Re: [LAU] Linux Audio 2012: Is Linux Audio moving forward?

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To: linux audio users <linux-audio-user@...>
Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 2:50 am

Lots of interesting points both ways. My experience is uniquely twisted I
would guess. Making money is still in the future (if at all). But still my
first recording was for someone else. I have been making music for years
and even done some recording years ago. My experiences with MS software
has always been so bad I have used other things. I started off running a
BBS (actually helping someone who was already running one) on win3.1... it
was really bad, unstable, slow etc. The guy had a mechanical timer to shut
the thing off and on once a day just so he go on holidays. OS/2 (in text
mode) solved that just fine. I was not making money on the project and so
when internet started to show up and adsl was available I found out that
NIC drivers for OS/2 were costly (more than the cards) and started looking
at Linux (pre 1.0 kernel). I moved the BBS there.

At the same time I also had an Atari Mega which I was using for playing
on. The audio was no use for recording and disks were still small 40 Meg
was still normal size HD. But I did find a sequencing program with 1024
tracks onto 16 channels. (shareware) It may not have been the greatest,
but I found it easy to use and edit with... but most of all, it was rock
solid time wise which at that time none of the windows sequencers were,
even commercial products. I got a 1/4inch 8 track and that is how I
started recording. No computer anything aside from the sequencer. Anyway,
live set some of that aside and while I did play live, I set recording
aside and didn't do that much with computers.

That was twice for me MS did not have a usable product. I worked at work
with NT systems (Gag!) and found other problems... I ended up using a
morphix variant (itself a variant of knoppix) for NT
backup/restore/trouble shooting (yet another MS fail). I also developed a
Linux standalone training station during that time. By the way, the reason
the company I worked for used MS software was "support", I found out that
in company speak that meant we want to have someone we can sue.

My wife had a windows computer for a while... till our friends started
getting really disgusting emails that I traced to that machine... she
started using Linux after that... took her about 15 minutes (if that) to
switch. More MS fails.

In the mean time I was using slackware on my desktop and home server. and
found audioslack. I thought I would try that and used it with a 2 channel
16bit pci card (ensoniq) but found it was still not stable enough/ did not
have the software to replace my 8track. My machine was probably not up to
it either. This was somewhere in the DX100 to P333 days... so it sat there
till I got myself a "real" sound card (D66.. and no I will not argue about
how good or bad it is) and found that I could not get it to work with the
version of audioslack I had and audioslack was not there any more. I
started playing with various linux audio distros and with a more capable
machine (P4 2.6Ghz old by todays standards) am finding I can replace my
tape machine.

I realize MS stuff has come a long ways since win95, but win7 which came
on my netbook was slow and full of advertising... stink ware... so I guess
I still have issues with windows... that is the learning curve to go to
windows is too steep.

Audio. I have different needs than most it seems (by what has been said).
I like to record acoustic sounds. I'm not a keyboard player and don't have
access to one (KB player that is, I do have an old DX7) at this point and
as stated I am not selling time yet either. Audacity does everything I
need so far, I use very few plugins, maybe a bit of EQ or reverb... a tube
emulator if the guitar is too clean.
Looping is not something that appeals to me. I expect each verse to have a
different feel and each chorus too. I generally try for whole song length
tracks, though I have fixed botches on otherwise good takes. Sequencing
might be something I would use for drums, but not likely a beatbox. I
would expect to record a drum performance on pads and play it back at mix
time.

But, as can be seen in a commercial situation loops and synths are more to
be expected. My hope is that the linux audio world keeps up with my
needs... learning windows is too much work.

Having said all that, I can understand why audio distros might be dying. I
have been helping develop Ubuntu studio the last cycle or so. Understand,
this is not coding development, this is just assembling packages onto an
existing distro. It is hard time consuming work still and every time
someone says great stuff someone else doesn't like it. I can understand
why there are not a lot of audio devs in the linux world. It can get
discouraging very quickly. I just imagine what it is like for those doing
coding. You all have my personal thanks.

Is Linux Audio moving forward? Yes. Can it do everything? Maybe not. Is
windows or OSX the greatest thing? Maybe not either. For now Linux does do
anything I need... better than the old 8track :)

--
Len Ovens
www.OvenWerks.net

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