Sunday, June 5, 2016

How To Install Hydrogen (Music Maker) On Linux

How To Install Hydrogen On Linux

Hydrogen is an open source drum machine created by Alessandro Cominu, an Italian programmer who goes by the pseudonym Comix. Its main goal is to provide professional yet simple and intuitive pattern-based drum programming.

Hydrogen was originally developed for Linux, but later ported to Mac OS X. The graphical user interface for the application uses Qt library, and all code is released under the GNU General Public License.

Features :

These are the features of Hydrogen:

  • Pattern-based sequencer, with unlimited number of patterns and ability to chain patterns into a song.
  • Up to 192 ticks per pattern with individual level per event and variable pattern length.
  • Unlimited instrument tracks with volume, mute, solo, pan capabilities.
  • Multi-layer support for instruments (up to 16 samples for each instrument).
  • Sample Editor, with basic cut and loop functions.
  • Time-stretch and pitch functions.
  • Time-line with variable tempo.
  • Single and stacked pattern mode.
  • Ability to import/export song files.
  • Support for LADSPA effects.
  • Real-time slide control for swing.
  • Option to slightly randomize velocity, time, pitch and swing functions to give a more "human" playback.
  • Multiple patterns playing at once.
  • GMkit, the drum kit features: Kick, Stick, Snare Jazz, Hand Clap, Snare Rock, Tom Low, Closed HH (high hat), Tom Mid, Pedal HH (high hat), Tom Hi (high), Open HH (high hat), Cowbell, Ride Jazz, Crash, Ride Rock, and Crash Jazz.

Installation :

Since there is many Linux Distros, Hydrogen developers not providing distro specific binaries for installation.. so we have to compile from source..

These are the instructions for compiling the Hydrogen versions 0.9.6 (all based on QT4) on a debian-based distribution. Hydrogen runs on all kinds of linux distribution, but then the package names and installation tools will differ.

Required libraries

QT4     : libqt4-dev
ALSA    : libasound-dev
SndFile : libsndfile-dev
JACK    : libjack-dev
LRDF    : liblrdf-dev
TAR     : libtar-dev
LASH    : liblash-dev
ZLIB    : zlib1g-dev

Build steps :

1. Install the required libraries and tools:

apt-get install git-core libqt4-dev g++ libasound2-dev libjack-dev liblrdf0-dev libtar-dev libsndfile1-dev cmake

NOTE: get QT version 4.7 or higher

NOTE: depending on the jack server version you have installed you might have to install libjack-jackd2-dev iso libjack-dev

2. Get the sourcecode:

cd && git clone git://

3. Compile and install hydrogen:

cd hydrogen && ./ m

4. Build a debian package (optional)

As an alternative you can build a debian package. This makes it easier to remove hydrogen from your system.

sudo apt-get install fakeroot debhelper build-essential && cd ~/hydrogen/linux && sudo fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage

The package appears inside hydrogen directory and can be installed with dpkg (dpkg -i package_name)