Using AU Synth Plugins

Hi. I am an ABSOLUTE beginner when it comes to using DAW. I have Ardour set up, Jack enabled and I can import audio/samples and am getting the hang of editing etc.

What I now want to do is use AU plugins to CREATE MELODIES. I was under the impression that AU plugins could be used like regular instruments i.e. you could PLAY them and PRODUCE SOUND (and, for example, use some sort of keyboard function to create melodies). Either I have misunderstood (as all the information online is too technical and NOT aimed at beginners), or I’m missing something.

Can anyone suggest a simple AU plugin (don’t particularly care what instrument it is supposed to sound like for now, i am just trying to get to grips with all this stuff) that I can use as if I have a physical midi keyboard plugged in? And can someone walk me through exactly how to use it to generate sound?

What i’m basically asking is for someone to walk me through how to use virtual instruments from STEP ONE. If you think what you’re telling me is too basic, it isn’t!

I know this is incredibly novice, but that is the level I’m at and I would really appreciate the help. I am getting really frustrated haha.


You don’t even need to use an AU synth plugin to get the hang of this. Ardour comes with one builtin synth plugin called “reasonable synth”. It isn’t particular useful as a real instrument but it makes noise and will allow you to figure out how to use a virtual instrument. Just create a new MIDI track, and reasonable synth will be added to the track by default.

Thank you. I didn’t know it had to be added as a MIDI track. I have added it and double-clicked on it to open it up. I now can’t see how to actually “play” it as it were