Category: Music

Mixing software for Linux

As part of my portable sound system, I need something to play. I’m not a DJ, so I’m not going to make mixes on the fly, because I’ll just trainwreck and embarrass myself. Instead, I’m going to carefully tweak and fiddle with mixes at home. That does mean I won’t be able to do the proper DJ thing and have a gradual build, respond to the crowd, etc. Admittedly, some DJs don’t do that either, but I digress…

I also don’t own any records, and only a few CDs. All of my music is MP3s, so I’m going to be making the mix out of MP3s. I’m a Linux user. I have been for 8 years or so. My laptop runs Linux, everything in my house runs Linux, so I’m going to do my mixing on Linux.

Audacity is actively developed, already installed on my machine, and certainly capable of mixing multiple tracks and recording to disk. I know this because I’ve used it before to make a mix of bird sounds, vocals, and machines for a prop that some friends wanted. It supports shifting tempo and pitch, editing MP3s, and adding all sorts of filters and effects.

Mixx also appears to be actively developed, but also looks like it is for live performance. I’m not playing live, so it may be a case of having a great tool for a job that I’m not doing. TerminatorX is also explicitly realtime, and so is not really the tool I’m looking for.

BPMDJ has a lot of sophisticated analysis options (because most club DJs care deeply about Harr wavelet analysis), automixing. On top of that, it appears to be under active development, which is more than I can say about a bunch of Linux mixing tools.

DJPlay looks to be about 4 years old, but may be useful. If nothing else, I can use the BPM counter to figure out the BPM of some of my music and use that as a rough guide for what might mix well. The interface looks like it was designed for live performance, but interacting with controls that mimic physical controls by using a mouse is kind of a recipe for UI disaster.

GDAM is even older, having no new news for the last 8 years. It does, however, support recording mixes to disk. It is intended for live performance, which is not what I’m doing.

Once I’ve installed and played with a few of these mixers, I’ll update this entry with my impressions.