Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dream away (Dream Studio Review)

Dream Studio is a Linux, Audio,Video and Photo editing/production suite. For the purposes of this review I will focus on Audio editing and production. So what makes Dream Studio so special? It combines the elements of Ubuntu Studio and KXStudio, it takes things like Cadence from KXstudio and the pre-installed and configured apps from Ubuntu Studio. Unlike those two distros, you are encouraged to install Dream Studio on top of Ubuntu. The version of Ubuntu that the most recent version supports is 12.4.2. I tried Ubuntu Studio but could not get JACK to work properly, and I tried KXStudio but the minimalistic application selection left a lot to be desired. Dream Studio is installed using a simple installation script with a GUI that lets you select what parts you want to install. Simple as that, and in a bit you will have a nice multimedia studio to mess with. The installation is breeze once you have Ubuntu installed. It still takes some familiarity with JACK to get your audio set up working flawlessly. The Configuration is relatively painless. The apps that interested me: LMMS: A Music studio and workstation for Linux, it is comparable to other intermediate audio work stations. It is not pick up and play like something like Garage Band. (Website) Hydrogen: A Drum machine and loop maker that supports up to 36 tracks, it also has a nice selection of free kits. (Website) Audacity: Audio recording and mixing software a staple of open-source one that like gimp has found a good following in the windows world. (Website) GIMP: The king of Open Source photo editing and art programs. It has tools to correct and edit photos and has a full set of painting tools. (Website) So how is the environment for workflow? It is good since it is Ubuntu you can install Dream Studio on any of its flavors, for my install I choose stock Ubuntu. Unity's workplace manager is great for managing multiple things at once. The menu and sorter in Unity is great for managing the massive amount of amount of apps in Dream Studio. The interface in Dream Studio is really up to you. I made a few a beats in hydrogen and edited some audio in audacity, and it all worked like a dream. Dream Studio is definitely a great option for a Linux Multimedia Studio. If you only use a few select apps then KXStudio is the better option just for being easier on hard drive space. Dream Studio is a great option to experience the breadth of open-source AV software.

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