When it comes to audio production, there are plenty of good software available to users however most are quite expensive but it shouldn’t be that way. After seeing what is possible with free and open-source software, I came to a conclusion that the quality of music isn’t determined by the program you use but how you use that tool. Each tool has its own learning curve but in the end its an investment, so you might as well get comfortable with what you’re going to use.
For Linux, there are plenty of digital audio workstations (DAWs) available and almost all of them are free. Some of the big names are LMMS, Ardour and Bitwig Studio. The last one being a bit costly however it is a bit nicer to use and comes with plenty of instruments, effects and samples.
For this tutorial, I’m simply going to go with Ardour for general DAW stuff, Guitarix for guitar amp simulation. For doing any sort of recording, we’re also going to install JACK and qjackctl
You may have come across countless videos from artists and whatnot, showing all the MIDI controllers you can buy, the audio interfaces, plugins, etc. Truth is, all you need are headphones or speakers, and a computer of course, to get started in making music. However, I would highly recommend getting a MIDI controller/keyboard of some sorts so you can play notes and record them. The extra buttons and knobs can act as macros, making mixing and adjusting parameters on the fly much easier.
For music production on Linux, I went with a simple MIDI controller (Novation Launchkey 49) and a basic iRig dongle thingy which allows me to plug my guitar directly with minimal noise. While an audio interface would be handy to have, this dongle actually works remarkably well, despite it being aimed at Apple products.
Installing Ardour, JACK and Guitarix
The best way to install all the necessary packages is through the terminal.
sudo dnf install ardour5 jack-audio-connection-kit guitarix qjackctl
To be continued.