Old Time Synthesiser Simulator

As a musician, my primary instrument is the flute, but I play most of the woodwinds.

One instrument I’ve always enjoyed playing with, just for fun, is the synthesiser keyboard. It’s a love that my autistic adult son also shares. He has a wonderful MIDI keyboard by Roland that he uses to compose classical music on. It’s plugged into his desktop computer, using the JACK Audio Connection Kit software and Ardour and Audacity  for mixing, recording,  etcetera.

Imagine my delight while poking around the Package Manager when I found the Bristol classic synthesiser program. You can use it of course with the JACK Audio Connection Kit, or you can also install the monoBristol package to provide a direct GUI to play with old-time keyboards without it.

Open your Package Manager and search for Bristol, and install Bristol, Bristol Data, as well as the MonoBristol package as shown:

Package Manager installing Bristol

Package Manager installing Bristol

The GUI program won’t show up in your Menu, so open a Terminal window and simply type: monobristol

You can of course, also create a menu item to start it with a click!

After it’s launched, you will be presented with a huge matrix of the available classic synthesisers you can play with:

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

I have owned several over the years, but the mini Moog was always my favorite.  Search the list, click on the synth you’d like to play with and simply give it a click!

Moog Mini

Moog Mini

Once open, you can use your mouse, keyboard, or your connected MIDI keyboard to now play the displayed synthesiser. All of the dials, knobs, switches, and other controls on the keyboard are available to change settings. Change the envelope, attack, decay, etcetera of the sound, just like you could on the original!

Yamaha CS-80

Yamaha CS-80

Tired of playing with the Moog, then load a Yamaha, or a Fender Rhodes!

Some great software in the Package Manager, so explore it and enjoy!