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What's Qsynth ?

Qsynth is a fluidsynth GUI front-end application written in C++ around the Qt4 toolkit using Qt Designer. Eventually it may evolve into a softsynth management application allowing the user to control and manage a variety of command line softsynth but for the moment it wraps the excellent FluidSynth. FluidSynth is a command line software synthesiser based on the Soundfont specification.

Qsynth is free, open-source software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or later.

Sourceforge project page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/qsynth

Weblog: http://www.rncbc.org

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Click on image to see more screenshots...


The software requirements for build and runtime are listed as follows:



Latest release

2015-03-25 - Pre-LAC2015 release frenzy.

Previous and older releases, including the change log, are also available here. You may also check out from the latest bleeding edge development source tree, using Git.

You can browse all files available for download, including binary packages, at Qsynth Files on SourceForge.net.


The installation procedure follows the standard for source distributions. In the extracted source directory, just do:

./configure [--prefix=prefix]

and optionally as root:

make install

This procedure will end installing the following files:

Just launch prefix/bin/qsynth and you're off (hopefully). Note that the default installation path prefix is /usr/local.


Unlike FluidSynth, the default audio driver for Qsynth is set to jack, for the low-latency Jack Audio Connection Kit. Therefore one has to start the JACK server daemon (jackd) prior to run Qsynth, and the QjackCtl sister application may be a friendlier choice. To switch from this default behaviour, you can run Qsynth from the command-line giving it a suitable option, where available:

From then on, this setting will be persistently remembered in future sessions, and may be otherwise changed on the setup dialog, of course.


Qsynth holds its settings and configuration state per user, in a file located as $HOME/.config/rncbc.org/Qsynth.conf. Normally, there's no need to edit this file, as it is recreated and rewritten everytime qsynth is run.


Plenty still as this is beta software.


Qsynth is open source free software. For bug reports, feature requests, discussion forums, mailling lists, or any other matter related to the development of this piece of software, please use the Sourceforge project page.

You can also find timely and closer contact information on my personal web site.


Qsynth has been created by Rui Nuno Capela, Richard Bown and Chris Cannam to bring a simple but effective software synthesier front end to the Linux desktop. From an original idea by Richard Bown and Chris Cannam to create an open software synthesiser front end to use in conjunction with Rosegarden and other ALSA based software sequencers. Inspired by Rui's work on QjackCtl.

Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas is currently the most prominent developer, having contributed with the awesome knob skins/styles option, the alternate cmake build system and the Windows(tm) installer bundle. Kudos to Pedro!

Since 2003-11-26, Qsynth has been included in the awesome Planet CCRMA software collection. Many thanks to Fernando!

This project has also a freecode.com entry.
( formerly freshmeat.net )

Dated from 2004-06-08, an online article written by no one else but Dave Phillips, has been published on Linux Journal, introducing you to Qsynth and also QjackCtl. Please have a read:

It's not on every regular day that you get to see one piece of the trade pointing two of your creations right in the title, is it?

Thanks Dave! You rule!

A special mention should also go to the translators of Qsynth, of course:

  • Pavel Fric (cs)
  • Guido Scholz (de)
  • Pedro Lopez-Cabanillas (es)
  • Alexandre Prokoudine (ru)
  • Jay Alexander Fleming (sr)

Thanks to you all.