Music Keyboard for TamTam?

Gary C Martin gary at
Mon Dec 1 00:16:00 EST 2008

On 1 Dec 2008, at 04:01, Gary C Martin wrote:

> On 30 Nov 2008, at 22:16, Erik Garrison wrote:
>> On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 12:20 AM, Gary C Martin
>> <gary at> wrote:
>>> On 30 Nov 2008, at 01:29, Erik Garrison wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 8:23 AM,  <pgf at> wrote:
>>>>> ignacio wrote:
>>>>>> On Mon, 2008-11-17 at 04:24 +0000, Gary C Martin wrote:
>>>>>>> On a more disappointing note I found this ticket "G1G1 tamtam
>>>>>>> suite
>>>>>>> should respond to MIDI keyboard input" from 10 months ago.
>>>>>>> Closed.
>>>>>>> Wont fix :-(
>>>>>> All "wontfix" means is that they're waiting for someone with a
>>>>>> stronger
>>>>>> itch to scratch it ;)
>>>>> i really have no idea how such devices are normally presented to
>>>>> the systems, but is it possible that the keyboard is consists of
>>>>> more than one USB device (i.e., via a built-in hub) and that not
>>>>> all the drivers are present on the XO?
>>>> FWIW, The M-audio systems abide by open midi specifications and are
>>>> platform-independent.  I don't know about the driver situation.
>>>> There is a program which can be used to dump midi signals to  
>>>> stdout.
>>>> It might be a good test as it's very simple to configure and its
>>>> results are very clear, unlike the audio programs you'll want to
>>>> use.
>>> ... and it's called??? Gah! ;-)
> Just for reference, after connecting the USB Midi keyboard amidi -l
> gives me:
> [olpc at xo-0C-E6-BB ~]$ amidi -l
> Dir Device    Name
> IO  hw:1,0,0  Keystation 49e MIDI 1
>> I'm not at an XO or my development machine now, but looked around the
>> web to try to find some information to help.
>> See:
> Will go read.
>> Does the system have a /dev/midi* when you plug the device in?
> Yep, I get a /dev/midi1
>> Do you see anything interesting in the kernel logs returned with
>> dmesg?
>> Unfortunately our kernel configs aren't online anywhere i can find...
>> but I'll check to see if it's enabled.  My guess would be not, but
>> perhaps I'm mistaken.
>>> I'm trying to hack my way through coding csound, but I've not had
>>> much time
>>> to play so far. A magic midi data dumping tool would be a nice
>>> shortcut to
>>> test – FWIW, I can see my M-audio correctly listed on the USB as an
>>> available MIDI input device, but not got any further yet.
>> Perhaps cat /dev/midi*  if the file(s) exist.
> Fab, yes, cat/dev/midi1 gives me wild ascii characters each time I
> press a key, looks like both note and velocity (this particular
> keyboard doesn't emit pressure but I have another one somewhere that
> does), also other controls (volume, pitch blend & modulation) trigger
> comms.
> I'd say the drivers are good to go, and I need to get back to reading
> csound documentation and try a demo to pickup the incoming midi feed.

OK, really boring but working example (XO 8.2-767):

1) Plug in your USB MIDI input device

2) In terminal run "amidi -l" it should list something like:

    Dir Device    Name
    IO  hw:1,0,0  Keystation 49e MIDI 1

3) Make a file bells.csd, it MUST be called <some_such_or_other>.csd,  
that alone wasted hours of my life :-( here's a what should go in it,  
the one thing to watch is the -M hw:1,0,0 as this is the option that  
tells csound which midi device to listen to, if "amidi -l" shows your  
MIDI device with a different reference, use that instead:

-odac -M hw:1,0,0
instr 1
idec = 1
iamp ampmidi 32767
kfrq cpsmidib 2
kenv expsegr 1, idec, 0.1, 0.1, 0.01
asig oscili  kenv*iamp, kfrq, 1
    out asig
f0 36000
f1 0 16384 10 1

4) Then again in console run:

	csound bells.csd

5) Start pressing keys and make beautiful music, see I said it wasn't  
too exciting, but nice to get this far :-) The XO speakers don't do  
very well below middle C (with this instrument), but it's a start.

So... hardware/kernel/driver all working in 8.2-767. MIDI input is now  
demoted to just ;-) a client software side feature for the TamTam  
activities. I'll do a little more csound reading on the python side  
and try to hack on TamTamMini, will ping the list if I make useful  


>> Erik
> Many thanks,
> --Gary
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