Before you start

Before you start with rosegarden. Be sure you have gone trough the documentations how to get jackd running smoothly. That is the technical part that has to be in place so rosegarden can work as it should.

I recommend that you get installed a Real Time kernel, this way you get better latency on jack, and you will not experience to much lag on the softsynth when you are playing.

How to make the midi and audio record work

To make only the midi to work in Linux, I recommend you to buy an USB midi interface from Roland Edirol series.

If you only want midi, you can buy Roland UM-1EX, you can also only search for "um-1ex" on your favorite search engine, or just buy it on your favorite music store. This USB device supports only midi, there is no driver to think about, you just plug it in, and it will automatically be detected by your system. Click on the link to see how the device looks like:


Under Rosegarden you probably have to choose this device.


If you want to use rosegarden fully, with sound record, I also recommend Roland's Edirol UA-25. That device can record high quality sound through the USB port, and again, you don't have to think about drivers, you just plug it in, and Linux will automatically detect it.


This device also has a midi interface, so you get the full package on the same device, but of course this device is more expensive than um-1ex.

This device has some features that you should keep in mind, on the setting 48,44 kHz you can use playback and record at the same time on the device, but if you set the device to 96 kHz, the device only work as a playback, or a record device. So if you want to hear what you play while you record on the 96 kHz setting, you have to configure jack to use the integrated sound card as playback device, and UA25 as a record device, but this can give you problems with Xrun.

To set up this device you can use jackd, that you find under -> Multimedia --> jack control. if you do not find jackd on your menu just install "aptitude install qjackctl"


Lets take an example, the first thing you want to record, is the midi segments, (plug in right and left audio channel from your synth to UA25) then you have to remember to shut down the metronome click, you don't want that on your recorded wav file. And after you have done this, you can then mute all midi segment, and only listen to the wav file you made, then you simply unplug the synth, and plug in your guitar, Mic, and easy record guitars, Vocal, and so on to your masterpiece.

If you get alsa_pcm: xrun problem, take a look at the messages in the start how the device been start up. There are many reasons that this not wanna work as it should. If your integrated card does not handle 24 bit, you will get into some problem, and you have to turn the advance mode OFF on the UA-25 device, so it goes down to 16Bit with the integrated sound-card (but then the midi will not work on UA25). If ALSA still gives you problems, try to run the OSS instead. If your integrated sound card does not support 48.000, you have to turn UA-25 down to 44.100. Remember that you have to unplug usb, and do the change on device, and then plug in the usb again before the changes take effect. This is some thing you could try to get alsa running smooth. Try activate the RT in Jackd, and if you cannot activate the RT (real time) in jack you have to add this followings line in

/etc/security/limits.conf file

I have experienced that some devices don't like the RT options activated and runs better with RT off in jack.

@audio - rtprio 99
@audio - memlock 500000
@audio - nice -10

This options can be dangerous because it can cause the kernel to dead lock, due to priority problems.

JackSetup Example


You see the latency is about 53.3 ms, that is the lowest I can get on my laptop without jackd starting to complain about Xrun problem. You have several ways to change the latency for the best optical way for your computer, and that is

Frames/periodes (16-4096)

Periodes/buffer (1-xxx)

How to fix recorded audio files

Take in use Audacity, I have made a documentation that help you to get started. First you just double click on the audio segment, and audacity should start automatically and load the segment you have chosen.


When you have done the changes on the audio file, remember to save it with the same name, and then you have to save the project in rosegarden, and reopen your project. This way you will get the changes you did in audacity applied onto rosegarden.

How to set up Qsynth for emulated midi sound

For those who don't have a keyboard/synth can use qsynth to get midi sound on rosegarden. You can download soundfont from here: and use <gdebi> to install it.


Do not forget to choose that you want to use the qsynth in the device manager on rosegarden if not rosegarden automatically have chosen this.

other plugins you probably want

There is a list of plugins you want in rosegarden when you don't have a gm keyboard/synth, but only a keyboard that send midi, use the aptitude command to get it.

** synth plugins **










fixme: set inn synth plugins you have good experience with

** audio Plugins **




fixme: put on some audio plugin you have experience with

Other devices that are compatible with Linux

These have been tested with skolelinux 3, kubuntu 7.10, kubuntu 8.04 and with kernel, and


extra install, needs depends

Roland edirol UA-25

Works without any problem

Roland edirol UA-25EX

Does not work with Advance modus on, switch it to off. Mark! The MIDI part will not work, only audio with advance off. So go for UM-1 to communicate with your MIDI device instead for example

Yamaha MM6 Synth

The MIDI usb, work without any problem on Linux systems

Roland edirol um-1

Same as Ediro UA-25

Roland edirol Um-3ex

Usb To Midi

Roland edirol Studio Canvas, SD-20

Gm/xg lite Midi sound-module

M-Audio Midispor 4

Midi-USB 2x IN 4x OUT

M-Audio Key stations 49e

usb-midi keyboard

M-Audio Axiom 25

Usb Midi Keyboard

M-Audio Trigger Finger

Usb Drum pattern

M-Audio Fast Track Pro

Usb, Midi And Audio

Samson Gtrack (GM1U)

Usb Mic

Zoom, ZFX, plug-in

Audio Record, no Midi

Edirol Midi Keyboard Controller PCR-300, 500, 800

Usb Midi Keyboard

Roland FP-5 (digital piano)

Usb Works, and the piano also have midi inn/out

Thanks to Mario Music for allowing me to be in their store testing this equipment.

Fixme: add devices you have experienced to work with out any problem.

Devices that have been found not working for now:



Echo Audiofire 2, 4, 8, and 12

Fireware card. Detected but they where not cooperative, as jackd failed to start them.

Tone Port Ux2 (line6)

Did not work.

Audio Control 1

Jackd discovers the card, but the card does not work as is should.

Roland UA-4FX

Jackd also discovers this one, but there is some trouble.


jackd discovers this, and it works, but there are a lot of Xruns produced.

Yamaha KX

USB MIDI keyboard does not work via USB, but MIDI in and out is working as it should.

If everything works, it's time to take a look at the rosegarden documentation here: