Production and Flowchart

Soundtrack and Sound Design with Open Source Software

So, we want to make sound design and soundtrack for a full length open movie…

This is quite an ambitious project!

We will address “sound design” and “soundtrack” along with final mixing in a video.

But first, let’s focus on the proposed audio software and production flowchart.


We use the following software. This list will develop during the project, or upon new suggestions from the community:

Sound design

  • Linux (Slackware, but any distribution with multimedia tools will be suitable)
  • Ardour
  • Xjadeo for the frame-by-frame synchronization of the audio with the video.
  • IR-LV2, for the convolution reverbs, along with impulse responses from Samplicity’s Bricasti M7 Impulse Response Library
  • AMB-Plugins, for “ambience” and for positioning/moving sounds in a 3D space
  • Synthesizers available as Ardour or Jack connected


  • Musescore
  • MusE
  • Jack
  • Ardour
  • Rosegarden
  • Salamander Grand Piano
  • Aeolus (organ)
  • Synthesizers as above
  • synthv1
  • drumkv1 for sampled drums
  • Linuxsampler for sampled instruments
  • Linux spring V1 and V2 for free instruments

Final editing/mixing

  • Ardour


When applicable, or in case of large productions, this will be agreed with the video producer.


Here is a flowchart for development of the full open source music/sound production.

Open Source Soundtrack Production Flowchart

We Need Your Help!

You can:

  • provide high quality sound samples (licensed in public domain or as creative commons, provided that they can be used also for commercial purposes), to be mixed in the soundscape;
  • send presets for all the instruments and effects in order to obtain the sound characterization that you like for a certain “movie scene”, e.g. if there is a “deep space” scene in the movie, you can provide some “alien” effects as a background sound;
  • comment the work done by the developers;
  • send your tutorials about realizing a particular audio task;
  • propose yourself for development of part of the movie (music, orchestration, background noises, etc.);
  • send your ideas by contacting us about every aspect of the production;
  • propose to live perform some parts of the score or sing some songs (lead voice/choirs/ background vocals);
  • propose your orchestra, if you have one.

All ideas and proposals will be analyzed. Although not all the material you provide can be included in the final product, everything will be shared, so, at the end of the project, we will decide together what we want to do with the unused material:

  • store the material for future use in another open movie;
  • use the material in “additional contents” (promo material, interviews, etc.)
  • create an additional soundtrack (no movie currently comes with additional soundtracks, so we may be the first!)
  • release the music as creative commons albums;
  • release the samples as a free sound library for everyone.

Starting this Project

Let’s begin to collect material, sounds and music, for an open (short or full-length) movie in particular.

We will propose a creative commons video or some pictures to all participants.

This will be like a real music contest: every participant analyzes the video or the images and creates music and sound effects for it, then he sends us a link with the new video with music.

All the production files must be delivered along with the video: for example, provide the complete Ardour project for the audio and video, so that we can analyze it and choose the “best implementation” of effects, instruments, etc.

Then, we will select the best music for the proposed video. Everyone can provide comments!

There will also be other good ideas, so we can use the best music collected, along with the sound effects, as “production music” for some other short creative commons videos or draft scripts.

On a case-by-case basis, the final rendered video may be:

  • published on the website of the authors who provided the original video;
  • published directly on the web;
  • used in other projects or used to support other larger projects.

The audio-only track (music and/or sounds) may be used similarly, or:

  • published on Creative Commons music websites by the music authors (e.g. Jamendo).
  • published as music under a “common label”, such as the “Open Source Soundtrack Project”, provided that each selected author will give written permission for this kind of use.

All the released material will be Creative Commons, so that it may be freely distributed and used. The selected authors will decide the details of the license.

Coordination of the music will be an important aspect, so it is essential that all the tools used for audio production and all the project files are free, open source and available, so that a coordination team may integrate the music and sounds into a credible final result and everybody will be able to open the project files with free software.

Commercial tools will be limited to a minimum, only to get inspiration for music composition, or for sound effects; then, a MIDI can be imported into open source tools (e.g. MusE).

All users may want to give donations. Currently, we don’t accept donations, but we will ask them to donate directly to the developers of the specified open source tools that we use, e.g. Ardour, Musescore, LV2 plugins, or to support open source projects, like Blender’s Open Movies, etc.

Foreseen Difficulties

The foreseen technical challenges for this open project are:

  • difficulties in obtaining a plausible/natural audio execution of the soundtrack with free open source only tools (free orchestral instruments, for example, are currently not so developed);
  • coordination problems: the final result shall be homogeneous, starting from heterogeneous elements. This is where the “coordination team” will come into play!
  • collection and preparation of a common set of free audio production tools, which will be used for all the projects in future.

With the help of all participants, we plan to overcome these difficulties!

Feel free to contact us or to leave a comment for any suggestions, volunteering or material provision about this project.

This project is not affiliated with the Blender Foundation, with “Project Gooseberry” or with any other party

Creative Commons License
The Open Source Soundtrack Project by Francesco Zanellato is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at