During the final months of 2009 Linux audio developers and users were working overtime. If you feel that you didn't get enough goodies in your holiday stocking perhaps you'll find a few more stuffers listed here as another year closes in the world of Linux sound and music software.
Open-source Audio/MIDI Software
The number and quality of Linux sound and music programs have advanced steadily in the open-source development communities.
First I'm pleased to congratulate Christian Bor▀ for winning 2nd place in the Developers Challenge sponsored by KVRaudio. Christian's HybridReverb2 is an excellent addition to the Linux audio fx armory. It's a convolution-based reverberator with a useful GUI (Figure 1) and a default set of impulse responses that should keep most users happy for a week or so. After that period they can download the bigger set from the HybridReverb site. HybridReverb2 is a native Linux VST and is fully open-source software licensed under the GPL.
Rick Taube has updated his Common Music/GRACE to version 3.4.0. GRACE is the Juce-based GUI for Common Music, a powerful language for music composition. GRACE provides various graphic helpers for the composer, including interactive plots of audio and MIDI material. Rick's latest additions include updated support for FOMUS, a very cool utility for converting Common Music's output to score formats compatible with music notation editor such as LilyPond and Sibelius.
Werner Schweer's MusE audio/MIDI sequencer has attained release level 1.0. This milestone release has been a long time coming, and it seems to have been worth the wait. Stability has greatly improved in MusE's last few releases, and this version continues that trend. New features include support for VST/VSTi plugins over the dssi-vst bridge, scripting with the Python language, extended support for JACK, and many other additions. The complete list of fixes and upgrades can be found in the Changelog for MusE 1.0.
The Fluidsynth soundfont synthesizer has been updated to version 1.1.1, thanks to the efforts of Josh Green and friends. Fluidsynth is the processing engine for a variety of projects on Linux, Mac OSX, and Windows. Notable Linux hosts include the ever-popular QSynth, the VLC audio/video media player, and the Denemo music notation editor.
Hermann Meyer and James Warden have been busy improving their superb Guitarix. Recent updates have shown off many improvements to the GUI, and at last the user can freely re-order the effects chain. And as a side-chain project Herr Meyer has created a stand-alone version of Guitarix's module for controlling Fons Adriaensen's awesome jconv convolution reverberator. Jcgui (Figure 2) is a utility for defining jconv parameters and running the program from a handy graphic interface. The shell scripts I normally use to run jconv aren't difficult to write, but I must admit that jcgui makes it more fun to employ Fons's program. Incidentally, Fons has recently improved jconv and has renamed it jconvolver.
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