Jokosher User Guide

Written by Jono Bacon

Version 0.1 for Jokosher v0.1

This guide is licensed under the GNU General Public License, version 2. Feel free to redistribute, copy and modify this guide within the remit of the license. In fact, if something looks wrong or could be better explained, write it and send it to us. See the Jokosher Getting Involved page for details.


  1. Welcome!
  2. Getting Started
  3. The Main Jokosher Window
  4. The Workspaces


Welcome to the start of an exciting journey!

Jokosher is a simple to use, yet devilishly powerful Open Source audio workstation. With it you can create and record music, audio and other projects. Jokosher has been specifically designed around ease of use and helping you to ignore the software and concentrate on your projects. We have taken every step to make it as intuitive as possible, but naturally a user guide is always helpful in explaining the specifics. This is that user guide.

Jokosher is an organic piece of software and grows and improves gradually. Due to its Open Source foundation, different people from all over the world work on it to make it the best tool for creating audio and music easily. Likewise, this guide reflects that organic nature and also grows naturally. This guide presents you with a complete guide to the features and facilities available in Jokosher. As each new release pops its head over the horizon, this guide will explain the awesome new features you can use.

Like any Open Source project, Jokosher and this guide needs your help. Invariably in most Open Source projects, the documentation always falls behind and does not track the progress of the application it is documenting. We really, really don't want this to happen with Jokosher. Our lovingly crafted Jokosher is made for musicians, and we want it to be simple and easy to use, and this guide plays an essential role. If something is incorrect, outdated or just plain broken, roll up your sleeves and fix it. It will be a great contribution to this important project.

Getting Started

Fire up Jokosher by selecting Applications->Sound & Video->Jokosher.

When Jokosher starts, you see the Welcome dialog shown in Figure 2-1:

Jokosher Welcome Dialog

Figure 2-1
The Welcome dialog box

The welcome dialog has a number of different facilities:

You know, some people really hate welcome dialogs like this, so we plonked a nice fat Don't show this on start-up tickbox. Tick it to never be pestered by the welcome dialog again. There are a few cool things you can configure for Jokosher start-up, see Configuring Jokosher Preferences for the juicy bits.

So, which option did you pick? Well, lets run through them...

Creating a New Jokosher Project

You can create project by either selecting the Create a New Project button from the welcome dialog or by clicking File->New Project in the main window.

A dialog box then appears and you are asked for some details:

When you have added these details, click the OK button to continue.

If this is your first time using Jokosher, jump to The Main Jokosher Window.

Opening Jokosher Projects

You can open existing projects by either selecting Browse for an Existing Project from the welcome dialog or clicking File->Open in the main window.

When you select this option, the GNOME file picker pops up. Jokosher projects are stored in a directory with the same name as the project. Inside that directory is a .jokosher file. Double click it to load it.

If this is your first time using Jokosher, jump to The Main Jokosher Window.

The Main Jokosher Window

The main Jokosher window is where the action happens (Figure 3-1):

The Main Jokosher Window

Figure 3-1
The main Jokosher window

Unlike other less fun and fabulous multi-trackers, Jokosher does not inflict lots of itty-bitty windows on you. Here everything happens inside a single window, making it simple to see what is going on at any one time.

The Toolbar

Below the menus are the main toolbar buttons. These buttons are nice and big to help you when perched over your desk holding your guitar. They do a bunch of interesting things:

The Menus

Along the top side of the screen you can see a bunch of menus. You can find virtually everything in those menus, and if you are stuck figuring out how to do something, flick through the menus.





Configuring Jokosher Preferences

The Jokosher preferences menu can be found by clicking Edit->Preferences. Here you can change many settings that determine how Jokosher works. Note that these settings will be saved for Jokosher globally, not on a per-project basis.

The Workspaces

Recording View

Inside the recording view, only the instruments are displayed. This is where you will spend most of your time recording, editing and re-recording.

Recording is the first step in the process of creating a project. You will add Instruments, usually one at a time, record audio into that Instrument, then add the next instrument. Working in the recording view usually follows the steps listed here:

Recording Functions

  1. Add Instruments - See Adding Instruments below for details on this process. After an Instrument is added, you will see that it has the following features (See Figure 3-2):

    Instrument Features
    Figure 3-2
    Instrument Features

  2. Set Connections - as explained in Instrument Connections above, the different sound card inputs can be routed to different Instruments at will. In this way, even if there is only one input, by connecting it to each Instrument in turn multiple Instruments can be recorded.
  3. Record - at this point you are ready to record this Instrument. If it's a live instrument, plug it in, press the "arm" button, then hit the Record button on the main Toolbar. When done recording, click Stop. To record an existing audio file, right-click on the Instrument recording lane then click Import Audio File. Find the file you'd like to import, then click Open. Notice that the audio is now in the recording lane for that Instrument. The waveform shows you the volume level at any point in the recording.
  4. Repeat - unarm this Instrument and begin the process again by adding the next Instrument until all Instruments are recorded.

Editing Functions

Once all Instruments are recorded, editing begins. Think of the Instruments as raw materials that you will shape into a final project. Jokosher offers several tools to help with editing.

In order to edit audio, a recording often needs to be broken up into pieces. Jokosher offers two main tools to do this:

Mixing View

This is the main mixing view. This view displays smaller versions of your Instrument tracks as well as mixing sliders for adjusting instrument volume levels. This is where you mix your final project.

Much of the functionality of the Recording View is still available. The emphasis, though, is on getting the balance right between the Instruments.

Volume Slider - each Instrument has a corresponding slider. These sliders control the overall volume in the mix of that Instrument. Volume is displayed on the slider as a range from 0 to 1.00. Notice that as the slider is moved, the volume level changes audibly and visually.

Instrument Hide - at the top of each slider is an icon that can be clicked to hide that Instrument. It's still there, just out of the way. At the bottom of the screen just above the status bar is an Instruments Not Shown: list. Click on an Instrument in the list to bring it back. Hiding Instruments is useful when you havve many Instruments and only want to work on a few at a time. For example if you have 3 vocalists, you could mute and hide all other Instruments, while you mix the vocals.

Master volume - at the far right of the screen is the Master Volume slider. This slider changes the overall volume of the project.

Adding Instruments

Instruments are a key concept in Jokosher. Think in Instruments instead of Tracks. Instrument allow you to tell a lot about your project at a glance. Tracks are just tracks!

Currently, instruments are very simple - they just contain the name and icon of the instrument. In the future we plan on storing audio settings for each type of instrument. As an example when you use a Snare drum, the EQ will be optimised for a Snare drum.

The Add Instrument Dialog

Figure 4-1
Adding instruments is simple

To add and instrument, click on the Add Instrument button to bring up the dialog. Simply pick the instrument that is closest to what you'll be recording. Click OK and you're done.

Notice that once an instrument is added, you can click on its name and change it to anything you want.