Tutorial: Soft synths on Linux and Raspberry Pi

Stepping back a little bit, I realized that my recent series of articles add up to a “Getting started with soft synths on Linux” tutorial. Here are the links:

I hope these articles help you, too. They are a great memory refresher for me.

Eventually, I want to turn the Raspberry Pi into a low cost, stomp box-sized, stand-alone soft synth host — kind of a cheap MIDI-driven tone module that does virtual analog synthesis. I want to run a headless Raspberry Pi — no monitor, no QWERTY keyboard, no mouse. With some clever scripting, I think it should be possible to start up the JACK audio server and a soft synth like amsynth at boot time. The soft synth would listen to a MIDI IN connected to the RPi through a standard USB MIDI interface. One possible option is to add a small touch panel (e.g., Adafruit PiTFT Plus 320×240) for simple user interaction, including system shutdown.