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A roadmap for Planet CCRMA

Last updated on Aug 14 2003.

Planet CCRMA is starting to get big. So big that recently landed visitors are having trouble getting their bearings and navigating the maze of applications. So I have started compiling a ``roadmap'' to help newbies and seasoned dwellers alike that navigate the site decide which applications might be useful for a particular purpose. This roadmap is most probably incomplete and may even be innacurate at times. If you end up in an uncharted back road map it and tell me about it :-)

Mixers: you need a way to control the ALSA mixer included in your soundcard.

  • Gamix: a very nice program for controlling the built in mixer of sound cards. You have to have it.
  • Qamix: Qamix is programmable so you can customize the mixer for your soundcard (and drop the controls you never use!)

Patch bays: there are two connection based api's in Planet CCRMA, the ALSA sequencer (MIDI information) and the Jack Audio Connection Kit (audio information for Jack aware applications). You need these applications to manage connections for programs that do not have their own internal patchbay or do not set up default connections.

Sound Editors: basic sound editing.

  • Snd: very versatile, very complex, it is completely customizable with its own internal scheme interpreter.
  • Audacity
  • Rezound
  • Sweep
  • Swami: not exactly a sound editor, Swami lets you create or edit SoundFonts for use in software samplers like Fluidsynth or Timidity++.

Multitrack Recorders or Digital Audio Workstations: multichannel recording, playback and effects.

  • Ecasound: command line based tool, extremely versatile.
  • Ardour: a very very complete digital audio workstation.

Software Synthesizers: software synthesis programs, normally controlled through MIDI.

Real-time synthesis and processing: instant realtime gratification, what you can do is limited by the processing power your computer has.

  • Pd: in a class by itself (along with jmax which is not yet part of Planet CCRMA), does real-time synthesis and processing of audio and midi data. Very basic gui, very very powerful processing. You can add libraries of ``externals'' to enhance functionality (see Ggee ggee, Gem, Iemlib and Zexy).

Non-realtime sound synthesis and processing: you have to wait but you can do anything, processor power does not limit number of voices or complexity of the rendered soundfile.

MIDI applications:

  • Vkeybd: virtual midi keyboard that uses the computer keyboard to generate midi events, uses the alsa sequencer interface, use Kaconnect or Alsa Patch Bay to patch it to other alsa sequencer clients.
  • Gmorgan: MIDI organ with full auto-accompaniment (and more...)
  • Hydrogen: a pattern based drum machine
  • Muse: midi sequencing, audio recording.
  • Rosegarden 4: midi sequencing, audio recording, notation editor.
  • Seq24: small looping midi sequencer.

LADSPA plugins: LADSPA is the Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API. Here is a list of packages that contains LADSPA plugins.

Applications that can use LADSPA plugins:

  • Ardour: digital audio workstation.
  • Ecasound: command line based digital audio workstation.
  • Snd: sound editor
  • Audacity: sound editor
  • Sweep: sound editor
  • Jack Rack: use any LADSPA plugin to build an ``effects rack'' you can plug into Jack.
  • Ecamegapedal: real-time effects processor.
  • warning: this list is incomplete!

Music Notation Editors:

  • Noteedit: a notation editor.
  • Rosegarden 4: this sequencer and sound recorder also includes a simple notation editor.
  • Lilypond: latex based notation renderer, very high quality output.
  • CM/CLM/CMN: CMN (Common Music Notation) Common Lisp based notation renderer, very high quality postscript output.

Jack and friends: Jack: a synchronous low latency sound server, more and more applications are supporting it (there are now two ways that I know off to connect to jack if the application is not designed for jack, Libjackasyn is a library for old style OSS applications, a new jack plugin is now available in the latest cvs alsa). Here is a list of applications that can run as clients of Jack:

Sound Compression:

  • Ogg Vorbis: a free, non-patent encumbered lossy sound compression library, use instead of mp3.
  • Speex: a low bitrate lossy compression library for voice.
  • Flac: a non-lossy compression library.

Sound Players:

  • Xmms: sound and video player
  • Alsaplayer: sound player, can use alsa or jack

Spectral processors:


DJ tools:


  • LADCCA: a server for storing and retrieving session information.


  • Resample: command line high quality sampling rate conversion program.
  • Qarecord: a simple alsa and jack sound recorder.
  • RTMix

Sound and Music Libraries:

Video players:

DV (Digital Video) libraries and utilities:

Non-linear video editing:

  • Kino: a simple non-linear video editing tool, it has a plugin interface. See Kinoplus and Timfx plugin collections. Some useful command line utilities that can manipulate kino files can be found in Smilutils.
  • Cinelerra: non-linear video editing tool.
  • Filmgimp: gimp for video.


VCD authoring:

  • vcdimager: authoring of Video or Super Video CDs.

Renderman renderers:

3D modelling:

Synchronizing utilities:

  • Unison: very useful tool for synchronizing files and directories between computers (even across different operating systems).


  • Anjuta: a C/C++ Integrated Development Environment.


  • Xcdroast: a CDR or CDRW burning tool.
  • Cdrtools: cdda2wav, cdrecord and mkisfs command line utilities.

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Next: Sound and Music Applications Up: The Planet CCRMA package Previous: The Planet CCRMA package

© Copyright 2001...2011 Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, CCRMA, Stanford University.
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