Beast is a powerful music composition and modular synthesis application. It offers multiple input methods like multitrack, piano roll, and pattern editing and supports skins. On the technical side, it has a wide range of abilities like sequencing, unlimited undo/redo history, real-time synthesis with multiprocessor support, full duplex 32-bit audio rendering, precise timing down to sample granularity, on demand loading of partial wave files, on the fly decoding of various sample formats, aliasing free oscillators, and full Scheme scripting support.
KeyKit is a multi-tasking interpreted programming language (inspired by awk) designed exclusively for realtime and algorithmic MIDI manipulation. KeyKit's GUI provides several dozen tools for algorithmic music experimentation, including a multi-track sequencer and drum pattern editor. The GUI and all tools are completely written in the KeyKit language itself. This allows users to add new tools and operations to the existing tools, even while the system is running. Complete C source code and precompiled executables for Windows and Linux are provided.
Mup produces very high quality PostScript printed music or a MIDI file from a text input file. It can handle almost any kind of music, instrumental or vocal, including tablature, shaped notes, guitar grids, alternate tunings, user-defined symbols, and much more. Mup has been under active development since 1992.
Sfront compiles MPEG 4 Structured Audio (MP4-SA) programs into efficient C programs that generate audio when executed. MP4-SA is a standard for normative algorithmic sound, which combines an audio signal processing language (SAOL) with score languages (MIDI and SASL). Under Mac OS X and Linux, sfront supports real-time, low-latency audio input/output and MIDI input. Under Mac OS X, sfront supports the creation of AudioUnit plug-ins. The documentation includes a book about SAOL programming.
MidiKeys is a little application that displays a piano keyboard onscreen. You can click the keyboard or use the computer keyboard to play MIDI notes. The keyboard window can be made to float on top of other applications and supports transparency. Also, MidiKeys will optionally set up hotkeys for the computer keyboard so you can play notes in other applications (such as a sequencer) without having to switch back to MidiKeys. It works great on a PowerBook!
SynthTest is a somewhat simple application for OS X that allows you to pick a MIDI source, a MusicDevice AudioUnit, and an Effect or MusicEffect AudioUnit to play with. You can open an edit window for both the synth and effect. If they do not have a custom edit GUI, the generic editor view will be used. SynthTest has a reference implementation of preset support for Audio Units. It is primarily intended to be used by Audio Unit developers for testing purposes (the source is available), although it can be great fun to play with all by itself. It is complete enough to be used for live performances.