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LMMS?

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MastaGero's avatar

Gracious Dabbler

Yet Another Topic About (Not Only)Linux MultiMedia Studio...
However, a bit different than others, I hope.


Preface, means WTF:

Aunt Wikia
Linux MultiMedia Studio or LMMS, is a free software digital audio workstation. Music can be produced by synthesizing sounds, arranging samples, and playing on a MIDI keyboard by combining the features of trackers, sequencers and synthesizers. It supports LADSPA and VST plugins


I had started to (try to) compose music about ten years ago, using a bunch of software, But just a few years ago I've changed good ol' tracker (ModPlug, recently renamed to OpenMPT) to Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS). From then I'm all the time in not medically prooven mental madness state cat_smile .

Now is the time to clarify one thing, I don't think LMMS is bad... it just have issues, and I am sure that in next few releases will be fixed (eventually).


So, yes... basically there are a bunch of things in lmms that doesn't work properly, however, there are a few things that keep me using it.



Things That Are Nice In LMMS:

- Price: really... it's open... like for community... for people... for all of them
Yes, It's totally free, and developers don't give any restrictions what you can do with this. So every single piece you do is yours, and you can sell it, and nobody really cares (as long as it is YOURS). Moreover, if you're like coder/hacker type, you can get source code and play with it as you like, improove, degrade, alter, and when you get bored you can delete and get brand new copy cat_3nodding
- Simplicity: It's one of simpliest Graphic User Interfaces that I've ever used.
So, wanna start to make music, but don't wanna spent weeks on learning basic functions of more complicated editors? I can ensure you (all of Yous cat_wink ) that Pianoroll is most common input method this day... and whatever you compose, every single GUI have some kind of sequencer... differences in those two are just names and semantics. So even if you wanna check other software like FL Studio, Reason, Cubase of other nontracker GUI, you can get the feel of basics in LMMS, all for free.
- Compatibility: Can use good known more commercial VST, and more open LADSPA plugins
Really, at the beginning you have 14 "instruments" a bunch of effects like delays, echoes, reverbs, amplifiers, overdrivers, one clipper, and peak controller, and finally a load of prerecorded samples... you can add more of each of those if you want
- Community: you can find some trick'n'tips, other users songs, and generally a dozens of ways to improove yourself and eventually find your own style
You can start Here and after a bit of lurking you find something interesting for sure cat_wink

I can add, that default setup is good for creating lo-fi 8-bit chiptune-like pieces... and it has Zynn-Add-Sub_FX... which is ~awesum cat_blaugh

And now something what is really sad and wrong, and why They coming to take me away Ha, Ha!

So, Ladies, and Gentelmen, here it comes:


Things In LMMS That Are Wrong, Fail, And Eventually Make You Mad At least If You Don't Know Workabouts:

- Ugly Ideas And Wrong Coding
And it is really lot of things, that can hide here, really. From missconception of "volume" knob in sequencer, via jamming controllers in effects, to processing samples, that are currently disabled... and when you enable them, they just blow your head off, and may cause system destabilization
MastaGero's avatar

Gracious Dabbler

Let's Actually Make Some Noise

No matter if you use Microsoft 32 or 64 bit system, linux, or whether you have compiled program from source on any other platform, when you lauch it first time you suppose to see something like This

I let myself abandon oldschool way of sorting things out with awfull lot of uncertain yapping about "menus" and "buttons"... and I'll try to actually help you play some music with this program, just to make sure, it works. You should get some demos with yourcopy of lmms, so try to load anything.

I just have to talk a little about buttons: so what you really need to know is there are 3 rows of button... two horizontal on the Tool Bar (1,2) and one vertical on sidebar (3), see, picture below:

User Image


Ok, so let's actually load something. You can do it by clicking "My projects" button User Image on the side bar. Now there should pop up a side menu with some cataalogue(s), you should find something like "CoolSongs" catalogue. If you open it (by clicking two times on catalogue or once on "+" sign near it) there sould be some demo songs in it... all this should look now like this:
User Image

If you double-click one of this files (signed with happy LMMS note on icon) you actually load song to the program. It can take a while, so you have to be patient.
User Image
In the meantime on the screen...

After Loading is done, you should try to play the song by clicking "Play" button in Song-Editor window:
User Image
'Nuff said cat_whee


Remark: At first try there probably will be nothing happening... that's because LMMS can't recognize hardware and drivers configuration by itself.

In this case some configuring have to be done. I can tell you where, but I'm not exactly sure how it will look like. So basically you have to open Edit menu(1) from Main Menu Bar(2), then go to Settings option(3)
User Image
Ready to mess up setup?


When you click"settings" button, settings window will pop up. Then you should switch to Audio settings(1). Now is difficult part: you have to switch those options here back and forth, everytime relauching LMMS cat_crying For me setup like PortAudio on Audio interface scroll menu(2),Windows DirectSound on Backend scrollmenu, and Realtek HD Audio rear output on Device scrollmenu works fine.
User Image
OH NYOEZ! cat_gonk I don't like having setup isues, too...


And again remark: this is setup for Microsoft Windows XP, on linux it will look totally different, but for those who work with microsoft systems: Setting can look similar to what I have presented above.
In (2) you should set something different than dummy Here it means no software connectioon to any sound device, which means no sound. You want to change it.
In (4) you probably need something with "output" in name. You want your music to go out of your computer, right? cat_wink


Anyway, you should just check different setup until your computer make some noise. And remmember:
Most of setting can be applied just on startup of the program... So make sure to restart LMMS after changing anything in settings.

So, here you need to check diffferent combinations, eventually one of them will work fine. Good thing is that nothing should blow up when turns out that you've choosen something wrong... again. cat_wink

And at least after a while of setting and resetting thingies in setting window you should be able to play some demo tunes, so again you should load something, find play button, and then maybe try to discover how to use lmms? I Honestly recommend to try to make some mistakes, read hints, manuals and generally to have fun discovering pros and cons of using lmms cat_3nodding

Cheers

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