The Advanced Linux Sound Architecture is composed of several parts. The first is a fully modularized sound driver which supports module autoloading, devfs, isapnp autoconfiguration, and gives complete access to analog audio, digital audio, control, mixer, synthesizer, DSP, MIDI, and timer components of audio hardware. It also includes a fully-featured kernel-level sequencer, a full compatibility layer for OSS/Free applications, an object-oriented C library which covers and enhances the ALSA kernel driver functionality for applications (client/server, plugins, PCM sharing/multiplexing, PCM metering, etc.), an interactive configuration program for the driver, and some simple utilities for basic management.
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.
Ecasound is a software package designed for multitrack audio processing. It can be used for simple tasks like audio playback, recording, and format conversions, as well as for multitrack effect processing, mixing, recording and signal recycling. It supports a wide range of audio inputs, outputs, and effect algorithms. Effects and audio objects can be combined in various ways, and their parameters can be controlled by operator objects like oscillators and MIDI-CCs. A versatile console-mode user interface is included in the package.
Paloma is a program to manage an SQL database of digital music files, and facilitate their retrieval and playback in interesting ways. It works with music files of any form -- MP3, Ogg Vorbis, MIDI... whatever you've got a player for. Paloma makes it easy to rip your entire CD collection and store it on your hard disk (or a collection of CD-Rs) for instant random access; playlists can then be generated using arbitrary SQL commands.
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.
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.