Using ZynAddSubFX Without the GUI

I recently discovered how to run the ZynAddSubFX engine from the command line without displaying its GUI. I think this will be useful when I want to use a specific instrument that I don’t need to edit.

First, I launched ZynAddSubFX (with its GUI) and selected the desired instrument. I then selected File > Save All Parameters…, navigated to the desired save location, added my desired filename (excluding the .xmz suffix) to the end of Filename, and clicked the OK button. The instrument was saved at the specified location, with the .xmz suffix automatically added.

The command I use to run ZynAddSubFX is:

zynaddsubfx --auto-connect --no-gui -O jack --load="/home/steve/bin/choir.xmz"

(note that the command is entered on one line and not split onto two lines as shown above)

–auto-connect automatically connects the audio output. You may wish to exclude this option if you’re using session management.

–no-gui runs the ZynAddSubFX engine without the GUI.

-O jack sends the audio output to JACK.

–load=”/home/steve/bin/choir.xmz” tells ZynAddSubFX which instrument file to use. The quotes around the file name aren’t needed in this case but would be required if there were any spaces in the file’s path.

I put this command in an executable script file and run the script in a terminal.

When I’m done using ZynAddSubFX I stop it by pressing Ctrl-C in its terminal session.

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