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MusE is a MIDI/Audio sequencer with recording and editing capabilities . MusE aims to be a complete multitrack virtual studio. It has a comprehensive list of MIDI features and supports LADSPA, DSSI, LV2 and VST plugins.



Ardour is a fully featured audio and MIDI multi-track recording and editing program. Ardour supports LADSPA, LV2 and LinuxVST plugin formats.

Features include powerful anything to anywhere signal routing, video timeline, direct import of freesound files, dedicated monitor section, meterbridge, inline plugin control and extensive export options, including exporting multiple formats at once.

MIDI keyboard

A MIDI keyboard is a piano-style keyboard used for sending MIDI data to a computer, or other MIDI devices. MIDI keyboards are a type of MIDI controller. You can think of a MIDI keyboard as a dummy keyboard. They don't produce any sounds themselves but rather, via MIDI data, control sounds in other devices, such as a synth on your computer or an external hardware synth.

Image of an M-Audio Keystation keyboard

Recording audio and using MIDI in Ardour 3

This video series features a basic overview of recording and editing audio, plus basic recording and editing of MIDI, using Ardour 3. We start by setting up Ardour and creating a new session. After that, we add MIDI tracks, connect our MIDI keyboard, record, and edit MIDI.

Next we add a few audio tracks and record some short segments of guitar. Finally, we do some basic editing of that recording, and some basic arrangements.

This video uses the following gear and software:

Sample-based synthesis: Petri-Foo

A common approach to sound synthesis is to use samples of sounds together with a sampler. In this short video series, we show you how you can use the sampler Petri-foo to create your own interesting sounds, based on samples.

You can read more about Petri-foo and find downloads for it at the official Petri-foo website.

Sound Synthesis: TAL NoizeM4k3r

TAL NoizeM4k3r is a popular and very capable open source synth, with excellent presets and great features. In this small video series, we will take you through the synth's entire interface, explaining what each setting does, and how you can use it to create interesting sounds.


MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a protocol that allows various electronic instruments and MIDI software to communicate with each other. The standard MIDI connector (5 pin DIN cable) is used to connect MIDI hardware, although some devices can also send MIDI data via USB cables to computers with MIDI software. MIDI software can also communicate using this data, eg. the MIDI sequencer in a program can send this information to a MIDI plugin.

Image of MIDI in and thru connections

Audio Server

An audio server, or sound server, is software that manages the use of audio devices. Such software typically runs in the background. PulseAudio is the standard audio server for desktop audio on Linux, while JACK is the standard audio server for professional audio on Linux.

Stems (audio)

Stems is parts of a song exported/bounced separately. So, a regular pop song in stems could for example contain one stem for guitars, one stem for the vocals, one for the drums, and so on. Stems are commonly used when mixing songs that are already arranged and ready, and just need the actual mixing done. It is also what a mixing engineer most likely will ask you for if you decide to have your song mixed professionally.


Modular set ups are where more than one program is used in a set up. JACK allows you to connect and sync various audio programs together so you can benefit from the strengths of individual applications. Session management can be used to manage and recall such complex set ups. A good suite of modular applications is the Non suite, which includes Non timeline, Non mixer and Non sequencer, although any JACK application can be incorporated into a modular set up.


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