I'm a musician, been playing in bands for 20 yrs now. Do most of my
editing on Linux though I tend to shade toward Ubuntu for music
editing. For recording I've had to resort to a Mac but at least I got
rid of my last windoze box. Since 2000 the only windoze machine I've
ever owned was purely for recording and nothing else.
I'm not a god candidate ffor a mentor but I'd love to help out. I can
start with my frustrations with Fedora and Music software.
Biggest problem is drivers. For example i have an Maudio Delta 66 and
Tascam USB144 break out boxes and have never once gotten either to
work under Linux. The Delta 66 dates back to around 2003 and the
Tascam is a couple years old. Official response from Maudio was "we do
not support Linux" and my requests that they make their API available
to allow open source developers to work on drivers was met with
silence. Tascam's response was to point me at a driver that worked on
a predecesor for the USB 144 but would not compile on any modern
distro. The Linux community has not had a peep in suggestions over the
years I've asked if anybody else had gotten this hardware running
under Linux. Multiple Distros, multiple forums an list groups. Far as
I can tell nobody has. Google searches have turned up nothing either.
Been a couple years since I tried the Delta and about a year since I
tried the Tascam but suspect nothing has changed.
This is critical to musicians. If your doing a podcast a line in on
the best sound card is not optimal but it sort of works. If you don't
care about audio quality you can also even record tapes and old vinyl
using a line in. When your recording music even the best sound card is
woefully inadequate in quality and the single input channel is
extremely limiting. Typical break outboxes come with 2,4,8 and 12
channels, top end might have 16 real channels with up to 32 virtual
channels of simultaneous recording. This is CRITICAL to recording
music. I consider 4 channels bare min to record acoustic drums. There
are songs where the scratch track requires multiple musicians and you
have to have at least 4 inputs (2 stereo inputs as many effects that
are important to your sound require stereo and if you've mixed down to
mono to come in a line out you've squashed your effect and it's nearly
impossible to restore it). As such break out boxes are a critical part
of doing serious sound. Even if your doing a podcast it's generally
better to have a breakout box for the higher quality and flexibility
it gives you.
The big names in break out boxes are Maudio, Tascam, Line 6, and one
I've never used Digidesign. Your going to want to develop FAQs for
getting those critters up and runnng under Linux.
A real time kernel is important for multi-track recording but not
important for most other audio aspects, however it'd be best to link
to FAQs on RT kernels under Fedora.
Jack audio HATES Fedora or vice versa. Over the years I've gotten Jack
audio to play sometimes when it feels like it but as often as not it
will die a horrible death or more commonly after going through a 100
hoops you actually get it installed, you pull up something like
Rosegarden and it's working YEA !!!! Then a system bell goes off or
you play a wave file in Audacity or anything else makes a sound and
Jack is silent ever more until you log out and log back in. If you
remove ALL other sound engines then most of your playback apps will
fail as few have Jack plugins. Those that do the plugins are often
flaky and die at odd times.
As much as I hate Jack audio %90 of Linux high end sound software
requires Jack audio. Don't ask me why it's just how they do it.
Ardour, Rosegarden, even drum machines and loop editors. Jack audio
not only has to work it has to be reliable for anybody to do any
serious sound work under Linux. Jack is friendlier to Ubuntu and I
have problems but at least I can get it working though I usually have
to give up my beloved KDE adn use Gnme to keep Jack happy under
There is a wide assortment of excellent editing and recording software
availible for Linux and there have been distro spins of Ubuntu,
OpenSUSE and others which incorporate some of them, however even the
best music distros are so so. The best so far was an OpenSUSE spin
which had a single release which worked great but was discontinued.
:( It and Ubuntu Studio however do have quite a few places somebody
building a Fedora musical spin can use as a headstart in the process.
Some of the worst headaches are solved under those distros. Planet CRM
does a great job of collecting and hosting many musical apps. I've
spoken with developers for the Audacity and Rosegarden apps and can
introduce you to some helpful folks in those projects.
Anyway hope this helps and I'm around to help in any way I can, even
play guinea pig if you need one. For years I've struggled to record
under Linux and failed. I've got a pretty good laptop begging for
working musical distro.
On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 1:09 PM, Christopher Antila <crantila(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I am a Canadian university student who would like to take part in the
Fedora Summer Coding process. My academic background is in Music, but I
have taken some courses in Compuer Science. My idea is to write a guide
for musicians using Fedora (see the idea page here:
The idea, basically, is to get people started with the various programs
available in Fedora and Planet CCRMA. The idea page is far from a
complete project, so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. What
I need now is a mentor to guide me through the project! Ideally, that
task would be split between people from the Docs SIG, and the music
As before, any comments will be helpful - thank you for reviewing this
N.B. I posted this to the docs, music, and summer-coding-discuss lists
to get what seems like the widest applicable audience
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