The MusE 4 MIDI sequencer

Music Maker

© Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

© Photo by Marius Masalar on Unsplash

Article from Issue 258/2022
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MusE, a digital audio workstation, offers a free software solution for MIDI projects on Linux.

If you want to create music with free software on Linux, you can choose from a few digital audio workstations (DAWs). If you play live music, Ardour is usually a good choice. However, if you primarily compose music in MIDI notation with virtual or hardware synthesizers, you may want to consider MusE 4. Of the free DAWs for Linux, MusE 4 puts the most emphasis on full support for the many methods and standards that have found their way into MIDI technology over the past 50 years.

Where to Get It

A few years ago, MusE was in the standard feature set of popular distributions related to music production, which is true of Ubuntu Studio (used to test MusE in our lab). Today, the major distributions often only have an outdated version in their package sources because work on MusE has been pretty slow at times.

To get the latest version, you can download an AppImage from the MusE website [1]. AppImages (and containers like them) are not necessarily the perfect solution for real-time audio. The elaborate wrapper increases the system load and the compartmentalized image often also prevents correct integration with the JACK audio server and ASLA MIDI. However, the MusE team has done a good job of testing the AppImages very carefully. A tolerable delay at startup time is the only side effect of running MusE from the AppImage. Once Muse4 is running, it responds quickly and integrates into the environment in an exemplary manner.

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