What HW/SW do people have working?

Larry David larrydavid07 at comcast.net
Mon Jan 26 06:03:05 GMT 2009

On Jan 25, 2009, at 10:51 PM, Scott wrote:

> Larry David wrote:
>> Are you using a Linux machine regularly to do audio/MIDI and finding
>> it solid and useable, or is this still mostly an experiment to see
>> what you can get running and for how long?
> I'm not doing any MIDI, just audio recording 12 tracks in Ardour.   
> It's working 100%
> with no xruns or crashes.  My longest continuous session was 45  
> minutes before I
> stopped it to save.  I'm actually a little surprised it's working  
> so well in 8.10
> considering it was complete trash in 8.04.

I see, that's very interesting.  Please forgive my complete ignorance  
of all things Linux, but what's an xrun?  Do you know why Ardour  
works for you in 8.10 and didn't in 8.04?  I mean did you figure  
something out or did you do everything the same and it just worked  

> About 5 years ago I had an old DAW that ran in NT4 and used a PCI  
> audio capture card.
>   It crashed about 1 in 5 times and both the hardware and software  
> folks claimed that
> was normal.  There was no win2k or newer support and it suffered  
> from a 1/2 second
> recording delay.  That was the biggest pain because it required  
> tons of
> post-production editing.

I think Windows machines crash more and are generally not as good for  
music apps as Macs - I know that's a generalization and I'm not  
trying to be a snob - but Mac has always catered more to multimedia,  
and Windows to business.  The fact that Mac OS only runs on Apple  
machines, and MOTU hardware and software is developed and tested on  
the exact same machines that users have, makes it run a lot more  
smoothly than Windows DAWs.  There are still problems occasionally of  
course, but like I said before, Mac+MOTU just plain works 99.9% of  
the time.

> RT provides for only a 2ms delay which is a dream... I just hit  
> record and can punch
> in/out at will then export to an audio file.  Even a Mac or PC  
> can't match that.  If
> it wasn't for RT capability I wouldn't have bothered with Linux.   
> The fact that my day
> to day work takes place in the context of Linux helps, but it  
> wasn't the deciding
> factor in choosing an OS to host my audio tools.  I'd use a  
> Nintendo if the quality
> and applications were as awesome as those available to Linux :^).

Now this is very interesting.  RT means "real time", right?  Is there  
some real time capability that Linux has for processing audio that  
Mac does not?  Does the Mac CoreAudio or whatever it is not provide  
the same functionality?  I've never heard it claimed that Linux was  
*better* than Macs (or anything else) for music/audio, but if that's  
true, that would be a big deal for me.  And you say the apps are  
awesome - I know about Ardour; is it really as good or better than  
say Digital Performer or Logic or Protools (which I understand it is  
trying to emulate)?  What other music/audio apps are so great?

I really want to be convinced that Linux is the way to go - cheaper  
machine and free SW - can't beat that with a stick.  But I'm very  
skeptical - you get what you pay for and all that...  But maybe the  
FOSS movement/whatever can change that, at least with regards to SW.


> -Scott
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