Aug 8th 2010


Ghetto guitar synth with Linux/Ingen

By unfortunate historical accident the term "guitar synth" seems to have become synonymous with "guitar-like MIDI controller", which is odd as MIDI is fundamentally quite poor at representing the way guitars are played. I wanted to try ditching the MIDI stage and controlling an oscillator directly from the pitch of the guitar. First port of call was the frequency tracker in swh-plugins, but it didn't seem to work particularly well (sorry Steve). So I knocked together an LV2 plugin using Paul Brossier's Aubio library, which includes pitch detection functionality among many other handy things.

You can download my plugin's source code with:

git clone

The bad news is that it currently requires the trunk version of Aubio, which will become 0.3.3 when it is released. So you can't actually run this without getting your hands a bit dirty yet.

Here's a video of me playing guitar through Dave Robillard's Ingen audio processing environment with the pitch detector and an oscillator. As well as showing off the pitch detector plugin, this serves as a bit of an introductory tutorial for Ingen, which in my opinion is underdocumented and underappreciated.

(Direct YouTube link)


Comments are disabled. Blame spammers.