Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

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barbouze
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Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby barbouze » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:08 pm

Hi!

A few years ago I made a NAS with what was a that time a small form factor computer using a mini-ITX motherboard hosting an Intel Atom D510 2gB RAM and 1TB HDD.

I would like today to convert it to a "Guitarix center". I intend to make it user-friendly/plug and play so it will only host Guitarix, a few LV2 plugins and eventually a patchbay, with remote network access to set it up from anywhere and have a few questions:
- what lightweight distro should I use, that would give me the best performances (low latency) for such a tiny CPU?
- what would be the cheapest but reliable soundcard to plug a guitar and headphones?

Cheers,
Barbouze

asbak
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Re: Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby asbak » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:53 pm

Something like a headless install of Ubuntu Server, CentOS or whatever flavour of Linux works for you. Then add a low-latency kernel, a lightweight window manager (XFCE for example) and then of course you'll need to add whatever apps you want to use. But personally I would rather just spend the money and get a better system instead of struggling with low-end hardware.

You're not going to get better performance by jumping between distros because of rumours that one is "better" or "faster" than the other. System tuning & the kernel are the critical factors, not the flavour of Linux distro.

For a cheap and reliable soundcard, I would consider something like a Behringer UMC202HD. (Do your own research to determine whether it suits your purposes.)

Luc
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Re: Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby Luc » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:27 pm

Lightweight distros: Crux (hardcore), Arch, minimum install Slackware or even minimum install Debian.

If you manage to do it all with a minimum install and without any graphical environment, pretty much any distro will be very lightweight.

If you need a graphical environment, pick something like Openbox, Fluxbox, ratpoison or FVWM2.

barbouze
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Re: Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby barbouze » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:27 pm

asbak wrote: I would rather just spend the money and get a better system instead of struggling with low-end hardware.

You call it struggling, I call that tinkering and recycling :D . Of course it is a low end system but after seeing that Guitarix can run on a raspberry pi and that my hardware is a dual core/4 thread x86-64 bit unit, I think that it would be a shame to throw it and buy a pi 3 that would be a lot smaller but less powerful. :(

@asbak & luc:
I made my mind and it will be a Debian or Ubuntu (for the KXStudio repositories). Now I will look at some DEs and see which one is the lightest, thanks for your suggestions! :)

asbak wrote:For a cheap and reliable soundcard, I would consider something like a Behringer UMC202HD. (Do your own research to determine whether it suits your purposes.)


I was looking at something like this or even this, a KISS interface but I'm unsure of the quality, specially for the last one :?

Luc
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Re: Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby Luc » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:20 am

For whatever it's worth, I just ran into this and immediately remembered this thread:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/sparkylinux/

asbak
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Re: Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby asbak » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:54 am

barbouze wrote:I was looking at something like this or even this, a KISS interface but I'm unsure of the quality, specially for the last one :?


The UCG102 should work fine but it is less versatile than the UMC202HD and build quality is somewhat flimsy. Depending on where you buy it, it isn't much cheaper than a 202 either. The UMC202HD costs a bit more, is built solidly, it should be able to handle guitar input + returning the Guitarix processed audio output to your speakers or headphones. (But do research to ensure this is indeed the case.) Spend a bit more on a 204HD and you get MIDI as well.

That guitarlink style cable isn't really worth the hassle in my opinion. You would still have to monitor somehow via another sound device and although it is possible it complicates your jack configuration + you'll need another low latency sound device.

barbouze
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Posts: 145
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 12:26 pm

Re: Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby barbouze » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:32 am

Thanks a lot to both of you for that feedback! :D

barbouze
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Posts: 145
Joined: Tue May 26, 2015 12:26 pm

Re: Recycling an old NAS to host Guitarix

Postby barbouze » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:32 pm

Just for closing this topic, I bought an UMC22. Looks and feels great, simple enough to be used by anyone, plug(set up jack)&play.
Installed AVLinux, trimmed it down a little and that got me a nice mini studio dedicated to guitar processing and recording :D


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