As expected, the latest Ubuntu 12.10 update also brings with it the latest versions of all of its included programs. Here we are going to talk about the undoubtedly best operating system dedicated to artistic creation in every field dealing with computers, which aren’t few in number today.

studio12 Everything you need to know about Ubuntu Studio 12.10

Whether you work with music, photography, or graphic design, Ubuntu Studio offers an endless amount of specialized, professional-quality apps on an operating system totally designed for working in real time, and that leaves the competition in the dust, even though it is free.

The amount of apps included in the release of Ubuntu is so great that I will refer to the really key bits of software in each field.

In the graphics section, you find Blender, a 3D design suite with which you can create animations. It even has a graphics engine for designing videogames and a very large collection of plug-ins you can use for help.

blender Everything you need to know about Ubuntu Studio 12.10

Inkscape is the default vector graphics editor on Ubuntu Studio, very similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, with which you can work with .SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file formats. And, when finishing the graphics, you have GIMP, the already famous image editor similar to Photoshop, whose name comes from the acronym Gnu Image Manipulation Program.

openshot Everything you need to know about Ubuntu Studio 12.10

When it comes to video, for casual use they have done without one of my favorites (the effective video editor PiTiVi), using Openshot because of its new, simple and clean interface and because it is based on the FFmpeg multimedia framework, which has all the necessary tools for professional video editing, and supports even the oldest formats.

If your Ubuntu use is centered on photography, Darktable and Shotwell are two bits of software that you likely know well.  The first is a photography app for creating and editing, as well as dealing with RAW images. They are a light table and a dark room for photographers where you can process your digital negatives, organize them in a database, and have access to all the rights and benefits of the RAW format images. (Raw images are images just as they are taken without any kind of compression, which is why they take up lots of space.)

darktable Everything you need to know about Ubuntu Studio 12.10

Shotwell is a photo organizer similar to Picasa that allows you to import and convert to different formats, edit labels, and do simple editions, in addition to publishing your images on the most popular social networks directly from the desktop.

The audio section is simply incredible, and is also where I’ve had to dive deeper for work-related reasons. It is designed by and for musicians, and you realize this as soon as you understand how JACK, the heart of the program framework, operates.

jack Everything you need to know about Ubuntu Studio 12.10

JACK is an audio and MIDI server designed for working with professional audio. It simply connects an application with another as if it were a mixing board. For example, this can be used to connect the guitar or piano signal to effects or amplifiers simulated by the software. It is a very simple concept, but very powerful at the same time, as JACK allows you to work with low latency, and the flexibility of the connections is complete.

Every recording studio currently features a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) for recording, mixing, and mastering albums and demos. Ardour is the DAW that has been included by default in Ubuntu Studio for many years. Despite that at first glance it can seem a bit antiquated and hard to learn, it is a brilliant piece of software that, being free, competes at the same level in many professional studies as ProTools, a giant in the recording industry. With Ardour, you can use limitless recording tracks, MIDI control, more than 200 pre-installed effects plug-ins, and a complete JACK integration.

Ardour Everything you need to know about Ubuntu Studio 12.10

Also included are many sequencers and synthesizers, such as Audacity for a simple way to edit sound tracks, Qtractor for working with Midi, a synthesizer that emulates a hydrogen drum machine, or a Yoshimi keyboard synthesizer.

Guitarix and Rakarrack makes the task of recording demos for guitarists easy, as they simulate amplifiers and guitar effects, freeing you from hours of microphone placement and sound checks with amps and effect pedals.

Everything you need to know about Ubuntu Studio 12.10

Also, in the most avant-garde area you have programming tools aimed for artistic creation of audio, video, and photography, such as PureData, which allow you to mix and edit in real time all kinds of material, among the other many applications.

Without a doubt, the most complete operating system dedicated to the arts is worthy of testing out, as it can save you from a setback on more than one occasion.

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