Confused? Here's a Quick Start guide to get you up and running.
Many Linux distributions include amsynth in their package repositories. This is definitely the easiest way to get up and running, although probably will not get you the latest version of amsynth.
For those of you who are a little more adventurous, I would recommend building and installing amsynth from source.
In order to get the best from amsynth you will need a MIDI keyboard of some description. The most convenient choice is probably a keyboard with a built-in USB-MIDI interface, but make sure it's Linux compatible!
I would strongly recommend using amsynth in combination with the JACK audio system. While it can be slightly more confusing to newcomers, it offers the best performance and ability to run music application side-by-side.
In this example I will be using QJackCtl to control JACK, as it makes things easier.
- Run qjackctl from the command line, or from your applications menu.
- Press the Setup button and check that it is using the correct audio device. Also check that "MIDI Driver" is set to seq.
- Press the Start button. If there is an error message, then check your configuration.
- Run amsynth from the command line, or from your application menu.
- Press and hold amsynth's Audition button. You should hear some sound.
- If you cannot hear any sound, try running jack_simple_client from the command line. If you can't hear anything, then
- Press the Connect button in QJackCtl
- Select the MIDI tab
- Connect system:midi_capture_X to amsynth:midi_in. Note that MIDI messages from your device may not arrive on the first midi_capture port, so try them one by one.
- Play some notes on your keyboard, and you should hear some sound! If not, then go back a step and try connecting any other MIDI capture ports available on your system.