LMMS- Linux Multi-Media Studio
LMMS was launched as a free and open source alternative to FL studio . And is one of the BEST music making program available till date which works out of the box. Though it has some limitations and short comings and we will discuss that here...
LMMS has a workflow very similar to Fl studio you can create patterns and sequences in the beat or bass line editor and create patterns on the main song playlist.
You can quickly come up with a song quickly as it comes with basic instruments and decent sample library. It works fine on Windows and Linux distributions. The design is intuitive and very user friendly.
Plugin instruments (7/10)
At present LMMS has a good collection of synthesizers like ZynaddSub FX and other plugins but does not have a good drum machine, piano and bass player.
It does however comes with samples of common used sounds that are pretty usable but not amazing.
LMMS comes with built in effects that are very usable and of good quality. You can add effects both from the mixer track and instrument sample window.
One of the best strengths of LMMS is that it supports VSTi and soundfont files
You can automate almost every knob that plays during the song. So if you want to change the tempo or delay effects on the fly you can do that. It is all tweakable and recorded into an automation track.
Memory usage (6/10)
It crashes on both Windows and Linux. So save your projects often when you work on it. It is however very lite weight if you don't add
Audio recording (4/10)
It does not have an audio recording application or tracks for direct recording. If you are after that, look elsewhere. But you can get pre-recorded sounds in LMMS using built in sampler.
It is a good program that offers nice workflow and instruments but it may fall short in a professional music environment where you might come up with specific needs.
However, if you can spend some time to find right plugins and soundfonts sky is the limit with this sweet little program.
Other Alternatives for making music on the computer>
- Energy XT - is one of the best cheap MIDI capable DAW.
- Fl studio - started out as a simple drum machine and evolved into a complete monstor for music production. Can do everything right from MIDI to Audio. But it is mainly geared towards MIDI so if you do a lot of audio recording then look elsewhere. It is a better option that Reason because it can do audio stuff nicely.
- Logic pro - one stop solution, very expensive does everything related to music production under the sun.
- Adobe audition - one of the lesser used DAWs out there, MIDI support is minimal. Good for creating loops and podcasting type of stuff. Not so great for other things.
- Reaper a small and robust DAW that can do everything but does not comes with lots of samples or presets. Is comparatively cheaper and bang for the buck.
- Ardour is developed by School of Audio Engineering as an open source DAW to rival pro-tools. It is still in developmental stages and has to go a long way.