You are here

A more definitive and compelling tutorial

I just finished up a video tutorial covering the big topics related to Qtractor usage. I tried to make the case for Qtractor as a serious (perhaps best) choice for audio production on Linux. "THE Qtractor Tutorial" tracks a user through the process of choosing Qtractor in the first place, to downloading, through customization, routing and template making, through audio and midi recording, effects plugins and a wide variety of other important details that can get one more than merely 'started' on the software. I have included a table of contents in the video description for those that are looking for particular solutions to particular problems.

I hope my take on using Qtractor meets expectations and does a good dose of service to the project:


-Carl Irwin

rncbc's picture


many thanks for this, it's awesome !

delivers an awesome service, by all accounts

eagerly awaiting for the next lecture :)
wholly thanks Carl,

Damn you Carl! Any time you post one of these, I have to stop everything I'm doing and watch. Awesome work :)

Hi Carl,

Thank you for this tutorial. I just watched it because I'm thinking about switching from Ardour to Qtractor.

I find myself too often searching the Internet and sometimes having difficulties to find the answer I need to accomplish things in Ardour. So I installed Qtractor yesterday and I found the GUI cleaner and maybe a bit more intuitive to me. But I'm not an advanced DAW user so I don't know how different they are. Your video achieved to make me want to take a bigger shot at Qtractor but I'd like to know if I will face limitations regarding audio compared to Ardour. I use mostly audio and I'm planning to use a bit of MIDI (mainly for drums). Do you think, if I become a more advanced DAW user later, that I will miss some Ardour functions in audio or are there so few differences that I can do pretty much the same with Qtractor ?

Thanks in advance. After watching your video, I feel I really want to love Qtractor ( and it's so reactive on my old laptop).

As this is my first post, I take advantage of the opportunity to say hello from France to Rui and thank him for his work on this beautiful software and the time he dedicates to the Linux community.

I started using Ardour a year or 2 back, but found I was spending nearly all of my time fighting with the software and like yourself, struggled to find ready answers on the net. The forum was full of helpful folk, but I would have to stop my project, post a problem and then wait for an answer. After a few months, I had not completed a single project as I always hit a problem I could not solve, despite watching many hours of tutorials on youtube in the hope of seeing an answer to my current issue..

Finally I gave up.. I looked around and tried a couple of DAWs but it was Qtractor that finally got me going. Learning curve was not to steep, everything just seemed to work and using Ubuntu Studio along with the kxstudio repos, I had a huge number of toys to play with. Cant recommend Qtractor enough, truly wonderful piece of software..

As for Ardour, well I do very occasionally dip my toe back into the Ardour waters but I end up in the same place every time, with a problem I cant figure out myself with either the net, the manual or the youtube tutorials. Always go straight back to Qtractor and it is always effortless to make music again.

Not an expert at any of this stuff, am a guitar player that likes to make music to play along with, but my answer to your question is that you might find Ardour can do one or two things that Qtractor cant, but I have never been able to progress far enough into Ardour to find out what they are. Am just messing around with using LMMS bolted onto Qtractor and honestly, there is huge amount there to play with and keep me busy for a long time. Along with the steady and regular updates that you get with Qtractor (am a big fan of small and steady tweaks rather than big jolting jumps), I cannot fault Qtractor and it gets my vote every time..

Good luck with it..!

Thanks fasteddy13.

Your message reinforces my feeling. I'm kind of an indecisive person so I think I used the fact that Ardour was more labelled as "professional" to guide my choice. But now, I'm facing the same problem as you talk about : it's not easy to compose good stuff and I don't need a software to get in the way (though I have a huge respect for the devs). Beside, that should be a tool that I like using. So, I'm now convinced that I should go deeper in Qtractor and let myself explore it in details for a few days and give it a real chance.

By the way, I'm a guitar player like you who just wants a good tool to compose and record songs. Thanks again.

One more comment if I may.. The tutorial video starts off explaning how Ubuntu Studio works so very well with music making. Have to say that to me, this is by far the most important step in music making, especially for a noob like myself. I dont use Ubuntu Studio for my 'day to day' distro, only for music making. I have 2 hard drives and have Ubuntu Studio on one of them (dual boot) which means when I go to play with Qtractor, I have a distro that is setup for music only with a low latency kernal. Along with the kxstudio repositories, I have an enormous amount of goodies to play with and being a guitar player, there are loads of plugins available to me. Been a long time now since I wanted anything extra and I doubt I will get to play with all the toys I have for a long time..
Added bonus is that I now know how to setup Ubuntu Studio blindfolded, and it runs very fast.. love it..

I have to confess that it's the only piece of advice from the video I don't subscribe to. I have tried a few of these distros and while it's nice to have everything already set up and many tools installed that we can try, I prefer a cleaner system because I don't need most of this software. Less software means quicker install, less updates and less repos (I use ppas only if I have to).

I use Kubuntu (with the excellent minimal install option) and I don't find it so difficult to enable realtime and install a lowlatency kernel (it's in the basic repos). There's not much to set up, actually, and the French speaking people are lucky to have a website dedicated to music in Linux :

Add new comment