Sunday, December 22, 2013

Linux MultiMedia Studio (or LMMS)

John Marine | 12/22/2013 09:52:00 PM | | |
Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS) is a free program designed to make pattern-based music. This program is as powerful as the juggernaut of music production software- FL Studio. One can be able to produce some amazing music with LMMS if one has enough creativity to make great music. And don't let its name make you think otherwise- Linux MultiMedia Studio is available not only for Linux, but also for Windows. It is also open-source, making it possible for almost anyone to make this program more accessible and more feature-rich than many of the commercially-available music production programs. As someone who has made music with trackers before, pattern-based music is sort of a different experience for me. I have FL Studio Express as far as FL Studio is concerned. However, I haven't used FL Studio much at all for when I had the desire to make music.

This blog post is a look at my Linux MultiMedia Studio experience and what I think about the program after a few days with it. I will even share some examples from YouTube to help you see (and hear) what is possible with LMMS.

--- Linux MultiMedia Studio ---

Meet Linux MultiMedia Studio:

LMMS logo
^ from: - This is the logo to Linux MultiMedia Studio (or LMMS).

For Linux users, they have long learned of what this program is capable of for those who make music. It doesn't take too much to produce a simple song. You can create any sort of song with the many instruments and samples at your disposal. You start to get the hang of making music with this program once you learn the interface and can put together some solid beats and melodies. As of this initial blog post, I haven't mastered things like Automation in making songs.

Linux MultiMedia Studio is a pattern-based music making program similar in nature to the commercial giant known as FL Studio. You put together songs by adding in certain notes. Some of the instruments you use are part of a piano roll while others comprise basic patterns that play at any given time. The process is of trial and error, but you will eventually start to make fabulous tunes once you put everything together properly. Making those songs require you to make good use of the available instruments and samples given to you when you download and use LMMS. I have samples from another program called Magix Studio 6, and I took those samples and put them in the folder for LMMS samples to have more sample options for my music. You can do the same for any other sample packs you may have from other programs. I guess this is perfectly fine since you downloaded or paid for the program- including the ability to use the various samples.

The nice thing about LMMS is that there are actual settings for when you export your music either as a song or as a loop. If the exported song you created is supposed to loop, you can select an option to save it as a loop, which eliminates the silence associated at the end of the song. You don't need to make full-length songs. You can choose to export your music either in WAV or OGG format. The songs save in 44100 Hz. So if you don't have a lot of space to store your exported music, you may want to stay away from this program or not make as long songs.

For the time I have used LMMS (roughly a full week as of this initial blog post), there is only one real problem I have with the program. My only problem with LMMS is that it doesn't have any sort of time system to let you know how long your song is time-wise. What I did was use the stopwatch feature of an old watch I had and use that as my timer. In my research of this topic, however, I hear work has been done on adding a timer to composed works so users can keep track of how long their songs are.

--- Linux MultiMedia Studio vs. MadTracker 2 ---

Most of you may know that I've made music before using a program called MadTracker 2. The pattern-based nature of programs like FL Studio and Linux MultiMedia Studio actually give me a bit more control and leverage in making songs. There were some times when previewing songs in a tracker that I would have one note continously play, thus ruining a song I created. Another thing is that I mostly used VSTi instruments in my tracker music.

Using LMMS, I mostly have used the ZynAddSubFX synthesizer for instrumental music. I somewhat like using this more than I have using VeSTige for LMMS. VeSTige allows you to use VSTi instruments that you may have for your music in LMMS. You definitely have some options when you use LMMS. I just think the options come together better when you use LMMS compared to a tracker. The one thing I miss about using a tracker program is the ability to make proper looping songs. I've never successfully made a looping tracker or module song. However, I have made a few songs meant to be looped when I was mostly using tracker programs.

Maybe the most convincing thing I can tell you is that I seem to be better able to create songs I've had in my head with a pattern-based program than I do with tracker programs. The amount of leverage and control is greater with LMMS than I have made using MadTracker 2 (as far as personal experience is concerned). In fact, I am almost sort of convinced to look back at my tracker music and try to re-create some of those songs in LMMS.

If I was going to create some sort of brand-new song and had to choose between a pattern-based program and a tracker-based program, I seem more confident making it with a pattern-based program than with a tracker. LMMS just given me that new sort of confidence to make music almost the way I want to make it- and improvise a bit better.

--- Linux MultiMedia Studio: What Is Possible? ---

You are invited to listen to these videos to hear compositions made by users who made music using Linux MultiMedia Studio. I chose a diverse array of videos to showcase the variety of genres of music. These videos will give you an idea of what can be possible in making music with LMMS. You also get to see how the interface works with some of these tracks. What is possible with making music with LMMS? Almost anything, as these people may tell you:

^ "Shovon Rahman - Anything's Possible (LMMS Progressive House)"
Isn't it funny that I say that "anything is possible"... and the first video I showcase to you all is called "Anything's Possible?" I are clever, aren't I? :D)

Okay, ANYTHING is possible. I think we've established that by now! Here is another song:

^ "LMMS Beat Instrumental Track"

Hip-Hop, anyone? Try this one:

New Piano/Strings Hip Hop Beat (LMMS) 02-07-11

One of the most popular music styles of late is dubstep (which I don't have a problem with). So for you dubstep fans, get a load of this:

^ "Dubstep-updated [lmms].mp4"

Here is a techno pop beat:


Want to rock? Even though rock is often better done without music sequencers, rock is also possible with LMMS, as evidence here:

^ ""Rock" | LMMS | Music"

Here is a jazzy number from one music maker:

^ "LMMS_jazz6"

Thanks to all the YouTube videos who allowed their videos to be embedded.

--- Want to Get Started With LMMS? ---

Do you want to try Linux MultiMedia Studio for yourself? If the answer is yes, then please visit to learn more about LMMS and to download LMMS to produce your own music!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post on Linux MultiMedia Studio. Maybe I've convinced you to try to make some of your own music using a program like LMMS. I made some of my own music before with LMMS in my exploration of this program. Perhaps I'll share some of my own creations with you all. Until next time, thank you for reading!

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John Marine said...

maybe I'll try it out some day. I once made a song using some application on my cell and everyone said it was really cool! so, for those of us that don't play an instrument this can be as fun way to explore our potential music creativity.

nicoleta buru said...

Happy Holidays, my love *_*


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