is usable, to a certain degree. Too many problems for me, starting from
MIDI latency corresponding to audio latency. I don't know if there's a way
out of it, but there are other issues so I don't really care. Too much
stuck on notes. Slow GUI. Programming velocities... no "ruler".

I had tried Rosegarden long time ago, but I thought the audio tracks are a
problem (really simple support and narrow waveform view). I tried even
running Ardour and Rosegarden synced but it just didn't work well. Could be
partially because of my old computer with several times upgraded Ubuntu
Studio, or my lack of knowledge with JACK. After seeing the Ardour
problems, I became more interested in Rosegarden again, to get things done.
My first tests this year: I saw MIDI going through through Rosegarden
without delay, recording audio and MIDI at the same time worked fine and
all the new and old tracks played back in perfect sync - no calibration or
tweaks required! Out of the box! It must have been one of the best moments
in my studio :)  That raised a question if I really need that much features
from audio tracks? Well, I do, like plugin automation, but let's start with
the basics. Multi track recording and playback works fine. The next step is
to see if Qtractor works better for me, but I'm really interested in seeing
rg developing and if my time permits, testing and reporting problems.


* Rosegarden technical stuff - what I've experienced with rg 17.12.1 /
Ubuntu Studio 18.04.
I'm writing here first, because I took a look at bug tracker and the rules
and found out that it helps to have a longer history with rg, knowing the
terminology and even previous related fixes. The rules are ok, logical. No
use to post about bug that has been posted etc. What I'm looking here is
experienced users that may have a word on the issues I've met. If I don't
have the time for proper bug report, then I don't.

1. Play MIDI keyboard through rg track and switch to another track - the
NOTE OFFs are lost (notes on the MIDI channel of the first track are stuck
ON).

2. Program change and CC (most notably pan and volume) are sent sometimes
even though not programmed into segments. I haven't found out the logic
when they are sent, but when that occurs I see it like this:  Yamaha V50 is
playing sounds that were muted in the performance or they are routed to
wrong outputs (L and R outputs are used for having a dry and effected group
via mixer, and I confirmed from the user manual that in the performance
mode CC PAN is received). I am pretty sure I get away with these when I
*do* explicitly set the volume and pan and program in the track / sequence
(unless there are bugs related to rewinding CCs or stg).

3. Sometimes when I've record the keyboard, the sounds I play back are
louder than when recording. I haven't touched the MIDI mixer. It could be
channel volume CC, but as I haven't had MIDI monitor I can't tell. It has
happened on two different synths so far. The note velocities are recorded
correctly. The synth sound volumes do not indicate a change in the panel
(maybe there are separate "channel main volume" and CC volume). Switching
the performance program to something else and back resets the channel
volumes to default.

4. Boss Dr-550 does "M er" at times (MIDI error, received something bad),
and during that display it doesn't do anything. Have to press stop on the
unit to clear the error. A fix would be filtering out everything except
NOTE ON, as the unit doesn't listen to anything else (apart from MIDI
start/stop/continue/clock). -> an application running MIDI plugins,
connected after rg?

5. Yamaha V50 sometimes says "MIDI buffer full!", and I haven't seen a
logical reason for this. Surely there is MIDI data coming in, but where is
it from and what, that is unclear. Could be multi channel CC too quickly
and a too small MIDI buffer in the synth. I haven't seen that causing
problems with playing.

6. Matrix editor zooming from the bottom right corner using a regular
scroll wheel is sometimes cumbersome. H or V zoom levels are not reflected
to the combined zoom roller -> it has its own memory of zoom level. I'm not
sure if it's supposed to continue form where the H/V zoom was left or
always force 1:1, but it is a bit cumbersome.

7. Positive: comprehensive settings for MIDI sync! I can turn sending the
sync off. Say, I want to record some live audio, with sounds from Korg
Volca Bass. I can hit record and nothing unwanted happens, I just play the
keyboard and everything is fine. When I try the same in Qtractor, the Korg
starts playing its pattern, because a MIDI start and clock is sent. Didn't
find a way to turn it off in there.

8. Positive: rg is stable and runs well in my Core 2 Duo @ 2 GHz, 2 GB RAM.
I had a Quad core 6 GB RAM set up, but it started acting up before I got
anything to do, so this is a backup for now. I lost a week for the fresher
computer and trying to make it work. I had three motherboards and three
PSU's. Later on I deducted the problem is that the CPU has gone bad due to
the original failing PSU. Interestingly, it only runs on that failing PSU
(giving undervoltage by my measurements).

9. The scores, notation! Most likely I will need to print out notes to
someone later. Experimenting scores after I've done something worth of
"making notes of" :)


What I might want in rg:

* Per track / per channel MIDI OUT filter could be useful. In short: MIDI
out plugins.

* Settings to disable sending pan/cc. etc from the track parameters. I did
take a look at a few CC bugs and it really can get complicated. It is also
a question, if everything should be set correctly at the rg side, matching
to what was intended with the synthesizer settings. It may be a question of
getting used to certain workflow. Might be as simple as doing the settings
and saving a template (which I've done, but not to the degree of pan
controls, because my synths generally don't have pannable sounds, but here
we are...). Many different synths give many things to learn :)

Best regards and huge thanks!

-- 
Sami Jumppanen
http://netti.nic.fi/some-e
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