"Mixdown" - the correct way to export a session to an audio file
Adding the other four tracks happens in the same way, with the difference that in order to record bass, guitar and voice we do not have the need of external programs, and it is enough to just repeat the procedure described before for every other track, choosing every time Input and Output accordingly.
At this point I have five tracks of recorded material, volumes and plugins configured to my tastes etc. Now I want to "fix" the session on a file that can be later compressed or burned to a CD. Remember that particular track called "MIX"? I am going to mix all the five tracks on this one, therefore Input/Output of the tracks is fixed accordingly to record verything on MIX. It is normal to make ugly recordings on the first tries.
As soon as I am happy about how my final MIX sounds, or as soon as I am fed up with re-recoding the same tracks, I am ready to export the session. One click on the appropriate voice from the session menu and I can give a name to the file. The default settings are usually ok. It is important at this point to only select the right and left channel of the MIX track. Short waiting and and our file is ready.
Another step is mastering what we have recorded. In order to make this we need an application designed exactly for this scope, whose name is Jamin.
In the image here, taken directly from Jamin's homepage, you can seen Jamin can be integrated in this whole audio workspace, so as to directly receive ardour's output and use it like its input, ready for being mastered.
My short introduction ends here, not before naming at least some of the more promising applications in the world of the Audio in Linux:
- Audacity - One of the more interesting software for editing and multitrack recording, exists for many OS'es and it is quitereliable homepage
- Ecasound - "audio software package designed for multitrack processing", as it is defined from the author. It makes virtually everything, it's only issue being the difficulty to discover all of his functions. Various graphical interfaces are available, ilke those found on ecasound's homepage
- Jack Rack - From the name it is easily understood that this is software for guitarists, but not only. Jack Rack is exactly that: it allows the user to add more effects, plugin LADSPA obviously, and to apply them to any jack-controlled INPUT. - Homepage
- MUSE - I don't personally use this app, but i think it's worth mentioning it here. - homepage
Tutorials - How-to
The Unix/Linux philosophy is gaining credibility and professional audio seems to be one of the unexpected resources that could bring linux to to explore filelds different from the traditional server, although its great flexibility tends to scare many users. Here are the pages that have been useful to install, configure and learn to use the several pieces of this large puzzle:
- The links page on ecasound's homepage
- The list of software that uses Jack audio server
- Documentation, from the basics until the philosophical quarrels on low latency
- Step by step guides to learn use ardour, audacity, jack and others. A must.
Note: Copyright on the story's big front page icons by Jimmac.
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