Carla on the Raspberry Pi

Last week I managed to get Carla running on my RPi. Carla is a really nice plugin host that supports the most important plugin frameworks available for Linux (LV2, DSSI, LADSPA and VST) with some awesome extra features like a built-in ZynAddSubFX synth and support for SF2, SFZ and GIG files. The latter didn’t work until yesterday but I managed to compile LinuxSampler (which is needed by Carla in order to be able to load SFZ and GIG files) for the RPi with the help of Paul Brossier aka piem from the Aubio project.

I just wrote him a mail:

Hello Paul,

I’m trying to package LinuxSampler for Raspberry Pi but I’m running into an issue when compiling which fails with a message related to RTMath.h. After some googling I ended up here:
So I started scouring the interwebs and found this:
Where there is a reference to a possible fix. But the diff.gz that contains the patch is untraceable. I know this announcement is almost 8 years old but do you think you still have the diff or maybe an idea what changes you made to the code?

Thanks in advance and keep up the good work with Aubio!

Best regards,

Jeremy Jongepier

And guess what, he replied almost instantly! He gave me some pointers where to add some extra code and even though I’m not a coder I started trying things out. But then I stumbled upon actual patches to resolve this issue. I needed both the ARM and atomic patch and after applying those LinuxSampler compiled flawlessly in my Raspbian ARM chroot. The few lines of code I cooked up myself were almost identical so I got quite far actually. I should really pick up learning how to code, I think I’d learn fast.

So after compiling LinuxSampler I could rebuild Carla against the freshly created LinuxSampler libs. Installed the deb on my RPi and loaded some SFZ’s. It all worked like a charm. Carla is like a Swiss Army Knife, I’m really starting to appreciate this piece of software. Kudos to falkTX! And thanks to Paul Brossier for responding so quickly and helping me to get on the right track.

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Carla running on the Raspberry Pi

Carla on the Raspberry Pi

19 thoughts on “Carla on the Raspberry Pi

  1. hi Jeremy, what nice work. i am still looking to get linuxsampler running on RPi. can you share the needed modifications?? btw i am also dutch, living in Praha right now πŸ˜‰
    I am looking to design a synth and sampler with RPi but i think i don’t want X to be running since its using resources. instead i would like to build a headless system controlled with midi. SFZ are the bomb and zynaddsubfx is a great synth. Kindest regards Tim

  2. Petra says:

    Hello folks, I just stumbled across this site after being aroused by some Carla posting. I am looking for an easy-to-use stable sequencer that would allow me to play midi input as a kind of direct instrument in an “unplugged” manner: Wind controller => midi sequencer/external usb sound module (if needed) => amplifier. Everything in this chain battery-powered, please. πŸ™‚

    Based on my experiences with latency issues on a notepad computer (Lenovo IdeaPad) I strongly doubt that the RasPi has enough processing power to support FluidSynth with SF2 (my current setup) or anything similar to produce live music. But I’d love to be proven wrong! Hope you can convince me! πŸ™‚


  3. Hello Quang, I rarely build software directly on embedded devices but I use chroots for this. Same goes for building software from source, I package it immediately if possible.

  4. Quang Nguyen says:

    What’s chroots? Any link?
    Do you need to build QT, Py, … for arm?
    What’s your RPi OS?
    How do package the bin file?

    Please help. I am newbie on this field πŸ™‚

  5. Hate to say it but if you’re a newbie then I fear setting up an ARM chroot and packaging software is a bit too ambituous πŸ™ I’d suggest to do some googling on chroot, qemu-debootstrap and Debian packaging. And no, you don’t need to build Qt, Python, etc. for ARM, they should be in your distro’s repository. I’m using Raspbian myself and on other embedded devices I use Debian.

  6. Quang Nguyen says:

    I manage to build Carla successfully, directly on the board πŸ™‚
    It’s Debian too.
    The output directory contains files. However I want to package it into an executable file.
    How can you package these bin files?

  7. Quang Nguyen says:

    I want to package the binary file after the build, to easier to deploy other targets.

    I have one more question. My built carla can not load the two files: gig and sf2. I guest I missed some plugin when building the application. Do you meet this problem before – how to fix?

  8. Quang Nguyen says:

    I try to install fluidsynth and compile linuxsampler. It works perfect now.

    Thanks so much for your help

  9. Hello Jeremy, i would like to build a simple RPI VST that can manage DLL vst, i think that i must use carla, please have a simple build with Carla compile ? in addition witch the best way to install or comèpile carla on RPI ?
    many thanks in advance

  10. Michael says:

    Hello! This is a very interesting project!
    I have one question… When I’m able to run Carla on a raspberry pi, does that mean I can run any VST plugin (even when compiled for windows) on a raspberry pi?
    Carla should support all sorts of plugins, but does it “emulate” a windows runtime for the plugins even on the raspberry pi?

  11. N3uR0 says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    i am interested in the carla work on the Pi. I want to try it on my pi4 but unfortunatly the repo is not available anymore. Did you have the repo somewhere else or ist the project done?


  12. phil says:

    Required libgig version not found!
    You need to have libgig version 4.2.0 installed!

    how do you compile it on raspbian ?

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