Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019?

Support & discussion regarding DAWs and MIDI sequencers.

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

What are your favourites?

Ardour/Harrison Mixbus
53
41%
LMMS
7
5%
Qtractor
17
13%
Rosegarden
6
5%
Tracktion Waveform
11
8%
Renoise
3
2%
Bitwig Studio
7
5%
Reaper
17
13%
Muse
4
3%
Other
5
4%
 
Total votes: 130

Death
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Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby Death » Sun Feb 17, 2019 9:34 pm

I imagine this is a pretty tired discussion on this forum so please feel free to skip it, although I actually didn't find much on it when searching here. Anyway, I don't intend to make this too complicated. What are your favourite Linux native DAW's (Either FOSS or proprietary) and why? Please post with your actual thoughts and experiences rather than linking some random article on a website :wink:

Personally, I've tried a lot of them now (Ardour, Harisson Mixbus, LMMS, Qtractor, Rosegarden, Tracktion Waveform, Renoise, Bitwig Studio, Reaper...). Whether it be workflow issues, lack of LV2 support, lack of automatic PDC or just a bad pricing/upgrade plan, none of them have quite won me over, unfortunately. I believe I've already worked my way through the best candidates, but the search continues...

Side note: There is a maximum of 10 choices available for polls and they're all taken up. This is why Ardour and Mixbus are in the same option seeing as they're so similar
Last edited by Death on Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:52 am, edited 13 times in total.

artofmusic
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby artofmusic » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:39 pm

It seems Mixbus and Muse complementing one another is the best setup.

jonetsu
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby jonetsu » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:50 pm

It's a matter of what you need. Like compressors. There's no such thing as a best compressor.

I use Bitwig. Did not find any Clip/Scene mode that allows live playing into an Arranger elsewhere. So I use Bitwig for creation.

I use Mixbus32C for mixing and mastering. Because of the sound.

Plugin compensation: never had issues with that. Maybe I'm just too unaware with my 562 sketches in 3 years and approx. 60 soundcloud "songs". Maybe everyone knows that Nominal6 is that guy producing stuff with a terrible problem of plugin compensation. Maybe.

Workflow issues: never had any problems with that neither in both Bitwig and Mixbus32C. Functions are easily accessible. No waste of time clicking endlessly to get something. Am using a Faderport 1 with Mixbus32C.

Death
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby Death » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:42 pm

jonetsu wrote:It's a matter of what you need. Like compressors. There's no such thing as a best compressor.

I use Bitwig. Did not find any Clip/Scene mode that allows live playing into an Arranger elsewhere. So I use Bitwig for creation.

I use Mixbus32C for mixing and mastering. Because of the sound.

Plugin compensation: never had issues with that. Maybe I'm just too unaware with my 562 sketches in 3 years and approx. 60 soundcloud "songs". Maybe everyone knows that Nominal6 is that guy producing stuff with a terrible problem of plugin compensation. Maybe.

Workflow issues: never had any problems with that neither in both Bitwig and Mixbus32C. Functions are easily accessible. No waste of time clicking endlessly to get something. Am using a Faderport 1 with Mixbus32C.


Yeh of course. I wasn't suggesting there was a best program.

You can get some terrible 'out of phase' issues due to lack of PDC. Maybe you've been lucky enough to never experience it badly enough, or maybe you just don't realise when it's happening. But it is real and it sucks.

I notice a lot of people on Linux using multiple programs - one for sequencing and one for mixing, generally. Personally, I like to do it all in one program for various reasons.

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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby jonetsu » Mon Feb 18, 2019 12:33 am

Death wrote:You can get some terrible 'out of phase' issues due to lack of PDC. Maybe you've been lucky enough to never experience it badly enough, or maybe you just don't realise when it's happening.


Maybe. People are saying though that Bitwig has better PDC than Ableton. So I guess I'm good w/o knowing it. And Bitwig is where I use a certain number of non-Bitwig Windows and Linux plugins. When I'm mixing there's not that many plugins at all. Mixbus32C does a good job off the start.

Death wrote:I notice a lot of people on Linux using multiple programs - one for sequencing and one for mixing, generally. Personally, I like to do it all in one program for various reasons.


If I ever find another software that offers even better than Clip/Scenes for creation then I will try it. Although for me, creating with what people commonly refer to as a DAW, eg. based on the mixer metaphor, is really not much creative. I mean, it's impossible to play in real-time with 27 different clips of MIDI and audio stuff in any which way using a launchpad grid when looking for structure to put into a traditional Arranger view. So that makes it impossible to create in this manner inside a Mixbus32C/Ardour software where things are aligned straight right from the start and where moving them around is rather tedious. It's like record one track then record another, then another. It's all about linear tracks. I prefer Scenes built with Clips. At least there are 2 dimensions. Maybe one day there'll be 3 dimensions to expressing musical ideas.

Death
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby Death » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:04 am

I used to use Ableton when I started out. I really enjoyed that live view with the clips. It was great for trying out different song structures and improvising on the fly :) Although it's not Linux native, I think FL Studio has some kind of performance mode made for using one of those Launchpad things. I've never actually tried it though so I'm not sure if it does that stuff you're after.

I refer to FL Studio as a DAW, but it's also the best sequencer software I've ever used. Nothing about that stops me mixing on it. It does it all and it does it well. Mixbus is very nice though. I'm a big fan of anything that emulates analogue gear not just for the sound but aesthetically too. I just really enjoy that sort of thing! I could never compose midi in Ardour or Mixbus though. It's way too basic and clunky in its current state. If they ever get that down then I would definitely consider using those programs again.

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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby jonetsu » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:32 am

IMHO the Ardour/Mixbus team should concentrate on what they do best and continuously improve on that instead of trying to play in the MIDI sequencing field like when they introduced MIDI editing. If they had a bigger, paid, team, working 40hrs/week then all right, but as it is now, there are still quite a few things to improve. This said, they are highly usable DAWs. I do not want to give an impression to the contrary. Well, at least Mixbus32C that I use.

I use Mixbus32C to mix and master because of the sound. Right after importing the Bitwig tracks, of which sometimes there can up to 45 of them, and pressing play in Mixbus32C, w/o doing anything else but adjusting the monitor bus, the difference in sound is heard. Quite different from the 'raw' (even with plugins) Bitwig output. And from there it's just a pleasure to fine tune the mix in various ways.

I heard good things about FL Studio. Which seems to run in Linux. From Image Line I use Harmor, Sytrus and Sakura on a regular basis and am impressed by the quality.

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Michael Willis
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby Michael Willis » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:11 am

This might be heresy, but if your wine setup is working for you, why change? You sure have done your due diligence and have tried pretty much every native option that I can think of. If you're not happy with them, that's fine, use what works for you.

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bluebell
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby bluebell » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:58 am

Qtractor.

It wins (for me) against …

Rosegarden: Qtractor can load LV2 and has a more flexible audio routing
Ardour, Mixbus: Qtractor has a better MIDI editor in separate windows
Bitwig: Qtractor's available source code (I use Linux because I don't trust obscureware without source code)

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JamesPeters
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby JamesPeters » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:23 am

I'm guessing your dislike of Reaper was something about its workflow. That's a common complaint. However a lot of people get over that once they get accustomed to it, and sometimes it's just a matter of realizing some aspect which allows the person's preferred workflow. If you ask on the Reaper forums how to achieve your desired workflow, especially if you're open to some differences, you might get the answers you want. It could be something "right under your nose" about the program, or it might be about making some custom actions, or using an add-on script. It's far more flexible than most people initially realize, and capable of "simpler" workflows too (despite seeming "complicated" in some ways at first).

If the cost of Reaper is unappealing to you, consider the license covers two "full versions" of Reaper, which is a few years (or more). Never mind if you already knew this, of course.

Automatic PDC shouldn't be an issue in Reaper, so I assumed you weren't talking about that.

Anyway I can't say there's a "best" DAW. I prefer Reaper but each DAW has its strengths.
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gennargiu
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby gennargiu » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:19 pm

I used all Daw native Gnu linux system....ardour,mixbus,waveform 9,reaper experimental,qtractor,bitwig 8 track,lmms,rosegarden,sonic-pi,giada,luppp,sunvox,cecilia,paulstretch,sooperlooper,and all plug in vst native gnu linux,ldspa,lv2 :wink: ciao

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sysrqer
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby sysrqer » Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:49 pm

I tend to have two stages of the music I make, making and mixing the music, and then editing and mixing vocals. I have always used renoise for the music, for me it's very creative and I like the amount of modulation that's possible, control of details that you can have, the native fx, and the stability. I had never even heard of trackers before I used it but I quickly fell in love with it when went through all the linux offerings (there always seemed to be something major about the workflow that I didn't like) and when I saw how powerful it was I didn't look back.

That said I've done a few tracks exclusively in reaper lately and found it very different but enjoyable. I've also started experimenting in puredata with automatonism, it's great fun and so much quicker to get going with than regular puredata.

For the vocals I used to use ardour (because it's a nightmare to try to mix and edit 20-30 vocal takes in renosie). For the most part it was fine but there some stability issues when projects got complex so I decided to try reaper. Once I started to use that I didn't go back to ardour, the actions in it are incredible and you can customise every aspect of it to how you like to work. It was also very stable.

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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby zoco » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:31 pm

I don't like topics about best. Best daw, best microphone, best interface. Is best for you also the best for someone else? What is best?
My wife says i am the best man one can get. I think your wife will not agree.

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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby English Guy » Mon Feb 18, 2019 4:57 pm

I am a recording musician (as opposed to a programming one, except some drums on hydrogen and a bit of keys for colour) so Mixbus has proved best for me. It not only sounds good, it has a sane selection of tools built into the mixer such as eq, compression/ limiting, high pass filter, a master bus limiter, which make audio mixing easier and more intuitive. I also like the way it is set to sum your mix into to mixbusses; on my modest gear it makes mixing easier.

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JamesPeters
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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby JamesPeters » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:35 pm

zoco wrote:My wife says i am the best man one can get.


Your name isn't Gillette, is it? :D
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