User FAQ

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This article describes frequently asked questions regarding usage of LMMS. If you have more questions, ask them in the Forum


Q: What is LMMS, anyway?
A: LMMS is a sound generation system, synthesizer, beat/baseline editor and MIDI control system which can power an entire home studio. Sounds and tones can be generated, played and artfully arranged to create entire tracks easily, giving you the opportunity to create music from beginning to end. The tools to create the sounds, arrange the sounds and rhythms to create tracks, layer the tracks to create songs, and then save the songs to an output format are all there, ready for you to use. LMMS can also connect to your MIDI keyboard, allowing you to play music live.

Q: Is there anything commercial to which LMMS might be comparable?
A: LMMS seems to have much in common (at least in principle) with Apple's Garage Band, FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops), Logic Studio, Beat Machine Pro and similar powerful audio tools. In terms of capability, LMMS easily matches the lower to middle-tier professional tools available, making it a great introduction to audio production which is constantly developing.

Q: Is LMMS offered in my language?
A: Possibly. See currently supported languages.

Q: Is it free?
A: Yes. LMMS is free and open source. This means that as long as there are some people coding on LMMS on their own free time, LMMS will become better and better!


Q: How do I create an instrument track in the Beat/Bassline Editor?
A: Drag it in from the sidebar as you would with the Song Editor! You can open My Samples or My Presets (buttons on the far left side of the window) and double click on the preset to get it there too.

Q: How do I change the note an instrument plays in the Beat/Bass Editor?
A: Click on the intrument button on the track. There’s a green bar just above the keyboard at the bottom, an orange square indicates the key that is played. Click on the blue bar to change the note.

Q: How do I enable and adjust looping points?
A: Click on the enable/disable looppoints button in the song editor or pianoroll. It is disabled by default. Two blue arrows will appear in the upper tracking area of the window. You can adjust these loop points by rightclicking and dragging them or pressing middle and right button.

Q: I made some piano chords in the Song-Editor but now I want to loop them. How to get them to the Beat+Bassline Editor?
A Simply hold Ctrl while dragging the instrument handle into the Beat+Bassline Editor. Only the first pattern will follow.

Q: How do I Import a drums beat I'd made in Hydrogen?
A: As of LMMS 0.4.14, you can import you Hydrogen file directly into LMMS. If you exported it as a MIDI, it can be easily imported with Project->Import. Remember to specify a SoundFont file! If on the other hand, you exported it to WAV, you'll have to use the AudioFileProcessor plugin and import it from there. You can import your MIDI the same way too.

Q: How do I Import a FLAC, WAV or OGG file?
A: Through the AudioFileProcessor plugin.

Q: Does LMMS support MP3?
A: No. You can use some external software to convert to/from MP3-files, such as Audacity.

Q: Can I sell my song that I made in LMMS?
A: Yes. As long as you have just used samples, instruments and effects from LMMS, or know that the external material has correct licences, you can sell your song created in LMMS.

Q: How do I edit the locations in the sidebar when you open a file in LMMS?
A: Highlight the folder that you want to be on the sidebar, select it, and drag it to the sidebar.

Q: What do I do when it is pops and clicks at the beginning or end of a note?
A: Turn up the attack or the release knob.


Q: I want to use another soundcard than the default one with LMMS. How to achieve this?
A: It's recommended to set your preferred audio-interface and it's parameters using the setup-dialog. If this doesn't work for some reason, you can also set the environment-variable "AUDIODEV" to what ever your audio-device is (e.g. /dev/dsp for OSS or surround40:1,0 for ALSA).

Q: I want to import MIDI files but it tells me I need to specify a default soundfont?
A: First download a soundfont for free from the internet. Then in LMMS go to Edit --> Settings --> Paths (folder icon). Under the "default soundfont file"-section, you can browse for the downloaded file.


Q: Why are LMMS producing unnormal and strange noise and crackles?
A: This has to do with what sound setting you are using. On Windows set the sound setting to SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer). On Linux it could be your sound is being routed through PulseAudio (which is the default for many desktop distributions such as Ubuntu), try to use ALSA instead. There have also been problems with OSS. You could try to let LMMS use your soundcard directly. Run this command in the terminal.

aplay -l

Look at the card and device numbers - for example:

card 2: SI7012 [SiS SI7012], device 0: Intel ICH [SiS SI7012]

Next, go to LMMS, open the settings menu (Edit > Settings), go to the Audio Settings tab, and in the "device" field, delete "default" and type


Where the first "x" is the card number, and the second is the device number. For example, the above configuration would be "hw:2,0". Restart LMMS and you should have very little latency. Note: No other application will be able to make sound while LMMS is running.

If the above instructions don't work and PulseAudio doesn't release the card, start LMMS using

pasuspender -- lmms


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