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Multi-track recording software for Linux

Discussion in 'Home Recording Studio' started by CalicoSkies, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    I have considered migrating to Linux at some point in the future. I'm curious what (if any) multi-track music recording software anyone likes to use for Linux? Is Linux at all considered a serious platform for music recording? It seems like Linux keeps getting more mature all the time, with improved Linux distros and software becoming available. Honestly I don't do much recording, and it's one of those things that I keep thinking of doing more but haven't gotten around to it..

    For Windows, my favorite multi-track recording software is Mixcraft. OS X has Garage Band, which I think is fairly good too. I know Audacity is available on all 3 platforms, and although it's free, I'm not sure it's as full-featured as Mixcraft or Garage Band.

    I did a quick search for Linux multi-track recording software, and one of the first links was Ardour:
    https://ardour.org/
    From the looks of it, it looks like it might be fairly good, with a UI similar to Mixcraft/Garage Band.
     

  2. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Guinness Powered Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    Fortress Yorkshire
    You can run Ubuntu Studio live image from a DVD or USB stick, full implementation of both Linux and Ardour to try it. I found Ardour a bit difficult to get started with, being so used to Reaper, but it does work ok. Audacity on Linux is just as bad as it is on Windows.
     

  3. TheDuck

    TheDuck Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Reaper is coming to Linux. It may be available now, if not, soon.
     
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  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Guinness Powered Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    Fortress Yorkshire
    Not yet. It's supposed to have been coming soon for a long time.
     
    TheDuck likes this.

  6. QReuCk

    QReuCk Strat-Talker

    366
    Apr 17, 2014
    France
    Why do you say Audacity is bad on windows? I've no experience with recording multi-track with it, but I've recoded single track and mixed multi-track with it and didn't find it so bad, even on a very old laptop. So I'm curious. Can you explain what is improved in other software? Real question, I'm not trying to play smart a** with you, I just don't know and would like to understand.

    Also with Linux, and especially in the context of multi-tracks recording, I would probably be more concerned with the availability of drivers for the soundcard than with actual software. But that's just me, and that may be a mistake.
     
    CalicoSkies likes this.

  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    I'm coming to you right now from Linux, and I can say that Audacity works pretty well and gives you a fairly full-featured recording suite. I have a Soundblaster Audigy soundcard and it works great. Asus onboard sound does as well.
     
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  8. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Guinness Powered Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    Fortress Yorkshire
    Audacity surely doesn't play nicely with Windows, without a lot of faffing about, which isn't necessary with any other DAW using ASIO drivers.

    As for Linux, I've never had a problem with it finding drivers for anything, it even recognises things that Windows doesn't a lot of the time. If the drivers aren't available for certain devices or the USB device isn't class compliant, that's because of the lack of foresight by the manufacturer - Looking at you Roland/Boss.
     

  9. Doug B

    Doug B Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    63
    29
    Jun 17, 2017
    Canada
    There's also Tracktion (commercial), Rosegarden, Muse and LMMS to name a few that I can remember.
     

  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Guinness Powered Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    Fortress Yorkshire
    I haven't used onboard soundcard for recording since Windows 98, when was that? The only reason I still have Windows is that some software I have to use won't work with Linux.
     

  11. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Too many years ago, but hey, some still insist...
    It has at least gotten better.
    I'm with you though; back in the GRUB 0.98 days, I had my win installation listed as "Wintendo," because that's all it ever really got used for; gaming. In general, I booted to Linux. Now that GRUB 2 is a thing and there's less room to mess with that stuff, I let it go at Windows 7, which is the last version I will use willingly, and again, only to play games. Good onya #Steam for porting your games to Linux.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  12. QReuCk

    QReuCk Strat-Talker

    366
    Apr 17, 2014
    France
    Cool for linux, with the exception of Boss/Roland it seems.

    As for windows, I don't really understand your point. I'm running mine on a 12 years old PC with Windows XP home edition. It is a very low performance laptop, which I no longer connect to the net, enabling me to shut down the antivirus (which isn't up to date anyway) and so far I got no problem recording a single track on the internal soundcard or importing and mixing up to 8 tracks. Sure enough, applying some effects isn't done in real time, and can take quite some time with so little computing power, but it works. The included effects available with my initial install are enough for my needs. I understand if you want to have more choice with effects and want to add plugins it could be difficult, and I never managed to have the mp3 support for exports working, but that's a minimal inconvenience for my needs.
    Then in terms of ergonomics, I found the editing to be quite a bit of pain somewhere in the back, unless your needs are limited to cut whole sections for all instruments and/or just silencing a track on some sections.
    So this is where I come from. For me audacity is perfectly useable if you don't need all the fancy up-to-date effects and can convert .wav into .mp3 externally.
    Are the other softs imune from these little imperfections? That's what I would like to know.
     

  13. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Guinness Powered Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    Fortress Yorkshire
    The Boss Katana is recognised and works fin on Linux, the FxFloorboard works on Linux too. :)

    On Windows I don't use Audacity because it doesn't use ASIO drivers (I don't have a soundcard that doesn't) and it really doesn't compare to Reaper or Cubase for any serious use.
     
    TheDuck likes this.

  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Strat-O-Master

    836
    Jan 10, 2014
    Michigan
    Audacity on UbuntuStudio.org has a 'couple hundred' plugins pre-installed for many audio effects.

    You can run the whole of UbuntuStudio off a live DVD/USB or a Virtualbox virtual machine so it is temporary and you can go back to whatever normal 'day work' you have going. Or dig out that last pc you kicked to the basement/garage because Windows was too slow/virus filled and do a complete fresh full install -- which is easy with the prompts, I had a six year old do a from-bare-iron OS install just to test the easiness and the only question was "what's a partition?" when setting up the hard drive formatting.

    Ardour4
    LMMS
    Audacity

    Other interesting programs
    Hydrogen drum machine
    Guitarix amp sims
    Rakkarack amp/pedal sims
    Synthesizers
    TuxGuitar
     

  15. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    I have an Asus sound card (PCI Express), and whenever my PC starts up or I switch it from external speakers to headphones only (using their Asus software tool), I hear something click on the sound card (some kind of electronic relay, I think). I've noticed that when I run Audacity (on Windows, at least), I hear a bunch of clicks from my sound card. I'm not sure what Audacity is doing when it starts, but it seems to be doing some kind of sound card scan or something. Otherwise I like Audacity - I've used it in the past and recently for some audio tasks.

    The sound card I have is the Asus Xonar Xense - It's actually a great-sounding card:
    https://www.asus.com/Sound-Cards/Xonar_Xense/
     

  16. scampos

    scampos Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    52
    17
    Nov 4, 2016
    Brasil
    Yamaha THR10 works fine under Ubuntu as well. I use Ardour, but only very lightly, not enough time to both learn guitar and Ardour, so I am learning guitar first.

    Linux I know well, however. Don't even remember which Windows I used the last time, or when that was.

    A tip that was given to me, if you have problems, look for a low latency kernel, some distros optimize the datapath for audio so that latency is not a problem.
     

  17. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    That makes sense; USB audio interfaces are pretty standardized but it's nice to have it confirmed. My USB phono preamp had no issues under Ubuntu either, though I'm running a different distro these days.
    Here are a couple aimed at sound and multimedia worth checking out that already address latency:
    http://libremusicproduction.com/articles/advantages-choosing-audio-orientated-linux-distribution
     
    CalicoSkies likes this.

  18. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Guinness Powered Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    58
    May 21, 2010
    Fortress Yorkshire
    I suggested Ubuntu Studio because it's so simple to try from live disk/whatever for Windoze users. I'm stuck with 7 until it dies, then it's going to have to be all Linux, which I've used 90% of the time for years .
     

  19. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA

  20. CalicoSkies

    CalicoSkies Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 10, 2013
    Hillsboro, OR, USA
    I've actually used Linux here and there for a number of years. I've tried Ubuntu but I don't really like its UI. My current favorite Linux distro is Mint Linux with the Cinnamon UI. I've just never switched to Linux full-time..
     
    Robins likes this.

  21. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    It is outside of the US. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    Thrup'ny Bit likes this.