Many users of Ubuntu or GNU / Linux in general who in turn are musicians, have never wondered if there are real alternatives to proprietary programs such as Garageband, Guitar Rig or Guitar Pro. In this post we will see some of the best alternatives for musicians using GNU / Linux.
With the programs we will analyze you will be able to record your instruments live or virtually, read scores, tune your guitar, And more things you might not think you could do in GNU / Linux as well.
Before we get into the programs, let’s see how we can connect our guitar, bass or any string electric instrument to our PC with GNU / Linux (to be able to record-), which is essential to be able to use any of the programs that we will analyze below.
In general, you can record the guitar by connecting one microphone to the PC input intended for this, but the good microphones are very expensive. That’s why I’ll tell you a cheaper way to connect the guitar, bass or string instrument you want to your computer without spending more than € 5.
For this we will need one dual stereo audio cable, what we can find on ebay from 1 € and one 3.5 mm to 6’3 mm jack adapter (also on ebay from 1 €), which will be used to connect the dual audio cable to the output of the amplifier or directly to the input of the guitar. The main idea is to have a cable that we can connect to the computer (Line-In input) at one end, and our guitar at the other, with the help of the adapter.
Once we have connected our instrument to the PC, it would be very useful to power listen to the instrument through speakers or headphones live as we touch it. To do this, run the following command on the terminal:
pacat -r -latency-msec = 1 -d alsa_input.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo | pacat -p -latency-msec = 1 -d alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo
If we want to stop the execution of the process initiated by this last command, we only have to press Ctrl + C. In addition, if we want that the main process of the terminal does not happen to the blocked state, that is to say, if we want continue using the same terminal and at the same time the previous process continues with its execution in the background, we only have to execute the same command but with an “&” at the end. As follows:
pacat -r -latency-msec = 1 -d alsa_input.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo | pacat -p -latency-msec = 1 -d alsa_output.pci-0000_00_1b.0.analog-stereo &
NOTE: The two lines are part of the same order.
Once we have set up our PC as if it were an amplifier, we can use the programs we see below.
As its name suggests, GTKGUITUNE is a virtual guitar tuner, Although it also works for the under. Cper install GTKGUITUNE can be done by running the following command in the terminal:
sudo apt-get install gtkguitune
Guitar Pro is a score editor of guitar. With Guitar Pro we can learn to play the guitar dynamically and quickly, as we can see the score of the song we want while we listen to this song, In addition to a number of schemes on how to make agreements.
Even though it is not free, Thanks to the demand of GNU / Linux users, especially Ubuntu, Guitar Pro already has one trial version for GNU / Linux which we can download here (Also a paid version that we can purchase after downloading the trial version). While the positive part is that as they say on their website, the trial version is not limited in time but in functionality.
To install it we must enter the link I provided above and then enter our email, click the download button. Then we will receive an email with a link that will take us to the page where we can download the program. As we see, we will download a .deb package that, once downloaded, we can install with the command:
its dpkg -i package_name.deb
Tuxguitar is the free alternative to Guitar Pro. With tuxguitar you can learn to play the guitar or learn to play new songs through its system of scores and tablatures that you can see in real time, while listening to the song. Wow, the same as in Guitar Pro.
In addition, tuxguitar supports file formats PowerTab, Guitar pro, i tuxguitar. It is capable of importing MIDI files and exporting in MIDI, PDF, and ASCII.
Like GTKGUITUNE, tuxguitar is available in Ubuntu repositories, so we can install with the order:
sudo apt-get install tuxguitar
Audacity is one of the master programs for the multitrack recording, with GPL license. With Audacity you can record audio input and put together several tracks to create your own song, as well as be able to import audio files (.mp3, .midi and .raw). You can also add effects to the tracks we have recorded or imported.
To install Audacity you can also do it with the command:
sudo apt-get install audacity
With this program you can compose your own own virtual battery lines. Hydrogen has several types of drums of all musical styles that you can download and import from the same application.
In Hydrogen you will find two modes of operation. the way pattern (Pattern), or the way song (Song). With the first you can edit and play your drum patterns that you can add to the timeline of the song. Instead, with the song mode (song) you can linearly play all the patterns you have added to this timeline, that is, play the song you have been creating based on patterns.
We can install with:
sudo apt-get install hydrogen
Muse is a audio sequencer 100% free software that also allows us record and edit audio on multiple tracks. It is a great alternative to DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) type programs such as Cubase, FL Studio or ProTools.
Some of its most important features are:
- Support for audio and MIDI
- Complete automation system for audio and MIDI
- Support for MIDI instrument definition files (.idf)
- Custom keyboard shortcuts
- Support for “Drag and Drop” events
- Dedicated MIDI editors
- Real time editing
- Unlimited number of editors and undo / redo records
- LASH enabled
- XML-based project and configuration files
You can install Muse just like any other program with:
sudo apt-get install
As we have seen in this post, GNU / Linux is also a very complete system as far as music editing and recording is concerned. Although there are actually many more programs dedicated to editing, recording and sequencing audio. We hope that if you are a musician and use GNU / Linux this post has helped you.