MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

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MGdesigner
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MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:56 pm

Hello, everyone. I am developing a lapotop mainly for music performance broadcasting . Musicians and performers can broadcast their performance into Twich / Youtube-live easily to earn donate, no matter on streets(yes, you can earn double) or indoor.

It's our design.
Musicha_prototype4_ofc.resized.png

We integrate an audio interface with dock style combined to the laptop. The audio interface owns 4 TS inputs, 1 XLR input, MIDI in/out, a pair of TS master out, and a monitor headphone out.

Because I live in Taiwan, I negotiate with famous laptop OEM/ODM company,Clevo. Clevo will supply custom machines to our team. And, I also negotiate with a digital audio circuit board design company to design the dock stytle audio interface.

What OS I will put in is an Ubuntu or Debian based distro (I think I will put KXstudio). All hardwares are linux-drivers-ready.

I will start our 2 months campaign on 6,November in Taiwanese crowdfunding site. I have not decided if go to kickstarter.

It's our facebook fan page. Sorry now only use Mandarin there.

If you are interested, please let me know. ^^
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gimmeapill
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby gimmeapill » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:29 am

Interested...kind off.
Not sure if I would want to take part in the crowdfunding part, but I'll probably look for a replacement to my current config next year and your design has some appeal ;-)

A few questions:
- would the Audio Interface dock be connected via something else than USB? (I mean a faster bus like pcie to reach lower round trip latencies).
- Couldn't you include also some small/practise speakers in that dock?
- Would the targeted price point be similar to that of an equivalent notebook + audio interface?

Anyway, nice effort, keep us updated!

Cheers,

LX

MGdesigner
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:00 am

gimmeapill wrote:Interested...kind off.
Not sure if I would want to take part in the crowdfunding part, but I'll probably look for a replacement to my current config next year and your design has some appeal ;-)

A few questions:
- would the Audio Interface dock be connected via something else than USB? (I mean a faster bus like pcie to reach lower round trip latencies).
- Couldn't you include also some small/practise speakers in that dock?
- Would the targeted price point be similar to that of an equivalent notebook + audio interface?

Anyway, nice effort, keep us updated!

Cheers,

LX

1. The laptop owns usb3.0 and usb3.1/thunderbolt. At least the Audio Interface dock will be connected as an USB Audio Class specification 2.0 device. In 48000hz, in block latency 10.7 ms it works well. Xrun only happen when some application is launching. It's by lowlatency kernel now. A RT kernel may be better,but I think 10.7 ms is good enough.

2. There are already small speakers on the laptop.

3. Laptop+ dock ,I will control its price around 1490 USD.

I have some testing brocasted videos:
imitate poor 4g - brocasting 2500 kbps video+160kbps audio,GPU encoding
cpu software encoding, mainly for broacasting my desktop clean

PS. The audio interface is still 1 bought from store just for testing . In video2 , for brocasting gaming, this machine is hard to play game and brocast at the same machine. But doing some music tutorial is all right.

MGdesigner
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:28 pm

Until today, we have our real 3D prototype. :)

20171107Musicha1_pub.resized.resized.jpg


20171107Musicha2_pub.resized.resized.jpg
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GuntherT
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby GuntherT » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:53 am

I wish you the best of luck with your product, but I am also struggling to understand its use-case. 1 XLR and 4 TS inputs seems limited. If a user is forced to have another piece of gear to plug into your USB interface in order to meet their needs (i.e. additional mic pres, Hi-Z inputs, etc.), I think most users would prefer instead to choose an off-the-shelf USB interface that meets their individual requirements in a single unit. It also doesn't sound as though the accompanying laptop was carefully chosen for audio performance as 10.7 ms of latency with an occasional xrun is possible for most average laptops these days.

I am not trying to be discouraging, but I am not sure what need your product fulfills that is not already fulfilled by any average laptop and the plethora of USB audio interfaces already on the market. For $1490, I could go online and get an interface with more inputs and a similar or better performing laptop and still have a significant amount of money left over. What sets your product apart from the competition?

PS I do think it is a neat idea in some respects and looks kind of cool.

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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby sadko4u » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:40 am

The device under notebook takes much more place than my saffire pro 40 while saffire pro 40 has 8 inputs and 10 outputs without extensions. I think you should seriously think about the portability of the notebook and it's compactness.
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MGdesigner
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:22 am

GuntherT wrote:I wish you the best of luck with your product, but I am also struggling to understand its use-case. 1 XLR and 4 TS inputs seems limited. If a user is forced to have another piece of gear to plug into your USB interface in order to meet their needs (i.e. additional mic pres, Hi-Z inputs, etc.), I think most users would prefer instead to choose an off-the-shelf USB interface that meets their individual requirements in a single unit. It also doesn't sound as though the accompanying laptop was carefully chosen for audio performance as 10.7 ms of latency with an occasional xrun is possible for most average laptops these days.

I am not trying to be discouraging, but I am not sure what need your product fulfills that is not already fulfilled by any average laptop and the plethora of USB audio interfaces already on the market. For $1490, I could go online and get an interface with more inputs and a similar or better performing laptop and still have a significant amount of money left over. What sets your product apart from the competition?

PS I do think it is a neat idea in some respects and looks kind of cool.

mic preamp , Hi-Z/Low-Z inputs switches are included.

Its main usecase is not for producing music(Make an album or a single), but for band/artists internet broadcasting indoor or outside (Maybe on a Ferris wheel .). Its important usecase will be several cams(not only 1) and instruments plugged in the laptop, broadcast an artist/ band performance outside. And they directly gather fans , and get donates from internet.

The audio interface need to be mobile, stable with the laptop,light to carry nd' move (escape from cop? ), and against usb disconnected situation (Even we may add non-slip. ) . Also need to keep nice sound quality against electromagnetic interference from laptop (They are too close, touched).
Last edited by MGdesigner on Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:39 am

sadko4u wrote:The device under notebook takes much more place than my saffire pro 40 while saffire pro 40 has 8 inputs and 10 outputs without extensions. I think you should seriously think about the portability of the notebook and it's compactness.

The situation is... You are a street musician broadcasting your performance on the street (Maybe you are protesters by playing music ). When you find the police want to get you away(maybe catch you :shock: ), can you pack your whole stuff very rapidly and run?
(It need not to be very heavy. You may also carry an electric guitar and a webcam. )


The video is the real usecase. I sit in a park,and broadcasted my "performance " by 4G LTE to Youtube-live( Just testing, so nobody donated me :oops: ).

Usecase

And if I want to escape, just 10 seconds(Speaking to fans: "Cop's coming~ I need to escape~ love and peace. See you all,bye"). then close the laptop(fixed with audio interface dock firmly) rapidly run away with my instrument. :P

How heavy saffire pro 40 is? :D

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sadko4u
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby sadko4u » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:31 pm

MGdesigner wrote:How heavy saffire pro 40 is? :D

It's about 4 kg. Even if you plan to escape in such situation, then your gear should be as smaller as possible. But the device under notebook takes about 1 rack unit, it's too large.
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MGdesigner
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:38 am

sadko4u wrote:
MGdesigner wrote:How heavy saffire pro 40 is? :D

It's about 4 kg. Even if you plan to escape in such situation, then your gear should be as smaller as possible. But the device under notebook takes about 1 rack unit, it's too large.


First, Our laptop is 13 inch size, not too big. Second ,our design purpose is to control the total weight of laptop+dock under 2kg. Our dock (not "rack") is big for easy grabbing and we leave some space for users to insert their powerbank for extending broadcasting time on streets. It's our "safe" design. We may change our design to thinner dock without additional storage space.

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ufug
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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby ufug » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:34 pm

GuntherT wrote:I wish you the best of luck with your product, but I am also struggling to understand its use-case.


I also applaud your project, but I think you might want to more clearly define the benefits of the product. You already have a tiny potential market, so the feedback you are getting here on LinuxMusicians is not something to take lightly--we are exactly who your potential customers are.

The thing that perplexes me most is the physical design. The knobs and inputs of the audio interface are going to be totally in the way of the laptop keyboard, with your forearms and wrists reaching up and over the knobs. And all the cables coming out of the inputs right into the users body/lap is not going to be a good arrangement. I made a 5-minute physical mock-up of this and the layout of the hardware just doesn't make any sense.

I do appreciate your imagination and determination, and hope it's a successful project! But for that much $$, it is going to have to be a much, much better design on every level.

If it doesn't work out, perhaps an open hardware, platform independent audio interface (without the laptop) would be a more approachable, affordable and marketable. That's certainly something I'd be interested in.

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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby tavasti » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:34 am

Aren't those audio knobs too much on the way for making use of touchpad & keyboard uncomfortable?
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Hear my music at https://audiu.net/users/tawaste

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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby singforme » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:43 pm

If I get it, it's not supposed to be a device for home recording but rather targeted at live music and video streaming. For that purpose I find the dock quite a good design because once the show is running you really want to have these knobs available. I'm not sure whether musicians are OK with the price tag though. Adding to the cost there will be cameras and microphones to buy so it might be an idea to design a usb dock without the laptop because many musicians do already have a laptop which could make things cheaper..

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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:16 am

singforme wrote:If I get it, it's not supposed to be a device for home recording but rather targeted at live music and video streaming. For that purpose I find the dock quite a good design because once the show is running you really want to have these knobs available. I'm not sure whether musicians are OK with the price tag though. Adding to the cost there will be cameras and microphones to buy so it might be an idea to design a usb dock without the laptop because many musicians do already have a laptop which could make things cheaper..

Yes.it's supposed mainly to be a device for live music performance streaming. For "studio recording",it's not as well as audio interfaces in the market. About "home recording",you sill can, especially you are an instrument guy. You still can call your rock band of brothers to record some great demo songs at your living room.

Why not only a usb dock?

Because the dock need to fight against electromagnetic interference or heat from the laptop( I have no idea if your laptop handle it good or not . ) in so short distance. Otherwise , Size, weight of the laptop affect the combine mechanism's strength and stability with the dock. (Mobility is important. ) Otherwise, a laptop handle live audio mixing and broadcast well working at the same time, we need to choose and integrate software ,hardware well. For example which live mixing software? Which boradcast software? Which enconding? By GPU ? CPU? What parameters?

I can't throw a laptop and a dock to my artists customer , and say "Heh, Linux is good, Linux audio is very powerful. Then you need to set everything ready including drivers issues , real time linux kernel building , realtime priority setting ,choosing your broadcasting software,and testing your encoding ,so finally you can broadcast it by yourself. "
Last edited by MGdesigner on Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MUSICHA- A pre-crowdfunding Linux audio laptop

Postby MGdesigner » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:28 am

tavasti wrote:Aren't those audio knobs too much on the way for making use of touchpad & keyboard uncomfortable?

No it wont.
20171126_154923_HDR.jpg

20171126_154923_HDR.jpg
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