everything you always wanted to know about linuxsampler

The LinuxSampler plugin

If you’re working in a host like Qtractor or Ardour 3, you can skip some of the complexity by using LinuxSampler as an LV2 plugin. You still use Fantasia to configure your instruments, but using the plugin simplifies input and output routing (since you don’t have to do any!), and it also simplifies session management, since your host will automatically reload your instruments for you when you open your project.

If you built LinuxSampler from source, and you had the “lv2core” package installed, the LV2 plugin should have been built and installed automatically as part of your LinuxSampler installation. If you can’t find the plugin within your host, go back to that build process and make sure it’s building and installing the plugin.

LinuxSampler running as an LV2 plugin

LinuxSampler works well as an LV2 plugin within Ardour 3

When using the plugin, you don’t need to start the “linuxsampler” backend — just set up a MIDI track within your host, add the plugin, and then launch Fantasia. When it opens, you should see a MIDI input and audio output (both called “Plugin”) already defined. You should also see an empty instrument slot — just load your preferred instrument in to it, and you’re ready to play.

If you load more than one instance of the plugin, each instance gets its own input, output, and instrument slot within Fantasia. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to give you any indication of which instrument slot maps to each plugin instance, but if you configure your plugins one-at-a-time, this usually isn’t a problem.

Next steps

LinuxSampler has further features to explore, such as its instrument database, and the “gigedit” tool, but your eyes are probably glazing over at this point! It’s a powerful app, but hopefully this has given you a solid introduction. If you have any questions or tips, or links to LinuxSampler packages or quality SFZ or .gig sounds, be sure to leave a comment.

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