Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Home Studio Software

I don’t know if we’ll ever do it, but Andrea and I sort of have a dream of starting our own home studio, once we get the basement finished and soundproofed. Not for professional use, I don’t think, just for our own use. Recording the choir, and that kind of thing.

And I got to thinking: There is an open-source image editing program, called GIMP, which is an alternative to Photoshop, so I wondered if there was a similar open-source product as an alternative to Cubase. And it turns out that there are some. My quick research turned up the following:

  • There is a program called Rosegarden, which runs on Linux, and is directly comparable to Cubase. (When I say “directly comparable” to Cubase, I don’t mean that it can do everything that Cubase can do; I just mean that that’s what they’re aiming for. I’d imagine that Cubase still has a lot of features that Rosegardoen doesn’t have.)
  • There is another program called Ardour, which also runs on Linux. I don’t think—based on very quick research—that it’s directly comparable to Cubase; I think they might have a different approach to some things. But it may or may not be more stable than Rosegarden. (Again, based on very little research.)
  • There is actually a version of Ubuntu, called Ubuntu Studio, which is specifically geared toward—and tuned for—people who create multimedia content, such as audio and video. As mentioned, it’s specifically tuned for this type of activity, but it also comes with appropriate software. (For example, it comes with Ardour.)
Not that I’ll need any of these tools any time soon, but it’s interesting to know that they exist. And if I ever wanted to throw together a quick song, I could download some software and get to work, without having to spend thousands of dollars. Actually, that’s not true; I’d still need things like microphones, and maybe a mixer board. Just the software would be free.