Linux DAWs - are there any?

Support & discussion regarding DAWs and MIDI sequencers.

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gerg
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Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby gerg » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:12 pm

Please accept my apologies if this is an inapproproiate spot for this particular topic posting.

I am looking for input of available software suitable for assembling, from scores output to MIDI, high-quality, mastered recordings. This is the level of quality I'm looking for (from work I did a few years ago in CuBASE): http://www.ecital.net/epic.mp3

This work was unfinished. It used a Cakewalk plugin which made sound fonts available to CuBASE, providing a reaonably high-quality symphonic palette from which to compose. (The piano was a little suspect but was better than anything else out there).

As you can hear, this requires precise control over expression and dynamics.

In 2013, after some research, I installed Ardour. After managing - finally - to get a rudimentary synthy sound from it after installing and configuring JACK, I found it lacks tools for setting the expression level and key dynamics for each note, and this is critical for high-quality symphonic scores.

I'm tempted to write my own command line humanizer program as that, too, seems nonexistent on Linux.

My question is this: Is there anything at all on Linux that allows for composition of reasonably high-quality, film-style mastered recordings? I read some buzz about Bitwig lately: Does it provide these features, esp. MIDI import, VSTs, and expression and velocity control lanes?

Or is this still entirely absent from the Linux platforms?

Thanks for taking the time to read.

gerg
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby gerg » Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:16 pm

Another very important feature is a tempo lane, for accel, ritard, fermata... Payware solutions are fine; I just want to compose again.

So

* Takes a MIDI file as its input (does not need to record MIDI; that's handled elsewhere);
* Provision for editing and instrumenting the MIDI.
* Control lanes for velocity, tempo, pedal, expression, and ability to shape them easily - without Ardour's right-click, change velocity on EVERY... SINGLE.... NOTE.... (which would obviously take FOREVER). CuBASE let the user draw with a pencil.
* Quality mixing, mastering, post-mix effects...

StudioDave
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby StudioDave » Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:22 pm


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sysrqer
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby sysrqer » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:07 pm

Have you looked at qtractor? It has much more capabilities when it comes to midi than ardour. I'm almost certain it has all of the things on your list:


* Takes a MIDI file as its input (does not need to record MIDI; that's handled elsewhere);
never tried but I'm fairly certain you can

* Provision for editing and instrumenting the MIDI.
certainly

* Control lanes for velocity, tempo, pedal, expression, and ability to shape them easily - without Ardour's right-click, change velocity on EVERY... SINGLE.... NOTE.... (which would obviously take FOREVER). CuBASE let the user draw with a pencil.
It definitely has control lanes for those things and the last time I used it I'm fairly certainly you can draw a whole line at a time with a pencil type tool.

* Quality mixing, mastering, post-mix effects...
It doesn't come with any effects but install calf and a few other packs and you have most of what you would normally need.

gerg
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby gerg » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:33 am

I was duly impressed and purchased Bitwig. Thanks.

Now I'm trying to assemble a collection of sample-based ADSR instruments... Fun stuff..

glowrak guy
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby glowrak guy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:23 pm

Consider linux itself to be the DAW. Stripped of all the non-audio things, you have
a fine clean slate, and over time, can assemble a complex, unique environment,
suited exactly to your needs. Existing 'DAW' outputs, bitwig, ardour, reaper, qtractor etc
become 'just another instrument', to be routed and layered elsewhere, among the unique
linux offerings, as imagination dictates, and as computer power allows.

Can't do it in windows, you'll be marshalled into one commercial channel or another,
and eventually succomb to malware mudwrestling, and newly introduced system limitations,
and experience the priveledge of extensive reinstalling and registration complications.
I've never used a BSD based mac, and never heard of musicians pealing away enough of the apple,
to get at the root of the kernel. Perhaps best suited for pro's with big budgets,
and little spare time/desire for home-brew customizations. If it ain't broke, don't fix it...


With bitwig, ardour, qtractor, u-he, pianoteq, calf, rakarrack, guitarix, zyn/yoshimi, hexter, discodsp, reaper, and zita,
there is very little that can't be done. Add in the world of deep synthesis tools, and scripting,
and new horizons are there for the sailing. 8)
Cheers

glowrak guy
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby glowrak guy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:54 pm

gerg wrote:I was duly impressed and purchased Bitwig. Thanks.

Now I'm trying to assemble a collection of sample-based ADSR instruments... Fun stuff..

You might look at the big vst sites marketplace forums, for people selling
Cakewalk and IK Multimedia accounts. A lot a Cakewalk Dimension Pro sample content
is in sfz format, and it also works fine in wine. IKM V 2.5 Sampletank collective also
works well in wine, and since V3, quite a few are selling older versions. These would
provide vast numbers of sample instruments. Dimension Pro goes on sale often, as it's
'old' by current standards, got mine for $20 8) worth it for the five best instruments alone,
out of hundreds. IKM Sonic Synth gets sold secondhand to, a large group of useful instruments,
and all IK instruments have built-in multi-effects, and 16 part mullti-timbral, to boot.
Good luck!

kmatheussen
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby kmatheussen » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:16 pm

Radium does all these things, if you are willing to work in a different direction (literary).
http://users.notam02.no/~kjetism/radium/

> (from work I did a few years ago in CuBASE): http://www.ecital.net/epic.mp3

2'37 FTW!

MagicV
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby MagicV » Sun Jun 28, 2015 6:00 am

I am surprised that so few people here responded to your actual question.

The answer is Yes! There are plenty of DAW's available in Linux. I myself am just starting to learn Linux MultiMedia Studio after trying out Ardour. ( https://lmms.io/ and http://ardour.org/ ). Both can be installed from the repositories for your distribution, and both come as part of a Multimedia OS like KXStudio (the one I use), Ubuntu Studio or AVLinux.

Another popular one, as someone mentioned above, is Qtractor. All of the above are free and opensource and work great once you figure them out, and all of them do everything you described that you are looking for.

There are plenty more out there that are free, non-free, windows based but work in Linux under Wine, etc. etc., but the ones I listed are the most popular, the most developed and are most likely to work regardless of which Linux distribution you use.

An easy way to figure these out is to use youtube. There are lessons for anything and everything on youtube...

akiz
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby akiz » Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:03 pm


StudioDave
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby StudioDave » Sun Jul 12, 2015 3:30 pm



It does look good, but apparently it's a MIDI-only sequencer. I couldn't see any support for audio tracks during the video demo.

Best,

dp

akiz
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby akiz » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:20 pm

I just didnt want to create new topic

roostertop
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby roostertop » Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:33 am

MagicV wrote:Another popular one, as someone mentioned above, is Qtractor. All of the above are free and opensource and work great once you figure them out, and all of them do everything you described that you are looking for.

Yes, QTractor is very good. I haven't used bitwig though, so can't compare them :D

GordonS
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Re: Linux DAWs - are there any?

Postby GordonS » Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:27 am

MagicV wrote:I am surprised that so few people here responded to your actual question.


I suspect that many people didn't even read the question because it appears to fit the "no question is too silly to ask, but some are too silly to answer".

There are, of course, lots of DAWs for Linux that meet all kinds of different people's needs. Some OpenSource, some commercial, some native some in Wine.

Others worth considering are:

Harricon MixBus (native, commercial enhancement of Ardour),
http://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html

Renoise (native, commercial),
http://www.renoise.com/

Reaper (Wine, Commercial).
http://www.reaper.fm/
http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=26690 (Linux installer etc.)

For good piano sounds, I personally like Pianoteq, which is also native, commercial.
https://www.pianoteq.com/

There are all (IMHO) very reasonably priced and very good in their various ways.

I make no apology for listing commercial software. The more that commercial organisation work with Linux, the better Linux will be accepted. I just with they'd closer follow the Unix ethos of making things that work together properly. I really don't like aggressive lock-ins.

Off to explore BitWig :-)


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