linux1_l Commercial music development on Linux is at a trickle, but a real gem as far as music production is now available: Renoise, the modern tracker tool.

Not only is Renoise a cult favorite for its unique approach to composition, but the Linux version looks to fully embrace Linux technologies. And that’s a big deal, because many music and audio users aren’t interested in Linux for political correctness. We want audio functionality and performance. Renoise promises:

  • ALSA support (the high-performance audio and MIDI system for Linux)
  • JACK audio support (for interconnecting application audio and other features)
  • LADSPA (the native, open Linux plug-in format)
  • Native Linux VST support

Renoise 1.9.1 Final and public Linux demo [Official announcement]

If you give Renoise a try on Linux, we’d love to hear about it. Renoise joins EnergyXT, another unique music creation tool — but hopefully with better native Linux support, which seemed a little less mature on EnergyXT.

Of course, “support” is an open question. We heard mixed feelings last summer when EnergyXT arrived on Linux. Part of the appeal of open source software is the ability for programmers to fix issues with code. Renoise supports Linux technologies, but it’s not open source. Still, if an application is fully supported — and you’re willing to pay the (low, in this case) price for that — I wonder if for-pay, closed software isn’t such a bad coupling with an open OS, after all.

The big question: will musicians adopt Linux, and will Linux users adopt (and pay for) payware apps. If they do, more apps could make the OS leap, too. Let us know what you’re using.

Thanks to Scott Meschke (who calls Renoise “awesome) and karhu (aka Niklas) for the tips!


Renoise 1.9 Music App Begins Beta; Why You Shouldn’t Overlook This Tracker