Category Archives: Music Production

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.

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.

The Vintage Digital Sound Of The Zoom PS04

The Zoom PS04 is not a new recorder by any means, it came out about 10 years ago. However, this little handheld digital 4 track is still one of my favorite pieces of recording equipment I’ve ever owned. I like it so much, I actually bought a second one in case the main one I use ever breaks I’ll have a back up.

There’s some weird quirks to them, like recording on Smart Media Cards, which are getting harder and harder to find, and had a maximum size of 128mb. However, a 128mb card is enough space to be productive and record several songs with virtual takes.

However, there is a certain sound quality they possess that seems to be unlike any other multitrack recorder I’ve heard. They have that gritty, early digital recording sound. Almost like 12 bit samplers like the Akai s900. Even though they are 16 bit, the sample rate isn’t quite CD quality, at it’s highest setting it is 31250hz. I believe this has something to do with the sound quality, but even if I convert sounds on a computer to 31250hz, they don’t quite have the same sound as the ones recorded on the PS04.

I thought I would put together a playlist of the songs I recorded on these little units so you could hear what I mean. If you want to get one for yourself, they are still available on Amazon through 3rd party sellers. 

8 bit performance on a Korg nanoPAD 2 and nanoKONTROL

This is something I put together a while ago, but still really happy with it. I wanted to make an 8 bit trap song in real-time using Ableton Live and my Korg nanoPAD2 and nanoKONTROL. I first found and created all of the samples I needed and loaded them into Ableton’s drum rack, then I spent some time working out some beats and setting up arpeggiators to create the hi hat roll sounds. Once I had it all together I just had to practice for a few days then I made the video.

Korg’s nano series is a great way to get inexpensive and versatile controllers for Ableton. The fact that they are so small and come in different categories too makes them really great for creating modular setups for your needs.

You can pick up your own nanoPAD2 here

Or if you want a nanoKONTROL, get that one here