Saturday, November 03, 2012

Multi-track export for LMMS

I wrote a new little feature for LMMS, the Linux Multi Media System (which also runs on Windows).  LMMS is an FLStudio-like product that I've been making music with for the last year or so.  One issue I have with it is that I can't do everything I need from within LMMS, like real-time recording or controlling an external midi device---the way that I would want to.  And in fact I'm not sure I would want to do everything in one program.

Instead I use LMMS as a tool.  For electronic beat-based music, it rules.  So I like to do the electronic tracks within LMMS.  But I also am into adding real vocals, or recording other non-sequenced sounds.

In the past I would do my sequence work in LMMS, then export the final mix as a wav file, and then pull it into Ardour as a stereo track.  (I'd like to just use jack to sync the two products, but this hasn't worked out---seems the support is not there.)  Then I add other tracks, and then do a final mix down.

But, this sucks as I sometimes decide I need to re-balance the LMMS submix, which meant going back into LMMS, mixing down there and then re-exporting.

So my solution was to add an "export tracks" feature to LMMS that exports each instrument or sample as it's own wav file.  Now I can import each sound as an individual track in Ardour.

I've submitted the patch to LMMS-dev but it has yet to be accepted, so I don't know if the feature will make it into the product or not.  But I hope it will!