Re: [LAD] [LAU] So what do you think sucks about Linux audio ?

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To: Dan MacDonald <allcoms@...>, Ralf Mardorf <ralf.mardorf@...>
Cc: <linux-audio-user@...>, <linux-audio-dev@...>
Date: Sunday, February 10, 2013 - 10:05 pm

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Auto mode for JACK latency is a good idea. I have another proposit=
ion: a dedicated graphical front-end for jack session. It could help users =
setup their workflow , by providing a list of all the jack aware programs i=
nstalled, categorized by type (sampler, daw, synth). The program should aid=
in setting up a project , eg firing up ardour with several tracks, firing =
up synths (lv2 instruments/hosts incl) with presets selectable from the fro=
nt-end with a preview sound. The front-end could trigger the synth in quest=
ion with a midi note when selecting a preset. Lv2 plugins, that is pure aud=
io effects, could also listed with the ability to directly send a signal fr=
om the audio interface through the selected plugin to quickly hear what it =
does. One could then associate the selected plugin with, say a track in ard=
our, and another plugin with a track in hydrogen or so. This would just=
be for setting up a project. The fine tuning comes later. Such a =
front-end could give the linux audio ecosystem as a whole a face, just like=
qjackctl gives JACK a face, and it does not degrade the quality of the eco=
system. Now of course , one can't expose options of all programs in the ses=
sion-front-end but just the most important ones to quickly set up the proje=
ct. You may think, why not just create templates, scripts so on? Well my pe=
rsonal subjective answer: my musical projects vary . I simply can't create =
templates and scripts because the configuration changes immensely from song=
to song. So the proposed front-end should allow a quick start into the pro=
ject so that one could rapidly record an idea.This front-end could also=
list audio programs, plugins which are currently not installed, so that th=
ey are discoverable within one central place, much like an app-store or spe=
cialized repo (it could be connected to popular linux audio repos, e.g kxst=
udio).As a developer in computer vision (I'm doing my PhD developing la=
rgely on ubuntu) I am aware technical nitty gritty detail problems (realtim=
e video has a lot in common with realtime audio), but here I'm trying to po=
rtray a bigger vision/picture. I've ditched windows years ago, and I ha=
ve never owned an apple product. But I strongly recommend to learn from the=
two, to cleanly analyze the good and bad aspects of propriety audio softwa=
re. Then cherry-pick the good aspects. This can only benefit open-source in=
general. And to make it clear: it is not my intention to grow the userbase=
at any cost. I rather want enhance the user experience quality for us curr=
ent users, devs. You heard it: devs too;-) but in a manner that people can =
opt in to do things the way they want (no one would have to use the propose=
d front-end) .I can go further: such a front-end only makes sense if ja=
ck-session support is made mandatory, which I've suggested before and earne=
d a storm of negative replies. So let the storm come ;-)Cheers,Gera=
ld-- Sent from my HP TouchPadOn 10.02.2013 17:58, Dan MacDonald <allcom=> wrote: Hi Ralf!On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM, Ralf Mardorf <ralf.mardorf@al=
> wrote:=0A<=
div class=3D"im">On Sun, 2013-02-10 at 09:59 +0000, Dan MacDonald wrote:=0A> * JACK needs to become more plug-and-play. I think its a shame it<=
br>=0A> still offers no way to auto-detect optimal settings on any given=
setup=0A> and instead the user has to find out what options to twea=
k then find=0A> the best settings through trial and error.=0A=0AHow should it be done to auto-detect the best settings? IMO it's<=
br>=0Aimpossible.Surely its possible to get an op=
timized JACK setup working better than it does currently?I'm not ad=
vocating JACK lose any of its options but what I'm thinking is something li=
ke this. Lets call the way JACK gets started at present the manual mode and=
I want to see an auto ('low latency scanner') mode added. On first run, au=
to-mode would do something equivalent to running a stripped down ecasound t=
hat would run a series of tests to determine the best settings (for trackin=
g) that your setup can currently achieve without xruns. It would likely be =
up to the user to re-run the auto tests when they change hardware unless au=
to mode scans for that too. Exactly what the test would comprise of I'm not=
sure but maybe something like simulating a tracking a few tracks w/ plugin=
s added to each. JACK has a dummy audio device so I'm presuming here that i=
t could simulate recording sound too else maybe this is impossible.=0A<=

=0A> pretty cryptic errors as to why it failed.=0A=0AI exp=
erienced this very seldom, but it's true, I at least remember one=0Aver=
y strange example on jack devel mailing list a while ago. The output=0A=
lead into a completely wrong direction.=0A=0A>=
* JACK can't hot swap audio devices and so if the user wants this=0A&g=
t; feature they have to integrate PA with JACK which sadly still isn't=
=0A> straightforward under many popular distros and then the user has to=
=0A> learn about how ALSA, PA and JACK interact.=0A=0A=
Are there many cases when users need to switch the audio device?I switch audio device several times a day. Sometimes I'll us=
e onboard audio, sometimes I'll use my USB portable hifi output and sometim=
es I'll be using my Focusrite. They all have their own use cases.=0A=0A=0A> [snip]=0A>=0A> In fact, I'm a bit concerned that if Bitwig lea=
ds to an explosion of=0A> commercial apps and plugins for Linux and =
LA busts out of its niche=0A> that LA* will suffer a kinda Ubuntu/An=
droid effect where these lists=0A> will get swamped with newb questi=
ons and cause many of our valued=0A> members to unsubscribe.=0A<=
br>=0AThere's already energyXT, but it didn't cause such an explosion=
=2EenergyXT is in no way comparable in sheer hype=
and the music tech industry/market interest thats surrounding Bitwig. ener=
gyXT is unlikely to be counted in the top 50 DAWs now or at the time of its=
initial release. Ableton and its offspring Bitwig are a BIG deal for Linux=
and music tech as a whole as Ableton has enjoyed being one of the most pop=
ular music production apps of recent years. Ableton has real market recogni=
tion which Bitwig is inheriting and its very likely one of the top 5 most p=
opular music apps today. energyXT?=0AWhether you're into these sequ=
encers or not, many people are so Bitwig is big news Ralf - BIIIIIIG!!! :D<=

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