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Developer(s)Stefan Sauer and others
Stable release
0.10.2 / 6 January 2016
Operating systemLinux
TypeMusic tracker
LicenseGNU Lesser General Public License

Buzztrax is a free software project to create a clone of the Buzz music composer. The driving motivation is to preserve the playability of the compositions made with Buzz[according to whom?]. Songs are made by adding virtual sound generators and effects, connecting them, recording short musical phrases and arranging them in the sequencer. For distribution, songs can be exported to common audio formats such as OGG, MP3, WAV and many others.


In the middle of 2002 the main developers lost a song during a Buzz session as the result of a software error. As the sources of Buzz were known to be lost, they decided to start a new project. The project name Buzztard was chosen to link to its origin and also underline that the software is based on a mix of concepts. Development started between 2003 and 2004. A first version was released in October 2006. A demo was presented at Linux Audio Conference (LAC) 2007.[1] Several releases have followed since. Starting with version 0.5 Linux distributions (such as Debian, Ubuntu and Arch Linux) have picked up the project and provide ready to install packages. In 2013 the project was renamed to Buzztrax after Google rejected the project for its Summer of Code program due to the name.[2]


The software is based on the GStreamer media framework. As it is the only music composer built on GStreamer it serves as a test-bed for related features.[3] The graphical editor uses GTK+ for its GUI. It integrated with the GNOME desktop, but does not require it. The editor extensively supports copy & paste and unlimited undo & redo. A notable feature of version 0.6 is the editing journal that helps to prevent loss of data in the case of a crash.

Buzz users and the Linux press like the modernized look, but familiar layout.[4][5]

The component architecture supports song import modules. Buzztrax can open songs both in its native and Buzz's format. A wrapper component allows using the existing Buzz-machine binaries under x86 Linux and open-source Buzz-machines on all platforms. A GStreamer bridge plugin makes them available to all GStreamer applications. Another GStreamer plugin enables the playback of buzztrax songs in each GStreamer based media-player. An interaction controller framework allows the use of MIDI devices and any input devices (such as joysticks or Wii Remotes) to be used to control parameters of sounds in real-time.

See also


  1. ^ Buzztard Music Production Environment - Presentation at Linux Audio Conference 2007
  2. ^ #gsoc on 20130419 irc log for the "rejected orgs" meeting (backup[permanent dead link])
  3. ^ Gnome Journal Article Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine - Fun with GStreamer Audio Effects
  4. ^ Buzzchurch user forum Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine - Buzz related user discussion forum
  5. ^ Linux Journal - The Buzztard Project, Part 1