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Ask Slashdot: Best Cross-Platform (Linux-Only) Audio Software?

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the audiophiles,-now-is-your-time-to-shine dept.

Music 223

blogologue writes "I have played the guitar for some years now, and these days I think it's good therapy to be creative with music, learning the piano and singing as well. So far I've been using Audacity as the tool to compose improvisations and demos. I haven't done much audio work before, but it is already becoming too limited for my needs. Being a Linux-fanboy since the mid-nineties, I'm now looking for a good audio processing/editing/enhancing setup that can run on different platforms, the most important being Linux. Are there any suggestions for Open Source or proprietary audio editing software that run on Linux?"

cancel ×

223 comments

Ardour (4, Informative)

orcundead (2706033) | about 9 months ago | (#45250029)

Great mutlitracking software, simple enough and straightforward if you know your way around other DAW environments like Pro-Tools or Cubase, keyboard shortcuts can be easily customized.

Re:Ardour (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45250111)

Does it "run on different platforms"?

ie. Can he send files to his PC-owning friends?

Re:Ardour (1)

mugurel (1424497) | about 9 months ago | (#45250133)

yes it runs on macos too. the session files are xml.

Re:Ardour (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 9 months ago | (#45250169)

Depending on your workflow, sharing audio sessions with other people can be as simple as exporting relevant tracks making sure they are easily resynced together (for example exporting the whole audio interval for each track), or as difficult as "You gotta have same audio program and plugins and same versions". If your sharing problem involves sw programs or versions, your problem is worse than sharing, it's archiving.

There is no guarantee that today's most used audio will be viable tomorrow, so I suggest to keep plain audio and midi of your stuff always and pick the sw that you prefer.

There are multimedia distros [distrowatch.com] with live DVD: avlinux, dream studio, artistx, ubuntu studio...

Check out their offerings, it's not like you can't download a fully functional copy. Audacity is great for simple retouches, you want a DAW or a sequencer with audio editing functions for anything more complex.

Re:Ardour (3)

BitZtream (692029) | about 9 months ago | (#45250685)

Best cross platform .... Linux only ...

What exactly are we describing as cross platform and what exact shitty software won't work on one Linux box versus the next?

Re:Ardour (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250813)

Maybe he means cross platform OR linux only?

reaper + wineasio (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250337)

Runs on all three. Windows with ASIO, OSX with core audio, and Linux via wine with wineasio + jack. Realtime latency is the best on a properly tweaked Linux system.

AV Linux (4, Informative)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | about 9 months ago | (#45250449)

AV Linux (http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html)

Has Ardour, LMMS, JACK and many other multimedia tools configured to work together. Can run either as live DVD or install to your harddisk.

Re:AV Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250577)

OpenMPT.

Re:Ardour (1)

blogologue (681423) | about 9 months ago | (#45250629)

Yeah, Ardour looks like a viable alternative. I'm getting to old to play around with a lot of different stuff, so I hope what I learn on one system is also possible on the next, even though the approach may be different. I'm mostly running Windows now as I enjoy playing Battlefield, so maybe running a VirtualBox instance with Linux and Ardour is a viable option, not sure if there will be lagging in recording audio and so on though.

Re:Ardour (-1, Troll)

flyneye (84093) | about 9 months ago | (#45250635)

With the realtime kernel and other features that prevent the lag present in other platforms, I don't see the need to cross platforms. Pro-Tools creates a cross platform interface, well, the hardware interface anyway.
I think I'd just stick with Linux, so I don't have to sit there and try to line up tracks with a stinking mouse before the next take. Nice to be able to take my processes down to nil , without some non essential windows "service" claiming it has to live and breath and take up resources and multi-sliced cycles.
Nah, Windows is for Surfers,Office people and gamers. Linux is for that AND people who really need to get something done.
Mac,...MAC? Nah, they're busy with Smart ass phones. I think they aren't in the computer business anymore, are they? Well, the music selling business anyway, not the music making business. But someone will pipe up about their old tired Macs super abilities any old time now.

Re:Ardour (4, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 9 months ago | (#45250687)

Great mutlitracking software, simple enough and straightforward if you know your way around other DAW environments like Pro-Tools or Cubase, keyboard shortcuts can be easily customized.

I'm sorry, but Ardour is not "great". I believe in Linux and OSS, but if you need to make a living in music or sound, you are not going to be using Ardour. The music production community is always open to new technologies, and if Ardour were anything like a professional-quality application, it would be used.

There are many great ways to use Linux in a production environment. You can have a Linux box as your sample server, use it to off-load effects and plugins and for rendering. But we still have a ways to go before Linux can be used for DAW production. You can get it done, but it's not nearly optimal.

At least once a year, a take a run at the latest incarnation of Ardour. If you're a database programmer and want to play like Jonathan Coulton in your spare time, then fine. You can make Ardour work the same way you can use a folding camping shovel to dig a foundation. But if you want to dig a lot of foundations, you're going to want to invest in a back-hoe. And there is no Linux back-hoe for music.

NOTE: The fine people at Cockos, who make Reaper and their active community (which is the finest DAW software at the moment, in my opinion) support the use of their software in Linux using Wine. http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=26690 [cockos.com]

They also encourage the use of Linux in production and post-production via gigabit connections (for offloading processes and rendering and plugins and sample streaming, as I described above). If you are a dedicated Linux zealot, I would suggest starting with Reaper. It's very inexpensive compared to ProTools and it's much more robust and even refined.

Re:Ardour (4, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 9 months ago | (#45250693)

Also, Cockos offers an unlimited, unborked evaluation copy of Reaper. But the license is really cheap, so I highly recommend supporting them.

Re:Ardour (1)

gmueckl (950314) | about 9 months ago | (#45250803)

Would you like to explain in what way Ardour is lacking? I admit that I have not experience in this matter, but I'm curious. I always notice how OSS graphics tools lack behind commercial offerings and I'm trying to get a better understanding of how this happens. Now I wonder if something similar is going on with audio software.

Re:Ardour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250939)

I'm sorry, but Ardour is not "great". I believe in Linux and OSS, but if you need to make a living in music or sound, you are not going to be using Ardour. The music production community is always open to new technologies, and if Ardour were anything like a professional-quality application, it would be used.

This..I wish I had mod points..but this is so damn'd true.
I've been using Linux as my primary desktop OS since 1993, and have it as my main server OS, but my DAW system is still a Windows box for a reason (well, many reasons). If Ardour 'worked' as well as Cubase, or Cackwalk(sic), or ProTools then I'd have switched years ago.
Re your comments regarding Reaper, I'm in the process of investigating it (but inertia being what it is..) It's good to know that Cockos support running it under Wine, that alone means I might pull the finger out and have a good look at it.

Re:Ardour (2, Informative)

u38cg (607297) | about 9 months ago | (#45250991)

Ardour is not lacking, rather the issue is the rest of the stack is more trouble than it's worth. For a serious studio a Protools licence is not a big deal. And very few people build from scratch on a GNU platform - mostly because most people are starting out as teenagers with no interest or exposure to FOSS.

use google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250033)

Ardour

or read this
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Top-10-Linux-Distributions-for-Audio-Production-64552.shtml

use google next time

Ardour (4, Informative)

astro (20275) | about 9 months ago | (#45250039)

For quite some years now, Ardour [ardour.org] has been the apparent frontrunner in the area you are asking about.

Re:Ardour (0)

ustolemyname (1301665) | about 9 months ago | (#45250059)

Seconded.

Re:Ardour (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250101)

Thirded. Ardour is awesome.

Re:Ardour (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 9 months ago | (#45250359)

Ardour might be fine piece of software, but sadly it is also crippleware unless you are prepared to cough up your shekels.

Re:Ardour (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 9 months ago | (#45250371)

Correction: crippleware if you don't build it from source.

My bad. Sorry. Actually, just to be clear, the OP's submission (pre-editing) does, to be fair, mention "proprietary or open-source"...

Wat (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250041)

"Cross-Platform"

"Linux-Only"

Pick one.

Re:Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250061)

Yeah it's a dumb headline. Who edits this stuff?

I think he just means "available on linux."

Re: Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250093)

Secondo guess? Maybe he means "cross-distribution" or cross hardware platform?

audacity is cross platform (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250105)

..and there's a Linux version too.

http://audacity.sourceforge.net

Re:audacity is cross platform (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250259)

The submitter already uses Audacity, you fuckwit.

Re: audacity is cross platform (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250655)

The submitter himself is a fuckwit.

Re: audacity is cross platform (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250945)

And a better guitar player than you.

Re:Wat (0)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45250117)

Yeah it's a dumb headline. Who edits this stuff?

Thankfully not you.

I read it as "I want to use Linux but I work with other people who use PCs (or Macs)..."

Re:Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250139)

I read it as "I want to use Linux but I work with other people who use PCs (or Macs)..."

And just how hard would it have been to actually SAY something like in the title or summary? Face it, the title IS stupid.

Re:Wat (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | about 9 months ago | (#45250167)

Huh? How do you understand "Best Cross-Platform (Linux-Only) Audio Software?" as "Best Cross-Platform Linux-supporting Audio Software?" And why would you prefer the former rather than the latter?

Re:Wat (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45250597)

Where does ti say "Linux-only" in the question?

Re:Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250695)

Where does ti say "Linux-only" in the question?

So titles are worthless and no one should pay attention to them?

Re:Wat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250735)

In the actual question (the title). The summary area is simply extra detail.

Re:Wat (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45251217)

In a properly written post, the body text should contain all the beef and the title should be just a quick reference. There should never be a situation where the title contains some information which cannot be inferred also from the actual text.

Re:Wat (3, Informative)

blogologue (681423) | about 9 months ago | (#45250279)

It was a different post and got edited a bit. :) I prefer cross-platform, but if it's only available for Linux, that's OK too.

Re:Wat (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45250319)

The secret of getting good answers is to ask good questions.

It wasn't at all clear if "linux-only" was OK or not, and that makes a HUGE difference to the answers.

Re:Wat (3, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 9 months ago | (#45250333)

I had been about to mention that submissions usually get put through the mangle by some so-called editors(*) before making an appearance in public. You are probably fortunate that it is comprehensible at all.

*term used loosely; my original (edited) choice was less polite, but possibly more informative.

Re:Wat (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 9 months ago | (#45250605)

Slashdot has "editors"? Where do they recruit them, the local zoo?

I've seen some awfully worded/phrased submissions here...you'd think an "editor" for a popular site would know a modicum of English.

Re:Wat (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 9 months ago | (#45250747)

Where do they recruit them, the local zoo?

Well, part of my edited post did make reference to chimpanzees and Shakespeare. :)

you'd think an "editor" for a popular site would know a modicum of English.

Fix: You'd hope so. But apparently in vain. All too often (if we take the trouble to look, or if we notice that our own submissions are bowdlerised) we see perfectly cogent posts mangled to the extent that any relevant content is entirely non-existent. Maybe there's a new species of crypto-editor that needs to be added to the corpus of cryptozoological studies...

Simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250071)

Itunes, for windows rt running under wine running under NSA/Linux.

Cross Platform Host Bitwig (4, Informative)

six025 (714064) | about 9 months ago | (#45250081)

Forget using an audio editor for song composition, what you need is a proper audio host (commonly called a DAW).

The options for Linux have been a bit lacking but that is about to change with the impending release of Bitwig. Developed for Mac / Win / Linux, it functions similar to Ableton Live, which is incredibly popular for a good reason - it's unique take on music arrangement means it is great for jamming, live performance and experimenting with ideas. Check it out here:

https://bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio [bitwig.com]

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Cross Platform Host - PyDAW (4, Informative)

six025 (714064) | about 9 months ago | (#45250095)

There is another option for Linux which is open source - PyDAW. Check out the project here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/libmodsynth/ [sourceforge.net]

Although I have no experience with PyDAW, it has been in development for some time and should be very stable.

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Cross Platform Host Bitwig (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 9 months ago | (#45250283)

Looks cool, but without a download it might as well be vaporware!

Re:Cross Platform Host Bitwig (3, Informative)

polyp2000 (444682) | about 9 months ago | (#45250303)

Yup - Im holding out for this one too. For the moment Im very much into Renoise - its pretty amazing. I use it exclusively on Linux and get great results... take a look : https://soundcloud.com/polyp [soundcloud.com]

Re:Cross Platform Host Bitwig (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250429)

Forget using an audio editor for song composition, what you need is a proper audio host (commonly called a DAW).

The options for Linux have been a bit lacking but that is about to change with the impending release of Bitwig. Developed for Mac / Win / Linux, it functions similar to Ableton Live, which is incredibly popular for a good reason - it's unique take on music arrangement means it is great for jamming, live performance and experimenting with ideas. Check it out here:

https://bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio [bitwig.com]

Peace,
Andy.

Will there be a command-line version und can I pipe it to /dev/snd ?

Re:Cross Platform Host Bitwig (3, Informative)

six025 (714064) | about 9 months ago | (#45250493)

Will there be a command-line version und can I pipe it to /dev/snd ?

I'm guessing the answer would be no ;-)

Sox (free, open source) is what you want for that type of processing.

http://sox.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Peace,
Andy.

Re:Cross Platform Host Bitwig (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250883)

it functions similar to Ableton Live
 
In the same fashion that GIMP functions similar to Photoshop.

Creative and restricting yourself? (-1, Flamebait)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 9 months ago | (#45250103)

Why is the very first thing that you ask for a severe restriction in your options? Go to an Apple store and have a look at Garageband.

Re:Creative and restricting yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250141)

Why is the very first thing that you ask for a severe restriction in your options? Go to an Apple store and have a look at Garageband.

Why is the very first advice that you give is a severe restriction of his options? Go to a google.com and have a look at better software/OS.

that said. My experience with linux daws are a bit limited. Ardour would be the first one for me to try if i moved my audio editting to linux.

Re:Creative and restricting yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250149)

Well, that was certainly an ironic answer.

Re:Creative and restricting yourself? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250401)

He needs a DAW, not a toy.

Re:Creative and restricting yourself? (1)

tgd (2822) | about 9 months ago | (#45250585)

He needs a DAW, not a toy.

Other than pretending you know the music "jive", you have no idea if he does. He didn't list his requirements, his experience, the sort of hardware he's willing to invest in. The GP's answer, as much as OSX blows chow for most stuff, is probably the right one for the VAST majority of people asking that sort of question.

Re:Creative and restricting yourself? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#45251269)

He needs a DAW, not a toy.

It looks like some mini-DAW like Garageband might be hit the sweet spot for his needs.

Renoise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250121)

When it comes to proprietary audio software for Linux my favourite is Renoise: http://renoise.com/

Re:Renoise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250771)

+1 for Renoise

I've used it since v1.2x and it's avail on Linux/Mac/Windows. It's a tracker on steriods and is very capable if you learn its unique workflow. For recording audio tracks like a traditional DAW I don't think it's as good but that's an area I don't delve too deep into. You can delve in and use nearly all of Renoise's feature set for free and find out if it meets your needs. With the more limited options on linux I can't see a reason not to download it and tinker for a bit.

Fat Loss Supplements pills (-1, Offtopic)

top_roz (3411003) | about 9 months ago | (#45250127)

When it comes to losing weight, the immediate solution that comes to the mind is following a diet, which is free of calories. Moreover, a majority of people want rapid results in order to achieve that perfectly carved figure for sporting the best looks and flaunting designer clothes. The trouble with this concept is that people often go haywire while choosing their diet and end up with severe health problems that are difficult to cure http://dietsupplementspills.com/ [dietsupplementspills.com]

There is a software called Tracktion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250163)

They are porting it to Linux, http://www.tracktion.com/ [tracktion.com] ,
it is low cost.

Flamebait (-1, Troll)

iliketrash (624051) | about 9 months ago | (#45250165)

Why are you such a Linux retard? You're killing yourself creatively by asking for this kind of of software for Linux. If you really want to explore your musical creativity you need to get the hell off such a limited platform. OS X and probably Windows platforms are far, far better as far as choices in this field. Yea, there is Adaucity which you're already found is a piece of crap, or would have discovered had you not limited your world to Linux. And Ardour—nice work, but that's about it. Do yourself a favor and let your creativity flow by looking outside the extremely limited options offered by Linux.

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250209)

Posted by someone named "iliketrash" and with a heading of "Flamebait", at least you are living up to your advertising.

Re:Flamebait (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250223)

So, how again is your post helpful to this discussion? It's more like a random rant that sounds(reads) like a fart. You could have posted your favorite tool here, mentioning it only runs windows/mac but that you think the functionality is worth it.

However, you did not provide any other information than that you think 'linux is for retards'. Calling fine software (audacity) that millions of users use 'crap', just because it does not suit each and every situation, not really aids your case either. Also you did not mention why exactly this other platform would be better and what issues it would fix.

So please leave a reply, say what software _you_ would like to use, and argue why this software is better - and let us readers decide or rethink this choice of platform if it has to be so to support this piece of software.

Re:Flamebait (2)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about 9 months ago | (#45250415)

Calling fine software (audacity) that millions of users use 'crap'...

No, he was talking about "Adaucity", which is apparently so obscure, not even Google can find any developers associated with it. So that program might indeed be crap, but we'll never know.

Re:Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250797)

If you think an operating system or software is going to help your musical creativity, you best not quit your day job.

Re:Flamebait (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#45251261)

In the other hand, doing it in a way that nobody (or at least, most of the big/herd following) does is creativity. Don't follow the same as everyone else, try to build it yourself with brick and mortar, and you could end with something truly different, and maybe good. Those tools are there (both the open source and the commercial ones) because people use it and not as a toy, may be different (or lack something that you consider "essential", or adds something that they consider essential but you dismiss/ignore) to what you are used to, but could work anyway, and be useful in ways you don't imagine.

Best Big (Small) Car? (4, Funny)

seyyah (986027) | about 9 months ago | (#45250171)

I'm looking for contradictory things.

Best Slashdot Story (High Quality) Ever? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250285)

As per the title.

Re:Best Big (Small) Car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250745)

A great small, big car is the early era VW beetle. Most inner volume for small cars.

Maybe I read that wrong and you want a big car that is small. I'm pretty sure Gravedigger qualifies.

Qtractor (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250181)

Qtractor:

Qtractor is an Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer application written in C++ with the Qt4 framework. Target platform is Linux, where the Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) for audio, and the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) for MIDI, are the main infrastructures to evolve as a fairly-featured Linux desktop audio workstation GUI, specially dedicated to the personal home-studio.

Qtractor is free, open-source software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or later.

http://qtractor.sourceforge.net/qtractor-index.html

If you want to get serious about audio... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250211)

Don't make ridiculous OS constraints. Linux has it's place and this is not it.

Re:If you want to get serious about audio... (-1, Redundant)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 9 months ago | (#45250341)

Seconded. Compared to all the choices and expenses required for decent audio production, the OS choice is a non-issue. Use Linux for what you like; dual-boot, or even have a separate machine that runs a decent DAW for which you can find some help / training.

Re:If you want to get serious about audio... (0)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 9 months ago | (#45250575)

Compared to all the choices and expenses required for decent audio production, the OS choice is a non-issue.

Since when is free as in Freedom a non-issue?

Re:If you want to get serious about audio... (3, Informative)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 9 months ago | (#45250653)

I agree there is benefit in open solutions especially in open/standard file format support, but I don't think an OS choice makes sense as a #1 priority, which was GP's point.

For a nice quick overview of top 15 candidates for a good modern DAW see http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/tech/the-15-best-daw-software-apps-in-the-world-today-238905/1 [musicradar.com]

Choosing Linux as OS does limit your options here severely.

LMMS, aka Linux MultiMedia Studio (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250249)

... good community around it too: http://lmms.sourceforge.net/lsp/index.php

please correct me if you can (1)

rewindustry (3401253) | about 9 months ago | (#45250261)

in my experience ALL pc audio hardware has been (i believe deliberately) crippled, since the late nineties. when i began writing recording software for myself, under OSS, in the previous millenium, there was a simple "set and trigger" function that allowed you to fire off the record and playback devices simultaneously, resulting in true zero latency recording. suddenly, within a very few years, this functionality began to disappear, until we arrive at the present, when it appears to be lacking completely. since, as far as i know, virtually every audio chip runs both devices off the same clock, it seems utterly ludicrous that modern multi-track, at least outside of very high end professional hardware, seems satisfied with latencies accurate to within a "few tens" of samples, as "guessed" by the driver. while this might seem a tiny offset, at 44k samples per second, it is variable, and never consistent, at least not on any "standard" hardware i have been able to test. for my own satisfaction, i have been reduced to using an external loopback, and measuring true "sync" by direct observation of the recorded output thus returned. the difference, to my ears, is stunning, especially when doubling vocals. true zero latency is very important, in any even halfway professional studio. am i missing something? as far as i can see, from fairly extensive duckducking (anti-googling, to those who care) the industry continues to ignore this most important, and essentially trivial, basic requirement. does anyone know why, or can explain what i am missing?

Re:please correct me if you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250363)

Your mistake is using crap hardware. Google RME.

Re:please correct me if you can (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250409)

Hardware audio sync is antiquated and unavailable because audio chips are not running simultaneous A/D. They are doing multiplexed A/D (far cheaper) so there is no such thing as true zero-latency recording of multi-track audio on PC audio devices (or any others for that matter).

There is nothing you can do in a PC to correct this latency because the information is just not there. You get your track 2 sample a sample time after your track 1 sample. Of course, the chips are actually running samplerate*n_channels so the per-track sample rate is still what you want it to be, but the samples are all interleaved.

To do true zero-latency recording of multiple simultaneous tracks requires a multi-channel simultaneous A/D, which is rare anymore because of price competition. You can't hear the difference anyway, despite what "audiophiles" tell you anyway.

Re:please correct me if you can (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250583)

Yes. You can hear the difference. The human auditory system is very sensitive to *delays* between auditory event, and uses the information to detect motion and location of sound sources.

Of course, once you've digitally sampled re-mixed, oversampled, undersampled, and basically run all that original analog information through the digitization blender that is modern "I can invent an audito theory that gets a new patent but has no actual benefit" technology, the information is about as us intact as the sensation of human skin detected by throwing baseballs at it and measuring how far the balls bounce.

DSP and AudioLazy (5, Informative)

hexxa_decimal (3411019) | about 9 months ago | (#45250263)

If Audacity is becoming too limited, perhaps you

1. Need more multitrack features (Audacity is more an editing tool than a mixing one)

2. Need a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) package so you can create your own audio processing patches

As Audacity uses LADSPA plugins, you'll have the same ones in Ardour and any other DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. Another DAW would give you other analysis and another UI, but unless it goes beyond LADSPA/LV2, you'll have the same audio processing plugins. A "next step" here would be working with audio directly by programming, designing synthesis models, filters and so on. Usually that's not easy, but that's what many contemporary music composers do all the time.

For the asked "good audio processing/editing/enhancing setup that can run on different platforms", I suggest you try AudioLazy (https://github.com/danilobellini/audiolazy [github.com] ) as part of this setup. It's an open source DSP for Python. Functions like "lowpass", "highpass", "resonator" gives you some common linear filters, and you can make your own [time variant] linear filter with the "z" object, besides basic operations (e.g. multiplying signals), synthesis (ADSR model, table lookup, FM synthesis, etc.), non-linear processing (e.g. getting the "arctan" of a signal to distort it), etc..

Fanboy (1)

readacc (3401189) | about 9 months ago | (#45250295)

This is a bit of a sidetrack, but never, ever admit to being a fanboy of something. You can certainly be a fan, nothing wrong with that, because a fan (a true fan) is someone who is capable of enjoying and supporting something while still recognizing the limitations or problems that exist with the thing they're a fan of. Fanboys do not, they are loud and miserable to anyone who points out flaws in what they're defending, and are some of the most annoying pricks ever to grace the Internet and completely ruin any form of intelligent discourse. Hopefully you're just a fan of Linux (like I am), and not a fanboy who makes us look like childish idiots*.

As for your question, I use Audacity as my main audio editor software as well. To be honest I have yet to encounter something with my (relatively modest) requirements for audio editing that Audacity couldn't do. It's pretty impressive. In terms of actually making music, I've dabbled with LMMS (mostly because unlike Ardour, I can still use it in Windows and prefer true cross-platform tools) but I'm not sure I'd could use it for much except simpler tracks.

* There are also Windows fanboys, believe it or not. Neowin.net is a prime location for said folk. Just be aware that they cannot destroy the reputation of Windows, whereas the vocal minority of Linux fanboys certainly can, which is why I'm deeply annoyed about fanboys in general. They can ruin a good thing.

There are many options (3, Informative)

AntiSol (1329733) | about 9 months ago | (#45250301)

There's lots of open-source audio production software out there. Ardour, mentioned by others, and for midi composition I quite like rosegarden. There's also a bunch of other software which follows a more unixy philosophy - it does one thing and does it well but it's designed to be chained together. For example, there's jack, a low latency audio framework designed for audio production. It has a nice patch panel which allows you to link the output of any jack-enabled software to the input of any other jack-enabled software, ad nauseum. There's also an insanely huge pile of LADSPA plugins available for any software which supports them (most open-source stuff). There are many, many open-source software synths: timidity and fluidsynth being only the tip of the iceberg. One which may be of interest is bristol - it's an emulator for many popular and famous old synths.

But when it comes down to it, I use FL studio. It's proprietary and not very highly regarded amongst some (snobby) audiophiles, but FL Studio runs quite well in wine, though it may require some tweaking to get it working smoothly. I like FL studio for its intuitive interface and bundled synthesizers. It's easy to use for a beginner with little audio production experience but it has enough knobs and dials that you're not lacking for options when you want to start getting more technical.

I highly recommend running FL studio in it's own wineprefix so that you can tweak to your heart's content and so that other wine programs don't interfere with it. Since wine and FL both support ASIO you can plug FL studio into jack and use all the awesome open-source jack-based tools out there in conjunction with FL.

For the open-source crowd, there's the inevitable open-source recreation: LMMS (Linux Multimedia Studio). When I last played with it it was very new and immature but it did support using VSTs through wine and it looks like it has matured well - I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.

Guitarix (5, Informative)

DrNico (691592) | about 9 months ago | (#45250345)

As everyone has noted, Ardour is great for recording. Another really useful tool is Guitarix [sourceforge.net] which is a fantastic guitar amp and effects modelling piece of open source software. Plug your electric guitar directly into your computer via a USB interface (I use my Rocksmith connector) and you can amp/effect model in Guitarix and record as you play in Ardour. Add the Hydrogen [hydrogen-music.org] and you've also got your drums playing and sync'ed as you record. As well recording, these make a great set of tools for guitar practice.

Ardour (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250347)

That's all you need. Nothing else comes close under Linux. Nothing. Get the Ubuntu Studio distro from http://torrent.ubuntu.com:6969/ [ubuntu.com] and go to town.

www.ardour.org

Ubuntustudio has quite a lot bootstraped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250367)

Personaly i use Ubuntustudio, which has quite e lot of Audiosoftware bootstrapped and ready to use.

http://ubuntustudio.org/

Ardour and the Audio jack System are just two prominent examples. And the kernel used has some optimization for low latency audio.

Cheers

Metasepp

LMMS or Qtractor or Traverso and JACK (2)

muridae (966931) | about 9 months ago | (#45250437)

The windows release of LMMS is a bit buggy and finicky, but once I installed it in Ubuntu Studio (I could go source-only route, but letting someone else manage the package dependencies is easier, k?) it ran very well. With JACK handling the low latency interconnects between the usb midi adapter and the soft synth, and from the soft synth into LMMS, or from a simple app with some ALSA out to a software effects rack (Ubuntu Studio comes with a few) with JACK connecting that to LMMS, it all just seems to work. JACK is the glue that ends up tying all the pieces together, but if you are a Linux audio geek you either know that or are going to get very familiar with it very quickly. The other two I have very little personal experience with, but they are other big name DAW in the Linux world that I have yet to see mentioned.

Dynbolic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250465)

Dynbolic is a linux distro I tooled around with for a bit, made specifically for musical editing and such, it's loaded with tools, can't hurt to give it a shot, I was using a live USB or CD version but you can probably install it aswell.

The NON projects (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250515)

non.tuxfamily.org [tuxfamily.org]

Unlike Ardour it won't bring your system on it's knees.

Re:The NON projects (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250659)

The NON projects are indeed good.

For others you could have a look at wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_audio_software#Recording_and_editing

Right tool for the job.... (1)

eelke_klein (676038) | about 9 months ago | (#45250603)

You may like Linux (I do to for things it is good at) but when it comes to professional music software there is very little available. There are some multitrack recording and sequencing solutions but they often lack in available effects and virtual instruments as writing good sounding and efficient filters and instruments is extremely hard. You should seriously consider having a look at the options available for OSX or even Windows. I know apple hardware is high in price but Apple's Logic [apple.com] is relatively cheap (compared to the competition) and contains many high quality filters and outstanding virtual instruments (they have samples [apple.com] on their website). For big compositions you can even use multiple macs either by syncing them using MIDI over ethernet or by harnishing the processing power using xgrid to cluster them.

Renoise might fit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250621)

You might want to look into Renoise (www.renoise.com).

It's a tracker-style DAW which runs on Linux, MacOS and Linux which has a bunch of features and good plugins from the get-go. It also supports all plugin formats you need on those platforms (VST, LADSPA, DSSI, AU). It can also use samples as instruments just like the classic trackers did, which helps if you don't have any instrument plugins around.

It's closed-source, but it's only a fraction of the price of other DAWs and the development is very community driven. It's also customizable via LUA scripts.

Just found Guayadeque (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250775)

I've got about a half terabyte library, and all the linux audio players couldn't handle them without crashing. Rhythmbox, banshee, and the other popular ones couldn't even import all my songs without crashing. Guayadeque seems to handle it just fine, and has all the features of the others.

Think different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250799)

I know ur looking for linux stuff, but I really really really think you should give mac a chance. A few minutes playing with garage band and you will understand what I'm talking about. After a few months playing with it, move to something more professional (I like and recommend Apple Logic).

I used Linux only for 7 years and then I was exactly where you are now (looking for a better way to record my songs on Linux), then I tried MacOSX and Garage Band. That was like a gift from heaven ;P

Good luck anyway.

if you just need a simple editor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250863)

It hard to go wrong with audacity if you just need a basic multi track audio editor although i will admit it is not as powerful as an editor like reaper or Ardour but then again it dose not need to be. it's not a full fledged DAW but it more the gets the job done. if your looking for a cross platform DAW you might want to look into Sunvox sure it's aimed mostly at synth users but it's surprisingly versatile. Heck Sunvox is even available for android and the files work on all platforms as they are self-contained.

Get your priorities in order (4, Insightful)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about 9 months ago | (#45250929)

This is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way; just a bit of warning first. It's may sound mean, but I'm trying to help a fellow musician by snapping him out of his misguided fantasy land. Before you mod me down, think about it people: if you have access to professional tools, why would you not use them? You'd be a fool not too, correct?

Being a Linux-fanboy since the mid-nineties...

There's your first problem. Get over it; an OS is only a tool, a means to an end."I'm a Craftsman fanboy". "I'm a Snap-On fanboy." Sounds pretty silly, right? That's because it is silly. A tool is just that. It is either high-end and suitable, or it is junk and unsuitable for the task at hand.

If you're serious at all about your music, you use OS X or Windows. That's where the action is. Full stop. That's where the the real music software will be found; nowhere else. Swallow your pride, choose one of those 2 OS's, and get on with making music. Honestly, this is like GiMP vs. PhotoShop, but on a whole other level. There is NO comparison. Get on with life, and leave Linux in the server room, where it belongs. ALL of the pro-level tools (and most of the toy stuff, too) is on OS X and Windows. Why are you restricting yourself? You're killing your potential and being held back by insisting on using third-rate tools. And for what? Because you're a "fanboy"? Good God, man, grow up!

I say this as someone who makes their living as a Linux sysadmin. I use OS X at home, because I don't let a misguided sense pride get in the way of making music, among other things. You use the right tool for the job. PERIOD. Honestly, who intentionally sabotages themselves?

Mod me down, boys...

go4yt (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45250983)

Wash oof hands

Nothing. In my Professional Opinion. (3, Insightful)

Schezar (249629) | about 9 months ago | (#45251031)

There is nothing. There is no good solution for you. That was the answer in 2005 when I first asked it, and that is the answer today.

Even an ancient copy of Cool Edit Pro running on Widows XP is more usable, useful, and powerful than any audio software available natively on Linux. Your non-professional, non-Windows options all share many (if not all) of these problems:

1. Limited basic functionality
2. Extensible only through writing your own code
3. Difficult (impossible) to configure
4. Literally the worst UIs you will ever see in your entire life
5. Often unable to work with digital mixers and audio interfaces

In the time it would take you to get something useful and functional working in Linux, you could spend the cash you would have made working minimum wage on Windows and Audition (or just pirate a copy of Cool Edit Pro).

Missing the point (1)

folderol (1965326) | about 9 months ago | (#45251063)

I think you would find it difficult these days to find an OS that could not meet your requirements. However, any software package requires practice (lots of it) to get the most out of it. If the O/P is familiar and comfortable with Linux then why change? Audacity was a good choice for the O/P as a starter, as it has a shallow learning curve. Ardour will do much more (including very valuable non-destructive editing) but will take some time to get to grips with. The version coming out soon will also have extensive MIDI capabilities.

If the O/P is going down the road of keyboard instruments, he/she can save an enormous amount of money and buy a dumb keyboard then link to one of the many excellent free soft-synths - more learning of course, so maybe stick to the accoustic material first then gradually bring in other stuff. A recipe for disaster is to try and do it all at once.

The bottom line is that you don't need a lot of expensive hardware and software to produce first class results, but you do need to know how to make the best use of what you have and, most important of all, you need to develop you musical abilites as far as possible. I have heard astonishingly good music produced on the simplest of kit, and utter rubbish using top-line professional stuff.

This comment may not be popular.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45251075)

But as a hobbyist recording musician, the best free stuf out there all runs on Windows. And there is tons of it, from sequencers, editors, effects, synths, amp models and lots of fun experimental stuff. If you love Linux more than the potential all these free goodies offer for your music making then you will have to miss out on them. I would suggest, however, that the purchase of a cheap second hand Windows PC with a decent sound card would be greatly beneficial to your enjoyment of music making (my main music PC still runs Win 98 and it's fast and stable enough for all my needs : being more lightweight than subsequent Windows versions seems a real plus when it comes to issues like audio latency which are a potentail problem when running emulation layers such as Wine).

It's good that there is stuff for Linux, but an investment of a few bucks will allow you access to the best of both worlds.

BTW in my paid work, my systems run exclisively on Linux, as it is FAR superior to Windows as a server operating system.

Thank you to the submitter (2)

mcgrew (92797) | about 9 months ago | (#45251259)

I'm looking for the same thing, something better than Audacity. Since I've been buying recordings for almost half a century I have a lot of analog recordings that I've been digitizing. I have an ancient Dell tower running Windows XP, and the only thing I use that computer for is digitizing using EAC, a free but Windows-only program. I can sample an LP or cassette (which of course takes as much time as playing the record) then spend five minutes telling EAC where it changes tracks, then burn it to CD. I havent' found the tools to do this in Audacity.

I hope I can find a good Linux program, otherwise I'll have to unplug my modem every time I fire up the sampling computer. I'd rather just throw kubuntu or Mint on it.

So I'll be looking at responses and checking out any linked sites.

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