Sunday, July 02, 2006
Welcome to Linux Rock Star. This blog documents my various experiences using Linux for the making of music. I review and test all kinds of applications, most freely available under an open source license, including relevant links in case you want to try the application yourself.
There are many music apps available for Linux including Synthesizers, DAW's (Digital Audio Workstations), Trackers, Sequencers and much more. There are also complete Linux Distributions available with all of the programs setup and ready to use. My goal is to cover many of these available programs and make them accessible to the reader.
I'm a college student at Boise State University and have been playing around with Linux since I somehow got it on some 5 1/4” floppies on my 386. A few years ago, I was using Mandrake Linux (since renamed to Mandriva) and tried to compile and run Ardour (a Pro-Tools like DAW). I met with enormous failure as I couldn't get anything to work. I abandoned Linux for audio and used Windows and programs like ACID and Tracktion. These programs worked alright, but for the most part, with my low budget sound card I could never record anything or use softsynths without enormous amounts of lag. This often foiled any efforts I made to produce music.
Recently, I decided I would try Linux again on my desktop, after having a successful semester at school running Xandros and Kubuntu on my laptop. I was impressed by how much easier getting and installing programs had become in some respects, and by how much hardware support had gotten better and things in general had matured.
I had some luck with music specific distributions like Agnula/Demudi and Musix but eventually settled in with SuSE 10.1 which is my current operating system. I am looking into patching the kernel for realtime use.
Thanks for reading through my introductory post. With my next entry I will probably be taking a look at JACK, a “low-latency audio server, written for POSIX conformant operating systems such as GNU/Linux and Apple's OS X.”