Dave Phillips's blog

Something's Happening Here

It's a relaxed entry this time, an update on some recent happenings in the Linux audio world. Without further preamble, let's take a look at some of the good things going on there.

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I'm JADed !

In my apparently never-ending quest to revive and refresh my aging 32-bit box I decided to try installing the JAD (JackLab Audio Distribution) system. To recapitulate the source of woe with this particular machine, I'll remind readers that its PS2 ports are physically damaged, forcing me to switch my mouse and keyboard to the USB ports. Under normal circumstances this switch wouldn't be a problem, but many contemporary distros and live discs cause the keyboard to vanish from recognition by the system, leaving me with an unusable machine (the problem has something to do with the HID module). Regular readers of this blog may recall that I've been using the excellent Dynebolic on this hardware, and that it's worked wonderfully well. However, I thought I'd take a chance with the JAD distribution, and I must say that I've been very pleased with it. The installation and configuration went smoothly, the system is happy with my USB keyboard, and the old box now has a new lease on life, with a shiny new 2.6.19 Linux kernel optimized for realtime performance.

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News And A Review: LAC2007 & Rosegarden 1.5

The news: The annual Linux Audio Conference is now underway at the Technischen Universität Berlin. Alas, I won't be there, but I can still enjoy the presentations through IRC, audio, and video feeds. Check the conference wiki's LAC2007 Live Streaming page for access details. For more information regarding the conference see the LAC2007 general information page. [As of March 24 there is an alternate site.] This is the Linux audio community's event of the season, so feel free to visit, whether or not you're actually in Berlin.

The review: The developers at 64Studio recently announced the release of version 1.2 of my favorite audio-optimized Linux distribution. Among its many additions and improvements this update brings Rosegarden 1.5 to the 64-bit desktop studio. It's been quite a while since I considered the program in detail (I profiled a much earlier version in my Book Of Linux Music And Sound), so I decided the time had come for me to spend some quality time with the latest Rosegarden.

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A Host For Native Linux VST Plugins ?

Fully functional support for the VST plugin standard is one of the most important remaining problems for the Linux audio world. VST plugins are ubiquitous in the Win/Mac audio worlds, they are employed extensively in professional and desktop music software, and it may be no exaggeration to claim that the VST standard has revolutionized computer-based creation of music and sound. Given its great popularity this writer believes that stable VST support would give Windows users a compelling reason to try Linux as an alternate or replacement platform, especially if they have a sizeable investment of money and experience in their collection of VST plugins. more>>

Mix Libre

It's a mixed bag this week from Studio Dave. I'll skip the preliminaries and just invite you to dive in and check out some of the latest news from the ever-expanding world of Linux sound and music software. There's far more going on than I can possibly cover in my allotted space, but here's a quick survey of some recent remarkable activity.

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The Software Ecology Of Rui Nuno Capela

Rui Capela's software has appeared in this column many times. I've written about it directly (see At the Sounding Edge: Using QSynth and QJackCtl and HDRs and DAWs For Linux: The New Breed) and it shows up in almost every article I write. I'm not exaggerating when I state that Rui's programs have become indispensable components here at Studio Dave, so naturally I'm interested in the mind behind it all. In this entry I'll recap the nature and state of Rui's software, after which we'll meet the man himself in another lively interview here at the sounding edge. more>>

All They Need Is Funds: A Call For Community Support

This entry is a little off my regular beat, but its substance is of great importance to all users of Linux audio software. To get straight to the point, it's about money and two projects in real need of significant financial support, the Ardour hard disk recorder/digital audio workstation and the Hydrogen rhythm programmer/drum machine. Both projects are well along in their development cycles, both have achieved great status not only in the Linux audio software world but on OSX as well, and both need financing for their planned evolution. Ardour and Hydrogen are two of Linux's finest programs for musicians, rivalling their commercial counterparts and providing libre alternatives to the intense vendor lock-in typical of the Win/Mac sound and music software worlds. These are truly important projects that deserve your support and financial backing.

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The Buzz About Aldrin

For the past month I've been building and playing with Leonard 'paniq' Ritter's Aldrin, a music production system that combines a tracker-style composition interface with audio synthesis and processing modules called machines. Users of the famous Buzz music software will probably recognize Aldrin's design at once. In fact, it may be fair to describe Aldrin as Leonard Ritter's interpretation of the original Buzz.

For my last blog entry in 2006 I'll take a brief look at the latest public version of Aldrin, then we'll discover just what makes its creator tick in a rather lengthy interview with Leonard Ritter himself. Leonard is a thoughtful and articulate fellow, I hope you enjoy his responses and comments as much as I did. more>>

A Good Beginning (And Some Holiday DSP)

A t'ai-chi instructor once told me that he considered ten years practice in the art a "good beginning". By year's end I'll have maintained the pages at http://linux-sound.org for more than ten years, so I feel justified claiming that the site is off to a decent start. However, I have a somewhat suprising 10-year celebration announcement: The next edition of the Linux Sound & Music Applications pages (a.k.a. the Linux soundapps site) will be the last under my control. I'll leave it online in a final condition with all addresses checked and repaired, but my tenure as the site's sole maintainer is over. more>>

Getting My Kicks On Route 64

Some months ago I started collecting the pieces I needed to build my own 64-bit computer. I'm not a complete stranger to building machines, I've put together a dozen or so during the past twenty years, but it's been quite a while since I started one from scratch, and my experience with this machine was more instructive than it was meant to be. Nevertheless, at long last Studio Dave has gone 64-bit crazy. Well, not really crazy, but certainly more than mildly enthusiastic. more>>

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