[LAT] Setting up a performance synth

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To: <linux-audio-tuning@...>
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 - 9:55 pm

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Hi,

I'm trying get a Dell 7000 laptop(with about a 3G harddrive) to be a
synthesizer. Yes it's older(How old is tooo old?) Yes its slower(How slow is
too slow?) But it's what I've got and I'm not convinced it can't do the job
yet.

Anyway when I say "synthesizer", I mean

1. It's tweakable(like a minimoog etc) as in has ADSR, filters, and the like
that can be controlled(via midi) on the fly.

2. It doesn't crack and wheeze(or xrun all over me)

3. It's doesn't lock up when I bend over to tie my shoes.

4. It's midi controllable

I have managed to install Ubuntu and crippled piece of Ubuntu Studio(Karma I
think). I say that it's crippled because a full installation took up more
disk space than I had so I took some things off(using the normal packaging
mechanisms 'apt' etc). The realtime kernel is still present however along
with the Jack stuff. The sound works-I can play an mp3.

But soft synths like Bristol either don't work or lock up the machine. I
managed to get Bristol to partially work by starting the network loop
interface, but even then it was sluggish and eventually locked up the whole
machine. Same goes for PD and Zyn.

Fluidsynth(qsynth) works but it's pretty easy to cause xruns(and the pops).

So here's my question/comment.

Is it worth trying to get something working on this(or another)
distribution?

I'd like to just get something working but these distribution(Puredyne,
Ubuntu Studio, etc) seem to have a heavy footprint and they don't seem very
configurable. Ubuntu seems heavily coupled to GNOME, PulseAudio, LASH and
stuff for which I have no clue what they're for. As a side question, from
the perspective of sound synthesis, is Jack useful? It seems to provide
interprocess communication between audio apps. I can see it being useful if
you have multiple apps talking audio to each other. But if you have a single
process soft synth and ALSA what's on top of the hardware how does Jack
help? m-dist might be an exception. It worked on my desktop but locked up
on my laptops.

OR would it be better to build a dedicated synth on a hard realtime
platform.

Has anyone just adapted Linux to just boot a computer as a dedicated
synthbox(or engine) with little or no other I/O concerns to get in the way?
I don't care if I can play Space Invaders and write my resume at the same
time. I've got a Roland JV1010 tone box and I doubt it has 10th of the
processing power or memory of the Dell and yet it doesn't crack or wheeze. I
don't even care if it drove the display. As long as it acted like a stable
hardware synth and was midi controllable I could get along. Maybe such a
thing already is out there. I've looked but had no success.

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Hi,I'm trying get a Dell 7000 laptop(with about a 3G harddrive)=
to be a synthesizer. Yes it's older(How old is tooo old?) Yes its slow=
er(How slow is too slow?) But it's what I've got and I'm not co=
nvinced it can't do the job yet.
Anyway when I say "synthesizer", I mean1. It's tw=
eakable(like a minimoog etc) as in has ADSR, filters, and the like that can=
be controlled(via midi) on the fly. 2. It doesn't crack and wh=
eeze(or xrun all over me)
3. It's doesn't lock up when I bend over to tie my shoes.4. It's midi controllableI have managed to install Ubuntu and=
crippled piece of Ubuntu Studio(Karma I think). I say that it's crippl=
ed because a full installation took up more disk space than I had so I took=
some things off(using the normal packaging mechanisms 'apt' etc). =
The realtime kernel is still present however along with the Jack stuff. The=
sound works-I can play an mp3.
But soft synths like Bristol either don't work or lock up the machi=
ne. I managed to get Bristol to partially work by starting the network loop=
interface, but even then it was sluggish and eventually locked up the whol=
e machine. Same goes for PD and Zyn.
Fluidsynth(qsynth) works but it's pretty easy to cause xruns(and th=
e pops). So here's my question/comment. Is it worth try=
ing to get something working on this(or another) distribution?I&#39=
;d like to just get something working but these distribution(Puredyne, Ubun=
tu Studio, etc) seem to have a heavy footprint and they don't seem very=
configurable. Ubuntu seems heavily coupled to GNOME, PulseAudio, LASH and =
stuff for which I have no clue what they're for. As a side question, fr=
om the perspective of sound synthesis, is Jack useful? It seems to provide =
interprocess communication between audio apps. I can see it being useful if=
you have multiple apps talking audio to each other. But if you have a sing=
le process soft synth and ALSA what's on top of the hardware how does J=
ack help?=A0 m-dist might be an exception. It worked on my desktop but lock=
ed up on my laptops.
OR would it be better to build a dedicated synth on a hard realtime pla=
tform.Has anyone just adapted Linux to just boot a computer as a de=
dicated synthbox(or engine) with little or no other I/O concerns to get in =
the way? I don't care if I can play Space Invaders and write my resume =
at the same time. I've got a Roland JV1010 tone box and I doubt it has =
10th of the processing power or memory of the Dell and yet it doesn't c=
rack or wheeze. I don't even care if it drove the display. As long as i=
t acted like a stable hardware synth and was midi controllable I could get =
along. Maybe such a thing already is out there.=A0 I've looked but had =
no success.

--000e0cd1a3f0f1e256047d12d4d2--

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Messages in current thread:
[Linux-audio-tuning] test, MarcOChapeau, (Sun Jul 27, 11:34 am)
[LAT] hello, dyne:bolic -rt and freeeee, jaromil, (Wed Sep 10, 2:06 pm)
[LAT] BIOS and IRQ, Grammostola Rosea, (Wed Nov 26, 8:55 pm)
[LAT] Setting up a performance synth, David McClanahan, (Wed Jan 13, 9:55 pm)
[LAT] We're back online !, Marc-Olivier Barre, (Thu Apr 22, 8:10 pm)
[LAT] presonus firebox and 2.6.31-9-rt gives tons of xruns, yvan volochine, (Tue May 18, 10:45 am)
[LAT] Document on using Jack Apps, Arvind Venkatasubramanian..., (Sat Jul 31, 10:23 pm)
[LAT] rt kernel 2.6.39, Emanuel Rumpf, (Sun May 29, 11:56 am)
[LAT] To much latency, Dave Stikkolorum, (Sun Oct 30, 11:02 am)
[LAT] 3.x kernel, Emanuel Rumpf, (Wed May 2, 8:48 pm)
Re: [LAT] 3.x kernel, Robin Gareus, (Wed May 2, 8:51 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Jeremy Jongepier, (Sun Oct 30, 11:25 am)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Dave Stikkolorum, (Sun Oct 30, 11:55 am)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Jeremy Jongepier, (Sun Oct 30, 12:03 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Dave Stikkolorum, (Sun Oct 30, 12:23 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Jeremy Jongepier, (Sun Oct 30, 1:50 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Dave Stikkolorum, (Sun Oct 30, 2:13 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Jeremy Jongepier, (Sun Oct 30, 2:19 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Dave Stikkolorum, (Sun Oct 30, 2:39 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Jeremy Jongepier, (Mon Oct 31, 11:59 am)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Dave Stikkolorum, (Tue Nov 1, 4:17 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Jeremy Jongepier, (Wed Nov 2, 5:34 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Rafael Vega, (Tue Nov 1, 12:25 am)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Daniel James, (Tue Nov 1, 10:04 am)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, Rafael Vega, (Thu Nov 3, 12:33 pm)
Re: [LAT] To much latency, email.rafa@gmail.com, (Thu Dec 22, 2:50 pm)
Re: [LAT] rt kernel 2.6.39, Robin Gareus, (Sun May 29, 1:43 pm)
Re: [LAT] rt kernel 2.6.39, Emanuel Rumpf, (Sun May 29, 2:39 pm)
Re: [LAT] rt kernel 2.6.39, Robin Gareus, (Mon May 30, 3:52 pm)
Re: [LAT] Document on using Jack Apps, Daniel James, (Tue Aug 3, 6:48 pm)
Re: [LAT] [LAU] Are RT-patches needed anymore? (Was Re: &gt;..., Lars-Erik Helander, (Mon Feb 2, 8:53 am)
Re: [LAT] [LAU] Are RT-patches needed anymore? (Was Re: &gt;..., Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, (Mon Feb 2, 6:35 pm)