I followed the advice for using PulseAudio to solve this problem. I have worked with a couple of Linux software synthesizers like Amsynth, ZynAddSubFX, and Yoshimi and they are really capable synthesizers in terms of creating many various sounds.

But how do I record these sounds? Do I have to record them with a microphone? That just does not seem right. I have seen some options to forward their MIDI output to other software like LMMS, but it just gives the notes, not the sound (timbre).

Also, I have seen no option in these synthesizers to record the sound being played to an audio file. So, how are standalone software synthesizers (excluding those that have become integrated in other software like LMMS or Ardour) recorded?

If I want to record the audio from the synth to a separate track while I play along with a file that I have loaded in audacity, can I do so without having the file I am playing with be re-recorded into the same track as the synth? It's difficult to edit when the synth lead I have recorded is all on the same track.

  • Don't know how it works on Linux, but presumably similar to Windows: One of the driver options should have a "speakers loopback" input, that's how you record the normal audio out. Illustration for Windows: manual.audacityteam.org/man/… Generally, it's a feature of the recording software rather than the synth. Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 0:57
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    Pulse audio is not really made to make music, especially in terms of latency and routing possibility. Why don't you use the usual jack/alsa combo? (Note that Amsynth stands for Alsa Modular Synth).. Why Jack you will have the possibility to route the output of synth to anything.
    – Tom
    Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 7:03

1 Answer 1


Start recording in some program, e.g. audacity. Then, using pavucontrol (PulseAudio volume control tool) in "Recording" tab you may see a selection between something like "Built-in Audio Analog Stereo" and "Monitor of Built-in Audio Analog Stereo". If you select the latter, your recording program will start to record whatever is being played by your speakers, including your synth...

...and also any other sounds, which makes it far from a perfect solution. A more appropriate tool in linux is jack. A graphical interface qjackctl allows you to manually route MIDI and audio signals. Also majority of software for making music integrates well with jack.

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