About the Mod: Part One
Fortunately the situation is not an either/or scenario. Programmer Guy Thornley has written a useful little program called GMid2Mod that converts a standard MIDI file (preferably with a General MIDI patch map) to an XM format module, employing the default Gravis Ultrasound samples used by the TiMidity MIDI player. Using GMid2Mod I converted a four-channel MIDI file (with four GM instruments) to an XM-format mod. I used the MikMod player to convert the module to a CD-quality (44.1KHz, 16-bit) stereo WAV file, and I then used BladeEnc MP3 encoder to convert the WAV to an MP3 file with a bitrate of 128KBps.
As the following comparison of the file sizes indicates, it makes better sense for the composer of mods to distribute works in the original module format:
Interlude.mid 34KB Interlude.xm 737KB Interlude.wav 28MB Interlude.mp3 2.5MB
Another advantage shared by MIDI and mod files (over the WAV and MP3 formats) is the ease with which they can be studied, viewed and/or rearranged in compatible composition software. For example an XM module can be loaded into any tracker with XM support, just as a standard MIDI file can be loaded into any MIDI sequencer that supports the Standard MIDI File format. Compositions and performances in the WAV and MP3 formats are not easily rearranged or dismantled into their constituent instruments.
Incidentally, if you want to head in the other direction, Kokai Istvan has written Xm2Mid, a utility for converting XM-format mods to standard MIDI files with a GM patch layout. It works best if your module is arranged using an instrument set identical to the GM patch map.
As of August 2000 I counted 13 trackers listed on the Linux Sound & Music Applications site. Which one(s) you prefer to try will depend on your available resources, particularly your graphics capabilities, as well as your interest in developing a tracker. For X users, Michael Krause's SoundTracker (see Figure 1) is designed with an excellent GTK interface graphics, while Cedric Roux's powerful Xsoundtrack (see Figure 2) uses common Xlib graphics. Jason Nunn's FunktrackerGOLD (see Figure 3) is an excellent console-based tracker requiring only the ncurses library for its graphics.
Those three trackers have been developed to a stable and usable status. Other Linux trackers include the Sarah Tracker, Stupid Tracker [sic], and ocsatracker for the Linux console and the Industrial Tracker, the Rapid Audio Tracker, and Insotracker for X displays. All of this software is in various stages of development.
Tracker-style interfaces also appear in music software that does not create modules. Juan Linietsky's unique Shake Tracker (see Figure 4) combines the module tracking interface with MIDI output. If your soundcard includes a hardware synthesizer with SoundFont (sf2) support you can use its sound banks directly. Shake Tracker has just begun its development course, but it is already usable, and the author welcomes feedback and suggestions from users.
Tim Janik and Olaf Hoehmann have created the BEAST/BSE system which is an ambitious project that combines an audio synthesis network with a tracker's composition interface (see Figure 5). Currently, files are saved in the BSE format and are not compatible with mod trackers and players. Like Shake Tracker, BEAST/BSE is in early development, but it works and is already quite impressive.
David O'Toole's GNU-OCTAL project plans to be the Linux equivalent of the Buzz tracker for Windows. Buzz differs from other trackers because it includes generators for sound synthesis, thus eliminating the need for a separate sample library. GNU-OCTAL is similarly designed, and although still in early development, the project is definitely worth watching (or joining: remember, this is Linux, where you too can get involved in the exciting world of audio software development!).
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
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