Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Discuss how to promote using FLOSS to make music.

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

Postby tavasti » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:21 am

bluebell wrote:
42low wrote:Who's the fool then? :twisted: pfff those wannabee 'sound-engeneers' always shouting about "needing the best and most expensive gear/mic/software, or it will not sound"


Yeah. Whenever someone claims that you need "professional" hard- and software (without considering what's needed in that special case) then you can be sure that he's not a professional at all but a "buy much, produce nothing"-type.


I Agree. Here is Recordingrevolution video about minimal studio, and if you are working with plain electronic music (no recorded audio), list is even shorter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLXSqan3Jcs

Sure he is not talking about linux, but same thing.
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Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby Jack Winter » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:20 am

To contrast somewhat to the above..

We have just recorded our first CD, which started off a process of buying gear :)

I would not claim that you need anything except the basics to record good music, on the other hand as we have progressed I am sold at having a choice of different mics for different purposes, be they cheap or expensive.. I am also sold on the idea of using discrete character pres, IMO the sound we are recording has improved...

It has improved as our understanding and experience of micing techniques has improved, but it has also improved by having access to more mics, and has most certainly also improved with our character pres. It is very likely that this will continue and that we'll be adding more hardware EQ and comps...
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Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby tavasti » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:56 am

42low wrote:If you produce something REALLY nice which REALLY is of high quality .... then you get no reaction at all. Jealousy and envy i guess. :mrgreen:
So the best compliment you can ever get is no reaction at all. :wink: (ok ok, nice complementing reactions still are the best, but i think that's a utopia)

On the other hand, on forums with nice people around, presenting something horrible produces same thing, nobody saying anything. So it depends where you are.
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Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby khz » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:19 pm

Code: Select all

freedom@peace #
FZ - Does humor belongs in Music?
GNU/LINUX@AUDIO ~ /Wiki $ Howto.Info && GNU/Linux Debian installing >> Linux Audio Workstation LAW
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Re: Why Linux? And why Linux for pro-audio?

Postby loxstep » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:41 pm

sysrqer wrote:
42low wrote:It CAN'T be good as you didn't use the good (accepted) software.

Well, to be honest, it often isn't as good. There is a lot of good music made from free software but the majority of the time you can tell.

Whether that's down to the tools, or the creator's skills, or a mix of both, I don't know.


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.

What can windows / mac audio offer than linux can't? I've been able to find a linux alternative to everything I was using on windows, and I didn't have to sacrifice features or sound quality.

The main drawback to using linux stuff is that everyone is already familiar with the major commercial packages. Switching to linux means getting used to a new interface, and perhaps changing your workflow a bit. I understand why a professional would be hesitant to do this.

Then consider, there is often no paid support. You rely on the community and your own know how to make linux audio work. This was a bigger problem back in the day - it's way easier to plug and play linux stuff today. But it's a valid concern for a studio, where time is money.

If you can overcome those two drawbacks, then linux is a viable option for pro audio. The capabilities of linux audio software match those you'll find in mac and windows.

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

Postby protozone » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:12 pm

Nice answers in this thread! Very cheerful :D

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

Postby tavasti » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:09 pm

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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.
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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


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