Jul 092011

lmms-0.4.0-1In the last years a lot of new software is come for music production on Linux, and LMMS is in this category.

LMMS is a free cross-platform alternative to commercial programs like FL Studio®, which allow you to produce music with your computer. This includes the creation of melodies and beats, the synthesis and mixing of sounds, and arranging of samples. You can have fun with your MIDI-keyboard and much more; all in a user-friendly and modern interface.

With LMMS it’s also possible to add effects to pre-existing audio so it allows you to record vocals in a program like Audacity, import it as a sample, add filters and distortion, and then make the entire file one track. The ability to create your own samples in the same composition program saves a lot of time that would be wasted between copying the sound between multiple programs.


sample browser, Song-Editor, Beat+Bassline-Editor and some controllers


  • Song-Editor for composing songs
  • A Beat+Bassline-Editor for creating beats and basslines
  • An easy-to-use Piano-Roll for editing patterns and melodies
  • An FX mixer with 64 FX channels and arbitrary number of effects allow unlimited mixing possibilities
  • Many powerful instrument and effect-plugins out of the box
  • Full user-defined track-based automation and computer-controlled automation sources
  • Compatible with many standards such as SoundFont2, VST(i), LADSPA, GUS Patches, and MIDI
  • Import of MIDI and FLP (Fruityloops® Project) files


On the download page you can find links for Ubuntu, opensuse and Pardus Linux, in particular for Ubuntu, there is a PPA that you can use to install LMMS on Ubuntu 11.04:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:dns/sound
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install lmms

After the installation of LMMS you’ll need to configure it for best performance on your hardware. The Edit menu’s Settings dialog provides controls for LMMS’s internal buffer size and selection panels for your audio and MIDI devices. Also a kernel with real Time support is usually a great thing.


The application offers an eye-candy interface with a relative usage complexity, however, once you get the hang of the application, using LMMS becomes fairly easy. Interface is divided into different sections, where you have Song Editor, FX-Mixer, Baseline Editor, and Controller rack on front-end. From left flank you can bring up Instrument Plug-in window, Samples Explorer, intrinsic and saved presets, etc.


If you are a pianist, you will love working with melodies and harmonies using Piano roll editor, which is kept both simple and easy to use. The toolbar contains all the tools and options to create, add and edit musical notes. Other special notes tweaking options, such as, Quantisation and Notes length are also available.



This is an excellent program, it has a pretty interface and it’s simple to use, but it also has many advanced feature.
So overall give it a try if you are a music maker.

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  4 Responses to “Introduction to Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS)”

  1. Great program when it works, but i hope they eventually one feature. The ability to duplicate and or Select and Copy multiple segments in the Song Editor, as oppose to only being to Select and Move segments.

    Similar to how you duplicate notes in the Piano Roll,

    To select several notes, hold down CTRL, and drag open a rectangle with the left mouse button. The notes in the rectangle turn blue.

    To duplicate a selection – leaving the original intact – hold down SHIFT as you drag.

    Do correct if this feature is available and I am unaware of it.

    • You can always copy and paste sections in the main song editor. You right-click on a section and choose Copy, then click on an empty square to create a new section, right-click on the empty section and choose Paste. Hope that helps :).

      • I don’t think that’s what he meant, and I’m having the same problem. We want to be able to copy a SELECTION – you know, when you highlight a load of parts and they all turn blue? That’s what we want to copy.

        • I can’t believe this feature is really missing! I thought it was just me who could not find a way to copy multiple segments. Please, please implement this!!

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