[linux-audio-user] soft synth manager gui

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Subject: [linux-audio-user] soft synth manager gui
From: Chris Cannam (cannam_AT_all-day-breakfast.com)
Date: Fri Dec 20 2002 - 18:08:50 EET

A number of people using the Rosegarden sequencer for MIDI (myself
included) are principally using it to drive ALSA soft synths such
as iiwusynth or timidity. Unlike (say) MusE, which allows you to
start and stop soft synths from the sequencer itself, Rosegarden
treats soft synths just like any other MIDI device: it knows
nothing special about them except the name that ALSA returns.
It's the user's responsibility to start and stop synths and ensure
that the right patches and so forth are available.

This makes for quite a bit of flexibility, but means that the
average user who runs a small number of synths but changes the
patch sets (soundfonts or whatever) frequently has a little bit
of a management problem in ensuring that the correct setup for a
given composition is always available.

What I imagine would be useful is a generic probably-GUI-driven app
that simply starts and stops soft synths, particularly synths that
are driven using the ALSA MIDI API, that output to JACK, and that
might not have GUIs of their own (admittedly the only one of those
I can think of right now is iiwusynth, but I'm sure there are others
and even if you only use iiwusynth you could have any number of
different soundfont configurations). As well as starting and
stopping synths on command, it might be able to store and recall a
selection of multi-synth studio setups of the user's design. It'd
be particularly neat if the soft-synth manager could itself be
driven remotely through some sort of MIDI control event.

Is there such a thing as this? (Anyone feel like writing one?) Is
there any other way of arranging synths and suchlike so that this
sort of application is not actually necessary, assuming that we want
to maintain the current arrangement where Rosegarden does not take
responsibility for running the synths itself?


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