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Curious about Linux users

Postby tdaonp » Fri Dec 04, 2020 9:42 am

Hi,

In a recent soundonsound.com questionaire one of the questions was "Do you use a Mac or Windows machine?"
I could not answer this question truthfully because I use neither. I work with Linux. Now I know I am hugely in a minority in this respect. But for me Linux in combination with the DAW Reaper has been stable, productive and very flexible, thanks to the Jack audio backend of Linux. It's like having a good old analog patchbay in software.
I am curious whether there are other Linux users in the Soundonsound.com community?

Kind regards,
Henk
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby blinddrew » Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:54 am

Paging Folderol!
;)
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:28 am

{cough}
See sig :bouncy:
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby Luke W » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:35 am

I like the look of the penguin. That's everything I know about Linux though.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:50 am

Luke W wrote:I like the look of the penguin. That's everything I know about Linux though.
I'd urge anyone curious to grab a Raspberry Pi (I paid 30 quid for a Pi3) and fool around with it. It's worth the small price to take a look and see what it can do. For most people running a Windows laptop for home use I suspect they could do everything they need with a Pi 3/Linux - and likely with less hassle!

I made mine into my retro gaming arcade, with all my C64, arcade and PS1 games on there.

I couldn't use Linux for music-making (no Cubase, for starters!), but I do appreciate the cleanliness of the OS.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 04, 2020 11:54 am

Well that's appropriate in a way. Linux mostly tries to get out of the way and let you do what you want, the way you want. In fact, maybe it's a good time for this:
:bouncy:
A car analogy

I'm sure everyone is familiar with Microsoft and Apple cars, but Linux ones are a bit different.

Linux embedded car
You get a chassis, engine and basic steering rack - no brakes. Anything else you want you need to build yourself.

Linux server car
All the above, plus you now have power steering, brakes and a seat, a bodywork shell and (maybe) lights. There are some dealer-supplied extras, or you can build them as above.

Linux domestic car
A fully functional car with a wide choice of bodywork and interior furnishings, environment control etc. All of these have dealer-supplied alternatives that can be changed while driving, although you do need to stop to change the engine - they are working on that!

All the controls are user configurable, so you can decide for yourself which side of the steering you have your lights/indicators/windscreen washers - in fact, if you investigate further you'll find you can usually have up to four driving positions, all of which can be laid out quite differently!

There is no built-in entertainment centre or satnav but there is a bewildering range of 'after market' ones that are comparatively easy to fit. There is still the choice of self-build if you want something really obscure, but not many people do that at this level.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby Luke W » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:23 pm

The Elf wrote:I made mine into my retro gaming arcade, with all my C64, arcade and PS1 games on there.

Just as I think I'm getting on top of my seemingly endless pile of projects!
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby Vox Gnus » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:46 pm

I'm running Ubuntu 20.04 LTS with the full Ubuntu Studio package. For audio, it includes loads of fantastic software, such as Ardour, Yoshimi, the full Calf Audio plugin suite, and heaps of others. Combined with a few modest pieces of hardware, it does everything I could possibly need. All pre-configured, just install and use.

Ubuntu Studio is also fantastic for visual art, publishing, video production, and a lot more.

I moved to Linux after almost 30 years on Mac. I simply got tired of throwing money at Apple. While the learning curve was a bit steep, I don't feel as though I have lost anything valuable with the change. In fact, the inability to buy prepackaged solutions to audio problems has made me much more creative, and means I have fewer tools that I know much better. All for the low, low price of: free!

Linux has been a great solution for me.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby blinddrew » Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:54 pm

Interesting car analogy Folderol, I think you could look at DAWs in a similar way.
Reaper is the basic chassis, can handle any extras you throw at it and there's a whole range of custom options being created all the time.
Something Logic is the complete finished package, with the sat nav and the entertainment system etc. but more limited in how it can subsequently be customised or added to.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby merlyn » Fri Dec 04, 2020 2:28 pm

I use Arch BTW <= This is a meme the Linux users might get.

In a car analogy Arch Linux is a kit car :) I've been using Linux a while so Arch allowed me to build a system the way I want it.

I've found I can get a low latency with Linux because it lets you 'under the hood'. I also have two soundcards running -- one for desktop audio like Youtube videos and one for low latency production audio brought out to two stereo channels on my mixer. This takes a bit of setting up with the command line but it is possible.

For an introduction to Linux there are also fully set up, pre-configured systems like Ubuntu Studio that boot off of a live USB stick. Anyone interested can try this without risk -- live USB sticks don't install anything.

Highlights

JACK -- inter application routing
MuseScore -- notation software
Ardour -- multitrack recording with VCAs and anywhere to anywhere routing
Guitarix -- valve amp simulator
Yoshimi -- flexible synth
No Cortana -- (I mean millions of lines of code for a talking robot and no disk cloning utility? :))
Old hardware can often be kept going.
Over the time I've used Linux the audio stack has got more efficient.
More software is getting ported -- e.g. Reaper, Bitwig, Vital synth, Audio Assault plugins, Airwindows plugins and Audio Damage plugins.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby tdaonp » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:32 pm

hi all,

Nice to see some other Linux musicians here. i forgot to mention what I use:
Ubuntu Studio with the Reaper DAW, Carla for out of DAW plugins and its Wine bridge to use a few plugins that are not Linux native. I mostly use Linux native plugins though.
Also switched from Mac to Linux, no regrets. I had been using Linux for some years for everything else (My wife and I are self employed, and we only use Linux and open source software to run our endeavors).
At the end of last year I gave a talk for a Linux User Group about Jack, so I really had to have a deep dive in the workings of Jack. That was the trigger to ditch the 2011 Mac and switch to Linux for audio production. I was a bit apprehensive at first but it turned out that Ubuntu Studio (with the low latency kernel), Reaper, Carla and Jack form a very flexible, stable audio production platform.

Thanks for the reactions!
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:35 pm

Nice to see so many penguinisters surfacing :bouncy:
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby wireman » Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:55 pm

I use Linux at work and sometimes at home but not for anything related to audio/music.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby shiihs » Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:10 pm

I exclusively use linux for music too (in addition to hardware instruments) usually some combination of jack, supercollider, yoshimi, musescore or lilypond with frescobaldi, ardour6 or python+music21+scamp and audacity.
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Re: Curious about Linux users

Postby BJG145 » Sat Dec 05, 2020 8:37 pm

It's got a way to go to convert dabblers. With the RPi, I've found these pretty unstable personally. If you set it up to do one thing and leave it alone, it might be OK, but I couldn't recommend it for initial experiments with Linux. I blame the micro-SD cards. I've repeatedly prepared these with a clean version, spent the best part of a morning getting some application ready, celebrated prematurely...then half an hour later, after installing something or pulling the card out, it flatlines and you have to start again. I just gave my RPi PSU to the mother-in-law for her Roku, and I won't miss it.

It's been ages since I looked at Linux on a PC, but this morning, I thought, OK, let's try it. I installed the latest Ubuntu Desktop version on a spare Dell Latitude E7440. After several hard resets following random freezes, I decided, nope, this is too much like hard work.

I've installed Windows thousands of times. I've only installed Linux a handful of times. But I'd rather set up a hundred Windows machines than a Linux one. It's just too flaky.
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