Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
In this second installment I'll profile Minicomputer, a subtractive synthesizer with some familiar aspects, unique characteristics, and terrific sounds. Let's take a look under its hood and see what makes the Minicomputer run.
Malte Steiner is no stranger to audio software development. His hYdra program was one of the earliest graphic editors for the files produced by the Csound hetro audio analysis utility, and a version for Java (hYdraJ) is still available. Recently he has turned his talents towards the software profiled in this article, his Minicomputer software synthesizer for Linux.
According to the description on its Web page, Minicomputer is designed especially for making sounds typically associated with experimental music in the industrial and grindcore styles. It is essentially a monophonic subtractive synthesizer architecture similar to amSynth, but with a considerably expanded design. Minicomputer is fully controllable with MIDI and employs JACK for its realtime audio output.
Alas, it's unlikely that your favorite Linux distribution currently includes Minicomputer in its repositories, so you'll need to fire up your development environment and compile the synth yourself. Thankfully the process is quite simple and the synth's dependencies are minimal. You'll need the library and development packages for JACK and ALSA, along with the FLTK GUI toolkit, liblo (for communication using OSC), the pthreads package, and the Scons build utility. All these dependencies should be available in your distribution's primary repositories.