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SpectMorph is a free software project which allows to analyze samples of musical instruments, and to combine them (morphing). It can be used to construct hybrid sounds, for instance a sound between a trumpet and a flute; or smooth transitions, for instance a sound that starts as a trumpet and then gradually changes to a flute. In its current version, SpectMorph ships with many ready-to-use instruments which can be combined using morphing.

Compiling SpectMorph:

To compile SpectMorph, use the usual

make install

LV2 Support:

Configure should automatically determine via pkg-config whether the lv2 development headers are available. When the LV2 plugin doesn't get built, install them.


SpectMorph supports three different plugin formats,

  • CLAP plugin
  • VST plugin
  • LV2 plugin

for Linux, macOS (x86_64 and Apple Silicon) and 64-bit Windows, so it works in many different hosts, such as Ardour, Qtractor, Anklang, Bitwig, Renoise, Cubase, Ableton Live and others. For hosts that support CLAP, using the SpectMorph CLAP plugin is the preferred way of integration.

Controlling Morphing with Automation:

The plugin has four properties that can be automated by the host, called Control #1 ... Control #4. To use these, for instance for linear morphing, the Control Input can be set to "Control Signal #1" (or #2) in the UI. After that the host can change the morphing from left source to right source and back.


The smjack program is a fully functional JACK Client using SpectMorph. You need to connect midi input and audio output (for instance with using QJackCtl).

Controlling Morphing with CCs:

The control inputs (Control Signal #1 ... Control Signal #4) are mapped to the midi CC controls (General Purpose Controller 1..4).

Packaging Instruments:

If you are a packager, packages should install the standard instrument set to a system-wide location. The instrument location is prefix dependant. If SpectMorph is installed in


then the instruments should go to


If you are building from the original source tarball, this should work automatically, the instruments are bundled and will be installed during

$ make install

Installing Instruments for Git:

If you're building from git, you are responsible for obtaining a copy of the standard instrument tarball. Extract the SpectMorph release source tarball. The location will be something like


You can either ensure that these instruments live in ($XDG_DATA_HOME/spectmorph):


or copy the instrment tarball to the data directory of your git checkout. In this case SpectMorph will automatically install the instruments to the system-wide location (like the original release tarball does).

Note that if incompatible changes happen to the file format, the git version will no longer work with the released instruments set. In that case, feel free to ask for a tarball for your git version. The samples and the meta data for the instruments are available here:

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