The Ubuntu Studio Intro and Tutorial Videos



I [scott] suggest that we view these coupled with our other documentation initiative as a way to help encourage those unfamiliar with Ubuntu Studio to become new users and to transition these people to become competent moderate users.

To help me organize my thoughts as a framework I considered this document as a narrative I would tell a friend, a fellow musician, who wanted to move away from Windows to record music.

Target Audience

Our target audience are musicians who are computer literate. They have experience with Windows and/or Mac.

I strongly suggest they may not have experience with either Linux or Ubuntu.

They will not be money rich, but will have initiative, dedication, and time.


To demonstrate the strengths and potential of Ubuntu Studio to those unfamiliar with it and encourage (read: COMPEL) them to become users.

Additionally, we will help all users develop competency with a broad range of Ubuntu Studio skills including recording audio, developing graphics, and video editing.

Introduction to Ubuntu Studio

What is Ubuntu Studio?

I think this should be direct, accessible, and geared toward the young, starving artist and stress the following:

  • it's free (as in beer)
  • it is an operating system with pre-installed multimedia software

  • used to record/edit audio, create graphics, and edit video along with "desktop" purpose (i.e. internet, playing games)
  • can run on modest hardware
  • included software is robust, dynamic, and powerful - some is even used in professional recording studios
  • base on ubuntu

Why use Ubuntu Studio?


  • it's free (as in beer) - [this can't be stressed enough in my opinion]
  • it's free (as in speech)
  • you can see the source code
  • you can modify the source code (mention the OpenOctave Project)

  • describe the four freedoms from FSF)

Applications Store

  • official repository for applications
  • tens of thousands of free applications
  • many (?) of applications for purchase

Modest Hardware Requirements

  • can run on modest hardware [probably need to give example of low end machine with interface]

Multimedia Applications

  • pre-installed set of applications will cover most demands
  • can install thousands of others
  • use for multimedia creation and editing
  • multimedia software is robust, dynamic, and powerful
  • highlight some of the "featured applications" - jack, ardour, inkscape, blender
  • hundreds of free effect plugins pre-installed and ready to use

Differences between Windows and Ubuntu


explain why FOSS is different than Windows and other proprietary software/operating systems

  • draw an analogy to music bought, who says you can't listen to music you purchased on more than one computer or phone?

Open Formats vs. mp3


  • ogg
  • ogv
  • webm

More Options


  • more flexible than windows, craps load of choices
  • but more is presented to users
  • sometimes this causes it to be more complicated
  • e.g. sound can be handles by various sound servers or you may start Ubuntu Studio with different xsession

Non-monolithic Applications

"do one thing and do it well" ethos

  • majority of applications are not monolithic
  • you will need several applications opened and up concurrently
  • these applications will work together, just more visibly than windows


  • Linux derives from a multi-user environment
  • users will need to login
  • and each user will get their own dedicated area of hard drive known as /home directory where their files will be stored (analogous to /MyDocuments from Windows)

Hardware Requirements


p4, 2.2 ghz with 1.5 gigs of memory

I kinda arbitrarily chose this because this was my old machine and it worked in practically all cases, although it maxed out the cpu during mastering with Ardour and Jamin without many plugins.

video card

*shrug* don't know, i don't use nor have much experience with different video cards

audio interface

this needs some expansion in explaining the different options, but try to avoid too much technical detail (i.e. "to get firewire working you will need to 1) user in audio group by opening this, clicking that, 2) add aboganni's ppa to your sources.list and download the -rt kernel, etc"), please keep it higher level, just make them aware of issues


card that goes into computer, gives good latencies, fairly inexpensive

  • laptop users usually can't go this route
  • give examples of decent cards


plugs into usb port, latencies vary depending on usb format, mostly inexpensive

  • point out differences between usb1 vs. usb2 throughput
  • mention upcoming usb3 performance (might contrast with firewire)


  • laptops users will be using this mostly
  • will need additional configuration:
    • user in audio group
    • irq conflicts (different kernel, rtirq)

Installing Ubuntu Studio

It is recommended that the user do a full install from DVD overwriting any existing operating systems, however there are other installation options available.

Full Install from DVD

  • download ISO
  • burn to DVD
  • insert DVD into computer
  • reboot and follow instructions - warning this will erase existing operating system completely and irrevocably

Other Installation Options

Upgrading from Vanilla Ubuntu

  • download ISO
  • burn to CD
  • insert Cd into computer
  • reboot and follow instructions - warning this will erase existing operation system completely and irrevocably

  • install "studio" packages
  • add user to audio group
  • (?) add -lowlatency or -rt kernel

Dual Booting

user can have both operating systems installed and choose between them during boot using GRUB menu.

Audio Tasks

Understanding JACK

  • contrast pulse audio and jack
  • qjackctl intro
  • setting up jack
  • routing audio with jack

Ardour - Record Audio

  • starting new project
  • recording audio to a track
  • multitracking
  • ardour monitoring
  • recording hydrogen drums
  • add effect plugins
  • fader/pan automation
  • mixing
  • mastering with jamin


  • using qtractor
  • using qsynth

Video Tasks

Blender - Edit Video

  • set to sequencer
  • adjust layout
  • save layout settings
  • add movies with sound
  • add images
  • add color
  • add audio
  • selecting clips
  • moving clips
  • modifying lenght of images, colors
  • triming (kut) movies
  • triming movies with grips
  • add effect
  • codec settings
  • render

Graphical Tasks

Inkscape - Create Graphics

  • import from clip art
  • any tips
  • bringing things up/down (over other parts)
  • ctl to move orthographically
  • ctl to scale things equally
  • links to screencasters

Appendix A: Troublshooting

  • getting firewire devices to work
  • "why doesn't pulse and jack work together"
  • setting up ice1712 devices to work with pulse


Introduce Key features and concepts related with Ubuntu Studio to newcomers or curious.

- Overview

  • How to navigate on Ubuntu Studio.
  • What can you do with Ubuntu Studio? (General overview of Worflows)
    • Create Audio content such Podcasts, recording bands, composing Music, Edit musical scores, Create kick "ass" 3d models and Vectorial images, and much much more...
  • Editing sound files / recording a podcast (Ardour / Audacity / Jack)
    • Intro to JACK core concepts

      Video Script What is Jack? JACK - Jack Audio Connection Kit - its a sound server that interfaces between the sound interface drivers and a Jack aware Application (for instance Ardour). The driver is the piece of software that controls directly your hardware, it is very low level. On Linux the most used ones are ALSA and FFADO. FFADO is made specifically for FireWire Audio interfaces.


      JACK allows easy routing of audio streams between EVERY JACK aware Application. For example you could connect a microphone to you audio interface input and route it to the 1st Ardour track. Then from the same Microphone you could also route another stream to a Effects box (like rakarrack) and after that rout that ouptut to the 2nd Ardour track. Now you easily splited the same audio source into diferent streams, worked on them diferently and finally connected them to Ardour.


TODO: Finish the script....

  • How Audio editing works? Tracks, mixing and maybe some plugins like compressors
  • Design a simple logo (Inkscape)
    • Design a simple logo for a band (for example). Why the SVG format is better.
  • Simple photo enhancement (The Gimp)
  • Using your Midi keyboard with Ubuntu Studio (Midi / Sofsynths, maybe some sequencer software like Qtractor)

specific videos over here

- Audio

  • JACK
  • Ardour
  • MIDI / Sofsynths


  • Kdenlive ????


  • Inkscape
  • The Gimp


  • - For now, rlameiro and others like Scott Big Grin :) will be defining some outlines for the videos and maybe making some of them. but anyone can contribute to this wiki adding ideas. Please don't delete others proposals before debating them, its rude, after all we all want the best for Ubuntu Studio.

UbuntuStudio/IntroTutVideos (last edited 2011-04-06 22:14:06 by conr-adsl-dhcp-64-92-4-194)