Making Music with Open Source

One of my 2023 goals was migrating my whole Game Dev and Music Production stack to Open Source.

Installed Linux Mint to my desktop as the first step. Game development tools, Godot Engine and Aseprite runs well, i didn’t face any issues about them, even i am following all betas and release candidates of Godot Engine.

I planned to use Ardour as DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) on Linux, because it is open source and runs on Linux. Binary distribution of Ardour Daw is sold for money. (I mean very small donations) But, issue was, they collect those donation via PayPal and PayPal is not working in Turkey. Yes, sad news. (I might ask my brother to pay for me but, i thought compiling Ardour was a solution for me)

waf tool is working well, that shows all missing prereqs and you can install most of them via apt search and apt install commands. I needed 2 hours to troubleshoot missing packages and compile Ardour, and it was ready. I posted a video to Youtube about my first trials with Ardour.

After this video hard times started for me.

Open Source Sound Effects

I found Calf plugins are most complete effect plugins on Linux, and they are also open source. I installed them from Linux Mint repositories but they didn’t work. I cloned repository and compiled them by myself again but their user interface was not working. I thought that was about Ardour’s host, but tested with Reaper as well, result was same.

As far as i understand that is caused by compiling with wrong versions of wrong libraries but i couldn’t find a solution yet, still looking for the solution.

I’ll share the solution here as soon as i find it.

Windows VST’s

When you start looking for instrument you will notice only a few of them is being compiled for Linux. I wanted to get rid of all Windows tools, unfortunately, that is not possible currently. For instance, Dexed as one of my favorite VST’s not distributed for Linux. I read, that is possible to compile Dexed on Windows as well but after compiling a lot of stuff i feel like that is not making music, i am just managing a Linux server and compiling it’s packages.

I installed wine and yabridge for my Windows VST’s, especially for Dexed. And i managed to run. But…

That was not the last issue i would face.

When you save a session which includes Dexed as an instrument and exit Ardour, all settings will be resetted for Dexed. And you will need to remove Dexed and add again to make it work with your MIDI Keyboard.

Current Situation

I feel myself a little bit lost about making music on Linux. I don’t know if i can manage to solve all those problems. I know, somehow i can solve those issues but they are taking a lot of time.

Currently, i am giving some more time for this problems. I see Reaper here as a good alternative and as far as i tested that solves most of the issues i have and it comes with it’s own equalizer, compressor etc.

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