Re: [linux-audio-user] Acid for Linux ?

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Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] Acid for Linux ?
From: Gerasimos Grammatikopoulos (
Date: Sun Dec 08 2002 - 23:24:07 EET

The actual idea of JACK is why music on linux could be so more powerful than
on, say, windows. For example if I could load both a powerful midi sequencer
like cubase and a great loop tool like acid, synchronise them and make them
work happily together that would be the end of it all! However, although the
idea is here and most of the necessary framework under the hood, we are still
pretty much missing the seats, steering wheel and pedals for the linux music
car. To simply say that "that's it, you can still guide it with a stick if
you take time to learn how" is not very appealing to me. Heh, I've seen and
heard great music coming out of a demo for Matlab (yes that extremely
powerful matrix app) but that doesn't mean I should use Matlab (or Octave?
Yikes!!) to make music. Heh, I feel pitty for the guy that actually did it --
it must have been pure hell to describe music in mathematical terms. The fact
is that ACID offers a very powerful and still extremely easy and fast
paradigm. Perhaps because they went the other way around: instead of building
a do-it-all, have-it-all app and then try to make it reasonably operable by
ppl that don't know what happens under its hood they first built some kiddy
stuff (he who has ever tried the 1.0 version knows that well :-P) and then
steadily increase features and power. Right now, ACID 4 supports ASIO, DX,
VSTi softsynths, midi I/O, routing in and out on anything available by your
hardware, effects automation.... give it a score support and will beat
anything hands down (maybe we'll see that on version 5?).
Now, don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that what we need is a mega-app that
does everything. As a matter of fact, the way JACK can offer "modularization"
over the windows paradigm of a "big container" app that anything to be loaded
must be compliant on very specific rules is a lot more flexible and powerful.
The problem is that we don't have that much to put on that big "rack" that
JACK provides us. Or, at least, we don't have much of it working the way ACID
does.... "painting" music.
On most other aspects of a Un*x workstation I agree with you that the paradigm
of click-and-go comes very short of the power many linux UIs (both graphic
and textual) offer you. But granular control is not always the best
feature... To make another example: I suppose you all know of gimp - I
personally love it. Now, gimp offers far less control of say a hypothetical
app that controls all atributes pixel by pixel... But I'll go for gimp ANY
time! You see, when we are talking about artistic creation what counts is
that the app helps the artist put down on the screen/paper or his speakers
what is in his head. Now that's a personal opinion, but an app more
granular than what I need to make it look/sound good is only getting in the
way of expressing myself. It's not a feature any more, it's an harrassment.
By the time I lay everything down as it should what I was thinking of would
be long gone. Yes, you've guessed right, CSound would be completely useless
for me. Call me dumb, but I simply can't "connect" to this way of thinking.
I've done my share of perl programming so I'm not a complete "virgin" in the
coding area. Yet programming and artistic expression have no sharing fields
in my mind. And I don't think that I'm alone on this one.
If someone told me "hey, what do you expect? there is only a given number of
open source programmers familiar with the specific pains of music apps. Now
either contribute or shut up" I'd have to agree with him. But saying that
music apps in linux/Unix _must_ be tougher to use than their counterparts in
other OSes is IMHO simply wrong.


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