Category Archives: MIDI

Making a Linux Live MIDI Setup with SEQ24, Qsynth and Jack Rack

How to use a Linux laptop for live music performance with SEQ24 MIDI sequencer, Qsynth for soundfonts, and Jack-Rack for realtime fx manipulation.
Controllers used in this video:

Korg NanoKey2

MidiPlus Classic 49

This setup allows you to trigger loop based midi sequences on the fly, map MIDI controls to fx parameters, as well as play along in realtime all from a midi controller. This is not a fully in depth tutorial, but more of an overview of the full workspace. If you have any specific topics touched upon in the video that you’d like me to go further in depth about, just let me know in the comments section. This tutorial is a bit on the advanced side and assumes a general knowledge of Linux audio and Jack.

8 bit performance on a Korg nanoPAD 2 and nanoKONTROL

This is something I put together a while ago, but still really happy with it. I wanted to make an 8 bit trap song in real-time using Ableton Live and my Korg nanoPAD2 and nanoKONTROL. I first found and created all of the samples I needed and loaded them into Ableton’s drum rack, then I spent some time working out some beats and setting up arpeggiators to create the hi hat roll sounds. Once I had it all together I just had to practice for a few days then I made the video.

Korg’s nano series is a great way to get inexpensive and versatile controllers for Ableton. The fact that they are so small and come in different categories too makes them really great for creating modular setups for your needs.

You can pick up your own nanoPAD2 here

Or if you want a nanoKONTROL, get that one here

Soundfont with Akai MPD and Live Drums

This is a type of track I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’ve had the idea of making a song on the Akai MPD24 and playing drums to it, but was stuck with how to use the MPD with Linux. I finally figured out how to create a soundfont from samples I cut up myself and using fluid synth as a means to play them. Using a soundfont gives me nearly as much control, and in some ways more than Ableton’s drum rack. I don’t have anything against Ableton, it’s great software. I just wanted to produce this whole track within Linux. I mixed it all in Mixbus, but still edited the video in Windows, Vegas Movie Studio. My cameras record in MTS which kdenlive in Linux has some problems with. I worked around this on the last few vids, but forgot this time, so rather than go convert everything again then re-edit in Kdenlive, I thought it would just be quicker and easier to do it in Vegas.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation. thanks for watching and commenting 🙂

Drum setup:
Custom Tama Imperialstar Hairline Blue finish 18×20 kick, 8×12 rack, 14×14 floor, 5×14 snare
Tama Iron Cobra hi hat stand (main hats)
Vintage Olympic hi hat stand (trash hats)
Ludwig flat base straight stands (crashes)
PDP boom stand (ride)
Vintage Nuvader Nickel Silver 15″ Hi Hats
Meinl HCS 8″ Bell
Kasza 17″ Dirty Bell crash cymbal
Vintage NuVader 22″ ride cymbal (Nickel Silver)
Meinl HCS 16″ Trash Crash / Generic 16″ brass crash bottom (trash hats)
Vintage Camber 18″ Crash Cymbal (Brass)
Aquarian Studio X on tom batters
Tama single ply clear tom resonants
Aquarian Studio X Dot on snare batter
Tama thin clear snare resonant
Aquarian Response 2 Coated kick batter
Remo Vintage Emperor w/ Kickport 2 on kick resonant
DW 6000 kick pedal (sucks, I want a new pedal)
Vintage flat base Slingerland snare stand
Vintage MIJ canister throne

Mics on this one I did something new. I used only a kick and overhead, then blended that with the camcorder mic from my Sony HDR-CX240. It made it a very raw and cool sound. There is also some slight decimator (bit crusher) effect on the kick and overhead mics.

Amiga Drummer 2.3, The Full Motion Video Game That Never Existed

Here’s part 5 of my Amiga ProTracker and a Drummer series. I made this one using all samples of objects laying around me at the time in while I was visiting my mom’s in Florida. Samples used were my Casio wristwatch beep, a kalimba (thumb piano) snapping my fingers and tapping on a plastic lid. I then dropped dropped the bounced wav file into Pro Tools 7.4 and added bass, then went into the studio and recorded the drums and this video. The video in this one I was going for a 90s Full Motion Video Game look. I used a green screen and drew the background in GraFX2, then assembled it all in FCP 5.1. To get the pixilated look I rendered using the Cinepak codec with a 256 color palate.

Written, produced and performed by Justin Wierbonski (me)
I play Tama Drums and Paiste Cymbals.

Amazing 1980s VHS Macintosh and MIDI documentary!

There’s a lot of these old vids surfacing on youtube these days, but this is definitely one of the coolest ones I’ve seen.

I love Herbie Hancock’s song on here “Little by Little” I can’t seem to find it anywhere. If anyone knows if this is actually on a release of his anywhere, let me know!