Tuesday, 18 March 2014

lmms: powerful Industrial music studio

Last Tuesday I saw Nine Inch Nails live in Perth (with guest appearance by How to Destroy Angels!), and they inspired me to finally compose synth / industrial music. This is surprisingly possible when you have a GNU/Linux distro and the industry-grade software lmms, Linux MultiMedia Studio, something akin to the commercial Protools or FL Studio. You can engineer your own sounds and compose your own music with a large collection of instruments, effects, and synthesizers. For many years I have played around with fragments of melodies and drumbeats, but here is my first "song". With dose of creativity and OCD, this shows what you can do in a mere 24 hours.

For the uninitiated, the lingo and layout of lmms or Ardour3 or other Digital Audio workstations can be very intimidating. I hardly know where to start, nor how to give advice. Thanks to the rise of Dubstep, there are hundreds of very helpful youtube tutorials such as: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naQW2RkpfYY. I like this one because it is a nice visual intro to detuning and combing saw-tooth sound waves via an 'oscillator' to make a sound (instrument?) recognizable in, say, Skrillex.

Composing music with a DAW has revolutionized how I listen to songs: I can't help but listen for the subtle signatures of familiar saw-waves or moog-filters or peculiar sounds and then try to recreate them. It feels great, like becoming an active participant rather than just a passive consumer.

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