Linux. How it works.

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Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:41 pm

I'll try to answer your questions here about Linux audio production. I'm not English native speaker so I'm sorry it will be a little complicate for me... BTW it will be good practice for me.

And of course I'm not neither professional audio producer nor Linux guru, simply I have Linux on my notebook and after YEARS in windows I love how Linux works for me. I play guitar in Linux and I found that Linux is the best platform for home audio production and even for professional use, see photos here: http://www.ardour.org/node/3248

So what is Linux? Linux is OS. It's free and contains about 120 Gb of free software for every kind of using. You do not need download all that software, it always will be in a special repository, so Linux is really NET OS. You can get needed software when you need it wia simple graphic interface or with few commands in terminal. Linux do not need any antivirus software because of great user/process permissions system. Linux do not need isolation from the internet to avoid viruses attacks and system crashes. I use Linux about half of a year without reboot ;-)

How we can make music in Linux? Very simple: we can download and install one of multimedia-related distributions. I started with UbuntuStudio because it's one of the most popular distros at the time. Then I switched to kxstudio, that contains most full and modern collection of audio software and drivers and plugins etc. I think that this is the best way to start: Install Ubuntu LTS version and add kxstudio repository to sources list. All software that you need for the first time are:
jack2
wine
ladish
laditools
klaudia
festige
ardour
hydrogen

May be soon we will change ladish to cadence, that still in development, but much better in use.

Jack audio connection kit allows us to connect audio and midi streans between applications and can handle their transports: make a single DAW from different software and plugins. Jack can connect different computers in LAN to one single studio with all features listed above. Jack present for windows and for macs, so You can easily make a single DAW from different software at different platforms as rewire and vst system link do it.

wine is alternative windows API realisation that allows to use windows software in linux natively, vithout virtualisation, so windows programs works as fast as in windows and even faster because of overal system perfomance. wine will need for windows VST plugins.

Ladish can save different software session files to one project and restore this project as single all-in-one DAW project.

Laditray gives us a set of GUI tools to control Jack and ladish.

Klaudia contains a hardcoded list of audio software from kxstudio distro and can quickly add them to ladish project.

FeSTige is a tool for launching windows VST plugins as standalone applications and adding them to ladish project.

Ardour is the most powerful DAW for Linux. Now we can get alpha version of Ardour3 with MIDI support (ardour30 package from kxstudio). For those who need stable audio multitrack studio is Ardour2. There are some DAWS with MIDI Like Rosegarden, OpenOctave, qtractor, Muse etc, we can use them for MIDI sequensing. Don't forget, it's NOT windows, Linux is the DAW, so you should use them as Piano roll in Cubase or Sonar.

Hydrogen is an advansed drum machine. It can load samples itself, and use external samplers, connected via Jack. Hydrogen can provide all his audio channels separately to Jack, so we can connect them to Ardour for final processing and mixdown.
Last edited by rusk on Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:49 pm

here are list of current kxstudio repositories:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1670196

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby danieluber1337 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:32 am

SWEET! Ardour 3 is still happening? The development is slow. Not many people know about it, so not many people pay or donate for it... I almost made UbuntuStudio my OS of choice, but it was too much of a hassle at the time. Hopefully the Linux audio community gets more active and begins to rival Windows. I'll probably still stay with Windows, though... too many favorite programs that I want to know will work without a hitch. Cool to know about this, though. Thanks for posting!

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:07 pm

Why choose Ubuntu LTS and not say the latest version available like the 11.04 that will be released at the end of the month?

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:14 pm

Not so far Ardour3 becomes public. In the description of first alpha Paul said that now session file format is stable, it means that projects created today will opens in future releases. And Paul said the main reason of publishing binaries: they need more testers and ideas. Ardour3 is quite ready to use, there still remains some bugs, they fix it every day. Paul said that he wait first release in about couple months.

Slow? Try IRC channel #ardour, there allways are hot development discussions. And there you can get live help about Ardour. Do you know other software developers, who answer to your questions live in public IRC chat? They published 4 alpha versions only last month, it's faster then REAPER ;-)

I tryed UbuntuStudio and found it a little outdated. kxstudio - new Ubuntu-based distribution IMHO the best for audio production. Now guys works at the next release, but kxstudio may work with Ubuntu, only need to add these PPAs:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1670196

next kxstudio release wil be based on Cadence, the new project that works with Jack, Ladish session handler. I already work with Cadence, Main application contains Jack tools and transport panel and session manager. Cadence is available in kxstudio PPA, but author recommended to compile it from sources (I still use PPA version).

Soon will be available an ISO for kxstudio installation with 3 differend desktop options for choise. http://kxstudio.sourceforge.net/ is temporary closed, I think it means there soon will be a new web-site. But here you can download full 10.04 ISO based on KDE and other files, debs etc.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/kxstudio/files/

An importaint notice: all Ubuntu ISOs can run as Live CD and can be installed on a flash drive, so you don't need to format windows partitions to try Linux. Linux can work with NTFS partitions, they are mounted automatic and accessible from file manager Nautilus. Linux can work easyly with windows local network, shared folders and even can share its own folders to windows network.

And last thing: do not use VERY LATEST releases of Linux. Linux versions system is different then in windows world. Ubuntu LTS is most stable release with Long Term Support, It updates every day and contains all new versions of software, so LTS distributions are not outdated. Every next release of Ubuntu Linux can be described as NEW distribution with different enviroinment organisation. To get STABLE OS use LTS release. For now it's Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, that will be supported to 2013.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:00 pm

Do you use Ubuntu only as a DAW or as a complete OS?
Did you switched to Ubuntu completely or you still keep windows installed on your computer?

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:34 pm

Of course as complete OS. I'm a web-developer first. And Linux provide me ALL THE BEST POSSIBILITYES FOR FREE. I do not need any ftp/sftp/scp client, gvfs store any secure connection with remote host as simple folder in Nautilus. I have FREE IDE Komodo with all needed features like code explorer and autocompletion. I have a high-perfomance Web server enviroinment for free out of the box, etc. I have 3 web-browsers for testing: FireFox, Opera, Chrome. I have free Oracle VirtualBox with windowsXP for IE testing. I use builtin mail client Evolution. I use GIMP for photo and graphic editing, Gnome mplayer for video, Audacious for mp3. I connect my Asus P525 phone to exhange music with synce pachage. I use OpenOffice for M$ office documents handling. I have skype with web-cam, I use qutim for ICQ and IRC chatting. I use transmission for torrents. I have Google Earth and much more...

So I have a complete OS for any tasks WITHOUT ANY ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE AT ALL. Windows I use in virtual maschine for testing websites in IE only.

What is the difference? Linux can work as long as you need without perfomance issues. Linux have not big system registry as windows. Ext4fs after years of using is fast as after formatting, ntfs doesn't. Ext4fs overal perfomance is better then ntfs, so you can write MORE audio data to disk.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:42 pm

Linux after installation set up GRUB loader automatically. So if you have windows, you can choose windows boot at startup in GRUB menu. Windows BCDEdit you should setup manually if you will install windows after ubuntu.

Only one issue: if you install Ubuntu - it owerwrite boot sector to use GRUB boot loader located at Linux partition. So if you wil format Linux partition from windows, you wil not able to load any OS at next startup.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:45 pm

Damn it, man. I have so much to learn. I better get to it.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:54 pm

Some things about audio studio setups...

You can use 2 and more computers with different OS as single studio DAW. For example if you have Line6 hardware you can run all their software at windows maschine with netjack running in slave mode. Netjack provides an ASIO driver to connect applications and hardware to Linux maschine. It's really magic! In Linux You can get access to any audio stream or hardware from windows maschine using simple Local Area Network.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:57 pm

hal rockwell wrote:Damn it, man. I have so much to learn. I better get to it.


U can read something here for example:

http://www.linuxmusicproduction.com/

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:04 pm

Is Ubuntu the same as Windows when it comes to handling RAM? x86 handles up to 3GB of RAM and x64 handles more?

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:45 pm

Ubuntu provides different kernels. I use simple x86 realtime kernel because my processor is 32 bit only and I have only 2 gigabytes of RAM. But there are x86-PAE kernel, that allows using more then 3 GB of RAM. Windows users have a problem with memory per process limit because in windows they use all-in-one DAWs. In Linux you can run as many as you need samplers like Kontakt player and they will run as separate processes, connected to multitracker like Ardour through Jack. So it's not a problem. What another problem in windows world? Is a dongle emulator (because users love piracy), that can't run in windows 64bit. In Linux you can't run any usb dongle emulators and even hardware. So unfortunately you cannot run Waves and other hardware protected software. But instead you wil get a BIG BUNCH of high quality audio software and plugins! You really do NOT need commercial plugins, only sample libraryes, which can be loaded into Kontakt or Sampletank. Free versions of Kontakt and Sampletank runs perfect in Linux and they supplied with 500 Mb of samples each. Also you can use best sounding windows sampler Shotrcircuit, Drum sampler DRUMCORE, I also tested them.

Another kernel option is realtime. It allows us to run applications with highest possible priority.

You can switch your kernel any time you need. GRUB will show you all installed kernels at startup with latest installed kernel as default. There are some issues with nVidia proprietary drivers with different kernels, but you can search workaround at ubuntuforums, it's not so hard to copy some commands in terminal...

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:00 pm

And another thing is gaming. I can say I play my favorite game EGOSOFT x3 Reunion Linux native version without any issues ;-)
Many popular games can run in Linux with wine after some tricks. Try Linux game search in Google and you will find that the era of Linux without games is in the past ;-)

And I also use some windows software in Linux. For example I used MirandaIM before I switched to qutim which I found more useful for me. An I use HeidiSQL for managing remote MySQL databases. HeidiSQL runs even faster then in windows because secure shell tunneling to remote host is implemented at kernel level. In windows I used Putty for tunneling...

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Sat Apr 16, 2011 7:56 am

I got a little bit confused. The 32 bit version on the Ubuntu website is marked as recommended and you said that if I install a different kernel I will be able to utilize the entire 4GB of RAM on my PC. What kind of version should I install if I have an Intel Quad core processor? Are there any benefits to installing a 32 bit version and changing the kernel over installing a 64 bit version in the first place?

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:09 pm

You can install PAE kernel after installation. Add kxstudio repository as I mentioned above and search meta package called linux-image-2.6.33-29-realtime-pae. Package will install kernel image and will setup GRUB to load this image by default. After reboot type in terminal

uname -a

It shows kernel version. You can still load other installed kernels, simply choose them in GRUB at system startup.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:52 pm

Are all live versions of Ubuntu can later on be installed to HDD, right?
Is it possible to create an KXStudio LiveCD on a USB flash drive?

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Sun Apr 17, 2011 2:49 am

Yes, they can.

Here you can find complete documentation of all current releases:
https://help.ubuntu.com/

You can install Ubuntu on a flash drive.
https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/installat ... files.html


I has never tryed kxstudio ISO. 10.04 kxstudio itself is based on KDE, but I prefer Gnome. I use kxstudio PPAs to get all latest versions of audio software.


Don't worry if you do not understand shell commands. Simply copy them in terminal and press enter ;-)
But you should know, linux terminal is so powerful instrument! I disscussed with one guy the power of linux commands, he said me that good OS should make all operations in GUI. I asked him: "How can you rename 500 files to lowercase in windows explorer?". You can try ask google "linux rename lowercase". This task I has passed in 20 seconds including google search ;-) You can make all you need in terminal. Listen MP3, resize gigabytes of photos by one simple script, chat in icq, search files, folders, words in files etc. After some time you will really love so powerfull tool...

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:07 am

I said above "switched to kxstudio", but it means that I simply added their PPAs and changed all audio software including Jack to newer versions from kxstudio PPA. kxstudio is mostly the same distribution, simply it installs with KDE enviroinment from CD. You can switch Ubuntu's default Gnome desktop to KDE by couple commands in terminal. In windows you have no choise.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:48 pm

After a week long battle against Linux I finally decided to call quits and crawl back on my knees to Windows 7. During this week I installed KXStudio numerous amount of times and read hundreds of web pages of faqs, manuals and guides. I guess I'm yet to be ready for Linux.

This is the only forum I came across on the web that people were able to express their true feelings. I'll take advantage of this and say... "FUCK THIS FUCKING LINUX PIECE OF SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
There is a good reason why after 25 years of development this OS is still being used by only about 10% of all computer users.

Linux ideology is FREEDOM. I only experienced a lack of it because every single minute of free time I had, I spent trying to make this piece of shit software to work.

This OS is everything but stable, on the contrary of everything that its users say. Every little mistake can make it unbootable and unrestorable though a backup was made... And why you ask? Because its safe mode is a worthless piece of shit.

This OS does nothing out of the box. I don't know how can you get anything done with this wonderful Swiss army knife kind of tool called a Computer when all you do all the time is prey that the next thing you do wont render your system useless.

Final thought: Now I know why Microsoft allows itself to charge ridiculous sums of money for their software. Cause there's just no other worthy alternative for Windows or Office. Those programs' interface is as intuitive and straight forward as it gets. A person can utilize 80% of their functions without reading a single Guide. So big money or not, I'll pay it gladly to save myself some time frustration and aggravation.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:00 pm

Don't want to argue with you.

BTW if you cannot understend something it not means that it's a peace of shit. The reason is windows way to do something with OS. But it NOT means that it's an unique and best way.

The reason why 90% of users use M$ is OEM contracts, when you buy OS bundled with hardware. You CANNOT buy hardware without OS. And you pay for it. For empty OS without needed software and you pay again for that software. DELL has broke this practice. Lenovo too. Google Android kicked off Windows phone from mobyle market. And Android is Linux. May be you mean Google uses a piece of shit? The next coming up Google Chrome OS is Linux. If you do not want to learn how things works, you shouldn't name something "peace of shit", right?

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:03 pm

I don't mean that Android is a piece of shit cause I own Samsung Galaxy S and prefer it over iPhone. But Google developed Android to a point where it can be used by an average consumer to make it commercial. If Android was presented to the costumer in the level of usability equal to Linux, Google was announcing bankruptcy long time ago. And another thing... Every learning process has a curve. My process of learning to use Linux had no curve cause after every mistake I had to start from the top cause the PC became unbootable and there was no way to restore it from the backup I made. And this, my friend, is utterly frustrating.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:38 pm

Just inserted a CD with Ubuntu UltimateEdition into 3 different computers: My DELL D620 laptop, SiS based desktop computer with P4 and VIA based computer with Celeron inside. LiveCD started correct elsewhere. What problems you has and how tryed to solve?

Once I damaged GNOME on my laptop. Solved with one shell command in recovery console "apt-get install ubuntu-desktop". That's it! I do not understand how you made your backups... Best way to backup is tar archiver. tar -zcvf to backup and tar -zxvf to restore, it's simple as one, two, three... You need GUI for backup? Run software center and type "backup" in search field. Not enough?

Android is ready to use because it compiled for one device with only needed drivers. That's all the difference. Ah, I forgot it's own desktop manager. Linux community have many desktop managers for any tasks and prefs. Try xfse and your Linux will fly like F16 on any old hardware. Try KDE and you will get most powerfull enviroinment ever, but a bit complicated in use.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby rusk » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:59 pm

All problems are from misunderstanding how to make something in Linux.

Just had a visit of my old friend. He has asked me for help with his computer. I took a look and found that windows is DEAD and unbootable even in safemode. I inserted a windows 7 installation DVD and installer even not found Segate hard drive!!! Why should I pay for THIS peace of shit I ask you? Changed to Ubuntu CD, that runs fine and has found all ntfs partitions on that "dead" hard drive. For free.

By the way, my friend doesn't want Linux and I installed windows XP, which found that hard drive working... Then I has downloaded drivers for network adapter using my Linux laptop and transferred to windows using USB drive... I has noticed today's date and will tell you when my friend will return to me with dead infected OS.

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Re: Linux. How it works.

Postby hal rockwell » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:50 pm

When Linux crapped out on me, I wasn't even able to get to a phase where I was able to download or install anything.

In 20 something years of using a PC, I had not experienced a single problem with windows I wasn't able to resolve. Even the malfunctions that required a re-installation of the OS the computer came back on line completely operational with all software installed within two hours. I spent a week an Linux...


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