Setting Up MIDI

What Can Ardour Do With MIDI?

MIDI is a way to describe musical performances and to control music hardware and software.

Ardour can import and record MIDI data, and perform a variety of editing operations on it. Furthermore, MIDI can be used to control various functions of Ardour.

MIDI Handling Frameworks

MIDI input and output for Ardour are handled by the same "engine" that handles audio input and output. Up to release 3.5, that means that all MIDI I/O takes place via JACK. JACK itself uses the native MIDI support of the operating system to receive and send MIDI data. The native MIDI support provides device drivers for MIDI hardware and libraries needed by software applications that want to work with MIDI.

CoreMIDI is the standard MIDI framework on OSX systems.
ALSA MIDI is the standard MIDI framework on Linux systems.

On Linux systems, QJackCtl control software displays ALSA MIDI ports under its "ALSA" tab (it does not currently display CoreMIDI ports). By contrast, JACK MIDI ports show up under the MIDI tab in QJackCtl.

JACK MIDI Configuration

By default, JACK will not automatically detect and use existing MIDI ports on your system. You must choose one of several ways of bridging between the native MIDI frameworks (e.g. CoreMIDI or ALSA) and JACK MIDI, as described in the sections below.

This chapter covers the following topics: