Aeolus Quickstart Guide

Submitted by stevea on Thu, 06/28/2007 - 19:37

by Steve A

Hello, and welcome to the 64 Studio quickstart guide for Aeolus, a sound application available in 64 Studio version 2.0. Aeolus is a synthesised pipe-organ instrument written by Fons Adriaensen. The default sounds have been skillfully programmed and are very realistic; this means that Aeolus can be very satisfying to play, or to listen with your favourite MIDI files. In this guide I will be showing you how to get Aeolus running with 64 Studio for the first time.

The first thing to know is that the 64 Studio version of Aeolus is configured by default to work with JACK, and this means that Aeolus will only work if the JACK server is started. So to begin, select "JACK Control" from the "Sound & Video" menu, and check that JACK is started.

jack started

Next, start Aeolus from the sound & video menu. Aeolus will take a few seconds to start, during this time each blue button will flash. When this process is complete, the Aeolus main window will be shown.

aeolus started

Next, connect a MIDI keyboard to your 64 Studio system, and select the instrument to play on the lowest-numbered MIDI channel. Please remember that some instruments number their channels from 0 to 15 and some number from 1 to 16. Select the lowest-numbered MIDI channel, (either 0 or 1).

If you don't have a MIDI keyboard, you could use VKeyBd from the Sound & Video menu. Within VKeyBd select View -> Controls.
This will allow us to set the MIDI channel used by VKeyBd. VKeyBd's channels are numbered from 0 to 15, so we will select the lowest channel which is 0.

vkeybd started

Next, we use JACK Control to connect the keyboard to Aeolus, and to connect Aeolus to the sound card. Switch to JACK Control and select Connect -> MIDI to make a connection between our MIDI keyboard and Aeolus.

connect MIDI

Then select the Audio tab and connect Aeolus outputs to the left and right playback channels of the sound card.

connect audio

Almost finished! Next go to the Aeolus main window. Notice that the window is divided into four sections (III, II, I, and P). We will experiment with these in more detail later. Click on the blue button labelled "Principal 4" in section "I". The button will be white when selected.

aeolus principal 4I

To recap, we have used JACK to connect our keyboard to Aeolus and to connect Aeolus to our sound card. We set our keyboard to transmit MIDI commands on the lowest-numbered MIDI channel and we have selected the sound called "Principal 4" from Aeolus section "I".

The final stage is to tell Aeolus that data received on the lowest-numbered MIDI channel should be played by Aeolus section "I". To do this, go to the Aeolus main window and select MIDI. Notice that Aeolus numbers the sixteen MIDI channels 1 to 16, not 0 to 15. We will simply connect the lowest MIDI channel (1) to section "I" ( which is labelled Keyboards "I")

aeolus MIDImap 1

Finished! Go to the MIDI keyboard and begin to play. Aeolus should make the wonderful sound of the "Principal 4". In fact, you can experiment with any of the sounds from section I.

Once you've got the instrument up and running, you can go on to the Aeolus primer.