Where from and where to go
There's a long history of sequencers. In the beginning there were only analogue synthesizers, which could only be played live. The classical example is presumably the Moog. After the introduction of MIDI, the first devices appeared where music data could be saved and replayed, in short: Sequencers. To program these devices, i.e. to record and process music can rather be compared with assembler programming of computers than with making music. But soon the first sequencers for computers were developed. At first, one could only process MIDI data, since the corresponding hardware capacities were missing. But those developed at high speed and thus the quality of hardware - and what is most important in this case: sound cards - improved that much, that one could even do without external tape drives. Now multi-track audio on-line recordings were possible and there were even astounding possibilities for the post-editing of large projects. Hard to believe, but nowadays computers can do even more. Software-synthesizers in combination with software sequencers (MusE for example!) offer apparently unlimited possibilities of variation. In fact, one can compose without even touching the wheel or the button of a "real" synthesizer. It will need time, however, until this software will be affordable, as the prices are immense. That's where MusE enters the game!
MusE and its competitors
Of course there will always be "better" programs or not! This decision is due to strongly subjective criteria. On the one hand, it depends on what one is aiming at. On the other hand, it depends on individual technical knowledge in the field of synthesizers/sequencers. To the time that I write this article, there are unfortunately no commercial sequencers for Linux, not to speak of whole studios like Cubase or Logic. So the Linux-user can only choose between a parallel installation either to Mac (if one has a PPC architecture) or to Windows (in case of IBM Hardware). But where do those programs actually beat MusE? Certainly not in their price because commercial, proprietary software is expensive. That's where programs like MusE become interesting because everybody can have it for free. Furthermore they are "open source", which is another important point, because thereby the users get the opportunity of finding bugs themselves and doing away with them.
Naturally, all projects start small. It's the same with MusE. With MusE, Linux enters a new dimension of MIDI and Audio processing. Together with Jack, even multi-track on-line recordings can be realized. In the the next few years MusE will certainly evolve strongly and with some luck there will be an easier installation and more comfortable manuals.
Features of MusE
A full list of features can be found here:
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