Re: [linux-audio-user] Opening up the discussion

From: Dave Phillips <dlphillips@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Sun Jul 24 2005 - 04:31:10 EEST

Jono Bacon wrote:

>As some of you will be aware, I wrote the following article:
>After seeing this long thread on this list
>I figured this poor schmuk should join up and share in some
>discussion. :)
You're a brave lad, and you're most welcome here. :)

>Let me be totally clear here - I am really keen to explore everyone's
>viewpoints about this subject. Although my views still stand, I am
>more than happy to debate them, and I figured it would be great to
>hear your thoughts on the list.
Very cool. The way I see it, your POV is certainly valid: after all,
your experience is what you experienced, and no amount of cheerleading
here makes it different.

You'll definitely hear us make recommendations re: bundles and distros,
but even that leads me to wonder about a few things, such as why I have
to advise a new user to install a particular distribution. Should he not
be able to use just any distro ? I know that certain versions of Windows
are recommended for audio work, but the matter is a little more
complicated in Linux-land.

Planet CCRMA and AGNULA/Demudi are wonderful, but you can't buy 'em at
Wal-Mart. You *can* buy a Red Hat or Debian distro there, but those are
quite unlikely to be acceptable for pro-standards audio work. The kernel
needs patched, lots of other stuff needs done, and none of it is going
to be especially clear or "easy" to a new user. I don't know what we as
a group can do to alleviate this situation. I don't get the impression
that the kernel and distro folk are very eager to set their sights on
pro-audio performance tuning specs.

>In the article I clarify the position that feature-wise, audio
>production on Linux is pretty good. Many of the issues that I was
>discussing were that some pre-requisite knowledge is required before
>you can get started. It seems that to record on Linux you need to have
>trawled through documentation, the archives for this list and read up
>on the intracies of getting the different parts of the system working.
>To me, this seems like a flaw in the offering - surely the user should
>be able to get up and running straight away - they download their
>package of choice, install and run. Would this not be better?
Indeed, see above. But in the absence of direct support from the
manufacturers we can only do what we can. Thank goodness for open-source. :)

>To direct the discussion further, I would be interested in your
>thoughts on the following things:
> - do you all feel that it is fairly simple to get stated with Linux
>and recording? Am I smoking crack? :)
It's simple enough for me, but I know exactly what I'm doing whenever I
install a new distro. Unless the user starts with a system such as
Demudi or PlanetC he's likely to be in for a rough ride. It's not
impossible to do it without the pre-formed systems, but it's certainly
easier to just go with the proven systems.

> - do you feel there is a seperation between a professional and an
>amateur? So, the software would 'just work' for the amateur, but the
>professional should really know the specifics of the system and how to
>set it up.
I was thinking about it in terms of vehicles. You hop in your sedan, you
press buttons, push the shifter to D, and off you go. You hop in my 327
Chevy with four on the floor, no power steering, no power brakes...
well, it ain't gonna "just work", but I can demonstrate that it beats
the paint off your sedan. So perhaps the "just works" mantra is only
applicable within certain definitions.

Now, most folks might like the idea if driving that 327, thinking about
controlling that beast, but when they get inside and don't see the
familiar amenities, most will want their sedans back again. The ones who
learn to handle the Chevy do get something better for their efforts, but
real effort is involved.

Fortunately there's room on the road for both vehicles. :-)

> - if you do feel it is a bit tough to get up and running without
>reading up on all of this, what do you feel are the barriers, both
>technical and socially? I am curious to see whether these barriers
>could be solved.
I see good stuff happening, particularly with Christoph's training
videos, and the such neat additions as JP Mercury's AVIs demonstrating
how to use his FreeWheeling. More movement in that direction would be

>As I say, I am keen to engage in some constructive discussion here,
>and I look forward to your thoughts. :)
I'm happy to see you here, Jono, and I hope we can make your visit
worthwhile. Please let me know if you have any specific questions, and
feel free to write either on-list or off.

Best regards,

Dave Phillips
Received on Sun Jul 24 04:15:07 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Jul 24 2005 - 04:15:07 EEST