[LAU] e: So what do you think sucks about Linux audio / what i love about linuxaudio

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To: <linux-audio-user@...>
Date: Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 4:51 pm


> It is not a technical point about only using free software ... it is a very real copyright issue. VST is owned by Steinberg so unless you are willing to ignore/reject Copyright and IP laws

Vestige provides a replacement for Stienberg's VSTSDK, it's been
widely used for some time now, by several projects (FST, FSTHost,
LMMS, Ardour, etc, etc)... I use both Windows and Linux VSTs all of
the time, I don't feel restricted by Steinberg. It's pretty simple, do
not rely on their header, use Vestige and their is no problem. The
last time i was required to get the VSTSDK from Steinberg was quite
some time ago, like 2007-8 and that was to compile/use one specific
application / corner case. The only time i (still) have actually need
some headers from Steinberg is for WineASIO support (asio.h), which i
barely use. You are only limited in how/what can be distributed if you
plan on using the VSTSDK - which would mean you are in the position of
WineASIO / ASIO SDK - the end-user must get the header (asio.h) and
compile WineASIO him/herself. (but even that doesn't bother me, since
it takes all of 3 minutes to do).

So what do I think sucks about Linux audio ?

- Lack of quality virtual instruments

For me, if i was not able to run Windows VSTs in Linux (more
specifically, VST instruments) then using Gnu/Linux for proaudio would
be very unlikely / not doable. Don't get me wrong, there ARE some good
apps / plugins and a few of the commercial offerings (like Loomer,
Pianoeq, etc) are great - but there just aren't enough virtual
instruments for my tastes, and even the ones that do exist tend to not
cover some pretty standard / basic stuff - like midi program changes,
midi-learn, midiCC, MTC, MidiClock, etc. ~ which imho are standards
that should be implemented in ANY plugin, but since that often isn't
the case for linux plugins ~ i am better off using Windows VSTs (since
they tend to implement most/if not all of this stuff and more),,
These areas tend to be more biggest 'sore spot' when it comes to

DAWs also used to be another sore spot for me, but over the last year
or so, that is changing. Ardour3 has come along way (which is my
preference) and if/when BitWig Studio is released for Linux - then i
will have a tool that is geared for live/performance/interactive based
approach (like Ableton Live). ~ which is something that i _really_
need. Since i tend to be more geared to playing/jamming live, than

but there are other problematic areas that i see, but am not so much
affected by. Most have been covered by other people on the list;
things like configuration/setup problems, apps missing features,
workflow issues, etc. But these kinds of problems, i have personally
worked through, for the most part. (but it did take some adjusting /

So what do I *love* about Linux audio ?

- customization / tweakability = there are lots of flexibilities to be
had, that aren't as easily done (if at all) in Win/Mac environments.
You can really tailor everything to be exactly how you want. - this
(obviously) includes everything from the kernel to user-space.

- plethra of commandline tools / apps that work without Xorg = this is
very handy, if you are running a headless system, like a rackmount
and/or some sort of 'audio server' that you are interacting with.
Having apps that are built to be used in this fashion is great. there
also happens to be a lot of cool commandline apps floating around, a
couple examples that i enjoy are aseqkey (map midi-to-keystrokes),
wiimidi (for hacking wii-devices, VERY powerful software), mplit
(makes jack client / 16ch midi router/splitter) and i even use jack
from the commandline (no qjackctl, when i want a GUI, i instead use
JP-1 (linuxDSP) because it is simpler and is 1 window).

- Support for non-native VST plugins / applications = I would have
never migrated to using Linux (from Mac), if i had not been able to
carry over some of my plugin suites / had proper virtual instruments
to use with Jackd. (again, sure there are some good native plugins for
linux, but not enough for my tastes, nor any other musician that i
know personally, by any means).

- Community = this is particularly great. It's often fairly easy to
get help with solving issues and likewise it's often easy to get in
touch with XYZ app developer; give feedback, offer suggestions (such
as features, UI, etc) and/or have a bug looked at/fixed. I've had
great success with this, with few exceptions. I've found that most
developers appreciate a little feedback and suggestions - and if you
are thoughtful and put some time into presenting your ideas and/or
feedback, properly - more often than not - this will lead to something
positive, such as inspiring / motivating the developer(s) to implement
something that you've discussed, have some issue addressed, etc. ~ I
find it interestng, as well because i never had much success chatting
with Windows/Mac app developers, so for me, there seems to be a big
difference here.

anyway, i think the future is looking promising, but i personally feel
that we need more interest from commercial vendors of virtual
instruments ~ I could care less whether they are VSTs - ie: they could
be *LV2*, as long as they are high-quality and *implement common stuff
like midiCC, program changes, midiclock* ~ without these "bare
essentials" covered, XYZ plugin that is lacking these features is for
the most part, of no use / interest to me. (since, they have not been
designed with idea that a 'player' might actually want to use a
physical device to control the plugin. - regardless, lack of having
*many* good (native) virtual instruments is problematic, imo.


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[LAU] e: So what do you think sucks about Linux audio / what..., jordan, (Thu Feb 7, 4:51 pm)