Have you ever dreamed of building your own music studio? I know you did and it may come true someday (or not), but until then here are some very interesting 100% FREE, Open Source Linux distributions with enhancements and features aimed at music, sound and even video production.
1. JackLab Audio Distribution (JAD for short) is a Linux distribution created especially for musicians and producers who wish to move over to an Open Source solution. Even if it’s not yet in its final version, JackLab tries very hard to provide its users with the best professional audio tools on an open source platform. The developers choose openSUSE Linux distribution for the grounds of JackLab, because they think it’s the most supported, simple and easy to use and customize distro.
2. Musix GNU+Linux is another Open Source Linux distribution that I suggest you to try if you plan on starting a music studio, because it also provides free and professional tools for musicians and audio operators. Musix allows to master CDs, publish and print musical scores, create MIDI instruments, record and reproduce audio and MIDI, edit/mix audio tracks, perform noise-reduction to recover recordings, create audio effects in real time and more. Musix is supported in languages like Spanish, Galician, Catalan, Basque, English, Portuguese and French and can also be used for video production and graphic design.
3. Even if it’s quite a new entry on the Open Source multimedia creation world of Linux distributions, Ubuntu Studio lands on this third place for its wide range of audio, video and graphic tools. Like JackLab and Musix, Ubuntu Studio is geared toward people familiar with professional tools. Ubuntu Studio (as the name suggests) is a derivative from the most powerful Linux platform to date, Ubuntu Linux. Using Ubuntu Studio, the only limitation is your imagination.
4. Linux MultiMedia Studio or LMMS for short, is another very popular Linux distribution that provides professional audio tools for music enthusiasts. It offers free alternative to popular (but commercial and closed-source) programs like FruityLoops, Cubase and Logic. Linux MultiMedia Studio gives you the ability to produce music with your PC by synthesizing/creating sounds, arranging samples, playing live with keyboard and much more. With Linux MultiMedia Studio you can produce electronic music with your computer, so you don’t have to buy expensive hardware for having great sounds and making cool music.
5. DeMuDI stands for Debian Multimedia Distribution and it’s a Linux distribution based on the Debian mammoth with enhancements and features aimed at music, sound and video production. What is so special about DeMuDI is the fact that it’s powered by a patched kernel to improve audio performance. DeMuDI project contains software for multitrack hard disk recording software, physical modeling and virtual analog synthesizers, beat boxes, MIDI sequencers, processors, and Advanced Open Architecture Synthesis systems such as Csound.
6. Dyne:bolic is a user-friendly Linux distribution shaped on the needs of media artists, creatives and activists as a practical tool for multimedia production. It allows you to manipulate, record, edit, encode, convert audio and video streams. Dyne:bolic is optimized to run on slower computers, turning them into a full media stations. It can also be used on a modded XboX game console.
7. Yet another Debian-based Linux distribution, 64 Studio contains free and Open Source software for digital content creation on both i386 and x86_64 hardware! Yes, you’ve heard right, 64-bit platforms. Thinking that 95% of today’s processors support the 64-bit technology, it makes 64 Studio a powerful multimedia station. You will find many powerful applications aimed at audio production in 64 Studio, but you will also find software for video, 2D and 3D graphic production. 64 Studio was tested on a powerful dual Opteron, dual core Athlon 64 and Turion.
8. StartCom MultiMedia Edition is a multi-purpose Linux distribution with built-in Recording Studio, Video Manipulation Platform and Entertainment Center. The music production section offers some outstanding applications like Rosegarden, Audacity, Muse and many, many sound manipulating effect tools, synthesizers, samplers, sequencers. Being based on Red Hat Enterprise systems, StartCom MultiMedia Edition can perform as a complete Recording Studio and its use requires quite some knowledge and training.
9. APODIO is a GNU/Linux operating system that contains audio, video and graphic tools. It is based on Mandriva Linux and it’s designed for musicians and multimedia enthusiasts. APODIO can be used as a Live CD or it can be installed on a partition of your hard disk. The APODIO project is part of a long term undertaking - not just a one off achievement.
10. m-dist is a quite old and embedded Linux system tuned for MIDI and audio use. There’s no software to install because this 144 MB ISO is a Live CD ready to be burned onto a blank disk, in order to boot from it. It includes a MIDI sequencer, a digital workstation, ALSA MIDI connector, drum machine and a realtime audio processor.