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Ask Slashdot: Best Cross-Platform (Linux-Only) Audio Software? 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the audiophiles,-now-is-your-time-to-shine dept.
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?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best Cross-Platform (Linux-Only) Audio Software?

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  • Ardour (Score:4, Informative)

    by orcundead (2706033) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @05:27AM (#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.
    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Does it "run on different platforms"?

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

      • by mugurel (1424497)
        yes it runs on macos too. the session files are xml.
      • 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

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        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 (Score:5, Informative)

          by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday October 27, 2013 @11:06AM (#45251291) Homepage Journal

          I think what he means is that it can't be Windows-only or Apple-only, but Linux-only is fine. I'm sure he doesn't mean "will work on any distro" by "cross-platform", he just wants it to work on his box.

          • Re:Ardour (Score:4, Insightful)

            by IANAAC (692242) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @12:41PM (#45251751)

            I think what he means is that it can't be Windows-only or Apple-only, but Linux-only is fine. I'm sure he doesn't mean "will work on any distro" by "cross-platform", he just wants it to work on his box.

            Both the headline and the summary are just laziness.

            Had the submitter taken 5 minutes and done a search, he would have found plenty of software available - and cross-platform at that - to do what he wants.

            Or maybe it was just an excuse to link to his soundcloud page?

            • by Pseudonym (62607)

              Had the submitter taken 5 minutes and done a search, he would have found plenty of software available [...]

              It's a good thing that all open source audio software systems are robust and high-quality, and nobody has ever had a problem with audio under Linux.

        • 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?

          I read it as "It needs to be cross platform as I'm a Linux-only user".

          Or to put it another way: No need to submit Mac OS X-only or Windows-only software, I can't run them. I need cross platform software to be able to use them in my Linux environment.

      • Does ProTools run on Linux? Can they send files to their Linux running friends? Where does he state as one if his requirements that he can share the project files with his "PC-owning friends"? Also, the actual audio files are standard formats so he can share tracks and the mixed tracks that result just fine.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      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 (Score:5, Informative)

      by UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @07:55AM (#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:Ardour (Score:5, Informative)

      by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @09:07AM (#45250687) Homepage Journal

      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 (Score:5, Informative)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @09:10AM (#45250693) Homepage Journal

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

        • by harrkev (623093)

          I vote for Reaper too. Great program at a very reasonable price, no stupid DRM, and updates included.

          Do you have a laptop AND a desktop? Install the software on both, no problem. No USB key needed.

          • by manicb (1633645)

            Another vote for REAPER here. Runs very well in WINE as they actually test it. KXStudio is a nice distro that provides useful tools for a low-latency setup and will even install REAPER for you.

      • by gmueckl (950314)

        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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by u38cg (607297)
        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.
        • 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.

          Harrison Consoles's Mixbus is another commercial product that is supported on Linux. Couriously, AVLinux has a demo version included despite Harrison's claim to not provide demo versions. I guess their website is out of date. I have not tried it because I don't want to risk liking it (I cannot justify paying even Harrison's reasonable price - I've already spent too much on hardware).

          http://www.harrisonconsoles.com/mixbus/website/purchase.html

          http://www.bandshed.net/AVLinux.html

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        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.

        I think that you raise a valid point about the 'commercial' user and Ardour, however I think the artistic decisions override this. I used to be a Logic user and I find that Pro-tools produced music is too sterile, formulaic and doesn't excite me sonically. I use Ardour to record several projects for a variety of acoustic control decisions. Admittedly we only produce our own music.

        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.

        It's not really 'all-about-Ardour' but the JACK Audio Connection Kit that enables all the audio applications to interact and is a

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          I used to be a Logic user and I find that Pro-tools produced music is too sterile, formulaic and doesn't excite me sonically. I use Ardour to record several projects for a variety of acoustic control decisions.

          All DAWs can be used as a simple tape deck. Just because Pro Tools gives you certain tools and possibilities doesn't mean you have to use them. The notion that music recorded and mixed in Pro Tools has to have a certain "sound" shows that you still have a bit to learn about the"production process f

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Since he plays guitar and sings he also needs the DAW to accept drivers for audio digital interface devices like MOTU [motu.com] or even Line 6 [line6.com]. Without those, or without a simple way to get the software to work with them, you can't do anything reasonable with guitars or microphones. Just plugging into the computer's input gives shite sound quality which is why you need an interface.

      I tried a couple years ago and gave up on Linux for recording. Someone suggested 'JACK' [jackaudio.org] and Ardour but bloody hell, JACK was so convo

      • Don't bother modding this unless you actually record music using a Digital Audio Workstation. You aren't qualified.
  • Ardour (Score:5, Informative)

    by astro (20275) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @05:28AM (#45250039) Homepage

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

    • Seconded.
    • Ardour might be fine piece of software, but sadly it is also crippleware unless you are prepared to cough up your shekels.
      • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @05:28AM (#45250041)

    "Cross-Platform"

    "Linux-Only"

    Pick one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blogologue (681423)
      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.
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BrokenHalo (565198)
        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.
        • by Joce640k (829181)

          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.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            The difference between a slashdot editor and Guardian editor is that the Guardian editors studied English, while the slashdot editors studied technology. It's rare to find an engineer that can write well, just as it's rare to find an English major that's good at math. English majors and journalism majors are terrible when writing or editing anything about tech or science. They get the grammar and spelling and punctuation right but usually still screw it up worse than Cowboy Neal's pet monkey.

            BTW, if you're

            • by gnapster (1401889)

              It's rare to find an engineer that can write well[...]

              For all the grousing that goes on here in regard to grammar in slashdot entries, one might think such engineers would not be so rare, after all.

              • by mcgrew (92797) *

                There are all kinds here, cops (any time you see a cop referred as an "LEO" you know it's a cop because that's Low Earth Orbit to us), firefighters, pilots, and it seems that lately there are an awful lot of greengrocers. [wikipedia.org] Hell Will Wheaton has a slashdot account and posts sometimes, he's an actor.

  • by six025 (714064) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @05:42AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

    • by manicb (1633645)

      Freaking love Renoise, but trackers aren't for everyone. I use it in combination with a DAW (Logic when I was on Mac, now REAPER running in WINE like a champ on linux) for beat generation and sample mangling.

  • by seyyah (986027) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @06:16AM (#45250171)

    I'm looking for contradictory things.

  • Qtractor (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • 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.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @07:46AM (#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.

  • DSP and AudioLazy (Score:5, Informative)

    by hexxa_decimal (3411019) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @06:50AM (#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..

  • 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

  • by AntiSol (1329733) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @07:02AM (#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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by DrNico (691592) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @07:21AM (#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.
  • by muridae (966931) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @07:53AM (#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.

    • I'm responding to this, because I agree that LMMS is a great program. A little awkward to use sometimes but still cool. I would also like to mention to the Ardour doubters out there that using the Calf plugins makes Ardour a whole new piece of software http://calf.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] .

  • by Rob_Bryerton (606093) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:12AM (#45250929) Homepage
    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...

    • by H0p313ss (811249)

      "I'm a Craftsman fanboy". "I'm a Snap-On fanboy." Sounds pretty silly, right? That's because it is silly.

      And yet they exist. People don't make decisions in a void, they base them on prior experience and bias.

    • by toygeek (473120)

      I've been saying for several years, its not about what's "best" its about using the right tool for the job. Linux is a great server OS and Windows is a good desktop OS. I happen to dislike OS X so it doesn't factor in for me.

    • Get on with life, and leave Linux in the server room, where it belongs.

      No, linux belongs on students' old PC's - real server computing is done with ULTRIX, IRIX, OSF/1, or HP/UX.

    • by ffflala (793437) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @02:02PM (#45252249)

      If you're serious at all about your music, you use OS X or Windows. That's where the action is. Full stop.... Why are you restricting yourself? You're killing your potential and being held back by insisting on using third-rate tools.

      Please, revisit this preconception of yours. At first I was tempted to dismiss it with something antagonistic like "oh, shoosh," but that would be counterproductive. There's an underlying stereophilic assumption you're making here that I hope you will honestly revisit.

      Consider a longer-term view: the past century of music reproduction technology. 100 years ago you'd be dealing with piano rolls, player pianos; a bit later, '78s. Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, even the earliest Miles Davis was recorded under these relatively primitive conditions, and the music transcends the limitations of the tools. A few decades later the Beatles were cutting Sgt Pepper's with a fucking four track. Less than a decade later Queen gave us Bohemian Rhapsody, again using tape. Pink Floyd's The Wall.

      There are countless examples of great music with limited technology. The functionality that all of these production studios had was much more limited than what you can do with Ardour.

      The "grow up!" part of your comment really irks me. There are long term, RMS reasons for using free software. Professional artists are faced with a complex IP structure in which the use of proprietary solutions risks unintentional effects on your artistic output, such as surreptitious audio watermarking.

      I don't wish to sound dismissive. At the risk of doing so, it sounds like you're a sysadmin professional, not a music professional. I don't understand why you feel comfortable giving career advice directed towards those in the music industry. Can you explain a bit more about your own experience earning a living from creating and producing music?

    • Yet, there's pretty good work made with GIMP, and really shoddy things done with Photoshop. It's just a tool. Real talent can make you amazing artwork out of a badly sharpened pencil. Same with music. Your tools will make your work easier, not better, and only if they adapt to your taste.
      Defending your tools so fervently, and telling others to grow up for not seeing the light, you come as much as a fanboy as the guy saying he's an actual fanboy.

  • by Schezar (249629) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:28AM (#45251031) Homepage Journal

    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).

  • 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 exte

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday October 27, 2013 @11:00AM (#45251259) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • by gnapster (1401889)
      If 'better than Audacity' means (for you) good at recording albums and splitting tracks, then you might want to check out Polderbits [polderbits.com]. I used it for the purpose of digitizing cassette tapes many years ago, and I'm sure it has only gotten better. In terms of general features it is very limited compared to Audacity, but it is good at automatically detecting sensible places to split tracks. It is only released for Windows, but it may run in Wine.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I've been using EAC on the XP box. I want to nuke Windows on that machine and put kubuntu on it.

        • by gnapster (1401889)

          I'm not familiar with EAC, but I did catch the bit about moving away from XP. That is why I mentioned wine [winehq.org]. Wine supports some software better than others, and EAC seems to work well [winehq.org]. (Now that I look in their database, it appears that Polderbits is not listed, so all bets are off.) Are you acquainted with Wine?

          Based on your description, it seems like Polderbits would suit your needs better than EAC since it is designed for the purpose of archiving analog audio, while EAC seems geared towards digital

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            I know about Wine but it doesn't interest me. With Windows (or anything Microsoft touches) what works today probably won't tomorrow.

  • This question has been closed as not constructive by ... oh wait, wrong forum.
  • Rosegarden (Score:4, Informative)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @01:19PM (#45251979)
    Rosegarden [rosegardenmusic.com] is an amazing piece of software, very close to garageband. Supports midi, notation, sampling, multi tracking, control external synths, really full featured. I don't know why it isn't mentioned more often.
  • by ffflala (793437) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @01:46PM (#45252147)
    Try this: http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/software/ [stanford.edu]

    Planet CCRMA at Home (CCRMA is pronounced ``karma'') is a collection of free, open source rpm packages (RPM stands for RPM Package Manager) that you can add to a computer running Fedora, 17, 18 or 19, or CentOS 5 (not all applications are built on the 64 bit version) to transform it into an audio workstation with a low-latency kernel, current audio drivers and a nice set of music, midi and audio applications (what if you are not using Fedora or CentOS?).

    In particular, familiarize yourself with qjackctl and the jack server that it controls; it's a bit like the *nix concept of piping I/O, but for sound and sound apps.

  • After being in similar situation and trying a USB guitar/mic interface and various F/OSS and proprietary software on windows and linux for recording, I gave up in the face of instability, unreliability and glitchiness, and bought one of these [amazon.co.uk].

    It records WAVs onto an SD Card. It doesn't crash or create glitchy artifacts in the middle of recording, it has a nice physical interface, and its output can be read by any multitracking software you like.

    • sorry that link was ambiguous at best, the one I chose (though i'm sure the others are fine) was the Zoom R8.

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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