How to setup Bristol Audio Synthesis with 64 Studio
Bristol Audio Synthesis is an excellent project written by Nicky Copeland. The project emulates twenty of the classic instruments from the 60's, 70's and 80's. The sounds are distinctive to the Bristol project and are not intended to be totally authentic, however they do sound great.
The project is in active development, and therefore the version being installed here does contain a number of bugs, however, it is playable for personal enjoyment. In addition, it now has JACK support which allows it to integrate easily with Ardour projects and with other 64 Studio packages. (note that JACK support by Bristol is considered experimental).
There is an existing Debian package available, however, this is very old (January 2006), lacks JACK support and to my knowledge does not function well on x86-64 platforms. The low latency 64 Studio distribution is an ideal platform for exploring Bristol, and this HOWTO will hopefully give enough information to provide a workable Bristol implementation on both x86-64 and i386 processors.
Before proceeding, please remember that Bristol is currently in development, and may behave unpredictably on your system. If you are not comfortable experimenting with development systems from sources, please do not proceed.
1. With Synaptic Package Manager, install the following development packages:
xorg-dev libasound2-dev libjack-dev
xorg-dev will probably need to come from the debian etch repository, so that will need to be enabled and the list reloaded. (Once xorg-dev is installed, the etch repository can be deselected and the list reloaded)
1. Goto Bristol download page on sourceforge
2. Download version 0.9.6.212 As far as I know, this is the most recent version which supports both x86-64 and i386
3. Unpack to desktop
tux@64studio:~$ cd Desktop/ tux@64studio:~/Desktop$ tar -xvzf bristol-0.9.6-212.src.042707.tgz
4. Important: If you unpacked using gnome/fileroller, go to the Bristol-0.9.6 directory and create two additional directories bin and lib.
4.5 check bin and lib directories are present:
tux@64studio:~/Desktop$ cd bristol-0.9.6/ tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6$ ls bin tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6$ ls lib
6. change directory to the src
tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6$ cd src
6.5 edit the build script to enable JACK support -
tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6/src$ gedit build
6.6 Within the editor, change line 11 from JACKPKG=no to JACKPGK=yes, save the changes, exit the editor
7. clean out any previously built components to ensure compilation is fresh
tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6/src$ ./build clean
8. build Bristol
The build should complete with no errors, and ask you to run the application from the bin directory
8.5 do NOT install the project (./build install) - this has given very odd problems in the past due to the installed application not being able to see all of the other proejct components.
8.6 change to the bin directory
tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6/src$ cd .. tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6$ cd bin tux@64studio:~/Desktop/bristol-0.9.6/bin$
9. execute Bristol package from the bin directory. The parameters shown here tell Bristol to use JACK and select the instrument "pro5"
$ ./startBristol -audio jack -pro5
A window should open, showing the Prophet 5 synthesiser.
10. Start a Virtual MIDI Keyboard, or connect an external MIDI keyboard.
11. Using JACK control / connect / MIDI, link the MIDI input device to Bristol. Note that there is also a port called brighton. Bristol is the sound engine, and brighton is the gui. The GUI can also accept MIDI input.
12. play the instrument (hopefully!)
13. Study the readme.release and readme.synths files to get more information about the synths available in Bristol
o) Do not install the Debian Bristol package - it can cause conflicts with the locally installed version
o) When quitting the GUI, or CTRL-C'ing Bristol process, please wait 10-15 seconds for the daemon to completely shutdown and the $ prompt to be given. Failing to do so will result in multiple daemons running and no sounds
o) Resizing the instrument window is slow and does not always redraw accurately
o) Switching to/from the B3 parameters window sometimes crashes the GUI
o) The maximum gain (volume) level of some instruments can be low. You can try experimenting with the -gain n parameter
o) the application reports its version as -213
o) The process of building and installing Bristol is not currently straight-forward (this HOWTO seeks to overcome the building problems)
o) installing into a common directory (such as /opt) causes occassional problems where some instruments (such as ARP2600) do not sound by default, and any settings/patches are not remembered
This HOWTO has been prepared on 64Studio 2.0pre1 for AMD64, but should work on i386 and on other versions of 64Studio. Bugs or queries about Bristol should be reported to the Bristol forum (linked from the sourceforge homepage).
readme.release and readme.synths in the main Bristol directory
Bristol homepage : http://Bristol.sourceforge.net/
Wikipedia synthesiser homepage : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthesizer#Classic_synthesizer_designs