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beast - Music composition and modular synthesis application


beast [OPTIONS] [FILES…]


Beast is the BEtter Audio SysTem. It is a music composition and modular synthesis application released as free software under the GNU LGPL.

Beast comes with various synthesis modules which can be arranged in networks for modular synthesis. It is capable of monophonic and polyphonic voice processing, provides MIDI sequencer functionality and supports external sequencer sources. A huge set of extra modules is available through the support for LADSPA (Linux Audio Developer’s Simple Plugin API) plugins.


Beast follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (‘-’).

General options

–skinrc FILENAME
Read skin resources from FILENAME.
–print-dir RESOURCE
Print the directory for a specific resource (e.g. ‘plugins’ or ‘images’). Giving just –print-dir without an extra argument causes Beast to print the list of available resources.
Cause the following files to be merged into the previous or first project.
Enrich the GUI with hints useful for (script) developers
-h, –help
Show a brief help message.
-v, –version
Print out Beast with component versions and file paths.
Execute with priority NICELEVEL, this option only takes effect for the root suid wrapper ‘beast’.
Disable renicing to execute with existing priority.
–display DISPLAY
X server display for the GUI; see X(7).
–bse-latency USECONDS
Set the allowed synthesis latency for Bse in milliseconds.
–bse-mixing-freq FREQUENCY
Set the desired synthesis mixing frequency in Hz.
–bse-control-freq FREQUENCY
Set the desired control frequency in Hz, this should be much smaller than the synthesis mixing frequency to reduce CPU load. The default value of approximately 1000 Hz is usually a good choice.

–bse-pcm-driver DRIVER-CONF

This options results in an attempt to open the PCM driver DRIVER-CONF when playback is started. Multiple options may be supplied to try a variety of drivers and unless DRIVER-CONF is specified as ‘auto’, only the drivers listed by options are used. Each DRIVER-CONF consists of a driver name and an optional comma seperated list of arguments attached to the driver with an equal sign, e.g.: -p oss=/dev/dsp2,rw -p auto

–bse-midi-driver DRIVER-CONF

This option is similar to the –bse-pcm-driver option, but applies to MIDI drivers and devices. It also may be specified multiple times and features an ‘auto’ driver.
Produce a list of all available PCM and MIDI drivers and available devices.
Stop argument processing, interpret all remaining arguments as file names.

Development Options

–debug KEYS
Enable certain verbosity stages.
List possible debug keys.
This option enables or disables various debugging specific flags for Beast core developers. Use of -: is not recommended, because the supported flags may change between versions and cause possibly harmful misbehaviour.

Gtk+ Options

–gtk-debug FLAGS
Gtk+ debugging flags to enable.
–gtk-no-debug FLAGS
Gtk+ debugging flags to disable.
–gtk-module MODULE
Load additional Gtk+ modules.
–gdk-debug FLAGS
Gdk debugging flags to enable.
–gdk-no-debug FLAGS
Gdk debugging flags to disable.
Make warnings fatal (abort).
Do all X calls synchronously.


bse(5), sfidl(1), Beast/Bse Website

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