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One of the things I've dabbled with since switching to Linux has been music software, specifically multitrack recording software.  Here's what I've found so far, and where I'm headed…

October 1, 2017

I’ve been collaborator in a recording studio endavor for years.  We started off with a 1/4″ four track tape machine, moved to 1/2″ 16 track, then to Mackie digital recorders when they came out, and that’s where it sits.  With three isolation booths, a pretty good effects rack, and a nice sounding electric drum kit, it’s a pretty sweet setup.

But, it requires a half hour ride each way, plus setup time, and I find that since moving to my current home (eight or nine years ago now) that I rarely get down there.  Even if I went there for the actual recording, mixing would be a pain.  I’d rather do it at my house, and I’d rather do it on a computer.  Even though we have digital recorders (I still remember the first time I recorded on them and DIDN’T hear tape hiss) we’ve got an analog board.

Last time I recorded on a computer, I was using Cool Edit (before Adobe bought it and made it GoLive) and Acid-Pro.  I was able to create some pretty cool stuff with these.  My philosophy has changed since then though, and now I’m an open source guy.  So, I’ve got to find replacements…

Ardour initially looked like the best replacement for Cool Edit.  I’m not big into effects (a smidgen of reverb, and that’s about it) so my needs are few.  Ardour requires jack though, and that used to be a pain to set up.  On top of all this, I didn’t realize until just within the last year (it was sometime in 2013) that Audacity was a multi track program.  Since that app requires very little in the way of setup fuss, I think I’m leaning toward that.

Acid was another story. I used it mostly to create drum loops. It worked GREAT!  The best man in my wedding had a beautiful set of DW drums, and one day we sampled them so I’d have my own dry set of drums to use in any projects I wanted to work on.  I dug the samples out a few months ago, but until lately didn’t quite know how to do what I used to with them.

Hydrogen looks like it might be the answer.

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Where I’m Heading…

A friend of mine, and someone who recorded on the tape machine (but never got a finished mixdown) can sing. I’ve got a couple songs I’ve written, and when I sing it’s just shy of an event that would cause mothers everywhere to quickly usher their children into their houses. So we’ve got a deal — he’ll sing my songs, and I’m going to recut his from the ground up. The apps I’ve decided on are Hydrogen and Ardour, on a Linux Mint machine.

I’ll keep y’all posted.

By the way… The Telecaster copy I’m using for this project is a kit I got and built with my kids. I thought it came out rather nicely…

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