Ardour for Audio

This post is for the geeks. I recently put together a new, Linux-based home recording setup, and have been exploring the ins and outs of recording audio using open-source tools. The screenshot here shows a session in Ardour, the DAW program that’s basically the Pro-Tools or Cubase of the Linux world. They also have a build for Mac. For my operating system, I’m using UbuntuStudio, a variety of the popular Ubuntu distribution of Linux.

Ardour records at 24 bits, has unlimited tracks and buses restricted only by what your computer can handle, has some MIDI functionality, and is freely available for download. Users are encouraged to donate to the developers in order to keep the project going.

It did take some research to get it all set up – they say you either spend time or money, and that’s definitely true with open-source software – but since I’ve gotten everything up and running, I’m finding that I can already make basic recordings.

The interface is graphical, and while knowing how to go behind the scenes to change settings is essential in the long-run for any computer audio situation, it doesn’t seem to be necessary in order to record a performance, do overdubs, and edit and mix the resulting tracks. When I can’t figure out how to do something, I consult the community-written manual or search through the Ardour user forums.

It’s been pretty cool so far. I’m just messing around right now, but I’ll post some of my experiments as they start sounding good.

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