Electronic Production


I’m interested in producing electronic music using Ardour on Linux, and I have one question:
Can I use Ardour to produce electronic music with virtual instruments, effects, samples … (like Cubase, Fruity Loops, …)

Thx !

two answers:

  1. generally, yes. ardour is powerful, open and flexible tool and it is not limited genre- or instrument-wise. you can use it to produce all kinds of music, including electronic music with virtual instruments, effects, samples.

  2. however, from the way your question is formulated i assume you might be looking rather for some kind of all-in-one sequencer or looper/pattern editor. if so, you’d be probably disappointed - ardour doesn’t make these things particularly easy (although they’re not quite impossible). it is primarily a DAW - advanced multitrack recorder/mixer.

please read this:

i often work with other software like renoise, qsynth, hydrogen etc. to do the sequencing/sampling/loops/virtual instruments jobs. at the later stage of the composition process, i then put it all into ardour and use it to edit and mix the whole thing. i can’t say this workflow is ideal for everybody, but for me it works great.


I have switched to Ardour as my central tool for electronic music production even though I can’t host instruments and do MIDI programming in it…yet. I am getting a LOT done in Ardour by focussing on editing (especially micro-sonic editing, which is unspeakably fun) but editing has always been a big part of my process and I know that isn’t the case for everybody.

If you need integrated MIDI and instrument hosting along with multi-track audio you might try LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio). I took it for a spin a few months ago and found it quite usable. It comes with some good synths. If I needed to do programming today that is probably what I would reach for…well, that or Hydrogen, if it was beats.

Ardour 3 will support MIDI editing. Don’t ask when it’s coming out. Nobody knows.

Sorry for zombifying a dead thread, but this is the post that comes up first when you search for Ardour and electronic music.

Since MIDI editing was introduced in Ardour3, it’s totally usable for electronic stuff (EDM, etc.). You can use LV2 instrument and effects plugins easily. The MIDI editor to full-featured (except for aftertouch, I think), but I find it can be a little annoying to use. For me, so far, this is by far the best solution to a fully open-source electronic music work-flow. I find that the old linux mantra of do-one-thing-well and the web of apps you have to tangle together really doesn’t work for me. Having a monolithic DAW that does audio, MIDI, and really good routing is totally the way to go, and with one or two non-show-stopping UI improvements, Ardour would be perfect.