There is much to love about Linux, especially if you are a guitar player. Guitarix is a virtual guitar amplifier for Linux. Though at first glance it may appear complicated to use, it isn't. There is a guitarix forum, and a wiki to help with settings and controls and installation.
I'm not an expert with guitars, though I have played with them for years and even spent a year taking bass guitar lessons. The minute I heard there was a cool virtual guitar amplifier for Linux I knew I had to try it.To get started with guitarix I picked up a computer plug for around four bucks at Radio Shack that allowed me to plug my 1/4 guitar cord into my 1/8 microphone input jack on my computer (1/4 female to 1/8 male plug). My computer was already hooked up to an 80 watt stereo, so I was good to go once I installed guitarix from synaptic package manager.
First I tried out my bass guitar. I took a bit of adjusting to get that growling bass sound that I love so much, but soon I was thumping my bass along to Rush's Xanadu wishing for all the world I had the bass skills of Geddy Lee. Guitarix sounded great.
Next I plugged my Jay Turser electric guitar into guitarix. The array of sound effects and distortion available in guitarix is impressive, but I should start with the tuner. I love the tuner in guitarix. I have a digital tuner that works well on my guitars, but the guitarix tuner works better, and faster. After tuning my guitar I adjusted the sound for some nice sound effects, doing lots of experimenting--I think I could spend hours just playing with the sound effects. I couldn't help but think that the Rock musicians I listened to in the 70s would have given an arm, or rather a leg, to have amp like this. They probably spent thousands of dollars and did not have such an array of effects that comes with guitarix for free.
I have yet to try playing other music through guitarix while playing a guitar, but that is next on my list. I understand it can be done by using VLC and a special VLC plugin for guitarix. I have already installed the plugin via synaptic package manager, and VLC is installed as well.
From the information I have read, there are usb connectors and other ways to connect your guitar to guitarix that are preferred rather than my straightforward connection to the microphone input. But my way worked for me, and since I'm not playing professionally in a band, but rather just making a joyful noise, I'm satisfied with my setup for now. It allowed me to test out a very cool piece of Linux software.
There is so much great software available for Linux, and more showing up all the time. I'm at the place now where the need for MS Windows is non-existent in my life. And from time to time I come across yet another excellent piece of Linux software, so I can now add guitarix to the list.
If you like/use Linux, and play guitar, you really have to try out guitarix, it is another great thing about Linux.