Audio on Linux?

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Audio on Linux?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:08 am

So I'm putting together a Linux box for work to do some real-time convolution (BruteFIR) and possibly run PD, CSound and some other stuff. Just wondering if anyone's done anything similar and knows of a distribution that's good for audio work I'd love to hear all about it. We'll be using an RME Hammerfall DSP as the audio interface, which apparently is supported.

So any advice from someone who's done this before? Take pity on me, I'm a mac user so I'm used to computers which just turn on and go, and when they don't you pay someone else to fix it. :P

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Post by Analog Freak » Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:18 am

Before I got hooked on UNIX, I used the dynebolic distribution for a long time on some of my older computers. Personally I loved it, but you might find it a bit limiting if you really know your way around Linux well. Good luck with your new operating system no matter what distribution you decide on.
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Post by crufty » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:41 pm

http://linux-sound.org/distro.html

To be honest, Linux is going to be a real challenge coming from the Mac land. Studio to go might be your best bet.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Feb 21, 2007 3:51 am

Oh it's not for me, I'm just putting a Linux audio machine together for work. It's going well so far, I'll keep you updated when we get everything finished, but I've got a couple of other things to work on before I finish it off.

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Post by mdl76 » Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:45 pm

I love Dynebolic to. Makes my p3 800 a real power house ( no... really it does)

I find it silly to buy all that stuff... to me anyways.
Linux does it all.... again.. for me
"software synthesizer; yes it is the future of music synthesis, but I don't want any part of it cause its boring" -Dave Smith

Plenty of REAL knob twisting switch flicking fun for the money!!! ;-)
Analog Fun for the whole family!!!

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Post by stephen » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:35 am

I'm using openSuse with JAD for the real time kernel. There are some very nice linux audio apps out there, including synths - plus I can run a whole bunch of windows VSTs.
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Post by etcetera » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:35 pm

Hi

I wrote a looooong reply to this thread yesterday. Then the site seemed to be down, and now my message is gone!?

What I said was that I installed Ubuntu Studio 7.04 in august - upgraded to Ubuntu Studio 7.10 last week - and that is a great package for making music.

The important thing in Linux music production is the low-latency-kernel. Ubuntu Studio 7.04 comes with one. In 7.10 the kernel is called a real-time-kernel, and you get it seperately it seems.

Ubuntu Studio comes with great software:

- ALSA - the sound card driver layer. Check ALSA Sound Card Matrix for sound card compatibility. I use an M-Audio Audiophile 2496. Most M-Audio cards are supported. That is better support than Windows Vista!
- Jack Audio Connection Kit - the virtual NO-latency digital audio and MIDI patchbay.
- JackRack - a Jack-compatibel effects rack
- LADSPA - a free effects plugin collection with some high quality effects.
- Ardour 2.1 - The state-of-the-art Linux DAW.
- Rosegarden - A great MIDI sequencer with DAW capabilities.

There is another distro called 64 Studio, specifically for use on 64-bit computers. Same software.

Neat Linux trick: With a program called vncviewer you can open the linux desktop remotely, and use a laptop as your DAW remote control. Works really nice. Very cool!

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Post by etcetera » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:35 pm

OK, now in order to keep this thread alive, I add another post here. I think we need to share some more experiences on using Linux as a music platform, and I hope to hear some more replies.

Lately I've been discovering a few new cool things I can do on my current platform. First I pimped my Linux desktop by installing compiz-fusion (previously Beryl), which enables some 3D graphic goodies, so that you can switch between a number of simultaneous desktops by turning a cube. (You have to see this! There are some cool YouTube demos of compiz). This puts the Linux graphics in a league that comfortably matches OSX. The cool thing about this is that it means that you can have the DAW on one or two desktops, Rosegarden MIDI on another, all Jack audio routing on another one and some plugins in yet another one. When switching between desktops the cube becomes transparent, so you can see all desktops while it switches.

Now, based on the recommendation of Linux Format magazine, I decided to try out a program called LMMS 0.3.0. This is a free FruityLoops type program working with tracks, soft synths and drum machines. LMMS works with JACK, so it can be synced to Rosegarden and the Ardour DAW. But as Linux Format pointet out, the best thing is that it works as a VSTi host! I tried several VSTi downloads for Windows, and most of them worked prefectly under LMMS control! So theres a whole world of Windows VST plugins now waiting to be explored. A few plugins crashed, but something like 75% were fine. Since LMMS takes MIDI input and sound input/output, it may work as a synth plugin host for Ardour and Rosegarden.

I'll repeat: If you have a spare disk, it will cost you nothing but a bit of time to explore Linux for music.

More to follow....

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Post by stephen » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:39 am

Hi,

Having different applicaitons running on different desktops is very useful. Multiple desktops have been a standard part of unix/linux environments for a long time. The 3D stuff is fun provided your PC is powerful enough and it doesn't get in the way of the audio work.

lmms is a great package, just upgraded to 0.3.1. The VST support doesn't use the Steinberg SDK - the developer reverse engineered it and created his own method for running VSTs.

Rosegarden has just been upgraded to 1.6.

An alternative route is with wine/wineasio which means you can run windows DAWs with greater VST compatibility.

You can compile rosegarden and ardour to host windows VSTs too. Google should bring up some sites with instructions on how to do this.

Also, look out for native linux VSTs - these can be hosted in the linux version of energyXT and in the open source jucetice project.
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Post by UTEPguy » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:41 pm

Try Ubuntu Studio http://www.ubuntustudio.org
Synth arsenal: Fusion 6HD, JX-8P + pg-800, XP-10, and MS-2000.

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Post by etcetera » Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:37 pm

The 3D stuff is fun provided your PC is powerful enough and it doesn't get in the way of the audio work.
This is of course true, but I think that if the PC is powerful enough for audio production it probably is also powerful enough to run the 3D graphic stuff. But I consider it more of something that makes it easier for you to quickly navigate through numerous windows of audio apps, and that way it adds to the creative process. And I think the 3D stuff only really takes up power when you use it after all.
lmms is a great package, just upgraded to 0.3.1. The VST support doesn't use the Steinberg SDK - the developer reverse engineered it and created his own method for running VSTs.
Just made a stupid thing that wiped my installation. No, it had nothing to do with Linux, I just did something really stupid and it was entirely my own fault. So I went and reinstalled Ubuntu Studio 7.10 for amd64, compiz-fusion and LMMS 0.3.0, but after the reinstall I got problems. It seems that there are no libvestige.so for LMMS 0.3.0 when I install for amd64, and it will not host VSTis anymore. I wonder why? Perhaps the Vestige plugin is 32-bit exclusively!? Is VST 32-bit-based?
An alternative route is with wine/wineasio which means you can run windows DAWs with greater VST compatibility.
I've considered that too. Went as far as to download the wineasio.dll file, but haven't tried it yet..
You can compile rosegarden and ardour to host windows VSTs too. Google should bring up some sites with instructions on how to do this.
There's another interesting route to go. But so far I haven't had the nerve to try to compile these systems myself. I am pretty content being in the mainstream of Synaptics package management.

I think there may be yet another road to try. The past couple of months I've experimented successfully with the Innotek Virtualbox virtualization software. I can run Windows XP in a box inside the host Ubuntu, which gives me hope that I can actually run VST programs (as well as anything else) in the hosted XP. Virtualbox is free (!!!) and works very, very well. I have yet to find out how integration in and out of the hosted XP will work with Ubuntu, ALSA and Jack though.

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Post by stephen » Mon Dec 24, 2007 5:39 pm

Thanks for the tip, I'll take a look at the virtualisation software.
Stephen(2)

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