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A complete audio production workflow with Muse and Ardour


Audio production with Muse and Ardour is a 6 part video tutorial showing a complete workflow using FLOSS audio tools.

In this tutorial you will learn how to import, clean up and edit a MIDI file using MusE. It then goes on to show how to import the MIDI file into Ardour and setting up instruments to play the song.

On to guitar recording and audio editing in Ardour, selecting sounds and editing the takes.

The tutorial continues with vocal recording and editing, mixing and mastering the song.

The tutorial was created by Michael Oswald (music, blog). Michael has based this tutorial on the Dream Theater song “Surrounded” from the “Images and Words” album. The song has tempo changes, meter changes, piano, synths, drums, bass and guitar as well as vocals.

Part 1 - Importing, cleaning up and editing a MIDI file in MusE

Tools used: MusE, fluidsynth, Carla, DrumGizmo.

Part 2 - Setup of Ardour, assignment of instruments and sounds

Importing the MIDI file into Ardour, setup of instruments, handling routings and working with tracks.

Tools used: Ardour, Drumgizmo, LinuxSampler, Yoshimi, Carla, Samsara OMB2 (free but non-FLOSS).

Part 3 - Guitar recording, tone selection

Guitar recording including tone selection, followed by audio editing for working with several takes.

Tools used: Ardour, Carla, TSE808 (free but non-FLOSS), LeCto (free but non-FLOSS), LeCab (free but non-FLOSS), Sperimental Impulses (free but non-FLOSS).

Part 4 - Vocal recording and editing

Vocal recording including preparation in Ardour, recording, vocal editing by combining several takes as well as pitch correction.

Tools used: Ardour, Calf Plugins, Zita-AT1.

Part 5 - Mixing preparation, mixing

Preparation for mixing in Ardour, then on to mixing in Ardour using a bunch of plugins to shape the sound. How to use compressors, stereo wideners, delays, reverbs as well as fader automation. Exporting for mastering.

Tools used: Ardour, Calf Plugins, Distrho Plugins, Infamous Plugins, IR.

Part 6 - Mastering, alternatives to free plugins, concluding remarks

Mastering in Ardour using different plugins as well as exporting the mix.

As this tutorial includes the use of some free (but non-FLOSS) tools, this part also discusses FLOSS alternatives.

It ends with some concluding remarks as well as a final listen-through of the song.

Tools: Ardour, Calf Plugins, Luftikus, EQ10Q, CS10QM, LinuxSampler, Guitarix.

The finished song

Surrounded - Dream Theater cover featuring Susanne Wallner

More music by Michael Oswald.