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Old 08-18-2008, 08:24 PM
Hamish Low
 
Default trial and error

hi,

I've been trying to get a fully working setup for linux audio for a
really long time. Partly my delay was not having the right gear, I
spent 6 months trying to get one soundcard that wasn't supported (though
the list had said it was) working and then, with help I've been able to
get some sound out of my system now with a Presonus Firebox.

Still I have problems, partly I guess because I'm not a techie, but I've
been stubborn enough to keep trying all this time. Anyway the point I'm
at now is that I can boot up into the realtime kernel - I need to go
into a failsafe gnome session as then flgrx doesn't start up (it's
really greedy with processing power, but when I'm not making audio it is
very useful and looks great), and compiz-switch only turns off the
effects, it doesn't free up the processor.

I open the Ubuntu Studio Controls and enable raw 1394. What percentage
should I put the memory lock at?

I run a little start up script
> jackd -R -dfreebob

because for some reason I can't start the Firebox/freebob with
qjackctl. But after running the script I can start qjackctl and jack is
already running. I then start up some applications, they all appear in
the ALSA tab, nothing appears in the MIDI tab and sometimes the audio
ports are visible in the Audio tab and sometimes not, it seems random.
So sometimes I'm able to link the apps to my soundcard, and sometimes not.

I've been able to do a few things, link my midi keyboard to a synth to
jack rack and record it in Ardour. Record some guitar with a microphone.
But the whole system is so unstable that it's almost unusable. Every
2-5 minutes the system will crash.

Perhaps my whole system is not up to spec, i've got a laptop with 1 gb
RAM, and 1.7ghz M processor, it's a few years old but it should still be
kick-ass enough to run a stable system. It is 32-bit though and it
sounds like others are running more stable systems on 64-bit computers.
I'll get one when this laptop dies, but i hope that won't happen for
years and years to come.

Anyway I just want to make some sound. I've invested so much time and
money so far.
I really want to make music using these great open source apps and
contribute by raising linux audio's profile in the process.

What, if anything am I doing wrong and how can I have a fully stable
system on this laptop?
Is it even possible?
Should I switch back to Windows until Presonus help out the FFADO people?
Or until I can afford a new system...
It seems I spend all my time messing around with things trying to make
it work, making enough progress here and there to make it seem like I'm
getting somewhere when I'm not really getting any music made.

Anyway, I fully see the massive potential that linux audio has, far
beyond the limitations of proprietary software, and respect to the
people who are working on the applications.

Any advice appreciated.

Hamish








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Old 08-19-2008, 10:19 PM
Gustin Johnson
 
Default trial and error

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Hamish Low wrote:
> hi,
>
> I've been trying to get a fully working setup for linux audio for a
> really long time. Partly my delay was not having the right gear, I
> spent 6 months trying to get one soundcard that wasn't supported (though
> the list had said it was) working and then, with help I've been able to
> get some sound out of my system now with a Presonus Firebox.
>
> Still I have problems, partly I guess because I'm not a techie, but I've
> been stubborn enough to keep trying all this time. Anyway the point I'm
> at now is that I can boot up into the realtime kernel - I need to go
> into a failsafe gnome session as then flgrx doesn't start up (it's
> really greedy with processing power, but when I'm not making audio it is
> very useful and looks great), and compiz-switch only turns off the
> effects, it doesn't free up the processor.
>
> I open the Ubuntu Studio Controls and enable raw 1394. What percentage
> should I put the memory lock at?
>
> I run a little start up script
> > jackd -R -dfreebob
>
> because for some reason I can't start the Firebox/freebob with
> qjackctl. But after running the script I can start qjackctl and jack is
> already running. I then start up some applications, they all appear in
> the ALSA tab, nothing appears in the MIDI tab and sometimes the audio
> ports are visible in the Audio tab and sometimes not, it seems random.
> So sometimes I'm able to link the apps to my soundcard, and sometimes not.
>
> I've been able to do a few things, link my midi keyboard to a synth to
> jack rack and record it in Ardour. Record some guitar with a microphone.
> But the whole system is so unstable that it's almost unusable. Every
> 2-5 minutes the system will crash.
>
> Perhaps my whole system is not up to spec, i've got a laptop with 1 gb
> RAM, and 1.7ghz M processor, it's a few years old but it should still be
> kick-ass enough to run a stable system. It is 32-bit though and it
> sounds like others are running more stable systems on 64-bit computers.
> I'll get one when this laptop dies, but i hope that won't happen for
> years and years to come.
>
> Anyway I just want to make some sound. I've invested so much time and
> money so far.
> I really want to make music using these great open source apps and
> contribute by raising linux audio's profile in the process.
>
> What, if anything am I doing wrong and how can I have a fully stable

fglrx and ie1394. On my DAW I use neither.

> system on this laptop?

I have the fancy sound card (RME 9652 which is in a word simply awesome)
in a desktop machine. My laptop does some editing and mixing after the
fact and it is pretty stable but it does not have a very good audio
device. The latency is workable with a MIDI keyboard.

I would disable CPUfreq while doing audio work.

Since you already have the Presonus I guess replacing it is not an
option (I have yet to have success with FFADO/FreeBob). Disable network
manager. Keep an eye on running services (htop/atop are good for this).
Disable things that you don't need, such as apache and mysql (if you
have them running).

If possible do not use fglrx. I know it is pretty but what is more
important? For my DAW I use the plain 2d only ati driver.

> Is it even possible?
> Should I switch back to Windows until Presonus help out the FFADO people?

I would not wait for this.

> Or until I can afford a new system...

> It seems I spend all my time messing around with things trying to make
> it work, making enough progress here and there to make it seem like I'm
> getting somewhere when I'm not really getting any music made.

Reminds me of Cubase SX and Win2k/XP. This experience is what drove me
to a FLOSS solution. Think of it as an investment.

> Anyway, I fully see the massive potential that linux audio has, far
> beyond the limitations of proprietary software, and respect to the
> people who are working on the applications.
>
> Any advice appreciated.
>
> Hamish
>
Hth,
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