Another IT/hobby-musician type

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Jamesf
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Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Jamesf » Wed May 29, 2019 8:34 am

Hi! I should probably introduce myself.

I'm a lifelong hobby-musician, with an IT background as a sysadmin, network engineer and programmer - my OS of choice these days is Nixos.
Musically, I play things with strings and pickups: electric guitar, electric bass and electric upright bass. Stylistically, I range from reggae through classic rock (a bit, anyway) to post-punk/gothic and on to swing jazz.
I'm mostly interested in home-studio recording and online collaboration, because my day-job and travel schedule make it hard to settle into a band.

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Wed May 29, 2019 10:56 am

Welcome! What's your DAW of choice? Or do you simply use Audacity for recording your music? Do you record your guitar directly via an audio interface or via a microphone that you place in front of your guitar amplifier/combo?

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milo
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby milo » Wed May 29, 2019 2:12 pm

Welcome to the forum! Post some of your recordings so we can hear what you do.

Nixos is pretty geeky. How do you like it for audio? Any advantages over the distros in Debian-and-its-Derivatives land?

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Michael Willis
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Michael Willis » Wed May 29, 2019 4:22 pm

Hi James!
Jamesf wrote:swing jazz... online collaboration

Oooh... Let me know if you want me to record a clarinet part. I played in school from the age of 10 to 17, then didn't really play for a couple of decades. I bought a nicer clarinet a couple years ago and started practicing again. More recently I've been playing small-band jazz with some coworkers at lunch time just for fun.

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bluebell
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby bluebell » Thu May 30, 2019 8:11 am

Welcome. I learned that many IT-guys are musicians as well – including me :)
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby rghvdberg » Thu May 30, 2019 1:25 pm

I'm a musician and IT hobbyist

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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Death » Thu May 30, 2019 1:42 pm

Welcome.

I'm an IT person too (not professionally), but only really as a byproduct of being a gamer for years. And now as a Linux user, it's pushing me to learn more than I ever intended. I'd love it if someone paid me for all the bloody troubleshooting I do.. :lol: Thinking about it, I'm guessing the majority of this forum are some form of computer engineers. Most Linux users seem to be well clued up!

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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Jamesf » Fri May 31, 2019 11:39 am

Linuxmusician01 wrote:Welcome! What's your DAW of choice? Or do you simply use Audacity for recording your music? Do you record your guitar directly via an audio interface or via a microphone that you place in front of your guitar amplifier/combo?

Ardour is my DAW of choice, though I'm contemplating Mixbus as a variant when I feel I'm proficient enough at mixing for that to make a difference.

All my recording is direct, apart from scratch vocals; the interface is a Mackie 2.2.
For guitar, I have an Atomic Amplifire; for bass, I mostly DI. That said, there are some great bass cab IRs, and the AA now has a good SVT emulation, so I also run the bass through that, then blend the direct and modified signals afterwards.
Then it occurred to me recently to check how guitars sound through the DI, and I liked the answer, so now I'm doing that with those as well.

For my next trick, I'll try re-amping DI tracks via the effects-return of the Amplifire. It's the oddest thing, but this corridor has all sorts of twist and turns, and there's a faint smell of rabbit...

Jamesf
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Jamesf » Fri May 31, 2019 11:52 am

milo wrote:Welcome to the forum! Post some of your recordings so we can hear what you do.

Nixos is pretty geeky. How do you like it for audio? Any advantages over the distros in Debian-and-its-Derivatives land?

I'll post 'em when I'm happy with them :)
But I will do that.

It works remarkably well for audio, though I'm looking forward to the update that breaks recompliation of the optimised kernel. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how complete the offering is.
As far as how it compares to the others, my user experience has been no different from what it was on Ubuntu - I'm using the same toolkit in the same way, just with a lot more effort involved in the initial system setup. So I can't either recommend it over the others or advise anybody to avoid it, on that basis.
That said, if you're not motivated enough to basically learn Unix all over again, and patiently figure out just exactly how you get this plugin here to find libgnutls-4.0.6, I will advise you to stick to something Debian-based.

Its appeal to me is as a sysadmin rather than as a musician; I got thoroughly fed up with manually managing packages, identifying and removing cruft, and discovering too late that I'd forgotten to copy some config file or setting to my latest machine (I've been doing this for 20 years or so). Puppet was promising, but doesn't go far enough, because it only controls the things you specifically tell it about, and it doesn't stop you manually changing things outside of that, which led to all sorts of hilarity in my dayjob. With Nixos, if you don't tell it that a package needs to be there, it's simply not there; de-crufting is as simple as dropping an include-file and running

Code: Select all

nixos-upgrade switch
.

Jamesf
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Jamesf » Fri May 31, 2019 11:55 am

Michael Willis wrote:Hi James!
Jamesf wrote:swing jazz... online collaboration

Oooh... Let me know if you want me to record a clarinet part. I played in school from the age of 10 to 17, then didn't really play for a couple of decades. I bought a nicer clarinet a couple years ago and started practicing again. More recently I've been playing small-band jazz with some coworkers at lunch time just for fun.

I might just take you up on that at some point. There's a song I've been working up to re-working in that vein, and a clarinet would go nicely.

That lunchtime band sounds like a lot of fun! Did it take much perseverance to get it going?

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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Count » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:51 pm

Hey there and welcome!

I'm similar - been an 'IT user' since my 48k Speccy MkII... (ah drifts off into warm 8-bit nostagia... :D ). And have been in a band and messing with music since I was a young teen.

However I'm no musician, was always just a bit of fun making noise. Now I am developing things a lot further and deeper (I shall be posting updates on my projects :) ) - and Linux has been a big part in enabling that journey! Away from Windows my productivity has soured!

I'm more of a high level non-technical technician. I am ITIL qualified and used to run a Service Desk in a big ferocious multi-national. Lol some people just couldn't fathom how I could support users on Windows XP when I was a Linux Mint user!

I'm looking forward to seeing/hearing some of your output, especially something live, sounds fun! We may be doing some live stuff, but it's non-collab, just streaming live practises over YT or FB.

How does a live collab work - because I love the sound of that! Do we all have a strong enough internet to do something like this? I guess a Discord server would be a way to go?

Ten years ago video conferencing was murder even when professionally delivered! Has technology advanced sufficient for a multi-colab? Like 3 live net parties or more?! :P

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bluebell
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby bluebell » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:48 am

Count wrote:I'm similar - been an 'IT user' since my 48k Speccy MkII... (ah drifts off into warm 8-bit nostagia... :D ). And have been in a band and messing with music since I was a young teen.


I had a Speccy, too, and soldered +32 kB RAM together with a programmable bank switch. I bought a MIDI interface from Jellinghaus (more expensive than the Speccy) and wrote dump programs for Yamaha DX7 and Roland S10 sampler. Archiving the S10 samples on cassette tape was much cheaper than the expensive Quick Disks.

I tried to write a sequencer but I couldn't find out how to get a variable time base / clock. Those were the days ...

Bluebell, ITIL certified (no joke) Linux musician
Linux – MOTU UltraLite AVB – Qtractor – https://soundcloud.com/suedwestlicht

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Michael Willis
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Michael Willis » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:27 pm

Jamesf wrote:That lunchtime band sounds like a lot of fun! Did it take much perseverance to get it going?

Sorry I didn't respond sooner... yes, it is a lot of fun. It took several conversations about who was interested in playing, scheduling, and what we want to work on. After months of trying, we've finally settled on playing from The Real Easy Book, and I feel like we're starting to get our groove on.

So far, we don't record at all, we're just playing for fun, but at least it gives me a way to practice. Let me know if you want to take up my offer to perform on the clarinet! It would be great fun to do a remote jazz collaboration.

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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby Count » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:46 pm

bluebell wrote:
Count wrote:I'm similar - been an 'IT user' since my 48k Speccy MkII... (ah drifts off into warm 8-bit nostagia... :D ). And have been in a band and messing with music since I was a young teen.


I had a Speccy, too, and soldered +32 kB RAM together with a programmable bank switch. I bought a MIDI interface from Jellinghaus (more expensive than the Speccy) and wrote dump programs for Yamaha DX7 and Roland S10 sampler. Archiving the S10 samples on cassette tape was much cheaper than the expensive Quick Disks.

I tried to write a sequencer but I couldn't find out how to get a variable time base / clock. Those were the days ...

Bluebell, ITIL certified (no joke) Linux musician


Sounds some heavy stuff! I was a bit restricted because the Speccy was such an expensive thing for us that peripherals were not really a goer. I was working all hours (as a paperboy!) just so I could go and spend £3:49 on an album on cassette!

I later discovered second hand shops, and picked up a Yamaha MSX computer/MIDI keyboard and had some fun with that, my Speccy and my Yamaha PSS-680 - though I was never able to successfully MIDI the Spectrum up. And the Yamaha and Speccy could never agree on how long 60 seconds was... I am guessing the Yamaha was more accurate?

...you couldn't find a variable time base/clock?

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bluebell
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Re: Another IT/hobby-musician type

Postby bluebell » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:09 pm

Count wrote:
bluebell wrote:
Count wrote:I'm similar - been an 'IT user' since my 48k Speccy MkII... (ah drifts off into warm 8-bit nostagia... :D ). And have been in a band and messing with music since I was a young teen.


I had a Speccy, too, and soldered +32 kB RAM together with a programmable bank switch. I bought a MIDI interface from Jellinghaus (more expensive than the Speccy) and wrote dump programs for Yamaha DX7 and Roland S10 sampler. Archiving the S10 samples on cassette tape was much cheaper than the expensive Quick Disks.

I tried to write a sequencer but I couldn't find out how to get a variable time base / clock. Those were the days ...

Bluebell, ITIL certified (no joke) Linux musician


Sounds some heavy stuff! I was a bit restricted because the Speccy was such an expensive thing for us that peripherals were not really a goer. I was working all hours (as a paperboy!) just so I could go and spend £3:49 on an album on cassette!

I later discovered second hand shops, and picked up a Yamaha MSX computer/MIDI keyboard and had some fun with that, my Speccy and my Yamaha PSS-680 - though I was never able to successfully MIDI the Spectrum up. And the Yamaha and Speccy could never agree on how long 60 seconds was... I am guessing the Yamaha was more accurate?

...you couldn't find a variable time base/clock?


I didn't know anything about writing interrupt routines but don't know if the 50 Hz timer was good enough. Long ago.
Linux – MOTU UltraLite AVB – Qtractor – https://soundcloud.com/suedwestlicht


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