[LAA] Nama multitrack recorder-mixer, Debianized

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To: <linux-audio-announce@...>
Date: Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 10:41 pm

Hi Everyone,

This mail announces the 1.062 release of Nama, an Ecasound-based
multitrack recorder, mixer and mastering tool.

New features, several code refactorings and uncounted bug
fixes make this version the best evar. There is also a
website.[1]

The Debian package, newly available through the Debian 'unstable'
repository, should work on 'stable' and 'testing'
distributions as well.

Nama is also available from CPAN, the Comprehensive
Perl Archive Network.

-- Basics --

Nama adds a text-based user interface and DAW-like concepts
to the Ecasound audio processing engine.

Nama benefits from Ecasound's reliability, maturity and
flexibility, while saving the user from Ecasound's learning
curve. Although Nama has its own learning curve, it is
designed to make easy things easy, and some hard things
easy, too.

Since it does not depend on X, Nama is suitable for console
users, headless systems, and low-power CPUs. It could also be
used for comparative recording tests in situations where
video card interrupt conflicts are suspected.

-- Some details --

Nama works seamlessly with ALSA and JACK.

LADSPA plugins are automatically detected, and may be found
through Nama's help system by name or keyword.

Nama has an optional, ugly-duckling GUI that can handle
basic recording, mixing and fx-processing.

I'd like to acknowledge Julien Claassen for his thorough
testing, numerous suggestions and overall encouragement.
He's recently used Nama to produce some excellent
compositions.[2]

-- Features List --

+ Pre- and post-fader send buses

These are mainly for instrument monitor use, allowing
each musician to have her own custom mix.
A send bus duplicates all user track signals. Each
musician can adjust volume/pan/effects set to suit.

+ Sub buses

Useful for mixing groups of signals before
they arrive at the mixer provided by the Main bus

+ Post-fader inserts with wet/dry control

Track signals can be routed signals through external JACK
clients such as jconverter, or through the soundcard to
analog effects.

+ Track freezing

Like mixdown on a per-track basis, it can be helpful in
setups with many effects and limited CPU resources. The
'cache' command records a new version of the current track
with all effects applied. The 'uncache' command sets the
previous version with the original effects.

+ Effect chains

Nama's version of presets. An effect chain can be any
or all track effects with current parameter values.

+ Effect profiles

A group of effect chains for multiple tracks can be
stored under one name.

For example, "new_effect_profile Mastering jpop" stores
effect chains for all tracks in the Mastering group as "jpop".

+ Track effects bypass/restore

+ Graph-based routing system

Nama now has a more capable graph-based routing system
that replaces the original rule-based system. Nodes
of the graph are used to represent tracks, signal sources
and signal sinks. Edges indicate signal paths. Nama adds
loop devices to the graph as needed, a significant
convenience compared to hand-configured Ecasound.

The new routing system should also make it straightforward
to build in latency compensation.

+ Two interfaces to Ecasound

Nama will use libecasoundc via Brad Bowman's Audio::Ecasound
module if it is available. Otherwise, Nama will run
Ecasound in server mode and communicate via the Net-ECI
interface. This has no effect on the user interface.

-- Bugs and Limitations

Nama does *not* have a graphic waveform display.
Fortunately you have many alternatives to choose from
if you need this capability.

All file IO in Nama uses the WAV file format.

I just discovered that when Nama is installed from Debian,
interrupting the program requires a Ctrl-C *plus some
additional keystroke* to exit.

-- Installation --

+ For Debian 'unstable' systems

apt-get install nama

(Something similar is possible for other Debian
distributions.)

+ From CPAN

cpan Audio::Nama
cpan Tk # to use the GUI

+ Browse or build from github[3]

+ Browse at CPAN[4]

Regards,

Joel

[1] http://freeshell.de/~bolangi/nama
[2] http://juliencoder.de/nama/
[3] http://github.com/bolangi/nama
[4] http://search.cpan.org/dist/Audio-Nama/

--
Joel Roth
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