Page 1 of 2

What's your setup?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:27 am
by Alex
Given the wide range of opportunites we have in linux to tweak and streamline our working setups, what's yours?

Which distro do you use, have used, and how well do they work for you? Which programmes do you use to make music with?
And which programmes are you watching the development of, or are involved with that give you a reason to be optimistic about a full working audio/midi production model for linux in particular , but other OS's too?

We're currently actively involved in assembling a list of working and stable OS programme combinations including linuxsampler, and including hardware, so please feel free to add yours, with details of any special steps you took to get things working well.


Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 3:40 pm
by dahnielson
I've just begun setting up my studio to use a computer for more than MIDI sequencing.

My set up is Gentoo Linux with the Pro-Audio Overlay running Ardour for multi-track recording and mixing, Rosegarden for notation (printing via Lilypond) and MIDI sequencing. Until Ardour3 is released, which includes MIDI sequencing (but not as advanced as RG), I'm going to run Rosegarden in slave mode and control it from Ardour.

I will be using a M-AUDIO Delta 1010 as audio interface because it appear to be rock solid on GNU/Linux under ALSA with small buffer and stable low-latency. It's also relatively inexpensive, having been on the market since the year 2000 and being widely popular there's a lot of used units available for no money at all. Of course if I had the money I would buy a RME Hammerfall (HDSP 9652), which afaik officially supports GNU/Linux and ALSA, and external A/D-D/A boxes.

My other spec:

Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2160 @ 1.80GHz (will be upgraded to a Quad when I can afford it)
MSI P35 NEO-FI (motherboard)
4 x 1024 MB Corsair XMS2 Xtreme DDR2-800
1 x 250 GB Seagate SATA II 16 MB cache (system & home)
1 x 500 GB Seagate SATA II 32 MB cache (samples & audio recording)
Lian Li Minitower PC-A05B
Samsung 22" TFT 2232BW 16:10 (really nice and bright with 2 ms latency, only wish it was 24" ;) )
M-AUDIO Delta 1010
ESI nEar 05 eXperience (near field monitors)

I must say that the MSI P35 NEO-FI, otherwise a nice motherboard with FireWire, gigabit ethernet and 7.1 sound, isn't recommended if you plan to use a PCI-based audio interface because of the IRQ sharing. I don't know exactly how it affects any firewire-based interface which was my original plan.

Additional outboard equipment like pre-amps and effect processors are mounted in a rack.

Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:35 pm
by dahnielson
Speaking of hardware, I'm interested in finding reports on how well the devices on FFADO (formely FreeBoB) list work: ... 5D=perfect ... 5B%5D=good

Like how stable they are and what kind of latency that can be achieved (or rather lack of latency to be picky :D ).

Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:47 pm
by Consul
My set-up currently is:

Athlon64 6000+ dual-core
Asus M2NPV-VM motherboard
2GB DDR2-400 dual-channel RAM (running at 800Mhz)
1 x 250GB hard disk for OS/software/non-music related data (dual-booting Ubuntu Studio Linux and Windows XP)
1 x 320GB hard disk for tracking
1 x 80GB hard disk for sample storage (I might have to expand this :) )
Acer 17" 4:3 flat-panel monitor (nothing special, but it works well)
Emu 1212m sound card, which I got working (first try!) with the latest ALSA
Wharfedale DP8.2A active monitors
Kurzweil MIDIBoard v2.6 mastercontroller

You can see some photos of my setup and the build-up to it in my Flickr set here: ... 296885071/

I'm not done yet, but I'm getting there. I still need to finish the acoustic treatments, and I have some didgeridoos to make. :mrgreen: I also have some electronic gear to finish making.

Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 10:45 am
by sbenno
Nice that Kurzweil keyboard ! older gear has an unique charm which is hard to reproduce nowadays :)

Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:41 pm
by Alex
Guess i'd better add my own setup to this as well, although it's in the sig.

AMD64 x2 5600+
4gb Ram
3 x HD 7200 16mb Cache

Ubuntustudio 32bit
JackDmp (Thanks Stephane and the team at Jack!)
Wineasio Jackbridge version (Thanks Drumfix!)

Reaper, a Win daw running in Wine. (Thanks to Justin and the Reaper team for making it easy for us linux users to use this excellent programme.)
Muse (Thanks Werner!)
Mscore (Thanks again Werner!)
And the mighty Linuxsampler, who's only limit is my hardware, and 24hours in the day.

Damn, i hate sleep.
So much to do with so much.


Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:46 pm
by lowkey
Hi Peeps :)

My music computer died at Christmas so I'm using my normal computer. It's specs are...


CPU - AMD Semperon LE 1200
Memory - 2 gig DDR2 RAM
Motherboard - GeForce6100SM
Soundcard - Motherboards built in card
Hard Drive - 80 gig Hard drive


OS - Linux Mint 4.0 Based on Ubuntu 7.10. I changed it to realtime with w00t's "Reaper/Wine HowTo" on Reaper's forums.

Reaper - I love the way new functionality is added to the key commands. It means (to me) the gui wont be cluttered up with stuff I wont use. Bloatware proof DAW's don't come around often :)

EnergyXT - I can load it in Reaper as a VST effect. Reaper and EnergyXT complement each other perfectly. XT makes up for Reapers Midi and automation. Reaper makes up for XT's audio editing. I'ts almost like using Logic again. I was a PC Logic user.

ReNoise - I'm checking this out. I find tracker's as scary as anyone but I realize I spend most of my time zoomed in editing. Traditional sequencer's are focused on recording and editing performances, top down. Tracker's are conceptually the other way around so the time I spend learning it will pay off. ReNoise would also make a cool editor for LS because of it's sample recording, editing, resampling, envelope drawing and other tool's to mangle the crap out of sounds. It's also very keyboard focused like Reaper so once I learn it navigation should be quick.

ShortCircuit 1 - The interface is almost is perfect for me. Once i sample the rest of my VST's and delete their presets this will be the only VST I'll use on a regular basis to make sound's.

LinuxSampler - This is where I plan to put the sounds I make and the VST's Ive sampled. As Alex has demonstrated LinuxSampler is more than capable of holding huge libraries with insane polyphony.. My compositions wont need anything like amount Alex (Head Space Monkey :D ) would need but being able to access any sound with one interface when I'm composing will be very, very useful. When I get a BCF2000 the lack of display wont matter because every sound will have the same interface. The planed improvement's are going to make it even more powerful!

I'm saving up to make another music PC so I'm honing how I'd like to work on it while Moore's Law does it's thing ;)

Thank you LinuxSampler Dude's. If LS gets wav import I'd love to give back to the community.

Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:11 am
by dahnielson

Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:58 pm
by Alex
Anders, nice pic. Not the usual studio shot.


Re: What's your setup?

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:51 pm
by davephillips
Two machines dominate Studio Dave, Big Black and The 3800. Specs are:

Big Black:
AMD64 3200+ 2 GHz CPU
19" Sony Trinitron monitor

AMD64 3800+ 2.4 GHz CPU
20" Envision monitor

Both machines are fit with nVidia 7600GS fanless video cards with 512 MB VRAM. Both boxes also include M-Audio Delta 66 systems. Other gear includes two guitars (a Dean electric and an Ibanez electroacoustic), Shure SM58 mics, an AudioBuddy preamp, and a SoundBlaster PCI128 and an SBLive Value (for their external MIDI connectors). I have a Casio CZ101 for the occasional moments when I need to test a sound with a keyboard, and I also have two Yamaha TX802 FM synths, a Kawai K4r synth, and a Yamaha DMP11 digital mixer.

I use the same software on both machines, but the distros are 64 Studio for Big Black, JAD for The3800.

(As an aside: My studio also includes a very nice small Bose PA system, used for getting students prepared for performances.)

Music and sound software I use frequently:

AVSynthesis -- audio/visual synthesis with OpenGL and Csound 5.08
Sequencer Plus Gold (under DOSemu) -- for all my MIDI work, because it still kicks ass
QJackCtl -- can't live without it
QSynth -- the workhorse in my MIDI system
JACK Rack -- basically used for running the CAPS Plate Reverb LADSPA plugin
Ecasound -- for quick recordings
jconv -- if I need a convolution reverb I use jconv
seq24 -- for quick sequencing
amSynth and ZynAddSubFX -- other favorite synths

In past years I've also been enamored with Common Music and Snd, and I'm likely to return to them at some point (LISP rules!). I'll probably get back to using Pd and JOST sometime soon too. Other stuff I'm getting into now: the amazing Rakarrack guitar effects processor and Fons Adriaensen's phenomenal Aeolus.

Really, these days when someone complains about not being able to use Linux for making music, I have to wonder what they're smoking.