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Fri, 28 Jul 2017 23:05:32 -0700

On 07/28/2017 10:33 PM, Andrew Kilpatrick wrote:

Well I discovered that the metronome must be set to a MIDI port of some kind before any MIDI clocks will be sent. That seems like a bug... what does MIDI clock have to do with metronome?

That definitely needs a look.

- Sometimes when starting rosegarden, it complains about a missing MIDI device (they are all there) and then segfaults.

I've been involved with the project for 15 years, and I've added, subtracted, and changed MIDI devices around thousands of times over the years. I've never seen this cause a segfault. Changing the MIDI landscape around doesn't even generate informational messages. Rosegarden just tries to hook things up like they were last time, and when it can't, you have to go diddle the connections manually.

Rosegarden complains about a missing audio server, and I think it warns you when no audio server means no synth plugins.

I have no doubt you're running into some issue, but I will be surprised if it turns out you're describing it accurately. Pasting actual error messages would be useful, as would a stack trace of the segfault.

It then seems to load some kind of autosave file, but it doesn't have the last saved state of the actual file I want.

Going off memory here, I'm pretty sure it detects the presence of an autosave file, and offers you the option of loading that instead of loading the file off disk. You should be able to load the last saved state or the autosave version, at your discretion. That's how it's _supposed_ to work, but I haven't tested this lately, and it might be broken.

- Audio clips don't start when the transport is rewound and then played... it is necessary to press play and then rewind.

I haven't run into that, but frankly I don't use Rosegarden for audio anymore. I got into recording drums with multiple microphones, and I switched to Windows for that. What this says about Linux audio is probably pretty damning, but it is what it is.

Overall I really want to like and use Rosegarden, but it seems very fragile and so far just setting up a few MIDI and audio tracks and configuring my studio's MIDI devices has led me to what seems like a broken file which I can't load anymore.

Rosegarden is embarrassingly quirky and fragile to have been in development so long, but that has a lot to do with how the volunteer-driven development model works. People come and go, people work in fits and spurts, people work off of different ideas for how things ought to be, and project leadership can't be too strict without running off all the volunteers. The result is something very organic, like a home-grown apple that tastes pretty good when you ignore the worm tracks and the superficial black blight on the peel.

On the bright side, when Rosegarden does manage to mangle a file, we can usually hack on it by hand to get it working again. The storage format is gzip compressed XML, and it's often a matter of just deleting one errant tag or something. If you pass me a copy of the file, I'll be happy to have a look and see if I can hack it back into behaving itself.

I haven't experienced a truly serious loss of work in quite a few years.

Are people actually using this successfully with multiple external MIDI devices?

Yes.

 Is there any way to debug things when a file doesn't load? I
tried using gdb to check a stacktrace but I don't think I'm familiar enough with the codebase to really know what's going on.

In this area, I know how to do more than I can explain how to do. It's easiest just to let someone with more experience have a go with the file.

The UI of rosegarden is as close to my dream app as I can imagine... simple, great notation editing, audio and MIDI recording... but if I'm worried that I won't be able to reload the file I'm working on, it's unfortunately not that useful. :(

I think this is mostly growing pains. Rosegarden is definitely quirky, and will occasionally have serious glitches, but again, I haven't experienced a truly serious loss of work in quite a few years. Almost everything that goes wrong is recoverable, but learning how to speak those incantations probably qualifies as some kind of black art.

It ain't perfect, but for no-cost software it's worth ten times the price!
--
D. Michael McIntyre

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