Sunday, April 17, 2011

Linux MultiMedia Studio: The Free Digital Audio Workstation

Whether you are in a band, a musical score composer, or simply a music-lover hobbyist aspiring to create music on your own, nothing beats a free software like Linux MultiMedia Studio. It is free and rich with features you thought to be only available on expensive audio-editing/mixing softwares. 

Latest Version: 0.4.10
Latest Release: February 8, 2011
Written in C++
Operating Systems: Windows, Linux

Click to enlarge: The LMMS interface

The LMMS interface

  • The Main Menu Bar and the Tool Bar

This contains stats like the Tempo, Time Signature,
Master Volume, Master Pitch and the CPU usage. 

  • The Side Bar
  •      If you click the icons on the left, these will appear:
    • Instrument plugins

    •  My Samples, My Projects, and My Presets

    • My Home and My Computer
    •         Contains the file/folder directories on your computer.

  • The Workstation
    • Song-Editor

    • Beat+Bassline Editor

    • FX-Mixer


Here are 9 Presets I compiled as a demonstration:

Left to Right: Bit Invader, Kicker, and Mallets.
Here's how they sound:

Left to Right: FreeBoy Color, LB-302 Bass Synth, Organic
Here's how they sound:

Left to Right: Triple Oscillator, Vibed, ZynAddSubFX
Here's how they sound:

The LMMS Library consists of a variety of instruments for almost any genre of music. It has over 200 presets available which are ready to use.

Let's explore!

So, I made a sample. First, I had to uninstall my version of LMMS because mine was version 0.4.6 and it's always crashing on my Windows 7 64-bit PC. I first installed this last May 2010 and the version 0.4.7 which supports 64-bit PCs was released on August 2010. However, I downloaded and installed its latest release, the version 0.4.10, which was just released last February.

On my sample, I used the following:
  1. Analog Dreamz preset from the Triple Oscillator Preset.
  2. Rave Kick 2 under beats from My Samples.
For the Beat+Bassline I used:
  1. Rave Bass 2 and 
  2. Synth Acid 2 under basses from My Samples.

The Beat/Bassline is a feature where you can 
mix beats and bass sounds on another window:

Here you just need to click those little buttons. 
The green shows that the beat will play on the order specified.

Here's where you can adjust the melodies, I used this on the
Analog Dreamz and the Rave Kick 2 parts.
This one is the Analog Dreamz:
You can drag the green bars up and down to adjust the notes, 
drag it left to right to adjust its entrance/exit time,
drag and resize to adjust how long it's gonna play.

I have to convert the audio file into .mp3 because LMMS only exports .wav and .ogg.

Here's the 34-second sample I made:

I've been listening to Mindless Self-Indulgence lately and I think their music has influenced the making of this sample. Can you guess the title of this sample? The scavenger hunt is on. :D Tell me the title on the comments section! 

LMMS also lets you create classic tunes if you're not into techno music. If you are into game development, I bet this would be a good software for making background music and sound effects.


Linux MultiMedia Studio is licensed under the GNU General Public License.
Created by LMMS Developers | Copyright © 2004 - 2011
Authors: Tobias Doerffel, Paul Giblock, Danny McRae, Javier Serrano Polo, Andrew Kelley, Andreas Brandmaier, Juan Fabián Simón, Sebastian Tilsch
LMMS Wiki -
Wikipedia -
Visit for more info.
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