FM Synthesis In ZynaddsubFX

FM synthesis is the magic behind the classic Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, and makes up what many of us feel is the quintesential 1980s sound. It sounds awesome and there’s nothing quite like it.

Luckily, it’s a pretty good sound to easily recreate on computers, specifically Linux, and more specifically with ZynaddsubFX. In this great tutorial, Unfa walks you through the basics on how to do it yourself.

Just Say No To Linux Distro Fever!

A common mistake among new Linux users is what I call “Linux Distro Fever” This is when you install Linux Ubuntu, then quickly change to Kubuntu, then to Linux Mint, then Debian, Red Hat, Arch, Fedora, OpenSuse, and on and on and on. Then you get stuck in the never ending cycle of installing Linux Distributions.

Rather than doing this, new users should stick with the one they have, and learn how to fix and customize to their liking. This will help you gain a greater understanding of the Linux OS, as well as waste a lot less of your time. Linux is Linux, the distro is basically the salad dressing on top of it.

I’m not saying trying new distros is bad, but keeping it under control is the key to success. There’s no need to try all the distros under the sun if you still have a lot to learn in Linux. GNU/Linux is not Mac OS or Windows, it never will be (thank God). So stick with what you got and make it work!

Best Linux Distro For Audio?

Well that’s a bit of a clickbait title and thumb admittedly, but this is what I like. I’m sure there’s just as good other options out there, but this works for me! Check out my patreon and subscribe! Thanks for watching!

Of course there really is no “Best” and it’s all subjective. This is just what I like and hopefully you’ll learn some tips from watching the video!

Script To Download Scrillions Of Classic Modules From

The Mod Archive is an incredible website that hosts literally scrillions of module files from the early 1990s all the way up to 2018! If you don’t know, a Module, or “Mod” is an oldschool type of music file that are created on a certain type of music creation software called a Tracker.

A Tracker uses samples that are arranged in vertical tracks which scroll vertically as opposed to modern MIDI sequencers which use a left to right editing patterns. Modules are made up of “lines” that combine to make “blocks” which combine to make song. As the tracker scrolls through the lines, it triggers any sample assigned to that line and track of the module. So when you play back a Mod file, it is essentially triggering samples all in real-time as you are listening to the song. To me this really seems to give them a real “life” not found in MP3s or Wav files.

Mods first gained their popularity on the Amiga Computer platform in the late 80s and early 90s that used the .mod extension, which is why the name “Mod” has stuck around to this day. When DOS started gaining popularity, programs like Fasttracker and Impulse Tracker became popular and offered more tracks and features.

Today on Linux there are several great options for Tracker programs such as Milkytracker, Schismtracker, and even the original Amiga Protracker are all available on Linux, plus many more! The three listed here can easily be installed with your distribution’s package manager.

If you just want to listen to Mods though, there’s several options to do that such as VLC, and some really cool text based players such as Mikmod.

I am a huge fan of this music and can literally listen to it all day long, which is why I wrote a bash script that automatically downloads modules from the Mod Archive and saves them to your computer. Check out the video below for complete instructions on how to use the scrpt. It’s easy!

Oberheim OB-X Emulator For Linux

OB-Xd is a very realisic sounding Oberheim OB-X, OB-Xa, and OB-8 emulator that is freely available and Linux compatible! You can download a pre-built package at

You can also download the source code at

I’ll be looking to build it myself on YouTube soon!

Covering Dream Theater’s Surrounded In Ardour and MusE

Libre Music Production created this epic of a tutorial series in 6 parts which I’ve put together in a playlist above that shows a beginning to end process of putting together a cover of a Dream Theater song.

Even if you are not a fan of the Dream Theater, there’s a ton of great tips in this series and shows a complete creation from nothing, to the fully mixed down track with all of the instruments, including vocals! If you have a full free day to kill and want a crash course in Linux production, this is worth checking out!


Amiga Protracker Now In Ubuntu Repos!

Amiga Protracker is the classic music tracker software that started it all! It allowed millions of 1990s home computer enthusiasts create music on their computers with samples and midi controllers in the days of 8 bit sound!

Trackers are still around with the likes of Milkytracker and others, but the 4 channel Protracker is still one of the most fun to use. The amazing 8 bit bubsy Protracker clone is now included in the Ubuntu repositories, so all you need to is is sudo apt install protracker!

What is a Vocoder? And How To Use Them In Linux

This is an absolutely excellent explanation and tutorial by Unfa about vocoders on Linux, specifically the Calf Vocoder.

Vocoders are a way to make a robotic sounding voice that uses a carrier wave (a synthesized sound) and combines that with a modulator sound (your voice). The carrier wave can then be controlled by a MIDI controller which will change the pitch of the “voice”.

Check out the video for a much deeper explaination as well as history behind the technology.

Song Made In Rosegarden – Made In Linux #7

This is a song by myself (still no title) but I’ll be putting it on my next album. Next weekend I’ll be doing another live master like Turn Of The Scroct.

This one was made using Rosegarden, Qsynth, Jack-Rack, Jamin, Timemachine, and Simplescreen recorder. All of the soundfonts used in this song are available in the sf2 lib.

Building A Spectrum Analyzer From Scratch Using Python!

Who doesn’t love a spectrum analyzer? They’re cool to look at when listening to music and are also a useful tool for visualizing frequency data on your recordings. Have you ever wanted to make your own?? Well YouTuber Mark Jay created this incredible tutorial for making one in Python!

This is some great work and really is a great coding project to learn python as well as get some cool results!