Making music with Linux - what's best for my laptop?
I have just joined this forum so would like to say hey first of all! I'm from Ireland, 29. A musician and also recently, a programming student.
I really want to install a Linux distro on my laptop and have it dual-boot with Windows 7 (which is what is already on the laptop and I'm using now). I've tried several different distros on VirtualBox and installed Ubuntu using the Wubi installer. The distro I am most drawn to is Fedora 16 with GNOME 3. I'm in love with the whole idea of free software and the open-source community and really want to avoid propriety software as much as possible, even if that means making life a little harder for myself. And I want to use the open-source software that's out there to make music.
However, I really don't know what distro best suits my needs and hardware, and I'm having trouble figuring that out.
My laptop's specs are:
- Lenovo IdeaPad Z570
- intel core i5-2410M (2.3 GHz)
- 6 Gb RAM (DDR3)
- 640 GB HDD
- NVIDIA Ge-Force 520M 1GB (optimus switching)
- Broadcomm Wireless card
My soundcard is listed as Realtek High Definition Audio and also Intel Display Audio. I can't seem to get more info than that about it.
What I'll be using it for:
- I want to make music. I don't have an external interface, but I just want to noodle around with the programs for the time being; learn how to use them, etc. I have already tried out things like LMMS, Audacity, QSynth, and have managed to get QJackCtrl set up (in the wubi-Ubuntu and Linux Mint on virtualbox). However, they don't run too well - bad latency issues. I know that my hardware isn't ideal for this sort of thing but in saying that, I'm able to run FL9 with many vst plugins on Windows on my machine without too much trouble, if I don't push it too hard. So I suspect/hope, that with a bit of configuration and research, that I can get a similarly decent standard from a Linux distro.
- Will be doing some programming, mainly in java.
- Photo editing and creating vector drawings
- General day-to-day stuff (web, videos, listening music, word processing)
I guess I'm trying to find the distro that will best run music and sound creating/editing programs (and jack) on my particular machine.
I've tried Dream Studio, and while it's pretty great and has a lot to recommend it, I'm not just going to assume that it's the best option for my machine. Also, I'm not crazy on Unity (even if I do quite like GNOME 3, which is similar in many ways).
Anyone have any advice? Or know where I should ask?
Thanks in advance!