threepointonefourone
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:51 am

Scratch sound instruments

Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:56 am

Hi all

I've been playing with sound on the Raspberry Pi. I've got Scratch to play the samples (albeit quietly and scratchily), and it can play the instruments too. The problem is all the instruments sound the same. All the drums sound like the same drum, and all the instruments (grand piano, xylophone, tubular bells, electric jazz guitar) sound the same.

Is anyone else experiencing this, and is it fixable?

Many thanks!

oktorockto
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:18 pm

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:29 pm

Iḿ having exactly the same problem. Basically all of the MIDI sounds are clipped too short so that thy all just sound like a really short attack. I be very grateful if anyone could help.

oktorockto
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:18 pm

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:10 am

Bumping this - I know people have had problems with no sound but what about this clipped problem - I'm really stumped and hope somebody can help me.

oktorockto
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:18 pm

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Tue Dec 11, 2012 10:12 am

BTW - I have two Pi's 1st and 2nd gen, both latest versions of Raspbians and fully updated

threepointonefourone
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:51 am

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:49 am

Just to confirm that I've also found this issue and haven't found a solution for it. As far as I can see, the instruments aren't working at the moment on the Raspberry Pi.

oktorockto
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:18 pm

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:51 am

Its an interesting situation as programming in scratch is supposed to be the major selling point. The first tutorial in The MagPi and on the scratch website depend on the sound working. In my experience kids lose interest when things do not work properly!

ked
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:18 am

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:25 am

Scratch instruments are implemented via Midi, which is an standard for communication between (digital) musical instruments. Commonly one of these will be a synthesizer that actually generates the sound. Usually the sound card on a desktop emulates a Midi-synth. Alternatively there could be a "soft-synth" which does the same job but takes up more resources. Neither of these is available OOTB on the Pi so Scratch has nothing to communicate with (it just uses a default built-in sound).

That said, AFAICT midi is disabled for Unix platforms and although there is a built-in synth I'm not sure Scratch is using it.

PS: It looks like external sw-based synth's, such as "FluidSynth", have been tried on the Pi but are resource hungry/ laggy. I'm no expert so maybe anyone who has actually tried one can chip in with additional info.

estephan500
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 09, 2015 1:20 pm

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Sat May 09, 2015 1:27 pm

Just posting to say that, of course, I have had the same experience.

And I guess we all agree that it is safe to say that every owner of a raspberry pi that gets into scratch and says "ah ha, let's check out this impressive 128-instrument feature that will allow us to play trumpets and tubular bells" ... will have the same experience.

I'm a giant fan of the raspberry pi, and furthermore, I would say that, hey, part of being exposed to the "guts" of a computer in the way that the raspberry pi makes possible... also involves that occasional experience of "oh, i guess there is no driver for that... I would have to learn how to make that work."

BUT, in the end... it would be better if someone made either (1) a clear installable patch of some kind that maybe activated a possibly crude version of just 16 of those voices... if not all... or (2) at the minimum made a clear official announcement about the state of the voices in Scratch and why they don't work and what would be needed for them to work. That way instructors and parents could say to kids... "that one feature is not working because there is no XX on this computer now... if we are lucky, in less than a year, some smart community member might make that happen."

So... just a clear post from a Pi Person telling us what is up... would take care of the basic need.

If you are an actual Pi expert or member of a development team, please make a note of what we're saying here... or forward it to someone!

Eric

timrowledge
Posts: 1136
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:12 pm
Location: Vancouver Island
Contact: Website

Re: Scratch sound instruments

Sat May 09, 2015 8:28 pm

Yes, the problem is that sound on Unix is a thing of pain and anguish. Scratch wants to use the MIDI standard general instruments list, which is provided very easily on OSX & Windows. Under Unix, for now, the best that can be done is a rather poor clunk synthesized with the fm sound module in Squeak. We could do much better even via that route since fm synth can make very good sounds, and of course sampled sounds can used too.

Their has been some work on trying to get a midi synth hooked up but boy is it ever painful. More will be done at some point.
Making Smalltalk on ARM since 1986; making your Scratch better since 2012

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