I need a simple way to connect the midi keyboard to pulse audio and leave it active. ( i'm not worried about low latency.)

So far, I've looked at Ted's Linux MIDI Guide and followed all of that, but I reverted to normal latency kernel, when the low-latency caused trouble with my input devices. Following Ted's instructions, I can run /usr/bin/audio start and then the vmpk script, which is nice, but then I can't use pulse (for watching tutorial on youtube.)

Is it best in the long run to use jack audio for everything, even on a normal 250hz kernel?

  • 1
    Drop Jack, and tell fluidsynth to use the default (PulseAudio) device.
    – CL.
    Mar 18, 2019 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


For beginners who don't need to fuss with studio-grade settings...

executable file pulsepiano, adapted from Ted's Linux Midi Guide to use Pulse instead of Jack.

So far I only can't get the script to hook up the MIDI-out from the keyboard, but that might be another topic.

You have to install fluidsynth, vmpk, and get the soundfont: FluidR3_GM.sf2. The trailing ampersand runs the command in the background. The aconnect info also adapted from Ted's guide.

If you have problems,

use: kill -9 [PID of vmpk|fluidsynth|qsynth]

or: killall fluidsynth, killall vmpk, and so on.

Hope it isn't too much info. Without opening each app manually, this is about as beginner as it gets for midi.


fluidsynth --server \
           --no-shell \
           --audio-driver=pulseaudio \
           --gain=1.0 \
           --reverb=0.42 \
           --chorus=0.42 \
           /usr/share/sounds/sf2/FluidR3_GM.sf2 &>/tmp/fluidsynth.out &

sleep 2

vmpk &

sleep 2

vmpkport=$(aconnect -i |grep "client.*VMPK Output" | cut -d ' ' -f 2)0
synthport=$(aconnect -i |grep "FLUID Synth" | cut -d ' ' -f 2)0

echo "vmpk on ${vmpkport} & synth on ${synthport}"
  • Where does pulsepiano come from? Internet doesn't know anything about it.
    – Nowaker
    Jan 31, 2020 at 9:48
  • i think it's the name of the script i put together, based on the resource.
    – tidelake
    Feb 2, 2020 at 15:19

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