Thoughts on going opensource in music

There was the time of my almost total switch to Linux. Music software among others stood in a way, so I needed to switch to linux DAWs.

I installed Ubuntu Studio 11.04 (as it still was gnome 2.x) Then I had to spend 4 hours in order to make it NOT look like shit (themes desktop effects and stuff).

the LMMS

Screenshot - 06302014 - 04:30:28 PMIn normal life i’m using FruityLoops for composing and recording. The only alternative for it in Linux was LMMS, as I found out. So i installed it and I spent some minutes trying o launch it. Why it didn’t make any launchers in menus ar anywhere? It’s 2012 already, not 80’s to run rich software from console!

When I finally launched I noticed that it is way more simple that FruityLoops. I composed some 8bit-style tunes in it and well.. It’s okay for that. If you are familliar with FL Studio, you get used to some things, and to the way they are done, This causes so much butthurt in LMMS.

The most important part of my switching attempt was when I played a show using LMMS. It worked well. It didn’t lag, FL Studio lagged couple of times during shows though.

MIXXX

Screenshot - 06302014 - 04:31:18 PMA free DJ software. Well… This one sucks much less compared to let’s say Virtual DJ then LMMS compared to Fruity Loops, which is nice! And more that that: it has far better midi-controller mapping settings. Actually it runs through wizard to map your midi controller and get it to work. It looks nice, it works nice. I found only 2 downsides:

  • It didn’t have the effects i needed to play dubstep
  • It couldn’t allow you to change pitch for more that +12 or -12

Other that that – it’s quite quality software for deejaying.

Jack

qjackctlI will compare this to ASIO. I don’t know if they could be compared, but i’ll do cause I only used them.

Jack does what it says: conects things. But i like the way it does it. Asio would only let you use ins and outs of your soumdcards in you software. But Jack gives you much more. You can route the sugnals between your software as well.

Let’s say you are running Mixxx for track mixing, LMMS for playnig something to be mixed into that tracks, virtual midi keyboard, separate mixer software(idk witch), and Audacity to record the mix. With jack you can rote them like that:

  • Connect your Vertual Midi Keybaord to LMMS’s midi input
  • Connect LMMS to mixer
  • Connect Mixxx to mixer
  • Connect mixer to Audacity.

This is pretty simple setup but Jack is a very powerful tool. You can make a way more complicated setups there.

…in conclusion

I liked the free software. It does what it is made for. Though the main disadvantage of the software I used is that it does REALLY much less than the paid softtware. This is what makes paid software be worth paying for.