Category Archives: Bedroom Producer

Why Young Creatives Should Use Linux Instead of Mac or Windows

The tutorials I’ve made on YouTube about Audacity are by far the most popular of all of my videos. I started to wonder why this was? I realized the answer was pretty simple. It’s free software that is pretty good at what it does and runs on every platform. This is why Audacity is very popular among young creative musicians. This got me thinking about how these people are only using about 1% of the amazing open source software they could be using if the were all using Linux instead of Windows or Mac OS.

If you’re a teenager and want to setup a computer to become a YouTuber, Music Producer, Film Maker, Photographer, Graphic Designer, or all of those things, doing so with Mac or Windows is going to cost you an arm and a leg. It is hardly worth spending $3000 on a Macbook, then another $3000 on software when making money in the creative landscape can be challenging, especially when you are first starting out. A much better option would be spending $500 to $1200 on a PC then install a Linux distro geared towards creativity like  Ubuntustudio. You could even spend far less than this. I personally use a 10 year old Macbook running Ubuntu and KXstudio that I purchased for $150.

If you’re a young music producer, there’s a ton of great programs on the Linux platform. There’s several DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) like Ardour, Qtractor, Rosegarden, and LMMS. There’s high end mastering tools like Jamin, and of course Audacity. There’s the Jack Audio Connection Kit, that allows you to interconnect nearly every piece of audio software into one gigantic modular audio workstation, there’s thousands of plugins, software synths, and FX all available for free on Linux.

But it’s not just about audio, Linux has become incredibly powerful as a full multimedia workstation. For photography there’s full RAW development capabilities with Darktable, and Digikam, photo editing programs like GIMP and Fotoxx. For Graphics there’s Inkscape and Blender, and for video editing there Kdenlive and Openshot. 

This is all just the tip of the iceberg too! There’s always new and exciting software being developed for Linux, there’s a huge user support group online, and there’s more and more of us who use it for everything every day!

To me there’s also ethical reasons to use Linux as apposed to the other two. Mac is one of the worst companies when it comes to planned obsolescence. Every time they release a new OS, suddenly computers they made just 4 years ago are completely useless (if you’re using Mac OS). There’s no more security updates, no updated web browsers, software companies all play along and drop support forcing you to purchase software and hardware updates. This is not only unneeded, it is incredibly wasteful. It is completely insane that we live in such a society that normalizes throwing away a computer after only 5 years of use when the only reason is corporate software developers decided they want you to buy a new one.

If you’re a young creative person, I urge you to consider what I am saying here. You can spend a lot less money, make the money you DO spend last longer, and help the environment as well has have all the tools you need for complete creative expression if you switch 100% to Linux.

Vocaloid for English Speakers – Easy and not too terribly expensive

My adventures in Vocaloid date back to 2012 when I first started getting into the music I heard on YouTube with Hatsuni Miku. At first I didn’t even realize it was a completely synthesized voice! After I figured out what was going on and what I was hearing, I really wanted to start using it. At that time it was still really hard to get any information on using Vocaloid in the West. I was struggling though Japanese websites and trying to understand all the concepts behind using it. Licensing was a huge pain as well because I had to get my editor from Yamaha, and the only English voice bank I could find at the time was from a company literally called “Internet”, haha.

Thankfully it’s much easier now. Yamaha put together a completely excellent voicebank called Cyber Diva. Not only is it English, it’s one of the nicest and most realistic sounding Vocaloids I’ve ever heard. I used it as the lead voice on my track “Atlantis Falls” (video below).

So how do you use it? Well Vocaloid isn’t just a plugin you plop into your VST folder. It’s a bit more complicated than that. You need a Vocaloid Editor and a Voicebank like Cyber Diva, or Miku to make vocaloid work. The two together will cost you about $200. It’s not super cheap, but considering what you can do with it, it’s not that expensive either.

Using the Vocaloid Editor is a bit weird. It is a stand alone program, so my general workflow is to make a rough mix of the song I want vocaloid on, then export that from whatever DAW I’m using at the time as a stereo wav file.

Then I open up the Vocaloid Editor and import the rough mix into the editor. There is where you compose the vocals. Vocaloid Editor has the ability to mix tracks and add fx as well, though I don’t really use it for that. Once I finish my Vocaloid tracks, I then export each one individually, and import them into my DAW where I composed the song. Then I do all of my mixing and fx on Vocaloid like it’s a regular vocal track.

Anyway, I hope this helps any English speakers who are a bit lost with Vocaloid and gives them an idea of how to get going with this amazing software!

Making a Linux Live MIDI Setup with SEQ24, Qsynth and Jack Rack

How to use a Linux laptop for live music performance with SEQ24 MIDI sequencer, Qsynth for soundfonts, and Jack-Rack for realtime fx manipulation.
Controllers used in this video:

Korg NanoKey2

MidiPlus Classic 49

This setup allows you to trigger loop based midi sequences on the fly, map MIDI controls to fx parameters, as well as play along in realtime all from a midi controller. This is not a fully in depth tutorial, but more of an overview of the full workspace. If you have any specific topics touched upon in the video that you’d like me to go further in depth about, just let me know in the comments section. This tutorial is a bit on the advanced side and assumes a general knowledge of Linux audio and Jack.

Soonhua Condenser Microphone Review and Sound Test

The name of this mic on Amazon is: Professional Studio Recording Condenser Microphone Compatible Phone, Computer, Laptop ,PC, Oenbopo Anchor Microphone with Mount Anti-wind Cap, for Youtube, Podcasting, Twitch, Broadcast,Interview,

lol! Catchy right? Well the brand name on the mic itself is “Soonhua”

I really was impressed with the sound quality for mobile, you seem to need phantom power for computer though. Soon I’m going to take it to my studio to try to record some drums with it.