connecting ubuntu studio with other machines

Steve Meiers tekrytor at
Sun Sep 14 20:54:48 BST 2008

There's some interesting stuff going on using Ethernet to send audio and midi, including synchronization. If fact, there have been some professional recording sessions done this way with artists in different cities working in real time. Of course for that you need a very fast Internet provider at both ends, probably not practical for your typical home studio... yet anyway. 

BUT, within a local studio, sending audio and midi data between machines via Ethernet should be possible. Gbit Ethernet cards are getting pretty cheap and routers, too. I forsee the death of midi as hardware connection, with USB as the interim. Ethernet is just getting so fast, cheap and prevalent that it seems the logical way to do audio too.  Picture instead of an expensive snake, you just run a Cat5 cable between stage (server, ADCs and Ethernet) and the FOH mixer, which is just a workstation and a hardware interface only. Forget sending audio everywhere, keep it on a specialized server and let all the control, recording, routing, etc, be done remote via Ethernet. Think of it like your bank card. You don't carry all the money around with you, the store just calls up wnat it needs when you make a transaction. You only have to move what data is really necessary.

Back to how this relates to Ubuntu: 
I haven't seen Ethernet midi drivers yet for Linux, but I have for windose and I would bet that if none are yet available for Linux, they will be soon. Gibson offers a Les Paul with Ethernet and other instruments are not far behind. These days, conversion is cheap enough to put the ADCs in the instruments (Behringer sells USB guitars already for $150) and you're good to go. Look at all the multiFX for guitar with USB built in and you can see where it's going. Instead of mixers, we will most likely have standard routers (ok, maybe fast ones) with mixer software that can accept Ethernet connections for audio data. And Ubuntu Studio will be there, too. Ubuntu Studio is the best OS for audio and it's only getting better.


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