This is how to install RTSynth on Ubuntu

RTSynth is a fantastic, midi event triggered, realtime software synthesizer developed by Stefan Nitschke. It is one of the few physical modeling approaches to audio synthesis for Linux in which the waveform of the sound generated is computed by using a mathematical model. In other words, equations and algorithms simulate a musical instrument (the physical source of sound). In this “how to install RTSynth” I’ll walk you through the installation procedure.

First download the latest greatest of rtsynth from

Create a folder where you can extract the downloaded file. You can do this by right-clicking the downloaded file in your file manager and choose “Extract here”.

In this example I created a folder called “rtsynth-1.9.5-alsa+jack” in my Downloads folder.

Open a terminal window and go to the folder you just created (in my case ~/Downloads/rtsynth-1.9.5-alsa+jack).
$ cd “Downloads/rtsynth-1.9.5-alsa+jack”

To enable realtime music create a folder called rtsynth within the “opt” folder of your system.
$ sudo mkdir /opt/rtsynth

Now copy the file “” to the folder you just created.
$ sudo cp ./ /opt/rtsynth

You should set RTSynth to owner root by:
$ sudo chown root RTSynth
$ sudo chown root RTSynth-jack

You can now start RTSynth from the terminal window by using the following command:
For ALSA: $ ./RTSynth
For JACKD: $ ./RTSynth-jack

Tips and tricks:

  • When RTSynth starts don’t forget to turn your synth on (button in the RTSynth menubar om the right), otherwise you won’t see jack-outputs…
  • If you open a preset you also need to turn it on

Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line .