Free Open Source DAWs… an alternative to Pro Tools or…

Getting started in Radio Imaging and production has never been easier. You’re not bound anymore to expensive outboard gear, you just need a decent computer. Also, there are tons of tips, tricks and tutorials for beginners all over the Internet and here. Perfect conditions to start rocking, but there’s one last thing missing – a DAW.

There are tons of DAWs out there. Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Audition, Reaper just to name a few. Of course, every DAW has its price, which can become really high for a young start up guy with no money. My buddy Raul sent me a few links to an alternative –  free open source DAWs. Today, we’re presenting two examples: Linux MultiMedia Studio (short LMMS) and Ardour. Do they really suit the daily production work?

Let’s start with Linux MultiMedia Studio.

LMMS is a step sequencer which looks and works very familiar to FL Studio. Most actions in LMMS are based on working with samples, which can be edited and placed in the song editor. Included is a piano-roll for editing and playing melodies, a beat + bassline editor for creating patterns and basslines, several instruments an effects. You can wide your options by adding more samples. LMMS is compatible to MIDI and you can insert VST Plugins. If you’re working on FL Studio already, you can easily switch to LMMS, because Fruityloops projects can be imported in LMMS.

Linux MultiMedia Studio clearly focuses on making beats and music. Equipped with a lot of instruments and effects, you’re ready to start. Especially if you’re interested in making your first own beats and tracks without spending a lot of money on a DAW, instruments, samples and effects, LMMS is the right thing. Just plug in a MIDI controller and start being creative.

Here’s a short video, I found on the web. It shows the work with LMMS, when you’re creating music.



Let’s have a look at Ardour.

Ardour focuses more on editing. The edit window looks familiar to the popular DAWs like Pro Tools, Audition or Logic. Not like LMMS, Ardour comes with no Plugins at the start, but you can download various free Plugins from the website. Of course you can add more Plugins. Ardour works with most Windows VST Plugins, which is a massive advantage. The editing works non-destructive. Features like automation, bus routing, MIDI and free adjustable routing are also included in Ardour. A massive advantage!

If you’re interested in recording and editing sounds, Ardour is definitely worth a try. The interface looks very familiar to most DAWs, so the switch from Ardour to another DAW is not that hard.

Of course, both softwares have their limits, but you’re getting a good beginner package without spending money. For getting started in radio imaging I woudl recommend Ardour, but at the end, it’s your choice if you’re more into making beats and music or if you’re more into editing. You’re getting two free and easy to use softwares. Especially if you never tried any DAWs, LMMS and Ardour are a good start without paying a lot of money.

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