Saturday, July 18, 2009

Making Music ... maybe

Oh, so many years ago, I got my first PC from my dad, including a program called "Electronics Workbench". My entire goal of this computer was to begin developing circuits for sound design, and experimental music. Well, rather than music, I ended up with a career in computers instead. And here I am today.

Despite how interesting I find computers, I still find that my first love is still music. But music, and the cost of musical instruments is not one of my family's priorities, so I have found little time to take more than a passive role listening to music (and then usually on the bus to & from work, or late at night when everyone else is asleep).

About a year ago, I discovered the Linux MultiMedia Studio (LMMS), a complete open-source sound/song editor. It includes a ton of samples, has several different oscillators and synthesizers for creating your own sounds, full two-way MIDI interface, and of course the ability to sample from other audio files.

Of course, it's quite a bit different than noodling on the piano, or strumming a guitar. It's a lot more like creating your own paint-by-numbers, and then telling the computer, "okay, paint!". So, since discovering this cool system, I've made sure it was installed on every one of my Linux machines ... but have yet to really sit down & give it a good honest try.

So, this morning, I was the first one awake, and sat down with the LMMS manual and walked through the initial tutorial, and tried some of the subsequent experiments. I do feel a lot more familiar with how it works now, and feel like I'm ready to start making some music. Now, I just have to have the discipline to TRY, rather than passively listening to music while playing solitaire or sudoku.

Time will tell ...