Thursday, November 05, 2009

rakarrack is a decent effects rack for linux

rakarrack is a decent effects rack for linux.

It's not packaged for ubuntu(of course), but is fairly easy to compile. I've been using the cvs version (yes, people are still quite happily using cvs it seems).

Once you get it set up you have access to 80 presets of realtime guitar effects(2-40ms depending on your computer sound card setup).

It works with the jack audio system, so you can route audio into it, and route its audio out to other programs easily enough. You can also control it with midi(alsa, or jack). Meaning you can hook it up to a midi controller of some sort. I've been using it with an maudio axiom 25 controller, and with python scripts via pygame.midi.



It even has a very nice help manual integrated into the program... I wish more programs had a good help section. It details the 17 different effects that come with the program.

One thing which is a bit funny is that it doesn't use LADSPA or lv2 plugins. You can of course still use these other plugins through other jack programs if you want. However the ones it comes with are all fairly good quality from my tinkering. There is a lot you can do with the various plugins in different orders with different settings in each one. The 80 presets show a good variations of sounds you can get out of it.

I've been using it in conjunction with the mixxx mixing program and the hydrogen drum machine. So you don't need to use it just with guitars... any program or audio input will do.

If you are using guitars it also has a tuner which might come in handy... if you've never quite got the hang of playing that song called Tuning that you hear at the start of every gig.

4 comments:

Transmogrifox said...

I have been playing with Rakarrack, too. I had been thinking about getting another multi-FX pedal rig, then stumbled upon this find. It pretty much replaces what I would buy...I like to use a real tube amp & FX in the FX loop, so I'm not interested in amp modeling software. Rakarrack gives the nice DSP FX section for all the crazy sounds, and I can take care of the distortion & amp sounds in the analog world.

You may also enjoy my blog if you want some of the experimental code I have generated. I have been working on an analog phaser model (there is a tar.gz on my blog with audio files if you want to hear it first). I also fixed the compressor in most current CVS. There's a final bug fix to the compressor on its way in, so you may want to check for code commits, or you can just download that file from my blog.
rakahack.blogspot.com

Just browse into the /src directory and replace Compressor.C, Compressor.h, Phaser.C, Phaser.h with what I have on my web page, make && make install and you're all good. I recommend copying the original phaser code elsewhere. You will not have a reason to want to preserve the old compressor.

You could also make a different directory, run make without make install. Run the alternate version of Rakarrack from that directory.

Cheers

illume said...

Hi,

cool. I've been reading through your blog. It's quite interesting reading about your developments. I'll give your phaser a try next time I'm messing around with music things.

cu,

veers said...

To be honest I didn't like the effects in rakarrack all that much. jconv is quite cool for reverbs and cab modeling though.

I've made some experiments developing an amp modeling software but so far I've failed. Tube amps seem to be pretty crazy buggers.

Anyway I'm looking forward to some more opensource software in this area.

Transmogrifox said...

@ veers
Have you checked out the calf plugin suite? I haven't tried it yet, but it looks promising:
http://calf.sourceforge.net/

I was thinking about trying to compile and test drive this weekend.