AlsaModularSynth (AMS) is a modular software synthesizer that to my ears sounds really good (very “analog”).
AMS has a good selection of built-in modules and can also use LADSPA plugins. Most LADSPA plugins are effects but some provide alternate oscillators and filters for AMS (see packages vco-plugins and mcp-plugins).
AMS comes with some example patches. From the File menu, select either Open demo… or Open demo instrument…. WARNING: Many of the example patches use optional LADSPA plugins. A patch won’t work if it depends on plugins that are not installed.
Creating a Patch
Below is a fairly simple patch that I created:
Connect a cable by left-clicking a socket (the socket turns red) and then left-clicking the other socket.
Disconnect a cable by right-clicking either socket and selecting Disconnect.
Right-click a module to display a box with the module’s parameters. In addition, if the module has no connections the box will contain a Remove Module button.
Using Parameter View
Adjusting the controls on a module by module basis can be tedious. Parameter View is a way to create a single window containing all of the controls you wish to adjust. Here’s a simple example:
I selected View > Control Center… to display the Control Center window:
I selected the VCF Frequency control on the right side of the window. I then clicked the Add to Parameter View button.
A dialog box displayed asking Add this parameter to frame:. I entered Filter, and indicated that I wanted to create the new frame.
A dialog box displayed asking Add frame to tab:. I entered AMS Test, and indicated that I wanted to create the new tab.
A dialog box displayed asking Parameter Name:. The default was Frequency ID 5; I removed ID 5 from the end and left it as just Frequency.
I then selected View > Parameter View… to display the Parameter View window:
I added more controls in order to have a more functional Parameter View window:
There doesn’t appear to be any way within the program to edit the frame, tab, and parameter names, but the changes are stored with the patch, which is a simple text file. My example file is text1.ams; the parameter view section is at the end of the file and I was able to edit the names using a text editor.
More Information about AlsaModularSynth
Author: Matthias Nagorni
Web Site: http://alsamodular.sourceforge.net/
Optional LADSPA Plugin Packages for AlsaModularSynth
amb-plugins (optional) - ambisonic plugins blop (optional) - bandlimited oscillator plugins caps (optional) - the C* audio plugins cmt (optional) - Computer Music Toolkit plugins fil-plugins (optional) - equaliser plugins mcp-plugins (optional) - phaser, chorus and moog vcf plugins pvoc (optional) - phase-vocoding plugins rev-plugins (optional) - reverb plugins swh-plugins (optional) - Steve Harris plugins tap-plugins (optional) - toms audio plugins vco-plugins (optional) - oscillator plugins wah-plugins (optional) - wah audio plugins