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Virtual MIDI Keyboard in Ubuntu

By admin | October 4, 2009

On Windows, you could find many freeware virtual piano software. But on Linux, you have no such easy setup or such choice. There are two major pieces virtual piano software - they are Virtual Keyboard and Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard.

Virtual Keyboard

Virtual Keyboard

Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard

Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard

You should be sure you have your sound card proper set before you start this - i.e. make sure you can play a file in Totem or something.

To install Virtual Keyboard:

sudo apt-get install vkeybd

To install Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard (download vmpk.deb to /tmp first):

sudo dpkg --install /tmp/vmpk.deb

After you have chosen one (or both) of the above, install the remaining dependencies:

sudo apt-get install qjackctl zynaddsubfx

After you have installed everything, run the following and restart your computer:

sudo su -c 'echo @audio - rtprio 99 >> /etc/security/limits.conf'
sudo su -c 'echo @audio - memlock 250000 >> /etc/security/limits.conf'
sudo su -c 'echo @audio - nice -10 >> /etc/security/limits.conf'

After restarting, open the JACK control center (Applications >> Sound & Video >> JACK Control), and start the JACK server. Once it is started, click the Connect button at the lower left corner. Start ZynAddSubFx and Virtual Keyboard/Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard and go back to the JACK control center, select Connect, then the ALSA tab. Connect the Virtual Keyboard/VMPK on the left to your sound card and the ZynAddSubFx. Connect your sound card on the left to the right. The result should look something like this:

JACK audio connecitons

JACK audio connecitons

After that is complete, go back to Virtual Keyboard/Virtual MIDI Piano Keyboard and click on a few piano keys. Enjoy!

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Topics: Linux | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Virtual MIDI Keyboard in Ubuntu”

  1. Motin Says:
    October 25th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Ubuntu package of latest VMPK is now available in the following ppa:

  2. someone Says:
    January 15th, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    hi i cant set up jack control
    i have ubuntu 9.10 and i installed the audio package of ubuntu studio.

    can you help me?

    no email please

  3. Se6 Says:
    January 18th, 2010 at 5:24 am

    To make it work under 9.10, in the setup of Jack control, unselect the Realtime option (unless you installed a realtime kernel). Also add yourself to the group audio if not already done.