Rosegarden is an open source project that provides users with an award winning and feature-rich MIDI sequencer and music notation application. It is a very popular and appreciated software among musicians, music enthusiasts, music producers and other music professionals.

Features at a glance

Among its major highlights, we can mention audio and MIDI recording/playback using either JACK or ALSA sound servers, support for audio plugins using LADSPA, MIDI and audio mixers, support for audio effects plugins and DSSI synth, support for external instruments via dssi-vstand, and score interpretation of MIDI data.

Another interesting feature is the ability to export tracks to MIDI file I/O, Csound, MusicXML and Lilypond. The user interface can display several editors, including piano-roll, track, event list and score.

The perfect tool for processing MIDI files

Additionally, the application provides for easy portability of MIDI files through shareable device (.rgd). Users who want to use Rosegarden only for processing MIDI files, can do so by building and running it without the JACK Audio Connection Kit software.

When opening the application for the first time, inexperienced users tend to close it immediately and uninstall it, as it provides way too many functionality. On the other hand, this is not a bad thing for music professionals who know what they’re doing.

Getting started with Rosegarden

The application is distributed only as a source archive, which can be hard to install on both Linux and Windows OSes, especially because it depends on several libraries and services. However, many modern Linux distributions offer binary packages for this software in their default software repositories.

For example, Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, Arch Linux and Gentoo users can easily install Rosegarden by using the official channels of their distribution and the default package manager application.

Bottom line

Overall, Rosegarden proved to be one of the best free MIDI and audio sequencers applications for the Linux platform, especially because it supports over 100 MIDI playback devices and a wide range of real-world instruments.

MIDI sequencer Audio sequencer Score editor Sound MIDI Audio Sequencer