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Linux Multimedia Studio: A reasonable remixing tool?


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Hey everyone! Long time listener, and I've loved the site for over 10 years, so thank you all for everything that you've created as a community.

So, I have started to do a little bit of music work as of late. I'm more of a programmer, but I did go through some musical training in high school as a trumpeter, so I've got basic skills, and I'm looking to expand more into it.

I've looked around at some free options for music composition, and I'm wondering what the community feels like about tools such as Linux Multimedia Studio. I've worked with it enough to be able to get some solid baseline work, but I'm having some trouble with some more advanced components, particularly legato synths. Anyone have any advice for this kind of thing?

I've noticed that the popular choices, according to the stickied thread, are FL Studio and Reason. Before investing in one of these other applications over LMMS, assuming people here aren't fans, what advantages would I gain by switching?

I'm not looking to get too invested in purchasing multiple instruments, as I'm fairly space constrained. So for the first part of my remixing journey, I'm thinking that I'll mostly be working with sounds and audio coming from sources other than myself.

Any other advice that people have outside of the stickied threads?

Thanks,

Arguas

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If it can make sound, it can make music. The rest is just a matter of how, how well, how conveniently. While it's completely possible to write audio in notepad, I think LMMS is a better tool. That said, workflow, built-in tools and techniques, plug-in support, interface, and so many other things factor into what makes any music software good.

TL;DR: Use it if you want to. If it becomes too limiting, use something else.

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No experience with LMMS myself, modplug and psycle are the best free programs I've used. I think these are viable tools though less convenient in some ways than commercial software, basically what rozo said, use free programs until you feel like they're impeding you and then maybe look at something else. Having used a few programs beforehand will also give you a sense of what you're looking for out of your DAW when you demo paid software

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Thanks everyone, I just wanted to make sure I got off on the right foot, and I appreciate not only the responses, but also the fact that the community seems open to whatever works. I waited long enough to make sure of this either way. Thanks for your support, and hopefully I'll have a Space Armada remix up here at some point!

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To be honest, LMMS is an utter pain to use if you're coming from fruity. Falls short in every category.

You can start out with way shittier software though and still have fun and learn.

That said... LMMS has nothing going for it except being a lackluster FL clone you can run on linux.

Just sayinggg..open source is awesome and all, but the music soft SUCKS for the most part. :(

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Other alternatives for mixing is to look at include Ardour, as well as the Harrison Mixbus. I have also tried renoise on linux. It's a tracker, but I never got far enough to do a mix on it. I never got on with FL, and whilst lmms works on my box, I just can't figure it out.

Personally, I've given up on music on linux - apart from kdenlive for vids and audacity - with no native samplers e.g. kontakt or vsl (dare i mention play lol), and once you figure in dongles..... very limiting as I want to do orchestral stuff down the road.

I also forgot, no daw on the level of cubase/logic/dp/your favourite daw - makes doing midi mockups quite a challenge.

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I personally use Renoise on Linux and I'm very happy with it. That said, the concern about lack of third-party support is spot on. Apart from lack of direct plugin support, I also as an example have a hardware synth that of course doesn't do anything in Linux is I plug it in via USB. It's not that I can't do lots of music and have fun while doing so with my setup, but there's certainly less tools available than on Windows.

--Eino

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Linux sucks for music, the kernell was not develloped for music applications.

I bet you dual boot and have an installation of Windows. 7 ?

And I'll add add to your "what would I gain?" question: support, a lot. Technical support and an immense pool of knowledge with the users community.

It'll be easier for you to learn tricks in those well known software. I'd say go with FL cause it's like 99$ and Reason is not worth it until you get the normal version which is around 4-500$.

I prefer the workflow in Reason because I got used to it but you need to ReWire in order to use VSTs and it's damn complicated when you're not used to it.

It's got a soundbank with a lot of instruments (including orchestral) that are fine to make good sketches but for the price differance, you could buy some good VSTs and buy FL.

I dunno man, all the roads lead to Rome anyways.. except Linux's.

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I tried that LMMS program and eww it looks hideous, like all things of Linux origin (not sure why). That said, my opinion should be of little consideration to you if you like it. The general consensus is that Linux is not very good for music production, though. Thankfully nearly all DAWs offer a free demo with minimal hassle, so try em out and see which one clicks with you. :-D It really comes down to workflow, and no one can predict which DAW you'll like the best.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Not sure if everyone commenting knows this already or not, but LMMS has a Windows version, so the OP may not be be interested in using Linux for music at all.

This guy is correct, actually. I run a windows 7 64-bit machine. While I could dual boot, I use various Windows plugins for unix-like shells to avoid the absolute crap shell that Windows provides by default.

For how I picked up LMMS, I ran a google search looking for recommended software for someone starting out and learning new music tools, and LMMS got the best marks.

I went to a game music development panel at Katsucon recently, in which a musical artist came in with a sample game at the alpha stages and had the audience design aspects of the music, where he fills in the details. He used FL Studio to generate 3 songs in 2 hours, granted he had a ton of sound libraries to work with.

I see what some of you guys are talking about in which you're saying LMMS falls somewhat short, although I noticed a lot of the same things in FL Studio were there in LMMS. If the answer to the question of "What do I get if I purchase FL Studio over LMMS" is that you get better technical support, I raise another question of "How often do you feel like you are in need of such support?" I've had some frustrations with my first developments, but I feel that it's mostly due to working with the limited LMMS music libraries that it comes with. Most of them don't really sound like the genre I'm looking to capture. In terms of technical issues, I'm not dealing with frequent crashes yet...

As for the community, I figured people here at OCRemix is a group of supportive people as well :-) Is there some type of portal you get access to with people posting specific remixes or selling libraries with an FL license? My guess is no, but I figured I'd check.

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I see what some of you guys are talking about in which you're saying LMMS falls somewhat short, although I noticed a lot of the same things in FL Studio were there in LMMS. If the answer to the question of "What do I get if I purchase FL Studio over LMMS" is that you get better technical support, I raise another question of "How often do you feel like you are in need of such support?" I've had some frustrations with my first developments, but I feel that it's mostly due to working with the limited LMMS music libraries that it comes with. Most of them don't really sound like the genre I'm looking to capture. In terms of technical issues, I'm not dealing with frequent crashes yet...

As for the community, I figured people here at OCRemix is a group of supportive people as well :-) Is there some type of portal you get access to with people posting specific remixes or selling libraries with an FL license? My guess is no, but I figured I'd check.

Sounds like your problem is just a lack of sounds. In that case, I recommend you go to KVRAudio and try searching their database for instruments that you want. There are lots of free things, and if you like something that you want to buy, that's fine too. A lot of the better stuff is commercial.

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Indeed. A lot of the music we do we could, for the most part, do in any decent DAW, we just like the features and workflow of the ones we use, or can't afford to buy/learn new ones. I could take Battery, Onnisphere and FM8 to any other DAW and make roughly the same music I do in Logic. These instruments would work in any DAW with plugin support, as would many, may others.

So it really just comes down to whether the program works well enough to host some plugins, which is where most of the sound quality comes from. It also, obviously, takes skill, which take time to develop and/or adjust to any new software.

When you're just starting out, it doesn't really matter what you're using, since you'll run into some kind of wall eventually, and need to get new sounds/tools. But that's a concern to deal with when you get that far. If it makes sound, you can make music with it.

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if you can load VSTis, sound quality isn't an issue.

still, i wasn't talking about the onboard sounds of LMMS.

whenever i reinstall fruity, i have to deinstall 80% of the plugin clutter. i have no use for most of the sound sources.

it's the GUI. fruity has its own share of GUI issues/rough spots, but there are some things it does better than any DAW available.

LMMS doesn't have that. it's an obvious copycat, which would be a non-issue if it wasn't so much worse.

with most DAW comparisions, it's apples and oranges, but in this case, i'm getting the picture of a pricey yummy apple and a free foul one. sorry ^^

just try the FL demo for a while, and see if you can see what i mean.

if not, have fun with LMMS!

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