Linux-based softsynths

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Linux-based softsynths

Postby briandc » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:06 pm

Hi everyone,
my first post here. :)

I'd like to hear from anyone using linux for their digital music creation.
I am putting together a website that showcases some of the myriad of softsynths for linux, that you can visit here:

http://amsynth.com

There's still lots to do, but it's a start. -I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks!

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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby tekkentool » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:53 am

Renoise as a whole could count. Draw a waveform in the sample and you have envelopes, LFO's and all manners of filters availible. The sampler is basically a fully fledged synth.
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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby stephen » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:19 am

Yep, another linux renoiser here. I use it alongside Loomer Aspect, and zynaddsubfx is a great source of sounds for building instruments. And yes I do like amsynth too - nice to see it is still going strong (I'm also a linuxmusicians.com lurker ;-) )

I'm looking forward to seeing Loomer Epoch - wiring that up to, say, hydrogen - it's going to get mental!
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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby briandc » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:55 am

Hi guys,
I'd be tempted to add Aspect and Renoise.. My only "gripe" is the fact that they aren't free, and my mission is kind of to stick with all the stuff that anyone can use by just using a linux-based distro.

In KXStudio, which is what I use mostly, there is a demo version of Aspect that gives about a 30-minute run time.

There are several other very nice synths that need adding, such as Triceratops and Calf Monosynth. I'm waiting to see if Monosynth is given poly capability, and Triceratops can't save it's patches yet, which I really prefer to see added first.
And SuperCollider is a monster in its own right, but requires a programming ability I don't possess at the moment. Given enough time, I might jump in though..

There's one provided in the LMMS DAW called "Triple Oscillator" which is really cool. The arpeggiator can arpeggiate according to chord structure: maj7, min7, 13, 11, etc!! Amazing!

Thoughts?

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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby stephen » Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:27 pm

And my only gripe with renoise is that it currently doesn't support LV2.... but I'm sure it will at some point.

The calf plugins are some of my favourites on any platform. I use them in qtractor.
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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby briandc » Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:34 am

What about bristol? Anyone using those vintage synths? I've tried a few, but not as in-depth as I'd like yet...

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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby briandc » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:49 am

I put together an interesting patch tonight, walking through 4 basic waveforms in 3 minutes. Can you recognize them in order?

Here it is, courtesy of linux-based amSynth and Calf plugins:

http://amsynth.com/variousworks/DoubleMuugPlus2.ogg


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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby Broadwave » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:29 pm

briandc wrote:What about bristol? Anyone using those vintage synths? I've tried a few, but not as in-depth as I'd like yet...

brian


I tried Bristol once a few years ago (it took forever to get working!), but the aliasing was atrocious... not attempted to try it since.
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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby briandc » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:38 pm

Kronik wrote:
briandc wrote:What about bristol? Anyone using those vintage synths? I've tried a few, but not as in-depth as I'd like yet...

brian


I tried Bristol once a few years ago (it took forever to get working!), but the aliasing was atrocious... not attempted to try it since.


It's certainly an amazing set of synth emulations, I've never seen anything like it before!
Last I used it (a few days back) it was performing pretty well. The GUI's are a bit small for my tastes though.

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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby natrixgli » Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:23 am

Sunvox is quite good. Best part is that it's cross platform and its files are self contained so you can start a track on a Linux box, then take it on the go on your PC, iOS, or Android device.

I run Ubuntu as my daily driver at home and work. But a short time ago I gave up on it for music and got a PC. Ableton Live is crap in Wine, and I wanted a dedicated music machine anyway. If Bitwig ever materializes, I may have another look though. I do miss Jack a lot.
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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby briandc » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:28 am

natrixgli wrote:Sunvox is quite good. Best part is that it's cross platform and its files are self contained so you can start a track on a Linux box, then take it on the go on your PC, iOS, or Android device.

I run Ubuntu as my daily driver at home and work. But a short time ago I gave up on it for music and got a PC. Ableton Live is crap in Wine, and I wanted a dedicated music machine anyway. If Bitwig ever materializes, I may have another look though. I do miss Jack a lot.


Yes, making cross-platform capability can only be positive.
Ubuntu is a bit "heavy" for music production, imo, as it has a lot of features that are geared towards general PC usage, such as chat clients and other stuff like that.

What I'm suggesting to many people is to start with something basic, and build it up the way you want. Distros like "Bodhi linux" are a good approach. If you know how to use the Package Manager, then you do your shopping and install just the things you want, and leave out the rest. That way, your PC has all its resources available. (Of course, you can also tweak your PC by adding a realtime kernel, changing priorities, etc.)


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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby stephen » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:16 pm

I'd love to see more linux synths available. But what I find amusing is that when I went back to windows I was looking forward to the huge range of VSTs. Most of the freebies ended up being a waste of time, and most of the commercial ones were outside my price range. I'd spend all my time messing around with demos and trying out the freebies and not getting anything done.

I have always been the most productive on my linux setup with fewer options - which aren't really limiting at all. But it is nice to have the choice there :-)

Now that ardour3 is here I'm looking forward to having a play with its midi features and hook it up to zynaddsubfx, hydrogen, and maybe one or two other items.

On the subject of distros, I used to be a fan of the old jacklab distro which was based on SuSE linux. After that project ended I distro hopped around ubuntu, mint, crunchbang, back to mint, then on to arch which is what I use now.
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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby briandc » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:47 pm

stephen wrote:I'd love to see more linux synths available. But what I find amusing is that when I went back to windows I was looking forward to the huge range of VSTs. Most of the freebies ended up being a waste of time, and most of the commercial ones were outside my price range. I'd spend all my time messing around with demos and trying out the freebies and not getting anything done.

I have always been the most productive on my linux setup with fewer options - which aren't really limiting at all. But it is nice to have the choice there :-)

Now that ardour3 is here I'm looking forward to having a play with its midi features and hook it up to zynaddsubfx, hydrogen, and maybe one or two other items.

On the subject of distros, I used to be a fan of the old jacklab distro which was based on SuSE linux. After that project ended I distro hopped around ubuntu, mint, crunchbang, back to mint, then on to arch which is what I use now.


I too spent a lot of time on VST's, mostly this past year, but in the end, I was enjoying the linux ones more. Even though most VSTs I tried worked fine with Wine, either using LMMS or Reaper, yet I found that several of the linux instruments have a lot of very nice features which, imo, haven't been exploited to the full. That's part of the goal of my website, is to showcase them a bit, especially for those who are still using Windows/Mac.

There are also several distros that are complete audio production systems, most are free to download and install. A good site to browse is Distrowatch It has a search window where you can filter just the audio production distros, but many "plain" distros work just fine. I'd say it's more a question of finding the right one for your specific machine. Every PC is different..

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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby nogginj » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:00 pm

Planet CCRMA (http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/) is of course a very good fast-track to installing a lot of this music stuff into Fedora or CentOS.

It can help you install a low-latency kernel, and comes with a huge variety of music making software, neatly organised.

Nando is also very knowledgeable if you need help.
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Re: Linux-based softsynths

Postby stephen » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:02 am

Just installed ardour3. Took a little while to figure out why it named all my VST plugins "stephen", but I soon fixed that by copying them to /usr/lib/vst and exporting LXVST_PATH. I normally keep my VSTs in ~/.vst

Renoise doesn't yet support LV2, so it was good to fire up the calf plugins in ardour. The vintage delay is a particular favourite.
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