FREE audio and video editing software Live DVD

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Rodney Staples

Nov 9, 2018, 1:04:15 AM11/9/18

Hi everyone,

I was searching “flavours” of UBUNTU recently and I came across Ubuntu Studio 18 ( ) which can run as a “Live DVD” on a reasonably recent 64 bit computer.


This live DVD contains a DAW called Ardour, which seems to give Protools a run for its money. There is a version of this DAW for Windows and Mac available on the ARDOUR website, but these are both paid versions. The version on the Ubuntu Studio live DVD is compiled for that OS and is free, and you don’t need to install it on your system to use it. However, I had difficulty running Ubuntu 18 on several of my older machines, I suspect since the hardware drivers on the live disk are directed to recent hardware. However, Peter tells me that he has not trouble running Ubuntu 18 on an old machine as he has used an upgrade from an earlier installed version (so the hardware interfaces would be available to the new installation from the previous installation). So if you have older hardware, it may help to install Ubuntu 17 (which does run on all of my machines) and upgrade to Ubuntu Studio from there.


There is also a video editor, Pitivi ( which seems to give AVID Media Composer a run for its money. This is only a 64 bit application for UBUNTU (or Unix) and it needs at least 6GB memory for video editing. It only edits MP4 video at the moment (apparently you can install other codecs if you install the system, but only MP4 ships with the live DVD) but it will render in many formats including HD. The editor is a frame accurate editor (unlike many free video editors that will only edit to GOP boundaries or do not provide frame accurate editing), and contains a wide variety of effects, including green-screen compositing and 3D effects.


If you have the hardware to support it, this DVD is worth downloading (2.9 GB) even if just to play with the live DVD. It does take a long time to load though, so give it time to work. If you are new to audio and video editing these tools may have a steep learning curve, but they would seem to justify the effort.







Dr Rodney Staples


Phone:+ 61  3 9770 2484

Mobile:0419 359082




Peter Smerdon

Nov 10, 2018, 3:49:04 PM11/10/18
Thanks for that Rod.

Ardour is certainly a professional-grade editor, and is worth a look.
There are also Windows and OS X versions  available.

Harrison Consoles uses it in their Mixbus DAW product, and I believe they have contributed to the codebase (as well as financially).
SSL and Waves have also contributed to the project.

For support, as well as the usual Community Forum at, there is also a subreddit for Ardour at


Peter Smerdon.

Jan Schmidt

Nov 26, 2018, 11:16:22 PM11/26/18
to AES-Melbourne-discussion
I'm a computer engineer that runs Linux full time and writes Free Software multimedia software. Specifically I work on the GStreamer framework that Pitivi uses for manipulating video and audio, so I'm familiar with Pitivi, Ardour, and Linux.

Anyone that wants to know more about Ardour and other Free Software audio solutions might enjoy Mike Tarantino's talk from in Perth 2014:

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