MIDI should work in Wine as long as it works on your system in general, with some caveats.

Using MIDI with UNIX

There is no point in writing to the Wine bug tracker if MIDI does not work on your UNIX system.

On Linux, aconnect -o lists the MIDI output ports known to ALSA. Of these, MIDI through is of no use to you unless you have dedicated MIDI hardware. It (presumably) sends bytes down the serial port where you have no HW connected, so you hear no music.

If other ports are listed along with their number, verify that aplaymidi -p128:0 myfile.mid produces sound. 128 is the port number that software sequencers like Timidity and FluidSynth use by default. Here's output from a system equipped with both FluidSynth and Timidity simultaneously (and FluidSynth started first):

$ aconnect -o
client 14: 'Midi Through' [type=kernel]
    0 'Midi Through Port-0'
client 128: 'FLUID Synth (31186)' [type=user]
    0 'Synth input port (31186:0)'
client 129: 'TiMidity' [type=user]
    0 'TiMidity port 0 '
    1 'TiMidity port 1 '
    2 'TiMidity port 2 '
    3 'TiMidity port 3 '

The Linux kernel includes a mapper from OSS to ALSA. That's how applications using the OSS API to play MIDI still get output from ALSA sequencers like Timidity.

Sound from aplaymidi -px:y file.mid is the basic proof that your MIDI setup is working in Linux. This is not necessarily enough to make it work in Wine because Wine may end up using the silence "MIDI through" port.

Software sequencers like Timidity and FluidSynth

Installing Timidity or FluidSynth is not enough. These software synthesizers need digitized sound sample collections (called patches and soundfonts) to produce anything but silence. Depending on your package management and package dependencies, you may need to additionally install one of these or configure the software to use your soundfonts. Freepats and Unison are examples of such patch collections.

You can start FluidSynth as follows:

fluidsynth -l -s -i -aalsa -o audio.alsa.device=default /usr/share/midi/sf2/mypatches.sf2

You can start Timidity as follows:

timidity -iAD -B2,8 -Os1l -s 44100 -x'soundfont /usr/share/midi/sf2/mypatches.sf2 order=1'

Mac OS X

CoreAudio supports MIDI and Wine should be able to use it OOTB.


This page or section is outdated in one or more areas. Possible discussion may be found on the talk page. Please update to reflect current information.
Some ALSA/MIDI package is missing on a default install? (please check)
?? (please check)
In older versions of Ubuntu introducing PulseAudio, whatever application started using ALSA first would prevent the others from accessing it. For instance, any application using PulseAudio would prevent Timidity from producing sound. Conversely, playing a MIDI file would prevent PulseAudio from working.
?? (nothing known)

Using MIDI in Wine

There is no point in creating an application-specific MIDI bug entry if you have not verified that at least one other application in Wine is able to play MIDI in Wine on your system.

The MCI shell

One such application is the interactive MCI shell attached to bug #20232, comment #10. It allows you to send MCI string commands to any device. A sample session goes like this:

$ wine wintest.exe mcishell
mci.c:891: Type your commands to the MCI, end with Ctrl-Z/^D
open z:\home\me\Documents\file.mid alias m
play m from 0
status m position
close m
^D <- Ctrl-D to end the session in UNIX, Ctrl-Z in DOS

Since wine-1.1.41, the MCI sequencer allows to select the MIDI device instead of defaulting to the mapper.

open ...
status m port
set m port mapper
set m port 0
set m port 1
play m ...

You can use the MCI shell to play any .wav sample (even .mp3 depending on your setup) as well as your audio CD and even play .avi files.

The MCI is just one of 4 API in MS-Windows to produce MIDI music. The others are: midiOutOpen, midiStreamOpen (both in WINMM) and DirectMusic.

DirectMusic support is incomplete in Wine. Several apps have been reported to work fine with native versions of the 5 dlls that belong to DirectMusic.

Selecting the Output - the MIDI mapper

The MIDI mapper is the default device on MS-Windows that almost every MIDI playing application uses. It forwards MIDI commands to other MIDI devices, depending on its configuration. Most applications will not let you choose the MIDI output device -- they simply assume that the mapper was correctly configured.

In Wine, the mapper forwards to the first device (number 0) by default. winmm:midiOutOpen uses these exact same numbers. Wine associates one device with every port (as known from aconnect). The order is shown in winecfg, with device #0 occuring topmost. If this happens to be the "MIDI through" port on your system with SW-only synthesizers, you need to change the configuration via the registry.

On one Ubuntu system equipped with both ALSA and OSS but lacking a HW synthesizer, the ordering of the devices differs among ALSA and OSS! The "MIDI through" port occurs last in the ALSA list of devices, but first in the OSS list of devices (as seen in winecfg). This explains why an applications therein manages to produces sound effects and MIDI music with ALSA but is missing the MIDI music with OSS. (Actually you can use aconnect to tap one port's output with another port's input and manage to hear music originally sent to the "MIDI through" port, but that consumed undue amounts of CPU% so I'll not explain the details here).

The Midi mapper chapter of the Wine Developer's Guide describes the registry entries used by the MIDI mapper and how to have it use another device. You can either select the device by name or use the "#1" notation to select it by number (again with device #0 topmost in winecfg). Feed this .ini file to regedit to have the mapper select the second device in winmm & winecfg's list:



You can trace the mapper with WINEDEBUG=+msacm wine app.exe.

Checklist prior to reporting a bug

aconnect -o lists relevant entries.

aplaymidi -pX:Y file.mid works -- or whatever is equivalent in your OS.

winecfg's audio tab lists these same entries (in Linux, ideally with both ALSA and OSS, although you can use only one inside one Wine session)

You configured the registry for the MIDI mapper in case the topmost device in winecfg's list is not one known working.

You tested basic MIDI playing ability using the interactive MCI shell or you know that MIDI performs well with another application in Wine on your system.

Useful information to include in your bug report

  • See bug reporting guidelines
  • Your OS and audio system (ALSA, OSS)
  • Is it a regression? See Regression Testing
  • Did you walk through this checklist?
  • Many things can still go wrong and there are several known issues. You'll likely be asked to produce a WINEDEBUG trace using a choice among +mci, +mcimidi, +driver, +mmsys, +winmm, +midi, +msacm and +tid.

This page was last edited on 1 March 2016, at 02:08.