Open Source midi and music tools?

I bought a 76 key YPG235 grand piano!! I don’t know how to play! What open source software should I start looking at to learn? Am I crazy? Giiiiiive me feedback!

Thanks Guys!

Not familiar with any of these except audacity, but here’s my goo-fu at it’s best.

Not sure if this can help but I came across this tool while ago and was blown away how powerful it is. I’m linking to topic on discussion on open sourcing, and as you can see it was at some point open source. Regardless I found it really powerful and fun. Worth checking out.

LMMS is the only way to go for me. Been using it for years.

1 Like

A bit of thread necromancy but…

Linux has a whole ecosystem of music making tools. The basis of most of them is Jack:

Jack is an audio sound server that sits over the top of ALSA and supports a lot of audio/music production capabilities. Roughly speaking, it does a similar job to things like Pulseaudio, but differs in many important ways:

  1. It’s low-latency (Pulseaudio has terrible latency)
  2. Pulseaudio auto-mixes and sample-rate converts the outputs of desktop apps to the output device. Jack doesn’t do this
  3. Jack has highly flexible routing of audio. Pulseaudio doesn’t (it mostly assumes you want everything automixed to the output)
  4. Jack has highly flexible routing of MIDI. Pulseaudio doesn’t really do anything useful with MIDI
  5. Jack supports synchronisation of transport clocks and controls between apps. Pulseaudio doesn’t
  6. Jack supports synchronization of tempo information between apps. Pulseaudio doesn’t.

This isn’t a criticism of Pulseaudio BTW, it’s just pointing out the needs of generic desktop audio aren’t the same as those for music production. Jack could be used for desktop audio, but it’s far too complex for most use cases.

I would urge anyone who is interested in music production with open source to check Jack out. A great way to do this is with the KXStudio distros.

A bunch of applications will then work with Jack and can use Jack to wire them together. This includes DAWs (LMMS, Ardour, etc.), Dum machines (Hydrogen), MIDI sequencers (Rosegarden), FX systems (Jackrack), software synths (Qsynth, Zynaddsubfx), MIDI controllers, arpeggiators, filters, etc. etc.

A reasonable list can be found at

The kxstudio repositories will hold most of these.



If you geek what it takes, dive into SuperCollider.