Fabla is an LV2 plugin for building banks of samples and triggering them with on-screen buttons or from a MIDI controller.

Strengths [Weaknesses]


If you have ever sat down at an Alesis HR-16 or Akai MPC, then know how to use Fabla. Even if you haven't, there's not much of a learning curve.

Weaknesses [Strengths]


The design of Fabla focuses, it seems, on live performance. Having no internal sequencer, the user interface is overkill and the application itself is just a sound trigger, essentially a virtual keyboard wired to a specific sound bank.


Install Fabla from http://slackbuilds.org.


Fabla is an LV2 plugin, so you can use it with most major Linux DAWs. Using the jalv.gtk launcher, you can also use Fabla as a stand-alone application. The SlackBuild for Fabla from http://slackbuilds.org provides a jalv-enabled launcher in your K Menu, or you can launch it manually:

$ jalv.gtk http://openavproductions.com/fabla

The routing is straight-forward.

  • Connect your MIDI controller to System MIDI Thru
  • Connect System MIDI Capture Out to Fabla MIDI In
  • Connect Fabla Audio Out to System Playback
Routing suggestion for Fabla, using Patchage.

Fabla is a virtual MIDI pad, much like drum triggers found on famous drum machines. This is to say it is only a drum trigger; it does no sequencing of its own. It does, however, lend itself to easy creation of drum kits, since with Fabla you can define banks of sounds and save these as presets.

To assign sounds to each “pad”, right-click on the pad and Load a sound. Do this for each drum pad until all are populated (or until you have all the sounds you want to have loaded).

To save a bank, use the Presets menu.


For a sample trigger like Fabla to be useful, you need samples to trigger. The acoustic drum sample pack Savage Drums (recorded at The Music Hub, Ireland, by drummer Stephen Savage) is included with Fabla, Also included is HardElectro, Classic-808, and EasternHop, all based on samples from Hydrogen drumkits.

The site http://freesound.org features, among other things, drum samples under a Creative Commons license.

See Also
Jack Beat