Create music with Rosegarden in Linux? Impossible.

I’m annoyed. I’ve spent the whole evening tinkering with Rosegarden and after four hours I still haven’t managed to connect a MIDI note to a sound! Has anyone used this before? As a nerd, I feel insulted when I can’t master an application after so many hours of googling, configuring, and tweaking. I just want to learn very basic (or so I thought) things like selecting a number of wave files and play them as sounds on a virtual keyboard/synth, and specify the velocity, pitch, sustain, etc. on each note. It really shouldn’t be this hard to get the thing to work. I want something like Reason or FruityLoops, but on Linux.

I grew up with a Roland W-30 with a sampler/sequencer, built-in low-pass filters and an Alesis QuadraVerb Plus. That’s about what I want to do: play samples (.wav files) in a sequencer, and apply effects such as echo on them. Can Rosegarden do that? Then please tell me how because I’m completely lost!

In Rosegarden, I was able to create notes, define its velocity and stuff like that. In other words, I was able to use the sequencer. But I simply could not connect these notes to an actual sound, except for MIDI sounds such as “Grand Piano”, etc (which btw didn’t sound at all; completely mute). There was the possibility to load a sound wave by dropping it on a track, but that’s not what I want since the MIDI events were still disconnected from that sound file. What I want is to select a .wav file to be played using MIDI notes and events, with the ability to pass the sound through filters and effects that can be controlled through control events as well (to allow filters to change over time, for example). I read about synth plugins, but I couldn’t figure out how to load any. I tried to load one of the sample songs “Children”, but it complained about XSynth not being loaded. I’m suspecting this is part of the reason why I couldn’t get this to work.

Maybe I’m ignorant, but I thought most musicians did the same simple thing, at the very least: selected a good sound (drum, base, some flute, or whatever), played it using different notes using a sequencer, and then processed the sound through different effects (echo, filter, etc), but appearantly Rosegarden seems to deal with just sequencing MIDI events, then it’s up to plugins to actually generate any sounds from the notes played. Plugins that are hard to configure and are nowhere to be found. Just for the record, I have been reading up on Wikipedia about things like JACK, LADSPA, DSSI, and other relevant bits required to connect this Lego-like framework.

Looks like I’ll have to resort to Windows and proprietary software after all. 😦

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