Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Discuss how to promote using FLOSS to make music.

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

User avatar
chaocrator
Establlshed Member
Posts: 293
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:11 pm
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Contact:

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby chaocrator » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:06 pm

well, it's very difficult to name particular reasons for using linux as a desktop platform for almost 20 years, and as an audio production platform for almost 18 years. (what software was available 18 years ago, you may wonder? ha! i was obsessed with csound!)

but after reading facebook, i realised that there's one thing that makes linux unbeatable and superior to proprietary platforms.

this is linux backup friendliness.

when one lives in linux ecosystem, it's quite easy to setup some old/weak box as a headless file server, set up some hardlink-based backup software to prevent wasting space, add a cron job and almost forget about it. A LOT easier than on any other platform.

this year about 5 or 6 of my facebook friends lost their data when their drives failed (or laptops were stolen). some of them had lost years of human-hours, and had no backups. all of them are creative people (musicians, photographers, etc), living in proprietary ecosystems due to extensive use of proprietary software. if they were in linux ecosystem, their chances of having backups might be significantly higher.

User avatar
sysrqer
Establlshed Member
Posts: 1439
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby sysrqer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:12 pm

chaocrator wrote:
this year about 5 or 6 of my facebook friends lost their data when their drives failed (or laptops were stolen). some of them had lost years of human-hours, and had no backups. all of them are creative people (musicians, photographers, etc), living in proprietary ecosystems due to extensive use of proprietary software. if they were in linux ecosystem, their chances of having backups might be significantly higher.

I'm not sure about that, even though it probably is easier it seems a bit like confirmation bias. There are plenty of ways to do similar things in Windows if you're not very tech savvy then it doesn't matter which OS you're using, which is often the kind of person who loses data. I don't really see how propriety ecosystem changes this.

User avatar
English Guy
Establlshed Member
Posts: 419
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:28 pm
Location: England

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby English Guy » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:51 pm

Late to the discussion, but I am not sure I could do what I do in another operating system so easily:
1) I control the installation to give me a lightweight environment, choosing Debian and Xfce.
2)I use a high performance custom kernel (Liquorix)
3) I use the KXStudio repositories to create an ecosystem of cross connected applications for music.
4) I perform various optimisations such as tweaking the CPU governor and allowing apps real time access.
5) All of the above comes free of charge except my time, which is less than a days work, probably less than an evening.
6) The above leaves out the general benefits of Linux such as not having anti virus software interfering with tasks and the ease of updating a system using apt.

I own Harrison Mixbus and can use it on Windows or Linux. My two machines have similar specs. Using it on Linux is a no brainer: better performance, more stable platform, no interruptions eg popups from software.

The only benefit I can see for Windows is commercial software not done for Linux.

I cannot comment on Apple as I have never owned a mac.

User avatar
42low
Establlshed Member
Posts: 1593
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:31 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby 42low » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:25 pm

English Guy wrote:The only benefit I can see for Windows is commercial software not done for Linux.


But that will soon change, As MS has "embraced opensource". :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Doesn't it?

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=18599

User avatar
CrocoDuck
Establlshed Member
Posts: 870
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby CrocoDuck » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:25 am

English Guy wrote:I cannot comment on Apple as I have never owned a mac.


I use a Mac for my everyday job as an acoustic engineer. Not for properly musical stuff, but I wrote some code to do measurements by using sound cards.

I am using Mac OS El Capitan. Often Mac OS is praised to be easy to use, and it certainly is. I don't think it is convenient to use. I might expand on this more if you want, but I will concentrate on the audio part now.

The audio stack of Mac OS, Core Audio, is quite clean and simple, I think it is more stable than ALSA + JACK when the system has also additional load (like doing whatever else in addition to audio). However, a properly tuned Linux system can reach the same stability with slightly lower latency, especially if without additional load on the system. For specific audio tasks, I prefer to use a tuned Linux machine. This is what I ended up doing when I needed computers set to provide a very reliable data acquisition.

As long as music is concerned, Mac OS will be working alright out of the box and have a decent pool of audio software one can use. But as a long time Linux user I don't see any advantage, since with just some tuning I can get the same on Linux, which I overall prefer in every other aspect by which we can judge an OS.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

User avatar
loxstep
Establlshed Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:40 am

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby loxstep » Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:40 pm

tavasti wrote:
loxstep wrote:Considering that some of the best recordings in history were made using inferior technology, compared to today, I'd say it comes down to skills.

None of those 'best recordings' would be any hit today, but they would be considered 'some garage recording'. Personally, I don't listen any pre-80's because sounds are so muddy.


I used to think that too. My dad would play me rock music from the 60s. It always sounded so dark and muddy.
But I don't think that was the technology.

Here, listen to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3W_alUuFkA

Flamenco Sketches, off Kind of Blue. That album was recorded in the late 50s, and it sounds crystal clear to me.
Granted, you're hearing a modern remaster. That helps. But the source still comes from reel to reel tapes, made with equipment from the late 50s.

I'm not sure how this album sounds so good, when other music from that time sounds muddy to me. Maybe it has to do with rock / pop production trends that jazz musicians avoided. If someone else knows why this is, can you please chime in?

I have a lot of music from the 60s and 70s, and the muddiness varies greatly. Some of that could be blamed on equipment. But I have a hunch that a lot of the muddiness was a product of the style, or the engineer's skill level.

jonetsu
Establlshed Member
Posts: 768
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby jonetsu » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:55 am

I'm not sure that the muddiness has to be regarded in a bad way necessarily.

tavasti
Establlshed Member
Posts: 436
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:56 am
Location: Kangasala, Finland
Contact:

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby tavasti » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:21 am

loxstep wrote:
tavasti wrote:
loxstep wrote:Considering that some of the best recordings in history were made using inferior technology, compared to today, I'd say it comes down to skills.

None of those 'best recordings' would be any hit today, but they would be considered 'some garage recording'. Personally, I don't listen any pre-80's because sounds are so muddy.


I used to think that too. My dad would play me rock music from the 60s. It always sounded so dark and muddy.
But I don't think that was the technology.

Here, listen to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3W_alUuFkA

Flamenco Sketches, off Kind of Blue. That album was recorded in the late 50s, and it sounds crystal clear to me.
Granted, you're hearing a modern remaster. That helps. But the source still comes from reel to reel tapes, made with equipment from the late 50s.

For my ears, it sounds muddy, specially piano, but sure, not specialist on that kind of music.

One possible explanation for older recording sounds: they are made for consumers, and typical consumer audio devices were something else we have today. Small mono transistor radio sounded different than anything today.
Linux veteran & Novice musician

User avatar
42low
Establlshed Member
Posts: 1593
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:31 pm
Location: Netherlands

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby 42low » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:43 pm

tavasti wrote:For my ears, it sounds muddy, specially piano, but sure, not specialist on that kind of music.


This i won't argue about. As it is a personal experience that's not to argue about.
I must say i more than sometimed experience the same.

tavasti wrote:One possible explanation for older recording sounds: they are made for consumers, and typical consumer audio devices were something else we have today. Small mono transistor radio sounded different than anything today.


But i don't believe the "older recordings" are the reason.
Don't underestimate the quality of gear tehe recorded on those days. Those tapes were of nowadays enough quality.
I even guess those tapes for start were better than cd quality.

Could be in the mastering though. "Enough mastering quality for consumers, as they don't hear the difference".
Exactly the same as we produce in high qualities, converting down the end result to cd or mp3 consumers quality.

glowrak guy
Establlshed Member
Posts: 1144
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:37 pm

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby glowrak guy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:10 pm

Music I listened to from '65/'75, I never considered lacking in production quality.
Same for more recent music, the question just doesn't come up. There isn't
much time to just listen to music, so if I do, it's the musical content
that drives the choice, nothing else. I use the memory of some '65/'75 content,
as the standard to aim for, and fortunately there is plenty of help to insure adequate
production quality. There's even a market for software that makes
modern sound quality take on aspects of older gear and standards.
If older, or older sounding, is preferable to anyone, more power to them.
Happiest when the songs transcend their mode of delivery.
Cheers

glowrak guy
Establlshed Member
Posts: 1144
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:37 pm

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby glowrak guy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:31 pm

In answer to the original question, linux allows me to modify and control
an environment that is efficient, and beautiful. Windows seems clunky,
less attractive, and is full of irritating workflows that perhaps could
be configured away, but even if I had the time, why would I bother?
With so few things to use win7 for, it's a quick chore, whereas working in
linux is an enduring pleasure, and every year, there are fewer chores,
and more pleasures. mi dos centavos...
Cheers

jonetsu
Establlshed Member
Posts: 768
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby jonetsu » Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:59 pm

It's straightforward easy in Linux, once you have the knowledge of the topic, to configure a system and to actually write down that config if a note file and in config files in plain text easy to read and maintain. In Windows, there can be a lot of menu navigation going on which is certainly not as comfortable to note down. And is also much more vulnerable to OS updates.

Cheers.

glowrak guy
Establlshed Member
Posts: 1144
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:37 pm

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby glowrak guy » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:21 am

jonetsu wrote:
And is also much more vulnerable to OS updates.
Cheers.

Those may have been updates in years past,
but now they seem more like ransom-ware attacks.
You didn't ask for it, you didn't want it, you didn't know it
'til it hit you, but
:twisted: you sure got it babeeeyyyyy, now awllllll ur data are belong to us! :twisted:

Frank Carvalho
Establlshed Member
Posts: 358
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:36 pm

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby Frank Carvalho » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:03 pm

The development of proprietary software has a tendency to introduce proprietary standards that are optimal to the proprietary product, and will lock you into the commercial ecosystem of the company behind the product.
I find that FOSS software developers do quite the opposite, collaborating on open standards and interoperabilitets of software, and in general complement each others products rather that shutting them out. Furthermore FOSS developers are much better at developing bridges to proprietary software and standards that proprietary software developers are at doing the opposite. Furthermore, with FOSS there is a very direct connection between user, bug and bug fix. With proprietary software the connection is obscure, and probably involver a costly upgrade with no explanation og the bug fix.
To me that means that FOSS makes 2+2=5 while proprietary software makes 2+2+$=4, and in my opinion it makes me feel a lot safer to use software where I may even have a direct line to the developers.

Frank
Vox, Selmer, Yamaha and Leslie amplifiers. Rickenbacker, Epiphone, Ibanez, Washburn, Segovia, Yamaha and Fender guitars. Hammond, Moog, Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Crumar, Ensoniq and Mellotron keyboards. Xubuntu+KXStudio recording setup.

jonetsu
Establlshed Member
Posts: 768
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby jonetsu » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:37 pm

Those are principles that in many cases do not apply in reality. Steinberg VST is certainly not promoting only Steinberg's interests for instance.

FOSS software developers can argue a lot at times and even take opposite directions, each with their own vision. So it's not that much different. There's collaboration, and divergence but then, companies are doing the same.

There's a good amount of direct communication between users and companies. Go and talk to Rob Papen, Vojtech Melda Meluzin, Urs Heckmann, Markus Krause, etc... OTOH, an exchange with FOSS developers can sometimes be directed to "go read the code !". Or giving so cryptic answer to a user problem. FOSS developers communicate well between themselves. With simple customers, or musicians, sometimes not so much.

I feel 100% safe in using Melda, Voxengo, u-he plugins and others. I do not feel cheated at all.

This said, the principles are right. But it should not become like priests preaching in rather empty churches. :mrgreen:

Cheers.


Return to “Music & FOSS Advocacy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests