Fantasia, a GUI frontend developed by JSampler
LinuxSampler is a music sampler under active development, aiming to provide a pure software audio sampler with professional grade features, comparable to both hardware and commercial Windows or Mac software samplers and to introduce new features not yet available by any other sampler. Much of LinuxSampler is free software but some, such as the back-end, is non-free, as described below.
LinuxSampler was designed as a sampler back-end, decoupled from any user interface. It provides a native C++ API as well as a network interface using an ASCII based protocol called LSCP for controlling the sampler and managing sampler sessions. Also, there are already two convenient frontends for LinuxSampler, QSampler and JSampler.
Due to the decoupled design the sampler can be controlled with the GUI frontend(s) even from another computer, probably even running another OS like Windows or Mac OS X. SMP and cluster support is planned for future releases. There is a graphical instrument editor called gigedit, based on the GUI library GTK+, which can be used to edit and create Gigasampler format instruments and can either be used as a stand-alone application or in conjunction with LinuxSampler. The latter case allows to play and edit instruments at the same time, making all modifications with gigedit immediately audible, without having to reload the instruments into the sampler.
LinuxSampler, as the name indicates, was originally conceived to run on Linux, but thanks to the abstraction of audio and MIDI drivers and platform dependent functions, the sampler was successfully ported to Windows, Mac OS X and FreeBSD.
The Windows version of LinuxSampler currently can work in standalone mode providing ASIO audio output and MME MIDI input and as a VSTi plugin providing full integration with VST sequencers. The Mac OS X version currently supports jackd audio output and CoreMIDI input. The Audio Unit interface (AU plugin) is in beta.
It is planned to support all common sampler formats in LinuxSampler, but at the moment the work is concentrate on the Gigasampler format. Beside that, the goal is to design a new, sophisticated sampler format, more powerful and more flexible compared to any sampler format currently available in the world.
There is a feature list with more information about the current development plans available.
Most components are distributed as free software, under either the GNU General Public License or the GNU Lesser General Public License. However, the licence of the sampler backend prohibits commercial use. For commercial use, permission and terms must be sought from the developers. The backend is thus not free software. The ban on commercial use does not however include banning LinuxSampler's use for commercial music production. This is explicitly allowed.
That being said, GNU GPL license explicitly prohibits any additional restrictions to its terms, which MAY mean that prohibiting commercial use have no legal effects and can be ignored. Alternatively, this MAY mean that it cannot be used or distributed under any terms.
- List of free software for audio (although note that LinuxSampler itself is not wholly free software)
- List of Linux audio software
- "Download page with licence information".
LinuxSampler is licensed under the GNU GPL license with the exception that USAGE of the source code, libraries and applications FOR COMMERCIAL HARDWARE OR SOFTWARE PRODUCTS IS NOT ALLOWED without prior written permission by the LinuxSampler authors.
- "FAQ page with license information".
Every indirect commercial usage of LinuxSampler, which essentially means using its audio output, can of course be used in commercial applications like music productions, live shows, etc.
- LinuxSampler project's website
- Article about LinuxSampler on LinuxJournal
- List of sample libraries compatible with LinuxSampler
- LinuxSampler for Windows HOWTO
- LinuxSampler for Mac OS X HOWTO
- LinuxSampler for Debian GNU/Linux HOWTO
- QSampler - based on the cross-platform C++ GUI library Qt
- JSampler - Java based, thus platform independent