So, after some years of hanging around a linux box, I am more and more missing the ability to just fucking make some sounds - and I will pretty much convert my reiserfs music partition to something Windows mountable like ext3 and start stealing software again. Why?
Well, I'm more into doing electronic music. So what I need is
- a good sequencer
- a good drum sequencer
- tons of plugins, ones that humans are able to understand without being a sound engineer
- effects, tons of them
- a way to save a session, and restore it, including all plugins and everything
On Windows this would be
- FLStudio, Ableton and/or Cubase SX
- Battery as drum seq
- Wavelab to cut some loops
- and a gazillion VST synths, effects and whatnot
Some might say: hey, use rosegarden, hydrogen, and some LADSPA stuff - my answer is: I would, if it would be somewhat usable.
Rosegarden is.. a phenomenon. In the last years not a single application managed to hard lock up my box as often as rosegarden did. And the fun about it is: It never came so far that it could spit out a single noise. Somewhere around initializing the midi device stuff it simply locks up, and pulls the whole system with it down to death - no ssh, ping replies whatever, just dead. Rosegarden did this since 3 years or something, and I tried to help finding a fix by posting request for help about the issue on their mailing list. Nobody was interested. And I am not alone with that issue:
http://ccrma-mail.stanford.edu/pipermail/planetccrma/2005-January/007723.html http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-516696-highlight-rosegarden.html http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=280 http://forum.jacklab.net/viewtopic.php?t=394 https://launchpad.net/bugs/34831 https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux-source-2.6.15/+bug/34831 http://www.nabble.com/Re:-System-timer-resolution-is-too-low-t3083247.html http://lalists.stanford.edu/lau/2006/03/0197.html
But GOOD LUCK there is a well working app for Linux: MusE - superb, esp when you already know a bit about Cubase. So okay, there we have a good sequencer.
Now, the drums.. Battery, I love it. On Linux there is hydrogen - very cool, but adding samples and creating drumkits is just a plain fucking PITA - I read on their ML that doing a usable drumkit editor is on TODO, but meanwhile all you can read on their bugtracker is spam en masse, last commits are agaes ago, and so the project seems dead, unfortunately. Gneutronica is way too complicated. Anyways, for a start hydrogen is quite OK, and jack transport work very well. So let's say: there is our drum sequencer.
Plugins - I always think of VSTs here. Great progress getting those to work is done lately with wineasio, LADSPA is just plain ugly. LV2 doesn't really exist yet. Dssi seems cool, but for some reason I don't get warm with it
So, no really good usable synths and effects here. Or well Bristol has really cool synths, but I'm more into virus indigo or waldorf like quiieeek sounds.
Session management, preferably in way that you just open your host app, and all gets restored, including plugins, plugin presets, effect settings and all, like in Cubase. LASH is an attempt to do this, but as long not all apps support it, it is quite useless.
There is an app called Wired, which I meanwhile hate till death - The most promising looking Linux audio app ever, has something of Ableton, and is pretty much the only app the creates nice looking GUIs to embed LADSPA plugins. But the most important thing is totally fucked up - the audio engine. Why on earth do they use portaudio. Portaudio is a big piece of cow crap, and I hate it, it can't even deal correctly with my ICE1712 card, refuses to display my Master device - same problem in audacity or any other app using portaudio - beside Mixxx, their latest version works well.
So, in the end I still feel like just booting into my Windows, fire up Ableton, and just do music.
The best working, most well done sound application on Linux that has ever come across my box, and which still kicks ass, is Reborn. LONG LIVE REBORN! And damn Propellerheads for knocking it down.
Okay enough ranted, wired SVN compile is done, maybe they managed to make their great looking something become something that actually can make music :P
Maybe I should just pipe the output of make on all those audio apps straight to /dev/dsp, and call it art.