Monthly Archives: December 2013

Bristol Synthesiser Emulations on Linux


Boy have I had some fun over Christmas. This years been interesting, in particular, because I have been listening to Portishead specifically, a track called Humming. At first, I thought it was a Theremin that was creating that spooky high pitched sound.  But after watching some videos on facetube I discovered it was a synthesiser. I know those things from the 80’s. I grew up in the 80’s unaware that there was this instrument revolution going on, that died by the late 90’s. These things to me, look like a piece of scientific equipment, I think that was the initial attraction, but with a keyboard stuck on.

I really wanted to see how it would be possible to make such a noise. These things, if you can find one for sale, are quite expensive and rare. Its basically an analogue computer with oscillators, square sawtooth, sinusoidal, etc, if you don’t know what those are then it does not matter anyway, most people just turned the knobs and see what sound came out.

So I was poking around with Google to see what was around in the opensource arena and I came across this. Bristol synthesiser I emerged it on my Gentoo box (windows versions are not available). After a few hours of playing I managed to get a sound that was alike to Portishead Humming with (-mini).
I took a screen shot so you can try it your self.

Have fun.