Linux and Multimedia Creation

Audio


Some of the earliest uses I found for my personal computers was recording audio. Though these recordings were generally low quality, in both content and equipment, I did get the "recording bug". For the first era of my creativity, I was stuck using the family computer. In order to record, I would have to lug my synthesizer over to the family computer or the family computer to my upright piano before I could begin. This made it tedious for not only myself, but my four older sisters as the family computer would then be locked down by yours truly for hours on end.

Shortly after this, my father agreed to let me have the old family computer, an old Pentium III that we installed Ubuntu 8.04 on. I remember the first recording tool I used was Rosegarden. It hasn't changed much even after 10 years but as always is a polished piece of software.

After a few equipment changes I had a beastly computer and a full digital workstation (Roland RD-700GX and various peripherals). All I needed to find was software that would allow me to work effectively and allow me to use as many of the features on my keyboard as possible. This led me to running through a large number of recording tools in quick succession.

Rosegarden

I haven't used RG in years but it still sticks in my mind as one of my favorite pieces of software for recording audio and MIDI. Over time I found myself moving from mixed type recordings (MIDI and audio that I created) to MIDI with and samples only. It has any feature that you might want for recording and is worth checking out if you are trying to get into things.

Audacity

  
There was a point early in my recording career (pfft, career!) where I was doing exclusively audio. In my defense I was probably 12 and had no idea how any of the software worked. I just knew that the red circle was record and the triangle was play. Audacity remains to this day my favorite audio editor. It is really simple to use and has a minimalist GUI so that new users don't feel like they are drowning in options. Audacity combined with a variety of audio effects gives you a full audio recording studio without too much complexity that can also be used for small jobs like cleaning up an audio sample to be used in another program. 

A must have for any audiophile.

Ardour

I am listing Ardour not because I extensively used it but because it is a fantastic tool that I could never get myself to love. It has similar abilities to Apple's Logic Pro but is available for free if you install it through the Ubuntu Software Center or from some repositories. There is also the option to build it from the git repository but that won't be outlined here. There is also the choice to pay for the software but that is less than ideal when there is so much good software out there for free.

Ardour cleanly combines audio and MIDI in a fully-featured DAW (digital audio workstation). Out of the listed tools it is by far the most advanced. If easy access to low level control is your thing, this is likely the tool for you.

LMMS

This is one of my favorite recording tools that I have ever used. Many times I find myself trying out other DAWs only to come back to LMMS with renewed vigor. The workflow in LMMS is exactly the way that I like it. The presets for all of the synthesizers are great, if you can't find what you are looking for you can generally find a soundfont that will meet your needs.

A newer feature is the addition of VST plugins. They are pretty buggy and can cause the system to crash from time to time but if it is supported it should work just fine. That being said I still prefer SF (soundfonts). The best ones I have found so far are all on this site. I can't attest to them being bug free but they always sound great. The best saxophone sound I have ever found is in the Nice Keys Suite V1. Finally a SF sax that doesn't sound like synth.

Great tool, similar to FruityLoops except free. You won't regret this choice. 

Images & Video



In the realm of photography and film I am definitely an amateur but that doesn't stop me from occasionally trying my hand at it. My main reason for filming and photography is for me to create content for my judo club. This takes the form of highlight reels for the most part but team photos also happen on a regular basis when at tournaments.

Since I am an avid linux user, obviously most of my video/image processing is done in linux. Here are the few tools that I have managed to use over the years that are relatively easy to find, easy to use, and most of all free. 

Gimp


Why pay for PhotoShop when there is a really good replacement? By no means does it have as many features as PS but for most people it is more than enough. If you aren't familiar with image editing you may feel a little lost but this is at least one of the more simple to use tools so keep at it!



Pitivi / Kdenlive
I haven't used Pitivi in several years but it seems to have come a long way. Kdenlive and Pitivi are almost the exact same thing. A multi-tracked video editor is a multi-tracked video editor. They don't really vary that much from tool to tool.

I find these tools have a good workflow and intuitive GUI but in the end they are both pretty generic and are good for getting the job done when it comes to video creation.

Publishing Platforms

Take these suggestions with a grain of salt. By no means am I a popular musician or videographer, I have roughly 40k listens to my music and probably 10k views on my videos. This being said any input on better sites to publish content on is definitely appreciated so leave a comment down below!

YouTube 

This is your generic publishing platform. YouTube is commonly used and popular. The main issue is that for music you will have to generate some form of visual display which can be tricky depending on what you have for available media content.

Jamendo
If you are not looking to make money off your music, Jamendo is a really great way to share. You won't get a ton of hits unless the song gets really popular but it is still worth checking out. 

SoundCloud

I have mixed feelings about publishing on SoundCloud. It seems to have become a lot of mediocre trap and mumble-rap over the years so anything but those don't perform too well. I realize that is a blanket statement and that people may feel differently but that is my personal experience with the platform.

That's a wrap!

Any good linux tools that you absolutely love? Comment down below and I will check them out and add them here as I work my way through the list!

I am also thinking about doing a video AMA soon. Shoot me a message or comment below and I will address questions and topics soon!













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