MIDI playback on Mac OS X

La Musique edited this page Jul 17, 2017 · 3 revisions

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Frescobaldi will play MIDI files, but only by sending the output to a synthesizer. If you don’t have a hardware synthesizer, you’ll need a software synthesizer.

The simplest solution is to download and install SimpleSynth (despite the warning on the web page, it works perfectly on all versions of Mac OS X up through Sierra).

A more advanced solution is based on FluidSynth. It can be installed on Mac OS X via the package managers Homebrew and MacPorts: if you haven’t already installed any of them, you should choose one of them and install it.

  1. Install FluidSynth by entering in the Terminal brew install fluid-synth (Homebrew) or sudo port install fluidsynth (MacPorts).
  2. Download and install Qsynth, a GUI for FluidSynth.
  3. Open Qsynth, click on “Setup...” and set the following options:
    • “MIDI” tab: set “MIDI Driver” to “coremidi”,
    • “Audio” tab: set “Audio Driver” to “coreaudio”, “Buffer Size” to “256” and “Audio Device” to “default”,
    • “Soundfonts” tab: “Open...” a SoundFont at your choice (e.g. you can download one of those listed in this page from MuseScore’s manual).

When you want to play a MIDI file from Frescobaldi, you must have SimpleSynth or Qsynth running and you must select the correct MIDI port in Frescobaldi’s settings. The correct port is automatically selected if you launch SimpleSynth or Qsynth before Frescobaldi.