Need software advice for music production

Hello everyone

Hi have friend that does music, not sure what type of music, he uses windows and and constantly buys music software.

I was thinking about building a Manjaro iso for him to try out, What music production software should i bundle?

He uses this on Windows:
Pro Tools
Logic Pro

Honestly, there’s not much in Linux that can professionally complete with Win or Mac, when it comes to A/V production tools, sry to say.

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I tried helping set a musician friend a year or so ago, and I know very little, but this comes to mind;

Audacity, even if it seems to simple to ever be of use.

Ardour for the full-fledged work station.

But keep in mind you will probably have to contend with jack/pulse, especially for input.

Which often means using cadence or qjackctl (plus some reading and headaches)

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ask here, maybe?


I think i found something to start with, thanks everyone.

Maybe take a look at

also in the AUR

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Yeah, I agree. When it comes to audio production, Linux just cannot compete. Apart from a mediocre plugin here and there and a DAW barely anyone uses (which does matter if you work professionally or even if you want to send your own stuff off to be mastered by a professional, et cetera. They often require Pro Tools exports and such.), most of it isn’t that good. There are more and better freely available plugins for mac and windows than for linux. Not to mention commercial products, which usually are on another level entirely.

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Look here:

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Ableton can be replaced with Bitwig Studio, it’s even made by the same people.
Pro Tools is a tricky one, but Ardour or Reaper could work.

I’ve never looked at Logic Pro and Cubase, but there’s also LMMS, and a number of other programs.

And if needed, i can recommend something for musical notation as well


next thing you know, you’re gonna tell me how great timidity still is, even my Atari 520-STFM does midi/audio better than Linux today.

I would love nothing better than to see Linux with the wealth of PRO A/V tools, and, HW/gear support, that Win/Mac have, but I still don’t see it yet ? -unless of course you’re willing to $PAY 'oodles for it.
I don’t look through rose-coloured virtual glasses, unless it’s “real” wine.
Even Cubase/Steinberg, from 15 years ago, is still way better than anything Linux (Pro) has today.

LMMS was much better when it first came, years ago, but now it’s just another unweildy dawg.
[last edit, … snooze]

I don’t even use Adobe PP, and/or Vegas pro anymore, simply because i don’t feel like “$renting” cloud-apps from evil/proprietary Adobe. <-and that’s my ONLY reason.
For my hobbyist/non-Pro/youtube needs today, (free) kdenlive, (and sometimes) openshot work fine.

But again, sry to say, but it’s (still) true.

I don’t understand much of av production, but is pulse audio that bad? I know pulse is superior to alsa.

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I have never had any problems with pulseaudio actually. I like it very much. Pro Audio on Linux usually utilizes Jack instead though. Jack is superior to the way audio is routed on Windows. That is about the only thing Linux has over Windows when it comes to audio production. Otherwise, like @scjet said before, there is just no competing with Windows/Mac in this area. The applications @deadguy mentions aren’t anywhere near professional grade in terms of both audio quality or features, except BitWig, which is a commercial product that costs roughly 280 dollars and up. It is still not widely used though and like I said, there is definitely an argument to be made for utilizing mainstream software when doing audio production. Neither Ardour nor Reaper (really?) are a real alternative to Pro Tools. There really isn’t an alternative to Pro Tools, because it is the industry standard. I use Cubase and LMMS isn’t anywhere near it. Not really the same type of application even. Also, my point about Linux lacking decent quality plugins still stands. Doing audio production on Linux is just deliberately limiting yourself.

I believe in always using that which is best for the job. Servers, programming, reliable desktop/workstation, even gaming, et cetera: Linux is more than capable or even first choice in some of these areas. Content creation as in audio/video/photo production: Mac/Windows (though video production is probably the area where Linux has the most competitive software in relation to other platforms and many people seem to manage that fine under Linux.)

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OSS (was)is > alsa, and alsa is > pulseaudio, but jackd, is >>>>> than any of them.
…, hence why a (linux) RT-kernel build, + jackd, will be imperative, at the very least, for serious/audio music work.

I wouldn’t know, I use FluidSynth. When was the last time timidity had an update?

You mean like midi controllers and external audio cards or are you talking about something else?

You do know it’s possible to use windows VSTs using a bridge, right?

like I said before, I’d rather get drunk on “real” wine, -now there’s a fluidsynth.

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I can understand if you consider that recreating your audio setup in linux is not worth your time. But that does not mean that “there’s not much in Linux that can professionally complete with Win or Mac, when it comes to A/V production tools”.

and that’s exactly why I said, (for non-pro’s) before, (but I guess you missed it)?:

table tennis anyone ?

The best tools available in Linux for that right now are:

  • Audacity
  • LMMS
  • MuseScore
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AVLinux has best collection of Linux musician/audio applications, including demo version of professional DAW (non-free) Harrison Mixbus


I would vote for Bigwig. Several people from Ableton developed it & it has much in common with it - they look very similar. You do pay around $3-400 for the paid version but you can download it from the AUR.

As someone mentioned, he would need to get his head around Jack but that’s not so hard. Linux can’t compete for selection - there is no arguing that.

Get your friend to look at some Bitwig tutorials on YouTube & go from there. Ardour looks good & is more similar to Logic & Cubase.

Ableton + Bitwig are quite close.

You’re a good friend, thinking like this!

Ruziel :slight_smile:

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