How to play the guitar in Void Linux

I started working as a sysadmin somewhat recently, since my work is to fight computers, I no longer enjoy fighting computers, so I had to find a new hobby. After trying to find a new hobby, I find myself being one of the guys from “The Kids Aren’t Alright” by The Offspring, because now I just play the guitar and smoke a lot of pot.

Normally, you’d connect a guitar to an amplifier so you can play it. But some of us, me included, live with unsuffriable family members who hate to see you happy and will complain about certain aromas or noise. So what you can do is to use your computer as an amplifier. To use this you’ll need some hardware:

  • An electric guitar
  • A sound card (I use the prodipe studio 22+ because a friend of mine sold it for a reasonable price and it’s a great soundcard)
  • Headphones that support 6.5 jack entries. I use Pioneer HDJ 1500 because my mom’s a DJ, with this model you can change between 3.5mm and 6.5mm at will. Pretty epic.
  • Everything else you need to play a guitar

Linux setup

I use Void Linux for autistic reasons. Playing the guitar just worked with the following setup. I could become Syd Barrett easily. But one day the JACK shat itself and pulseaudio became autistic. I could not find any solution to keep using Pulse Audio, which ended up in me discovering the best piece of software known to humankind: pipewire.

Pipewire is just a sound server like pulseaudio, with the difference that this one does not sucks ass cock and balls.

So basically, first you stop PulseAudio from starting at login, not so hard, just remove pulseaudio.desktop form /etc/xdg/autostart And then install pipewire and the necessary plugins.

# xbps-install pipewire pipewire-pulse libjack-pipewire alsa-plugins-jack cadence guitarrix tuxguitar

pipewire-pulse is a layer of compatibility of pipewire with pulseaudio, libjack-pipewire is a embeded jack server onto pipewire or something like this. Which is extremely epic in my opinion. Cadence is a jack configurator (comes with more software you want to use). Guitarrix is a amplifier emulator and TuxGuitar is just a software that reads .gpx files so you can learn to play your favorite songs.

After installing pipewire, first you create autostarts to autostart pipewire and pipewire-pulse (in that order). To do this just do this:

ln -s /usr/share/applications/pipewire.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/pipewire.desktop

Then manually create one startup option for pipewire-pulse in your DE configuration, if you’re using an autistic window manager like dwm you should know how to do this.

After adding those rules, log off and log in, and run pactl info it should output something like PulseAudio (on PipeWire 0.3.68) This basically means that your PulseAudio server is just PipeWire, you’re using pipewire but you can also use pipewire to work as pulseaudio, and jack.

Making the thing work

Alright, connect your 6.5 jack headphones to the sound card, plug the soundcard to the computer, change the audio output (through pavucontrol or anything) to the soundcard, play any song and you’ll know what a FLAC sounds like. Then you connect the guitar, play a few chords, and it sounds through the sound card (“the prodipe” from now on). So you’re almost ready. Now you have to use pipewire’s jack server to configure the audio flow. First open Guitarix and Catia with the following command:

$ pw-jack guitarix &
$ pw-jack catia &

This will launch Guitarix (guitar amplifier) and Catia, a software to plug and unplug audios through jack.

So you have to connect your guitar to Guitarix and then from Guitarix to the desired output, like this:


After that, just go to Guitarix and add enough effects so you sound like Alice in Chains. And have fun.