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I installed Virtual MIDI Keyboard (vmpk) using apt-get install. I also have Jack control and Qsynth installed. When I open vmpk, I cannot hear the sound coming from it. How can I do the setting to let the sound come out?

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Have you wired the midi-out of vmpk to the midi-in of qsynth in your Jack Control Connections window? And the audio-out of Qsynth to your soundcard? – daithib8 Apr 10 '11 at 19:03
I can see vmpk on Jack control but when I try to open qsynth while running Jack control, qsynth says "Failed to create the audio driver (jack)" and "fluidsynth: error: Faimed to connect to Jack server." – sawa Apr 10 '11 at 19:13
can you start the jack server? Sometimes the jack server won't start unless there is another program such as alsasynth already running. I haven't used vmpk so Ican't help otherwise – daithib8 Apr 10 '11 at 19:52
Jack starts okay. But qsynth has the problem. Thanks anyway. – sawa Apr 10 '11 at 20:05
up vote 10 down vote accepted

vmpk is a virtual MIDI Master keyboard, and does not produce any sound. To generate sound, you must

  • connect the MIDI output from vmpk to the MIDI input of some tone generator (e.g. qsynth). If you then
  • connect the audio output from the tone generator to the audio input for your monitors,

you should hear some sounds.

In your specific situation, where you want to use vmpk, qsynth, and jack control, I would recommend the following procedure to generate audio based on virtual keystrokes:

  1. Install the "patchage" and "fluid-soundfont-gm" packages
  2. Open Jack Control
  3. Review JACK configuration to ensure it is attached to your preferred audio interface
  4. Start JACK (the big play button)
  5. Open Patchage
  6. Open vmpk
  7. Open Qsynth
  8. In patchage, connect vmpk MIDI out to Qsynth MIDI in
  9. In patchage, connect Qsynth audio out to your audio interface (both left and right channels)
  10. In Qsynth, load a soundfont from /usr/share/sounds/sf2/FluidR3_GM.sf2
  11. Virtually press any key in vmpk to hear sound

Although the specific tools in use differ slightly, you may find the guidance at Ubuntu Wiki helpful. The primary difference is that you will be using a virtual keyboard rather than a physical keyboard, but patchage should not be able to tell the difference.

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for jack install jackd, so a useful command: sudo apt-get install jackd patchage vmpk qsynth – Regisz Jan 24 '15 at 21:15
As running APT with install qsynth will automatically detect jackd as dependency and install it, there is no need to specify it. – syntaxerror Aug 5 '15 at 8:32

An alternative solution:

In Qsynth:

MIDI tab: Enable MIDI Input box checked
ALSA Sequencer Client ID: Qsynth1
Audio tab: Audio driver: alsa
Soundfonts tab: SFID 1; Name /usr/share/sounds/sf2/FluidR3_GM.sf2; Offset 0


-->Edit -->Connections: "Enable Thru on MIDI Output" checked
Input MIDI Connection <blank>
Output MIDI Connection FLUID Synth (Qsynth1):0
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worked for me! Simply elegant! – Stefano Mtangoo Nov 2 '13 at 23:39
Also, make sure to run QSynth via qsynth -a alsa, otherwise it will default to JACK. – syntaxerror Aug 5 '15 at 17:38

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