Some useful links

Things that make the work with LinuxSampler & Co easier, better, faster, louder and more sexy. Including friends like JACK, ALSA, etc.
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Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:08 pm

Some useful links

Post by Alex » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:53 am

Here are some useful links for programmes and utilities that may help you enjoy even more the Linuxsampler experience.
We'll try and keep these in one post where possible, so please send me a PM with any links you may have, and i'll post them.


Distros...(for those new to linux, this is the operating system, and in many cases, a large collection of programmes as well) Comes in 32 and 64 bit flavours. This version of Ubuntu also has the RT, or low latency kernel as default.
irc channel: #ubuntustudio This distro is popular for audio work in particular, and has matured into a stable OS with much to offer the serious musician/composer in terms of speed, and reliability. Based on Suse 10, this distro was developed by an enthusiastic team of musician/developers eager to further refine the working capability of an audio production model in linux. These guys have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into making everything work together well, and they continue to do so.
irc channel: #jad

Gentoo Linux with the Pro-Audio Overlay

Gentoo offer the same low-latency capabilities as any other niched distribution because of the way you configure and compile everything yourself. Because it can take some time before new releases of media application turn up as ebuilds in Portage (the package-management system) it's wise to install the Pro-Audio Overlay for any serious DAW installation. The overlay contains more current releases and ebuilds for application not yet in the main Portage tree. But the Gentoo distribution isn't for the complete GNU/Linux newbie, it's more suitable for user who have already built and installed source packages on their own, or even rolled their own kernel, and now will take advantage of Gentoo's automatic build system to do the same.

Sound servers and utilities............ At the heart of most modern audio systems in linux, lies Jack. A fully fledged audio and midi server system that enables user to connect pretty well anything to anything. The midi system is improving fast, and when mature will help provide a complete solution for all audio and midi needs in linux, surpassing that of any other audio server or component system in any os, including asio. (Which is already the case in audio.) Coupled with Jackdmp, the multiprocessor version, this is a fundamental part of modern systems, and provides a freedom of choice in routing unmatched by anything else. The 'face' of Jack. An easy to use working interface that puts the power of Jack in front of your eyes. This is the most popular interface for Jack, and was developed by a member of the Linuxsampler team, Rui Nuno Capela. For many linux users, Wine represents the best of both worlds, and in the audio midi production sphere, Wine is vital in the communication and smooth interoperability between linux and win programmes. For over ten years a dedicated team of developers and testers have been painstakingly building and cross referencing thousands of windows programmes, refining Wine to accomodate and run Win programmes from a wide selection of genres. Many musicians and composers use VSTs in their productions, and win programmes to run them, so Wine is an essential part of the total process. Be sure to check in the WineDb database, to see if your particular choice of programme works ok, as not all do, given the complexity of porting, and the sheer volume of programmes involved. At the depth of Linux Audio lies Alsa. Where Jack is at a 'higher level' in the layers of sound production, Alsa lies at the root. Drivers for soundcards are written specifically for linux as 'modules', and a matrix of modules written so far can be found on the Alsa website. If you're unsure of whether your soundcard has an associated linux module, then this is the place to look. New modules are constantly being added to the matix, so be sure to check regularly.

Music programmes............. Qtractor is the brainchild of Rui Nuno Capela, the developer of QJackctl, and Qsampler, an interface for Linuxsampler already hugely popular with LS users. Rui has said quite plainly, that he's determined to build a great DAW for linux, and it shows already as the development rate of this programme has been astonishing.
With its elegant and easy to use layout, and seamless intereaction with Jack, Qtractor is rising fast, and promises much in terms of useability. The inbuilt router, a mirror of the connections window in qjackctl, is quick and easy to use, and the mixer gives the user an easy and obvious reference to what's playing, immediately. Qtractor is a rising star of modern linux music production, and one to consider for any user. MusE is an audio and midi sequencer programme that is developing fast, thanks to the efforts of the head of the development team, Werner Schweer. Werner has been enthusiastic in his determination to build a fully fledged DAW that will serve as a vital component in a complete production setup. Rapidly maturing, MusE already offers a stable and user friendly environment to write and record music with. Predictions are this DAW will become one of the mainstays of linux music production. In addition to this, Werner has split off from the main programme the notation component, and is developing it as a standalone notation editor called Musescore, or Mscore. It's already highly usuable, and developing at the same rapid rate as the main sequencer. It might seem strange to add a primarily windows programme to a linux audio list, but Reaper is certainly entitled to be here given the huge takeup from linux users, using Reaper in Wine, a windows layer framework and programme, designed especially to run Win programmes in Linux. Reaper runs well in Wine, and has been reported more than once to work even better than it does in native windows. The team at Reaper are updating on an almost daily basis, and the profile of the programme in the audio production world is clmbing rapidly. Best of all, for linux users, the team at Reaper are supportive of Wine/Linux users,and this shows in the excellent performance. There has been a hint from Justin Frankel, the owner and driving force behind Reaper, that an opensource version of Reaper may be considered for a later time.
irc channel: #reaper Ardour could be thought of as the sage old gentleman of professional linux audio production, but it's quite the reverse. Paul Davis and the development team at Ardour continue to press forward with ever more refined and greater development, and at this moment in time, Ardour 2.2 has just been released, with, amongst other improvements and additions, the inclusion of 'Rubberband'. a fully native linux pitch adjusting and time stretching algorithm. In addition to this, the Ardour team continue to develop midi components, with the intention of bringing everything together in a complete native linux DAW for audio/midi production. Ardour is already used professionally by many musicians and composers, and the inclusion of midi and other modern components will further enhance this already seasoned and stable programme. Ardour can also be compiled to host VSTs. If Ardour was perceived as the sage old gentleman of linux audio programmes, then Rosegarden could have been the Grand Old Lady. And, just as Ardour is continuing to press on with new development, the team at Rosegarden have been as industrious. With the recent release of version 1.6.1 for linux, Rosegarden represents an important continuing role in linux music production as a primarily midi intensive audio midi programme. With numerous editors, including drum and notation, as well as the more regular piano roll and event, there are a variety of ways with which a user can manipulate Midi, and and print a professional score, and parts. An important tool in linux audio midi production.

More to come....

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