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Is Anybody Else Running Linux? Audio Interfaces
Old 29th July 2016
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jtienhaara's Avatar

Originally Posted by loopy View Post
If your hardware works and you can work within the Linux ecosystem, using something like Harrison Mixbus as a gigantic tape machine might work fine.
Do you mean as a giant mixing console?

A tape machine is a rather different beast than Harrison Mixbus. Yes, it can record and playback. But those are not its focal points.

If you did mean as a tape machine, then please do expound.
Old 29th July 2016
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loopy's Avatar

Originally Posted by jtienhaara View Post
Do you mean as a giant mixing console?

A tape machine is a rather different beast than Harrison Mixbus. Yes, it can record and playback. But those are not its focal points.

If you did mean as a tape machine, then please do expound.
Well both actually.
Some people use a DAW (doesn't matter what program or platform) like a tape machine / console. IOW they hit record and let it go. They aren't playing around with drawing in MIDI notes, looping, cut and pasting to create a song other than the usual picking parts from different takes.

I work like that in fact.
For me, it's easier and faster to just play a part again or overdub a section than to sit with an eraser tool editing out and adjusting things.
For the kind of music I record, old school jazz, pop, Broadway etc this works well. I am usually recording real instruments or VSTi of real instruments.
For something like EDM it probably wouldn't be a good workflow.
Old 29th July 2016
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jtienhaara's Avatar

Gotcha. I just see things ever so slightly differently: to me a typical DAW has 3 main aspects, not just 2 (ignoring plugins):

1. Tape
2. Editing
3. Mixing

Many DAWs do all 3. Harrison is focused on #3 . Not #1 . Though the underlying Ardour does all of them, Harrison has specifically augmented the mixing component of the system.

I have no use for ITB mixing. So as much as I would like to support a company that puts out commercial audio software on Linux, I don't see any need to use it.

I can see compelling reasons for some folks to use bare bones Ardour as a tape machine, even though it's not for me. But I can only imagine using Harrison MixBus if you want the extra mixing jazz they pile on top of Ardour.

For me one important facet is which side of the philosophical prism one prefers to look through: Go with the all-in-one monolithic solution that has everything in one place (like most contemporary DAWs)? Or go with small, modular components that do their jobs very well, never crash, never corrupt data, and rarely need to be upgraded?

Incidentally I use my DAW basically the same way you do: as a tape machine (though not as a mixer).

Different strokes for different folks!

Cheers loopy,

Old 30th July 2016
Update: So, thanks for the replies. I'm the guy who started the thread.

July 2016 and I'm still happily using Ubuntu Studio v16.04 LTS (long-term supported).
I use the copy-protected payware VSTi's: (I registered and payed for them)

Poise (One Small Clue) - drum sampler
Surge (Vember) - wavetable/virtual analog synth
Toxic Biohazard (Image-Line) - additive/subtractive/FM synth
Harmor (Image-Line) - complex additive/subtractive FFT synth
PsyBOX (Boris Kovalev) - granular/wavetable synth

These are all 32-bit Windows VST instruments run in 32-bit Wine (used to run Windows software within Linux).

I use about 100 freeware VST instruments and effects.
64-bit Linux stuff is available, but as it turns out, for Wine, until 32-bit support is gracefully discontinued, 32-bit Wine is supposedly more stable than the 64-bit version. I never run out of RAM, either way, so I'm not worried about it. And the 32-bit versions of Ubuntu these days have PAE enabled anyhow, so the 4 GB ceiling isn't 100% firm.

I don't experience buffer runs, ever. Unless I try to run the bloated FL Studio demos in FL Studio... also installed as paid for/registered payware.
FL Studio doesn't run at full power, however, due to correspondence-confirmed zero support from Image-Line. It's amazing that it works at all in some ways.
I mostly use to create patterns and render them to 32-bit WAV stems.

For my main DAW, I use 32-bit Windows REAPER v5.x (paid for/registered). It's pretty great and the reason why I haven't dabbled with Ardour or LMMS or anything else like that. But there is some increased Windows VST support in Linux, via FeSTige (available in AV Linux/KX Studio... now combined forces), and some other ways I don't yet know much about. I am comfortable with REAPER for now. I don't record audio much; I mostly use VST instruments and MIDI and render them to 32-bit stereo stems. I work at 48 kHz.

I use an Alesis USB Class Compliant MIDI Controller keyboard, and an Alesis USB Class Compliant audio interface/powered monitors. I also use a TASCAM field recorder via USB.

Overall, everything is fine. It turns out that it's easier to work with PulseAudio once you set the latency lower in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf and perhaps do some other typical system tweaks very similar to Windows DAW tweaking. I don't even use JACK. For REAPER I use the WASAPI settings.

Occasionally I still use 32-bit Windows EnergyXT beta3 also. It's nice for handling REX files and WAV loops.

It's really not a masochistic experience.

I don't even have internet access to my DAW, but I learned how to do offline installs via my laptop computer from a YouTube video.
Most of the support I get is from Ubuntu Forums, although I tried AV Linux 3.11 and it's decent too and they have a forum too.

I'm just saying all this stuff so that people perhaps realise that it's not all futile all the time anymore.
Word hasn't spread much about this stuff yet though.

For actual native Linux stuff, I'm mainly benefitting from smoothness of the operating system and interface and for non-audio tasks such as video editing, image editing, text editing, media playback, archiving, maintennance, and web browsing. I use a few other Windows programs in Linux though because I like them (AVIdeMux, PhotoFiltre7, Foobar2000, etc).

On the Ubuntu Forums, I try to provide support and spread the word on how to configure PulseAudio to actually work without huge latency. I want to talk to the developers into setting the PulseAudio defaults to be what works much better. They are set by default to 80 milliseconds if I remember correctly, but I set mine to 8 milliseconds. That way, more people could run stuff out of the box without having to hunt for support.

There are still people running WineASIO and WineRT supposedly, but I the main person who I know who knows how to do that is the guy who pretty much invented them

Anyways, thanks for the replies. It gives me a better idea of what context I've been in.
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