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Old 03-22-2008, 03:38 AM
Ralf Mardorf
Default Ardour with MIDI Tracks + my last words to Cubase (I hope)

The blame is on me, I think we're talking a little bit to much about
Windows. Like a computer stack, last mail in, first mail out:

Quentin Harley wrote:
> You have to get the 3.0 branch of ardour from SVN. See this Ardour
> download page for more info: http://www.ardour.org/download_full

Thank you .

>> Home recording with live drums and a Marshall stack could force to
>> become homeless .
> That's exactly why I said "We wish"... Real studios don't come
> cheap, but is always the ideal, isn't it?

Yes and no. Real instruments and good analog equipment are the best for
the sound. Each morning after I wake up I look if someone has set a Neve
with Flying Faders and a pair of Genelec in front of my front door,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWd5-RJVoR8, but no one will do.
It's better not to be a whore only to get the best sound.

> I am a supporter of "real" music. Don't get me wrong. Sequenced MIDI
> is not less real in terms of the music itself, but it it the magic of
> live performance that makes music alive. I have a project studio that
> records live acts only at this stage, and that involved artists that
> can really sing, really play the instruments, and really enjoy what
> they are doing. But this is only my personal preference. I do not
> have the knack of composing great music, only the knack to make good
> music sound great. And that is where my 64studio system comes in.
> It works for me, and that is what is important to me, and why I freely
> advocate the use of it to anyone that has ears, or can read.

You have to manage with people, you need a lot of money to play real
music and you have to be in practise all the time. When I was young I
needed two packs of guitar strings a day, I have been a good guitarist,
I'm not any more. With a studio in the box you only need the gift to
keep up doing your own project but you don't need to prostitute yourself
and your music. I won't miss both kinds of making music, they both have
benefits and drawbacks.

Gustin Johnson wrote:
> I use Linux on older hardware
> precisely because it is more efficient with resources.

No, that isn't true. I have 256MB + 1024MB, with 256MB and Windows I can
mix a song but 1280MB aren't enough for Linux. Run top an see what
happens if you add EQs and Reverb to your channels, with Cubase EQs are
default for each channel and the quality isn't worse.

> | 2. Where are all the professional needed functions? Sync to
> | professional video per SMPTE while fixing some Tracks in the timing,
> | for example sound fx that have to be sync to video events, while the
> | music should change the tempo? If few applications are synced by
> | jack, which application is accountable for tempo changes for which
> | other applications?
> I cannot speak to video since that is an area that holds little to no
> interest for me. To answer your question, it depends on the
> applications. Most of the stuff I do is live recording so the tempo is
> dictated by musicians. For my dabbling in composing, Rosegarden usually
> sets the tempo since that is where I am writing the notes. Ardour
> doesn't care about tempo, it just records the audio output from soft
> synths and the like. I did not say that this is not always complicated,
> but I found Cubase difficult to use when I first started using it.

Linux is more limited than Cubase. I think most people don't know the
features of Cubase. Microsoft is a bad company but the software for
Windows is mellower. Maybe Ardour with MIDI tracks is near to my needs
than Rosegarden and maybe http://www.energy-xt.com/xt2.php is it too.
But I will test software before buying. On the Atari I tested a few
Cracks and found out that I need Cubase so I pay for it. Demo versions
are improper to found out if programs fits to personal needs. Okay,
Ardour is for free and I will try it.

> I am not sure what you mean by "FLOSS won't work without some nonOSS".

For example gfxcard drivers, codecs.

> My previous DAW was an AMD 1000Mhz with 1.5 GB ram. This was adequate
> for mixing audio though it was definitely too weak for soft synths. I
> was able to use rosegarden to compose, qsynth (it plays sound fonts, but
> if you have an emu10k synth on your sound card you can get it to
> render sound fonts instead) and other software synths, though generally
> only one track at a time. Realtime effects may not have been the best
> with that rig, but they sucked in Cubase as well.

Yes, my 19" effects are better than any computer effect I have but VST
on the OS of its origin needs less resources than LADSPA/DSSI. I don't
know if LV2 is better.

> For EQ'ing and other work, I would do it one track at a time and record
> the output to disk. This was to conserve resources and mimicked my
> Cubase work-flow.

In the past I recorded 3-track-cassette-tape (4th track at the beginning
for sync by click and later by SMPTE) and MIDI-equipment to DAT and I
copied this back to 2 cassette tracks and played instruments or sung on
the other tracks and than mastered the song again on DAT. It's possible
to get a very professional result working like this but you need a lot
of luck. I won't work like this again, with Cubase there is no need to
do this for me but I won't make music with Windows or Mac.

The question should be what hardware do I need and what can I get. Maybe
I should do HD-recording with Linux and sync my Atari ST by MTC with
Linux, but therefore I have to spend also money into my Atari.

> I also suspect that you and I mean different things when we use the word
> "stable". There is a reason I use Linux on mission critical servers as
> well my home server. Direct purchase cost was not a factor for either
> of these.

A server isn't a desktop computer, the preferences of Linux as multi
user system won't help for real time scheduling this is the problem
with Linux, resp. the scheduling in the kernels changed, become better
for multimedia desktop needs.

> You are not forced to use it. You choose to use it based on a set of
> criteria of your making. There are other lightwieght alternatives to
> choose from if ion is not to your liking.
> Having said that, I run KDE just fine on a P3 866Mhz laptop with 512

KDE isn't KDE, I run KDE/KWin with 256MB on my Athlon 898MHz but the KDE
I'm using now, not to make music with, based on the WM KWin won't run
comfortable with 256MB. A KDE coming with Mepis will be much smaller by
default than a KDE coming with Linux. Some people are using KDE without
KWin. Having 1280MB RAM I can use a Mozilla Browser on KDE/KWin with 100
Add-ons if I like to but I don't think I can run kino or rosegarden.

A blown up DE can make problems. I'm using
with KDE on my Suse 10.3, installing a video application can produce
chaos. Sometimes 2 different codec packages will do the same but
together they are like a bug.

> | To sum up:
> |
> | Linux is for free, Linux is open source, Linux isn't a corporation
> | acting criminal in opposition to Apple and Microsoft, they're highly
> | criminal, if you will download something from Apple you have to agree
> | to hate Serbian, Iraki etc. but Linux is hard to use, it's less
> | expensive to buy Cubase than it's to get hardware working with Linux
> | as a DA(V)W.
> I strongly disagree with you here. I strongly urge you to check out
> Aaron Seigo's perspective on this (he is a KDE developer). I believe
> what you mean to say is that your skills acquired on other platforms
> does not always translate well to a Linux (or for that matter BSD)
> desktop.

I'm from C64 and Atari, know the QL scene and computers like that. I'm
not from Windows and MacOS but I also worked with those operating
systems. I never had to reconvert from Windows to Linux. I'm not one of
those people. But I have been a coder for assembler and I have to
reconvert to C documentations, 'the' UNIX language I hate. And here we
are at the way Linux wastes resources. C is a very problematic language
but maybe Assembler won't be better with multitasking machines.

I have no problems with KDE, E17, XFce, Fluxbox etc., I run angry if
Linux needs newest hardware. One thing I like on 64studio is the way ATA
is handled. Suse changed a kernel module, all people buying new
computers are happy with their SATAs and people like me can't use the
mouse or keyboard while IDE-Drives are working, doing this will freeze
the keyboard and mouse. I'm not sure if a monitor problem I have with
64studio hasn't to do with the fact, that my gfxcard is a AGP.

At the moment Linux, Microsoft and Apple are following a bizarre
hardware hype, resp. Apple is bizarre with this in general. In some
years people will claim that ATA isn't fast enough to do HD recording.

> Ubuntu for example installs more easily than Windows XP (hardware is
> better supported out of the box). After the install a base set of
> applications are already to go. My 65 year old dad was able to install
> Ubuntu (and we are talking about one of their early releases, not the
> latest one). He has yet to successfully install any version of Windows,
> and he has tried every version since 3.1 with the exception of MCE and
> Vista.
> Linux is not Windows nor is it OSX. Mimicking the crappy state of
> computer interfaces is not the right answer.

As I have written above, I'm not from Windows or MacOS and the kind of
scheduling is good for multi user use isn't it for a multimedia desktop
client. By the way Vista and MacOSX aren't good but some older Windows
and MacOS have qualities to schedule tasks that a multimedia Linux will
need. I won't isolate this to the kernel. I don't now what DSSI will do
if I use 1 fluidsynth and what if I use 10 and I don't know what VST
will Du if I use one HALion or 10.

> I am not saying that there is still no room from improvement, but
> especially in the audio realm there is utility ready for use _today_.

It's possible to make music with Linux, it's possible to do it with my
hardware but it's not satisfying me until now, resp. I have to wait how
working with the rc1 will be. If I play a wave the wave sounds like it
should sound with the rc1 other Linux will sound like there will be a
towel hanging over the speakers.

Daniel James wrote:
> Hi Ralf,
>> 1. Linux needs more resources, much, much more.
> I don't think you're comparing like with like. If you run real-time
> mastering plugins on Windows then you will find they are quite CPU
> intensive. For example, Waves recommends a minimum of Pentium 4 2.8GHz
> and 2GB RAM on Vista to run its Masters bundle:
> http://www.wavesupport.net/content.aspx?id=3932

I don't know if my XP-MCE is a normal XP-MCE or a XP-Prof, it is from a
very special source but what I compared are possibilities to make a pop
song out of the box. With Cubase I don't need special mastering tools
because I can control EQs and any kind of effect without overloading the
cpu. With Linux ... I will stop it here .

I need better hardware for Linux and I will work on this.
Bit by bit a function Cubase has got will be wrapped into Linux. Compare
Rosegarden from Woody and Etch with Cubase.

It can't take a long time and I get the hardware I need from bulky
rubbish if I will have not enough money. I be confident with this.

> Ardour supports SMPTE timecode.

That's good but since Linux has any time code like MTC this isn't my
main care. What I wish to have is the possibility to fix sound fx to
video events while making the music faster or slower, somehow it will be
solved without such a function and it will be ok for my home recording
but not if I ever will work again.

>> Until now I only know JAMin as a good compressor for Linux but I
>> can't use it, because of my bare resources.
> To do mastering properly you need a well-tuned listening room and a
> good pair of monitors. The cost of these combined is far greater than
> a processor/motherboard upgrade. Otherwise, you may be better off to
> pay someone to do your mastering for you.

I haven't a well-tuned listening room, I haven't a good pair of monitors
and even if I have tricks to ignore that or not a compressor is needed,
if you've got a optimal room and equipment you don't need all the time a
compressor if you do a good job with EQs. I don't need a compressor as
good as JAMin but one that's better than the two LADSPS I found. I think
I can buy a cpu/mobo for something around 100,-EUR but I still need ATA,
AGP and perhaps new RAM, no fault by Linux but a capitalistic trick that
mobos comes without ATA and AGP.

>> long time for top studio equipment manufactories like Brauner
>> Microphones
> You couldn't get us a free sample, could you? :-)

I'm not a friend of Dirk any more but to answer this seriously, Dirk
Brauner and maybe other companies maybe Neumann will let you test stereo
pairs and you can bet that some people just need them for a recording
and won't buy them. In the past Dirk barters mics if people had
something he needs. I have a cheap and nasty dynamic microphone myself.
I'm able to build a microphone but a single large diaphragm, case etc.
is much to expensive.

>> and never heard about good quality studios using Linux.
> It's a recent phenomenon, and for the most part they will be using
> Linux in embedded systems, like the Korg Oasys.

I know Linux just with low equipment, maybe with the Yamaha AW 4416.
Linux did good work in technical equipment like satellite receivers,
measuring devices etc. but the industry is changing to Microsoft. I know
this from a friend also no friend any more from Dirk Brauner, who now
works as a technician for measuring devices. But in this case it's not
because Linux isn't fine, it's near to something like a conspiracy.

>> I expectantly wait for lv2, all my applications are using LADSPA/DSSI.
> I think LV2's plugin GUIs and internationalisation support will be
> very cool indeed.

I don't know, with this I refer to unverified informations.

>> With Linux I have to use Ion, a frame based WM, I like it but I don't
>> like that I'm forced to use it.
> Try Fluxbox or XFCE instead.

Fluxbox won't help enough I tried this. XFce seems to need less
resources, I made a note of this and Joe's WM but maybe they are like
Fluxbox. If you make a video of a Linux with recordmydesktop you'll see
the difference between the frame based Ion and other WMs. I think Ion
will help to make music with my hardware.

>> it's less expensive to buy Cubase than it's to get hardware working
>> with Linux as a DA(V)W.
> That depends on how lucky you are with the hardware you already have.
> A lot of PCs work pretty well out of the box with 64 Studio.
> For me personally, cost isn't the issue. I could have bought ProTools
> HD or Nuendo and a load of expensive outboard gear for my own studio
> with the money I've invested in the 64 Studio distro. What I dislike
> about proprietary software is being held over a barrel by the vendor,
> and the fact that many of the people who could benefit most from the
> software don't have access to it.
> This is especially true of musicians, who are probably the worst paid
> members of the creative community. Even when they can make a decent
> income, it doesn't last. That's why there are so many reunion bands
> around these days, churning out old hits. As a teenager I loved the
> Pixies, but by the time of their Trompe Le Monde tour in about 91/92
> they were obviously bored on stage. I was dismayed to find out that
> they reformed just for the money, but I can't entirely blame them for
> doing it.

Gifted people maybe have more success if they find a profession they are
less gifted in, but you're right it's easier to sell paintings than
music. If there is the need to do a weak job you will earn the same
money for adding sound to a vacation video or for painting a less good
caricature, converted to the time you worked it won't really be the same

>> Linux is the better OS but Linux isn't state of the art as a all
>> round tool for artworks
> We're working on that all round tool :-) As for state of the art, a
> lot of the programs that people talk about on proprietary platforms
> are actually pretty old in design. I mean, Reason is just an emulation
> of a 1980's hardware rack. Most of the DAW's are based around concepts
> which are just as old.
> I've seen nothing on Windows or OS X to match the art being made by
> live coders with distros like pure:dyne...
> https://devel.goto10.org/puredyne

I know dyne:bolic from the year 2006. pure:dyne is new to me.

I have been on ardour.org some hours ago and havn't seen 3.0 and at the
moment I can't ping www.ardour.org .

My todo list:

- get ardour
- look if cinelerra is in the backport repository again
- not to write to much about operating systems


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