A bad experience ...

thomas fisher studio1 at commspeed.net
Wed Jan 30 16:49:35 GMT 2008

On Wednesday 30 January 2008 07:14:08 Det wrote:
> Hello all,
> I want to share a bad experience I had almost two weeks ago
> when I tried to record the school band of my son for a demo they needed.
> Setup:
> 2 Guitars, 2 Mics, E-Bass, E-Drums,
> on a PHHB17 Phonic Helix USB mixer.
> Feisty Studio on a Gericom Hummer 2640e Laptop, 2.6 GHz Celeron,
> 1 GB RAM (Infineon DDR2 333).
> Jack(QJackCtl) -> Rosegarden.
> Scenario:   Band plays, Drums are recorded.
>                  Band plays again, bass is recorded.
>                  Band plays again, two guitars are recorded.
>                  Band play again, first voice rec.
>                    ... and again, second voice.
> This due to the 2 channel restriction of USB and the mixer.
> Prolog: (Some weeks earlier)
> problems existed but seemed solved:
> After upgrading the RAM from 256 MB to 1 GB, boot was VERY slow,
> KDE unusable (menus opened slowly, applications started slowly).
> Many google sessions later I blacklisted intel_rng and experimented with
> mem=xxxM settings in  /boot/grub/menu.list , resulting in an adequate
> setting with 1016M (or 1015, can't remember correctly).
> After that I did some recording with  ZynAddSubFx and QSynth, via external
> keyboard (on MIDIMAN 1x1) and Jack/Rosegarden.  All fine.
> Same with a multitrack voice recording I tested with myself.
> Now the critical day:
> I unfortunately decided to start an update via the Update Manager, telling
> me that some security fixes are present.
> After that, startup was so slow ....
> Found out that my mem-settings as well as the deleted splash and quiet
> options were removed/restored from menu.lst.
> I edited the settings (by experimenting again) but did not gain the former
> speed.  Opening of menus a.s.o. in KDE were not at full speed.
> (NB: This is current state, performance is not at optimum, no matter which
> kernel).
> During recording now, I detected that the cursor scrolling in Rosegarden
> was jerky, but the recorded tracks were good when playing back.
> Then when trying to record the guitars, the time bar prolonged fully, but
> after
> stop of recording the tracks turned out to be cut at an earlier time
> position.
> Deleting them and doing it again, same effect but at another time pos.
> With checking everything left and right I could not solve the problem.
> Jack even notices only a few single xruns of some msecs. No real hint.
> Even after restarting Rosegarden (and Jack) the effect kept when trying a
> third
> take.
> We then tried to take another track, but starting the recording shortly
> before the end
> of the guitar tracks.  This track now recorded until the end.
> Unfortunately I was not fit enough in Rosegarden to immediately edit the
> two tracks to couple the recordings to one complete sequence.
> So the UStudio recording came to an end.
> My son went for his tower pc (somewhat same hw performance data as
> my laptop), started his win xp and audacity, and we did the session this
> way.
> It was a frustrating experience as I earlier tried to convince him of the
> possibilities
> a Studio system would open for recording, processing and mixdown, and the
> simple win/audacity combi left me out in the rain.
> This story only to whinge a bit,  thank you for listening.
> No  ;-) .
> I wanted to share the experience of the sensibility of Ubuntu in general
> and of Ubuntu in a Media production setting in particular.
> If someone can give hints regarding this or that effect I had, it would be
> appreciated indeed.
> But I think it all comes to adequate Hardware.  That's the reason why OS-X
> is a so
> wonderful experience on a Mac (where else?).
> Indeed I'm thinking now about taking my old defect tower box and put in
> some sound hardware to build a dedicated (audio-) studio machine.
> The next question therefore is:
> What MoBo, Processor, ... combination could I trust to run US on reliably?
> And that's now the last question:
> Wouldn't it be good to have some documentation about highly recommended
> (as experienced as reliable) hardware for the US application scenarios, to
> give
> such people who would indeed like to go and buy dedicated stuff a help?
> On one hand, simply the many "ubuntu runs on my" from the standard ubuntu
> sites would perhaps not suffice for this special case. On the other, it
> hasn't to be a complete cumulated matrix of running combinations, simply
> some alternatives known as running would do it.
> KR
> Dirk
  A term from older Linux was " bleeding edgers."

  There is a lot of digital wisdom to get a system to a finely tuned and 
dependable state. To move cautiously concerning changes that impact the whole 
frequently means not going for the newest biggest bestest right now, but to 
sideline while observing the bleeders bleeding. For Linux audio, CCRMA on 
Fedora has some very skilled digital systems - musicians managing the 
  Your story was interesting. What level was your USB? What audio fidelity 
level were you recording at? What was the make and model of your breakout box 
or was everthing through the mixer? Was jack reporting xruns? Were you using 
the generic kernel or the realtime? What kernel version? Ide or sata HD?


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