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While powerful, multi-track audio recording and editing software suites for Windows such as Sony ACID Pro , Cakewalk SONAR , and Adobe Audition , I run into the same latency ...
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  1. #1
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    TheMusician


    While powerful, multi-track audio recording and editing software suites for Windows such as Sony ACID Pro, Cakewalk SONAR, and Adobe Audition, I run into the same latency timing problems. SONAR is the worst of these, and is highly unstable, and its' audio engine often drops out and distorts everything, and has the worst timing issues. Sony ACID Pro i've found to be the least problematic, as it has only minor timing issues.

    After I have completed my bachelors' degree, I will definitely look to purchasing a Mac Pro for these kinds of things, as Logic Studio is the most refined, reliable program for audio production I have ever worked with. See, because all Mac hardware is proprietary, it is very easy for the developers to program software like Logic Studio and Garage Band to be able to run on almost any Apple computer, even with Macs up to 5-6 years of age, while keeping the performance great, because the software recognizes what exact model it's running on, and automatically makes up for latency issues.

    Software for PC's do NOT do this. You must have a high-end card and a dual-core processor (if not quad) to record and edit multiple tracks optimally, otherwise your PC will become very easily overwhelmed. My current 3GHz Pentium 4, 2GB DDR400 build is no exception.

    I've heard from some that Linux software runs a lot better, and takes better advantage and does in fact, optimize itself for less powerful machines. I was wondering if this was true, and if not, just if that the overall performance of the Linux audio software suites was better. If that is the case, I will look to adopt Ubuntu as the operating system I will use for production.

    If so, I was wondering what I should pick. I am highly experienced with software like Pro Tools, Sony ACID, SONAR, etc. and want as advanced an editor that I can get.

    • Ardour, a multi-track audio recorder.
    • Audacity, audio editor.
    • Baudline, signal analyzer.
    • Buzztard, music composer.
    • Ecasound, audio recorder.
    • Freecycle, beat slicer.
    • Gnome Wave Cleaner, denoise, dehiss and amplify.
    • JAMin, JACK Audio Mastering interface.
    • Jokosher, audio editor.
    • LinuxSampler, sampler.
    • LMMS, music composer
    • mhWaveEdit, audio editor.
    • Mp3gain, adjust MP3 playback volume without re-encoding.
    • Mp3splt, splits MP3 and Ogg Vorbis files without re-encoding.
    • MusE, MIDI sequencer (not to be confused with MuSE).
    • NoteEdit, score writer.
    • Renoise, modern tracker-style sequencer.
    • ReZound, audio editor.
    • Qtractor, a full featured multi-track audio and MIDI workstation.
    • Rosegarden, MIDI sequencer.
    • Seq24, a loop based midi sequencer.
    • Snd, audio editor.
    • Sweep, audio editor.
    • Timemachine, small JACK buffer capture tool.
    • Traverso DAW, a multi-track audio recorder.


    Out of all of these, what is best suited for ME? Again, multitrack composition is the goal, so i'm guessing Traverso DAW, Ardour, Qtractor? Is there anything else that I should look for? And out of the three I just named, which is the most advanced, which has the best performance, and which do you think I should use? (remember, for UBUNTU).

    Thank You.
    Sincerely,
    TheMusician

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie danielsmw's Avatar
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    TheMusician,

    First of all, it may be wise next time to name your thread after the topic you're asking about, not with your username, which is kinda vague. Either way, welcome to the forums! =)

    Secondly - and I may bet beaten for this - it is my opinion that if you are a serious, commercial, high-end media editor, you will probably not find what you want in Linux. For the most part, we could probably pick and choose all the functionalities of proprietary editing programs and find where they are in Linux programs, but I doubt it's going to be in one clean, centralized application.

    In a community driven project like Linux, products often meet the popular demand (but not always). For example, components like Gnome, OpenOffice, or vim (just picking three random things off the top of my head) are critical parts of many people's computing experience. A high end media editor, however, is not.

    With all that said, let's look at some of your options. You probably won't find someone who's used all of those, but I've used 2 or 3. Audacity is definitely a stable, high quality application. Again, it's not Final Cut Pro, but it's definitely a solid program that you would probably use a lot. NoteEdit is... well... a score editor. That's pretty simple. I've used it once or twice and it felt pretty good. Unlike some proprietary programs, though, I don't think it will provide an audio representation of your score. And although it has a GUI (I think) it is often used through text configuration files. And actually... I think that's all I've used.

    So, your job is to prove me wrong! I would love to know that Linux (specifically Ubuntu) can be used as a media producing platform, I've just never seen it done before. Let me know how it goes!

    -danielsmw
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  3. #3
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMusician View Post
    I will look to adopt Ubuntu as the operating system I will use for production.
    If I can suggest trying Ubuntu Studio which has a realtime kernel and a suite of applications which should be to your tastes. Jack doesn't work too well without the realtime kernel so it's a good idea to use a distro tailored to this kind of thing...this is one of the few examples where a tailored distro works better than installing later.

    Ubuntu Studio

    Do bear in mind that Ubuntu Studio still has the main Ubuntu repos so you will be able to get any software from 'normal' Ubuntu through your package manager.

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  5. #4
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    You may want to pick up the Oct 2008 Linux Journal. It has an article - State of the Art: Linux Audio 2008, Part II.

    Quoting that:

    Ardour dominates the professional-grade category of serious recording tools for Linux.
    The article discusses many Linux audio applications.

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  7. #6
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    There is also the 64studio distro, that has a low latency real-time kernel. It is built around Debian.
    64 Studio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And Jacklab, which is built around SuSE.
    jacklab.org - the home of JAD
    An Alpha version of jacklab1.1 can be downloaded here:
    http://tinyurl.com/2zbrnz

    You can also turn Fedora 8 into an audio distribution using the packages from Planet CCRMA.
    Planet CCRMA at home

    As for which applications to select, I say select them all. Since they are free to install, you can try them all for yourself.
    Last edited by waterhead; 10-11-2008 at 11:44 PM.
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    I'm reading around and i'm noticing some prefer 64 studio to Ubuntu Studio. Although I don't know. I was wondering what YOU guys think, and if you could tell me which one I should use.

    And regarding 64 Studio:

    Is it only for 64-bit processors? And if its compatible with 32-bit processors, will it still be optimized and worth it for latency/audio editing and such? I have a 3GHz Pentium 4 32-bit

  9. #8
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    I installed 64studio on a 32-bit P4 3.06Ghz system. They have versions for both. I haven't really recorded much with it yet, but it does have the real-time kernel for low latency. The sound card really is what will make this a pro type system. So you may want to check the supported card list for support for higher end models.

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  10. #9
    Linux Enthusiast L4Linux's Avatar
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    I can tell you about Ubuntu, on which Ubuntu Studio is based. It is very user friendly and because it is Linux, it is fast and stable.
    Unforunately most of us are not musicians(i suppose...), so we can't tell you much about the music tools that come with those distributions.
    But they have A LOT of tools preinstalled, as far as i know

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