Tips for EDM production in Linux

Post fully complete "how to" guides and tutorials here. This is a great place to get feedback on stuff you might put in the wiki.

Moderators: MattKingUSA, khz

Established Member
Posts: 201
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 9:50 pm
Location: Germany

Tips for EDM production in Linux

Postby paul » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:53 am


I'd like to experiment a bit with electronic dance music. Is anybody here willing to share tips? Are there good blogs or Youtube tutorials?
Mainly, I'd like to see how to create a nice "explosive" drum track.

Also, are there any tutorials on how to do that in Linux (and using which program)? I'm a huge fan of Ardour and Hydrogen, but I'm open to anything.

Keep on rocking in the free world!

Established Member
Posts: 772
Joined: Mon May 12, 2014 7:11 am

Re: Tips for EDM production in Linux

Postby rghvdberg » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:57 am

Maybe unfa's video can help a bit.
Largely about synthesis and mixing.
Great stuff.

Also could you post a reference track / video so that we know what you want to achieve.

Established Member
Posts: 528
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:56 am
Location: Kangasala, Finland

Re: Tips for EDM production in Linux

Postby tavasti » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:36 am

paul wrote:I'd like to experiment a bit with electronic dance music. Is anybody here willing to share tips? Are there good blogs or Youtube tutorials?
Mainly, I'd like to see how to create a nice "explosive" drum track.

Don't know how do such, but if you have some proper how-to video for such with any daw, I suppose adapting that to Ardour or LMMS would not be too bad at all.
Linux veteran & Novice musician

Hear my music at

User avatar
Established Member
Posts: 581
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 11:41 pm
Location: bLACK fOREST

Re: Tips for EDM production in Linux

Postby lilith » Mon Dec 03, 2018 1:51 pm

There are some options to do this in Linux.

You could use "classical" DAWs like ARDOUR, QTRACTOR or REAPER (not open source, not free) or LMMS, BITWIG (rather expensive) or even RENOISE. WAVEFORM TRACKTION is another option. I'm not familiar with ROSEGARDEN or MUSE though...

You'll find a good overview here: ... dates.html

In BITWIG you can program loops and arrange your track by arranging these loops. Also you can do a lot with modulation and stuff and BITWIG also offers internal synths, filters, etc. etc. Same for RENOISE.

On the other hand it's also possible to make such music with ARDOUR. For the drums you can use Hydrogen or sampler plugins (LSP Sampler, Drumkv1, etc.) where you can load your drum wavs, flacs, etc. Or you just load your wav file onto a track, copy / paste it and arrange the beat this way.

Here's a video with ARDOUR, which I recorded recently: (Final Track:
You also see the mixer windows with the drum buses, reverb sends, etc. So you might get a feeling how it works...
Debian 9 (XFCE) & KXStudio repos

Established Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:04 pm

Re: Tips for EDM production in Linux

Postby bmarkham » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:09 am

I got started with EDM production using LMMS on Linux and this book: ... words=LMMS

I got the $16 electronic version, of course.

Established Member
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:43 pm

Re: Tips for EDM production in Linux

Postby Death » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:37 pm

I'm not quite sure what you mean by an "explosive" drum track. But after years of doing this stuff I've learned that there isn't really a special trick for anything. It's all about understanding what you've got and what it needs to get it to sound how you want, as vague as that sounds. Years of practice and experience in short..

Anyway, some techniques I would suggest learning that are very useful for drums in general:

* Practice EQ'ing them.
* Learn to use compression in general along with making drums punchier or fatter, making them groove with drum bus compression, and use of parallel compression after those techniques. You can also look into Sidechain compression for that classic EDM pumping sound if you're into that sort of thing, but you can do very similar (and often groovier) things with drum bus compression, especially if you compress the drum bus and bassline (or any other part/s of the song together).
* Use of distortion/saturation/soft clipping to give them a bit of grit (although this usually makes them lose punch).
* Transient shapers (Learn compressors first as these are both very similar tools but compression is far more important to grasp and will serve you well in the long run - trust me!).
* Use of reverb to make drums bigger, using the reverb's 'Pre-delay' setting (often with a setting of around 10-30ms) to allow a dryer, upfront punch at the beginning of the drum hit, if desired. Without using any Pre-delay on reverb, drums will usually sound more distant, but sometimes you want that.

Have fun, and if that all sounds like too much, then a simple idea to get started would be to route all of your drums to a single mixer track (which will in turn become a 'Drum Bus') and put a compressor on it. And for the sake of learning, set the ratio to about 4:1 or 5:1 and really dig in with the threshold so that the compressor is really working (doing about 5 - 10db of compression on each Kick & Snare hit), then try changing the attack setting to see how it affects the sound, then do the same with the release setting etc. Of course, you don't normally want that much compression happening as it sucks the life out of your drums, making them lose their punch and sound very flat, but it's a good way of learning compression when you're starting out ;)

Return to “HOW TOs, Tips & Tricks”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests