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Any of you running a Linux studio? DAW Software
Old 14th November 2018
  #1
Lives for gear
Any of you running a Linux studio?

I want to ween myself away from Mac because of the ridiculous pricing and decreasing user serviceability.

I hate Windows with a passion since I am constantly fixing my parent's Windows computer and find them unintuitive and terrible in terms of privacy.

I have no problems with macOS. It's great. It's just the hardware side that troubles me in the longterm.
Old 15th November 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 
Neve's Avatar
I love Unix in general, I studied computer science on it, and I like Linux very much. That being said, I wouldn’t run a Linux studio, ever.

And you are right, Apple has become greedier than ever and even on the so called high-end machine the hardware is way outdated for the money. Not to mention the close to zero serviceability.

You might want to look at other alternatives to running MacOS other than on Apple hardware. I know I did and never regretted it.

Hope this helps
Old 15th November 2018
  #3
Lives for gear
Probably better to post this in the Music & Computers forum, but if it's just you, as a hobby, I say giver. If you're doing this commercially, having an industry standard DAW platform is the cost of doing business.
Old 15th November 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neve View Post
I love Unix in general, I studied computer science on it, and I like Linux very much. That being said, I wouldn’t run a Linux studio, ever.

And you are right, Apple has become greedier than ever and even on the so called high-end machine the hardware is way outdated for the money. Not to mention the close to zero serviceability.

You might want to look at other alternatives to running MacOS other than on Apple hardware. I know I did and never regretted it.

Hope this helps
So I assume your talking Hackintosh. Do you find those reasonable for any length of time? At one time they required so much hand-holding to keep functioning it wasn't worth the time sink they could become. Got some up to date tips?
Old 15th November 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Poinzy's Avatar
 

I've never considered using Linux for anything. I switched from Mac OS to Windows when the Apple hardware finally became too expensive for me.
Old 15th November 2018
  #6
Gear Head
 
Neve's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
So I assume your talking Hackintosh. Do you find those reasonable for any length of time? At one time they required so much hand-holding to keep functioning it wasn't worth the time sink they could become. Got some up to date tips?
Yes I am. And honestly these are just awesome machines if you put them together correctly. Which is pretty simple. You have forums and lots of tutorials on the Net.

Apart from buying the correct parts, it took me less than an hour to have my machine assembled and up and running flawlessly. It’s been over a year now, and it’s still running like a charm.

You should check Rick Beato’s YouTube video on this. That video got me hooked. I never regretted it.

YouTube
Old 15th November 2018
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neve View Post
I love Unix in general, I studied computer science on it, and I like Linux very much. That being said, I wouldn’t run a Linux studio, ever.

And you are right, Apple has become greedier than ever and even on the so called high-end machine the hardware is way outdated for the money. Not to mention the close to zero serviceability.

You might want to look at other alternatives to running MacOS other than on Apple hardware. I know I did and never regretted it.

Hope this helps
Yeah...what Neve says.

I've been following Linux since 2000. Linux (and Unix) are interesting, and there's more and more you can do with Linux each year. But that's just it--it may take years before it's ready as a DAW platform. Until then, you're on your own if you need support--or full-featured Linux audio software.

I'm setting up a machine with Linux now, and between having to add a Wi-Fi adapter manually (ThankYouVeryLittle, Linux Mint 19) to trying to get a decent, full-featured DAW--and any Linux VST that isn't still in beta--in Ubuntu Studio, it's just too much work. And I'm a computer consultant who's used Linux on and off for 19 years.

If you want to run your studio on Linux, you can easily do that with LibreOffice and some free scheduling and bookkeeping apps. But for real audio production, Linux is a lot of work--and time you spend trying to get it to work (and waiting for responses in forums) is time you're not billing clients.

And of course, using a Linux DAW (if you can find one you like) with Linux VSTs (or with Windows-based VSTs running under WINE) will almost certainly keep you from being able to swap files with other studios or load projects your clients bring to your studio.

Steve
Old 15th November 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowsOfLife View Post
I'm setting up a machine with Linux now, and between having to add a Wi-Fi adapter manually (ThankYouVeryLittle, Linux Mint 19) to trying to get a decent, full-featured DAW--and any Linux VST that isn't still in beta--in Ubuntu Studio, it's just too much work. And I'm a computer consultant who's used Linux on and off for 19 years.
I might buy a cheap laptop and put Reaper on it. I'll miss most of my plugins, but it might force me to be more creative and use the stock plugins and real hardware.
Old 15th November 2018
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
I might buy a cheap laptop and put Reaper on it. I'll miss most of my plugins, but it might force me to be more creative and use the stock plugins and real hardware.
Reaper on Linux? If that's what you're talking about, you might want to consider this (from Reaper's site): "Linux builds are experimental and unsupported. Please read the included readme.txt for more information."

Missing some of your favorite effects isn't too big a deal (and the ones bundled with Reaper are fine), but missing some of your favorite instruments may be a deal breaker.

Steve
Old 15th November 2018
  #10
Lives for gear
 
MickeyMassacre's Avatar
Isn’t Harrison Mixbus Linux supported?
Old 15th November 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyMassacre View Post
Isn’t Harrison Mixbus Linux supported?
Yup, it's built on Ardour, which has been around forever, and had some stability issues initially.

The big kicker is the lack of VST support on Linux. There are workarounds, but I don't know how stable they are. Plugin developers are coming around to cross-platform, but still not where it needs to be.

If you're at all serious about your studio, I don't think you'd want to give up on on Windows or Mac.
Old 15th November 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowsOfLife View Post
Yeah...what Neve says.

I've been following Linux since 2000. Linux (and Unix) are interesting, and there's more and more you can do with Linux each year. But that's just it--it may take years before it's ready as a DAW platform. Until then, you're on your own if you need support--or full-featured Linux audio software.

I'm setting up a machine with Linux now, and between having to add a Wi-Fi adapter manually (ThankYouVeryLittle, Linux Mint 19) to trying to get a decent, full-featured DAW--and any Linux VST that isn't still in beta--in Ubuntu Studio, it's just too much work. And I'm a computer consultant who's used Linux on and off for 19 years.

If you want to run your studio on Linux, you can easily do that with LibreOffice and some free scheduling and bookkeeping apps. But for real audio production, Linux is a lot of work--and time you spend trying to get it to work (and waiting for responses in forums) is time you're not billing clients.

And of course, using a Linux DAW (if you can find one you like) with Linux VSTs (or with Windows-based VSTs running under WINE) will almost certainly keep you from being able to swap files with other studios or load projects your clients bring to your studio.

Steve
Yup, basically the old running Slashdot joke, "20xx is the year of desktop linux!" has never come to fruition.

Linux is everywhere embedded and on the server-side, but on the desktop... I built an extremely locked down kiosk machine for a hospital with a read-only filesystem that's still running. Last I checked the uptime was over 800 days
Old 15th November 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Poinzy's Avatar
 

Client: "So, do you use Pro Tools?"
Engineer: "No, I use Linux OS, so I can't use Pro Tools. But I use a DAW that's JUST AS GOOD as Pro Tools! The guys on the Linux support forum say so."
Client: "Oh."
Old 15th November 2018
  #14
If you hate Windows, then just bite the bullet and stick with a Mac. Sure they can be a tad expensive, but within the overall cost of a studio it is almost nothing, and most Macs tend to have a good lifespan (at least that has been my experience) and minimal technical headaches.

Like it or not, they are the standard in most pro studios for good reason.
Old 15th November 2018
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poinzy View Post
Client: "So, do you use Pro Tools?"
Engineer: "No, I use Linux OS, so I can't use Pro Tools. But I use a DAW that's JUST AS GOOD as Pro Tools! The guys on the Linux support forum say so."
Client: "Oh."
Me: What DAW are you using, brah?

Them: Ehhh, Pro-Tools, of coursh!

Me:
Old 15th November 2018
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Poinzy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goom View Post
Me: What DAW are you using, brah?

Them: Ehhh, Pro-Tools, of coursh!

Me:
Bravely spoken.
Old 15th November 2018
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poinzy View Post
Client: "So, do you use Pro Tools?"
Engineer: "No, I use Linux OS, so I can't use Pro Tools. But I use a DAW that's JUST AS GOOD as Pro Tools! The guys on the Linux support forum say so."
Client: "Oh."
Ha! Yep, that sounds about right. They also said that if the DAW I have doesn't do something Pro Tools does, I didn't need that feature anyway.

Linux can do quite a bit. But even installing some things is difficult because there are two or three different ways to install something--and only one is moderately intuitive. And getting stuff to run through WINE isn't as easy as they make it sound. Besides, you shouldn't have to use a Windows "emulator" (of sorts) to get stuff to run under Linux. Timing-sensitive apps (like DAWs and plug-ins) shouldn't need another layer of software between them and the CPU.

And good luck finding drives for your audio interface and video card.

The whole thing reminds me of jokes Eddie Murphy used to do as part of his routine in the late '80s. He said his mother wouldn't let him spend money to get a McDonald's Big Mac. She'd make one that was "just as good"--only it wasn't. So Eddie had to stand with his friends who all had Big Macs, and he's standing there with a home-made mess of a hamburger. (It's...well, it's funnier when he tells it compared to when I paraphrase it some 30 years later.)

I hope Linux continues to grow and mature. I'm not convinced it's ready for DAW use yet, but I hope it is someday soon.

Steve
Old 16th November 2018
  #18
Here for the gear
 

I use a Linux partition on my Windows laptop for coding and have actually tried out Ardour. Haven't delved too deep but I like having a DAW accessible when I'm on my Ubuntu partition. That being said I think there would be only disadvantages to an exclusively Linux run recording computer. I think the key to being happy with Windows is buying a higher-end computer with minimal bloatware. It seems everyone I know that hates their Windows PC has a cheap laptop with junk hardware and a ton of bloatware. I use a Lenovo ThinkPad P50 laptop and couldn't be happier with it.
Old 19th November 2018
  #19
I learned Linux pretty early on and love a lot of modern distros but it's a harder road to take for sure if you want to make music. I completed some recordings in Ubuntu Studio about 10 years ago using Jack and Ardour but you really do have to work hard for it. I was still running an Ubuntu Studio distro until last year but mainly used it for general internet duties.

For music I prefer using Windows 7 with an older version of Pro Tools and Reason. I run it on a HP Z220 workstation which is a beast of a machine that had just come of warranty so was a steal S/H. I also use Reaper quite a bit and there are loads of free VSTs out there you can use. Harrison Mixbus is a solid option though.

You can also use older Macs (cheese graters offer a lot of bang for the buck) and older versions of the recording software and get a stable and powerful platform. You just have to give up on the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses upgrading cycles and be happy with a static but stable system.

Last edited by wildschwein; 19th November 2018 at 11:16 PM..
Old 19th November 2018
  #20
Lives for gear
 

They’ve been talking about Linux becoming a serious alternative to Mac OS and Windows in since before I was a teenager. Though I would welcome the option, at this rate it’s still just a tweaker’s platform...anyone that wants to use their existing software and generally not have to dick with every nuance of their computer all the time. Overall it doesn’t seem like it’s worth the hassle for audio...

As “greedy” as Apple is, at least Mac OS is “Free”...
Old 19th November 2018
  #21
Deleted 83f48a0
Guest
Linux is beloved by a certain type of person, because it offloads a lot of the stuff we expect a computer to do onto the operator. You spend a lot of time editing configuration files in a primitive interface designed to work on a computer from the 70s, which is crippled by the stipulation that it has to work with a keyboard that doesn't have dedicated cursor or arrow keys, etc. If you want to increase your non-music-making workload by a factor of about 20, you're in the right place.

Edit: and yes, it has had graphical interface options for years, and some of them are very nice. Still, you're basically trading your extra time spent configuring and troubleshooting for a flexibility under the hood that you'll likely never use.
Old 19th November 2018
  #22
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loopy's Avatar
 

Word on the street is 2019 is going to be the year of Linux!
Old 19th November 2018
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neve View Post
I love Unix in general, I studied computer science on it, and I like Linux very much. That being said, I wouldn’t run a Linux studio, ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poinzy View Post
I've never considered using Linux for anything.
Just out of curiosity, why?
Old 20th November 2018
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Just out of curiosity, why?
Would you recommend Linux on a DAW to use in an environment where, if something isn't working, you're not making money?

I'm not trying to "challenge" you or anything. I know you know DAW computers and what works best for them. I'm just curious as to whether or not you'd trust a Linux machine as the sole DAW in your studio, especially for someone who may not be comfortable editing text files via command-line files or may need to share DAW projects (along with synth and effect presets) with clients who may use Pro Tools, Cubase or something else.

Again, I'm not trying to "challenge" you. And I really want Linux to succeed. But we rarely get the chance to pick the brains of a note DAW designer, so I don't want to waste this opportunity!

Steve
Old 20th November 2018
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowsOfLife View Post
Would you recommend Linux on a DAW to use in an environment where, if something isn't working, you're not making money?

I'm not trying to "challenge" you or anything. I know you know DAW computers and what works best for them. I'm just curious as to whether or not you'd trust a Linux machine as the sole DAW in your studio, especially for someone who may not be comfortable editing text files via command-line files or may need to share DAW projects (along with synth and effect presets) with clients who may use Pro Tools, Cubase or something else.

Again, I'm not trying to "challenge" you. And I really want Linux to succeed. But we rarely get the chance to pick the brains of a note DAW designer, so I don't want to waste this opportunity!

Steve
Ha, I don't feel challenged. We sell 99% Windows based DAWs, the Linux boxes we do are all for research, deep learning and heavy computing, not for AV.
I find Linux interesting, so I just wanted to know if people had certain reasons not to use it, aside from the obvious fact that hardly any professional soft- or hardware is supported, let alone copy protection mechanisms.
The question would rather be: if industry standard vendors start offering their soft- and hardware for Linux (GUI based, not command line ), would it become an option for amateurs and professionals?
Old 20th November 2018
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Ha, I don't feel challenged. We sell 99% Windows based DAWs, the Linux boxes we do are all for research, deep learning and heavy computing, not for AV.
I find Linux interesting, so I just wanted to know if people had certain reasons not to use it, aside from the obvious fact that hardly any professional soft- or hardware is supported, let alone copy protection mechanisms.
The question would rather be: if industry standard vendors start offering their soft- and hardware for Linux (GUI based, not command line ), would it become an option for amateurs and professionals?
Ah, okay. I think we’re on the same page as to why we use Linux. I have a couple of distros I test—one for everyday use and one for DAW use. And I’m with you as to whether more people would use it if the bigger industry players started to offer *real*, practical versions of their products—with support to match.

Until that happens, “next year” will always be the year Linux takes over the desktop! (To their credit, Linux believers have stopped saying this. Even they realize how ridiculous it sounds.)

Steve
Old 20th November 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Ha, I don't feel challenged. We sell 99% Windows based DAWs, the Linux boxes we do are all for research, deep learning and heavy computing, not for AV.
I find Linux interesting, so I just wanted to know if people had certain reasons not to use it, aside from the obvious fact that hardly any professional soft- or hardware is supported, let alone copy protection mechanisms.
The question would rather be: if industry standard vendors start offering their soft- and hardware for Linux (GUI based, not command line ), would it become an option for amateurs and professionals?
Ah, okay. I think we’re on the same page as to why we use Linux. I have a couple of distros I test—one for everyday use and one for DAW use. And I’m with you as to whether more people would use it if the bigger industry players started to offer *real*, practical versions of their products—with support to match.

Until that happens, “next year” will always be “the year Linux takes over the desktop”! (To their credit, Linux believers have stopped saying this. Even they realize how ridiculous it sounds after more than two decades.)

Steve
Old 21st November 2018
  #28
Enter Open Source hardware:
Thelio - System76

HP offers pretty good support for Linux on some of their systems too.

But generally for music it's a tough road to take. Outside of Mixbus I'm thinking running Reaper in Linux might be the easiest thing to do. They have experimental native builds out there now:
REAPER | Download

Also great a great forum/community:
REAPER for Linux - Cockos Incorporated Forums

Not sure about the VST support though.

Last edited by wildschwein; 21st November 2018 at 10:29 AM..
Old 22nd November 2018
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildschwein View Post
Enter Open Source hardware:
Thelio - System76

HP offers pretty good support for Linux on some of their systems too.

But generally for music it's a tough road to take. Outside of Mixbus I'm thinking running Reaper in Linux might be the easiest thing to do. They have experimental native builds out there now:
REAPER | Download

Also great a great forum/community:
REAPER for Linux - Cockos Incorporated Forums

Not sure about the VST support though.
Reaper does, but they don't officially support the Linux builds. Outside of u-He, I don't know of any "major" VST developer who's made Linux versions of their VSTs--and I think it would take a relatively large VST developer to have the time and money to spend on developing and testing Linux builds.

Steinberg release the VST developer's kit for Linux more than 18 months ago. I hope others start working with it soon.

Steve
Old 22nd November 2018
  #30
Here for the gear
I've been running Linux/Ardour for years.

Great channel count, low latency, stable, inexpensive.

If anyone in the NYC area is ready to switch.... keep your MADI/Adat/Spdif ... converters ....

I will support you (20yrs linux experience, Ivy League MS in computer science).

Reach out.

It's ready for prime time.
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