Dave Phillips's blog

Loop-based Music Composition With Linux, Pt. 2

In this second and final part I'll demonstrate some of the loop-specific tools I've found in Ardour, Reaper, and Audacity. Tutorials and links to project demos are included, so warm up your headphones and let's get loopy.

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Loop-based Music Composition With Linux, Pt. 1

Loop-based music composition is the practice of sequencing audio samples to create the various parts of a musical work. A sample may contain only a single event such as a bass note or cymbal crash or it may contain a measured pattern of events such as a drum beat, a guitar chord progression, or even an entire piece of music. The former type is sometimes referred to as a "one-shot" sample, while a longer sampled pattern is often simply called a loop.

A loop is usually created at a specific tempo in a precise time period (musical beats and measures) for exact concatenation with other loops. Sequencing a series of timed loops creates realistic tracks that can convince a listener that he or she is listening to a part specifically performed for the piece.

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Troubleshooting Linux Audio, Part 3b

In this final section I'll present some MIDI-specific troubleshooting tips, along with a brief description of the setup here at StudioDave, a few closing remarks, and of course some links to the Linux music-maker du jour. more>>

Troubleshooting Linux Audio, Part 3a

At last we reach the final installment of this series, the question & answer stage in which we'll consider some of the common problems encountered with audio and MIDI on Linux, along with some common and perhaps not-so-common solutions to those problems. We've looked at some indispensable items for your Linux system troubleshooting toolkit, now let's see how they are applied.

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Troubleshooting Linux Audio, Part 2

In my last installment of this series I introduced a variety of GUI-based tools that can help you discover more about your system to help identify potentially troublesome components. This week we'll look at some of the command-line utilities that do similar work. In fact, some of these utilities are the engines underneath the more attractive GUI tools, and there may be good reasons to employ the engines directly instead of relying upon their graphic incarnations.

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Pleasant Diversions At Studio Dave

Judging by the number of hits tallied for Troubleshooting Linux Audio Part 1 it seems the topic is of interest to many readers. Alas, I must apologize to everyone waiting for the next parts of the series. Various events have kept me from completing it in short order, but you may rest assured that it will return in my next installment. Meanwhile, this week we'll look at two excellent applications that are coming into greater use here at Studio Dave, the LiVES video editor for Linux, and Reaper (yes, again), a native Windows audio/MIDI sequencer running under Wine.

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Troubleshooting Linux Audio, Part 1

I have a friend who has had nothing but nightmares result from his attempts at setting up the fabled low-latency high-performance Linux audio system. In sympathy with his plight I present here a primer in three parts for troubleshooting common and uncommon problems with the Linux sound system. Parts 1 & 2 will present programs used to analyze and configure your audio setup. Part 3 will list the most frequently encountered problems along with their suggested solutions.

This week, Part 1 introduces some useful system analysis tools and utilities with graphic user interfaces.

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Re: 32-bits, CLAM, and TAPESTREA

During the construction of my 64-bit box I collected enough spare parts to build another machine, one destined for a 32-bit Linux system. Last week I finally got that machine built and running with a sparkling new version of the Jacklab Audio Distribution (JAD). I've been using JAD in its alpha releases, but the new box is running the first beta version.

Various improvements have been made in JAD since my earlier review, including the adoption of a 2.6.19 kernel optimized for superb realtime performance. Since I've profiled the system in an earlier blog entry I decided to briefly review some of the more unusual software included with the distribution or built with the help of its development packages. JAD contains more than 70 applications for audio and video composition and production, most of which are at their most recent release versions, so come join me in a look at some less typical sound & music software running on one of the best of the new breed of multimedia-optimized Linux distributions.

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Catching Up With JOST

Three months ago I introduced my readers to a new system for hosting VST plugins compiled natively for Linux. That system has continued its development and has become a mainstay in the Studio Dave Linux audio arsenal. Here's an update on the system's recent incarnations, complete with the usual multimedia extravaganza of text, screenshots, and sounds. more>>

Ardour 2.0 : A Brief Practical Introduction

The eagerly-awaited Ubuntu Studio has been released, adding another entry into the expanding list of multimedia-optimized Linux distributions. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but interested readers can peruse some installation screenshots or check out the latest news and information on the Ubuntu Studio Wiki. I plan to review the distro in a future column, along with an update on the latest version of the venerable PlanetCCRMA, but in this entry I'm focused on another very exciting new release.

Ardour 2.0 is now available for download. This version is a significant improvement over the 0.99 series (1.0 was never released), with many new features and enhancements to performance and stability. The following article profiles the new Ardour as I employed it for three projects, all involving the program in the processes of composition and arranging as well as the more typical tasks of recording and editing. I've described each project in some detail, and each description includes a link to the final audio output.

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