SB Live! Midi

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Notes: please use the first argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:SB Live! Midi#)

We are assuming that you are using kernel 2.6 and that ALSA is properly set up.

SB Live! uses a wavetable synthesizer for its MIDI output. Therefore, in order to get MIDI output you need to load the SoundFont banks into the card. This is done by the asfxload utility from awesfx package.

Install awesfx package from the AUR. Copy the SoundFont files from your SB Live driver CD somewhere on your hdd. On the SB Live! Value CD, they are named: 2GMGSMT.SF2, 4GMGSMT.SF2 and 8MBGMSFX.SF2.

Load the bank by executing asfxload bankfile. See man sfxload for more advanced options. Some users have reported that snd_emu10k1_synth needs to be preloaded in order for this to work.

Which bank to load?

The bank names (at least for SB Live! Value) correspond to their respective sizes (2 Mb, 4 Mb, 8 Mb). The bigger the bank is, the better the quality, although more RAM is also used, since SB Live Value doesn't have its own memory banks.


Put asfxload fullbankfilepathname into /etc/rc.local.

It should be sfxload, not asfxload. You might also need to modprobe snd-seq-oss. The line to put in /etc/rc.local that I have is:

sfxload -D n /usr/share/sounds/sf2/CT4MGM.SF2

n is the number of sound cards. 0 is first sound card, 1 second and so on.