Note: most all functions within LMMS have tool tips. If you don't know what something does try hovering mouse over it for a second to see a label.

The Song Editor

The song editor is a window comprising all of the tracks that make up a project. Generally each track will comprise one facet of a project, for instance an instrument or vocal track, though they can share effects as you will see later.

The main window itself has the obvious "play/pause" interface. Playing a project from here will

Each track has the same options which, from left to right, are as follows:

  • The gear symbol will allow you to clone (places a copy at the bottom of the track list) or remove the track entirely. It also has an option to assign MIDI input and output.
  • The green and red lights after that (the red is off by default) show whether or not the track is enabled or set to solo. Turning off the green will mute the track during playback. Enabling the red light mutes all tracks *except* that track. Clicking the red light again will restore sound to all other tracks.
  • The name of the instrument / track. Left click to open the settings for that track. Right click to rename.
  • The volume and pan knobs.
  • The pattern editor which displays previews of the track notation.

General Instrument Settings

When you click on a track name in the Song Editor the instrument settings for that track will open. This window can changed completely based on whether or not the track is a plug-in, an instrument, or an automation track.

The only, but important, constant settings are at the top. The voume and pan are the same knobs as found in the Song Editor (click and drag one to see both move), but you can also adjust the pitch of the entire track here. Most important is the "FX" indicator (which can be adjusted by click and dragging up and down).

The FX indicator will tell you which effect input this particular track is being sent to. You can see these in the FX-Mixer section below. This is important as this is the primary method of adding effects to a track.

It also allows you to use the same effect channel on multiple tracks. For instance you could create two tracks in the Song Editor, set both FX link in their instrument settings to "01", and from then on hear any effects loaded in FX channel 01 being applied to both tracks.

The Piano Roll

One of the main differences between FL Studio and LMMS is the approach to patterns. LMMS encourages you to use one pattern across the length of the project.

To start a new pattern just double click on one of the empty bars (on the desired track) within the song editor. To open an existing pattern just double click on the representation of it within the same area.

The FX Mixer

The FX Mixer manages input and send controls.

At this time LMMS does not support sending one FX channel to another. Everything is routed to master by default. This is changing in oncoming versions.

Once a track has been assigned an FX channel through it's instrument settings, you can add the actual effects here. Do so by choosing the FX channel for that instrument (just by clicking on the vertical bar for that channel, it will highlight) and clicking the "add effect" button in the lower right of this window.

The "Add Effect" dialogue will appear. You can either scroll through the choices or use the empty text field box at the top to search for a particular term (for instance "distortion"). Once you find the right one you can just click add and the effect will be added to the FX-Mixer window.

After you've added at least one effect you can click on other FX channels to see how the "Effects Chain" window changes on the right to list the effects for that particular FX channel.

The FX Chain is called a chain precisely because order will matter. Typically all effects added after the first (below it) will take the previous effect into account. In other words an echo added after a delay effect will add echo to every single replay created by the delay effect.

Beat & Bassline Editor

The Bassline editor is akin to a piano roll, but instead of allowing you to move notes vertically to denote pitch only allows you to place notes at even intervals using the default pitch.

Automation Editor


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