Making Music with FOSS + OT: Ardour might be able to be a host for MacOS plugins, e.g. a Vocoder

Ralf ralf.mardorf at
Mon Apr 25 21:35:10 UTC 2011

Hi Hartmut :)

I guess it's a faux pas to write about FLOSS with the opinion that an
app isn't a full version, without supporting proprietary plugins. And of
cause it's a faux pas to use a seldom used codec/container for the
web-cast about FLOSS.

But regarding to a main target group that isn't using FLOSS, a common
proprietary codec seems to be wise.

To produce music, it also can't harm to provide all plugin formats for
Linux hosts, assumed they are really stable on Linux too, because
there's too much missing for Linux.

Now I'm 44 years old and don't like auto-tune, but I guess the kids do
need auto-tune since there is not one song in the charts not using it.
What I do like is this portamento-pitch-bend-effect they do use for
every song in the charts (seldom the way they use it), perhaps auto-tune
too? Or one of those modern virtual synth? If we need an arp arpeggiator
(step-sequencer) or a chorus singing our lyrics, a real orchestra etc.
we can't use Linux plugins or virtual Linux stand-alone synth.

I'm using Linux only, but I'm really missing those plugins, especially
because it's hard to use external MIDI equipment, regarding to the
jitter issue. I'm also not fine with recording vocals and guitars,
regarding to sound quality issues and latency that can't be compensated
properly, when using my favourite Linux sequencer.

So, yes, I do agree that this article and the codec issue are a faux
pas, but I also do understand that people wish to have proprietary
extensions when using FLOSS.

On Mon, 2011-04-25 at 22:41 +0200, Hartmut Noack wrote:
> Am 25.04.2011 11:40, schrieb Ralf:
> > Oops, I guess I blamed the RedHat guy, but it's a woman from RedHad
> > writing about
> > 'Ardour - proprietary_plugins = not_a_full_version_of_Ardour'.
> >
> Sorry, I cannot find the original article -- do you have a link to it by 
> any chance :-) -->

Recap: Making music with FOSS webcast with Adam Drew
Posted 20 Apr 2011 by Ruth Suehle (Red Hat)
Ardour is free software released under the GPL, but it's not entirely
free-as-in-beer. For the full version (which adds the ability to load or
save AU plugin settings), you're asked to donate any amount you feel is
appropriate. (The default recommendation on the donation page is $45.)

Getting help

These are just five of the hundreds of audio packages you have to choose
from for nearly any music project you could imagine.

Adam recommends two really helpful and active online communities with
IRC channels on the Freenode network: #opensourcemusicians (which has a
podshow about open source audio) and #ubuntustudio, which has a very
active mailing list and is growing. His nick is holstein--feel free to
say hello.

( she's of cause a good looking rock
star. I didn't read the whole article ;)


This reminds me to cross-post this email, because, IIRC, somebody wishes
to use a Mac Vocoder, because there are no good Linux Vocoders for his
needs (he tried not to do 'vocal classics', that can be easily done by
using the VocProc LV2, but to manipulate music completely, which only is
possible with Windows VSTs and MacOS plugins, btw. regular vocoders on
Linux aren't ok here, I'm using VocProc for vocals and it's working like
a charm for this usage, but indeed, there's no real modern vocoder for
Linux. Windows VSTs on Linux, well, people might be sensitive for
jitter, latency etc. or they are comfortable with using Wineasio and
complete loss of musical timing and sync. This depends to the kind of
musician using Linux + Wineasio ;).

And by the way, Qtractor and other apps should start to switch to JACK
MIDI, since JACK2 from svn seems to be nearly without jitter, when using
the new ALSArawMIDIbridge to control external equipment. I just run the
latency test and didn't test real instruments until now.



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