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

From: tim hall <tech@email-addr-hidden>
Date: Sun Jul 24 2005 - 13:29:03 EEST

Last Sunday 24 July 2005 01:11, Jono Bacon was like:
> I figured it would be great to hear your thoughts on the list.

I'm shocked and surprised to learn that you're still using Cubase. I know that
you've been using Linux far longer than I have have, because it was one of
your articles that persuaded me to try out the audio capabilities of Linux. I
ditched Windows and haven't looked back. OK, lets get real, some of your
reservations are valid. I've been on a huge 3 year learning curve, but boy
was it ever worth it!

> 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?
> 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? :)

As Steve says: running a dedicated audio distro makes life a lot easier. I'm
using A/DeMuDi - it's about as easy to set up a DAW with that distro as it is
to set up a desktop network client using Ubuntu. You must have higher
standards than me. I expect to have to read the documentation of the package
I want to use. I don't expect to _have_ to download and compile additional

> - 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.

No, not really in terms of Linux Audio. 'Professional' means making your
living from it. Very few Linux Audio users are actually doing that, however
many of us are producing what might be described as 'professional standard'
recordings or at least, aspiring to that. Either way the software should
'just work'. I know that a lot of effort has gone in to making A/DeMuDi 'just
work' and integration issues are being seriously considered. The target
audience is musicians, who mostly want to be able to *cough* plug'n'play. You
don't mention what distro you're basing your opinions on. It sounds like
you've been rolling your own. (Probably not crack then)

> - 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.

With my trusty A/DeMuDi-1.2.1 installer disk, I'm confident that I can get a
Linux DAW up and running on most machines in a couple of hours. Translate
that into a couple of days/weeks for the average newbie (whatever one of
those is). There is a trade off. DIY tools mean more work, I think it's
reasonable to expect to have to do a certain amount for oneself in this
situation, however I'm aware that people frequently get to defenestrating
levels of computer rage whilst trying to get their boxes to do exactly what
they want. It is by no means perfect.

Some things are clear. A/DeMuDi uses ALSA+JACK+LADSPA. You turn everything
else off. That sorts out the sound server issue. I've not found the issues
with mixers and drivers to be a particular problem. I simply don't agree with
your view of Ardour as unintuitive - I had to read books about Photoshop
before I learned how to use it, most large applications have an associated
learning curve. I think your concerns are valid, but that they are already
being addressed - Ardour-2.0 for example. Let's start looking at the detail -
I'd like all my music apps to have gtk2 interfaces with fan sliders. Actually
I want them all to look as cool as JAMin, I'd like them all to have html user
manuals and colourful icons, oh yes and I never, ever want to have to make
devices using the mknod command ;) How about you?

I think possibly one of the reasons I'm so happy making music on Linux is
because I never really got into it in my Windows using days, so I didn't
learn any bad habits. I have very much cut my suit to fit the cloth. Damn
fine cloth it is too!


tim hall
Received on Sun Jul 24 16:15:08 2005

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