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Thread: making an audio studio work

  1. #1
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    making an audio studio work

    Again thinking of learning to use the audio portion of Studio. I am a musician, 40 years plus (mainly acoustic guitar, don't use electronics really), have been using ubuntu as a main computer since 2008 (currently running Kubuntu 12.04). For all my audio work, I use cakewalk pro audio 9 on win 98 OS (on a separate desktop machine)for all audio work. It is getting old, the machine, and I know it won't last forever. It may be time to convert to something new before it crashes, but I won't buy or use any new Windows products. Thus I have a lot to learn.

    I tried Ubuntu Studio with 8.04 but never could figure it out, so I gave up. I am not very aligned with the language used in tech stuff, thus the language of communication seems to be a huge hindrance in the process. I really have no aversion to learning, but language in tech, the use of acronyms etc. is really a stopper for me.

    Thus I am wondering how to best go about changing over. The desktop I am now using is marginally within requirements being a 2006 model 64 bit processor with only 2 Gb memory. The memory could be expanded quit a lot but, it might be best to get a new machine??? I am currently downloading the 12.04 studio ISO, though I wonder if it might be easier to simply install the software needed for the audio portion ( I won't be using the other parts of studio) and go from there, rather than loading a new OS?

    Then still I wonder if I will hit the same language wall, regardless of the method of getting the software in place?

    Any helpful thoughts?
    Last edited by de Bacon; January 1st, 2013 at 09:22 PM. Reason: clarity
    AMD 64 bit, 2 Gb ram, xubuntu 12.04 /KXStudio repos. Makes a pretty good DAW for me.
    Playing my music my way.

  2. #2
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    If you can, buy new PC, but no need until you learn how to work with Ubuntu Studio.
    You need at least 2GHz CPU (perferably core2duo). 2GB of RAM is enough. Hope you installed 32bit system.
    I don't know what you should learn first, maybe learn how audio works in linux
    Read this http://tuxradar.com/content/how-it-w...udio-explained
    when you understand that. Start learning JACK, you will probably need it. When you setup JACK, and it is stable. Then it all depends of what you want to do.

    Install Ubuntu Studio 12.04 32bit on separate partition. It should be less resource hungry than Kubuntu, and you need that for working with audio.
    Last edited by jejeman; January 1st, 2013 at 10:43 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    I use the 64 bit system, since I have one! So what is wrong with the 64 bit system and its ability to do twice as much (at least in theory)? Are there still too many conflicts with software after all this time?

    As to clock speed, I have enough if what you say is the lower limit. I have 2.3 Ghz or something, don't remember.

    To purchase a new system will require months of getting up to speed on new hardware potential and then finding the right combos. I don't go to the store and buy one for the cheapness in such things that I wish to avoid. Then there are the compatibility issues which are rather difficult to figure out in new hardware, until it is in your machine that doesn't work due to conflicts and proprietary issues. So that is a whole different ball of wax. Still this is a rather old machine, 6 years, where my other one is 13 years and still working fine, while never being allowed access to the internet.

    Oh thanks for the info file on audio. It looks like it could be a good thing to understand, maybe even take the mystery out of what I have always seen as the it don't work problem. Like skype, I can't make the audio work with it either, never needed to use it though so gave up after days of diddling around to no profit.
    Last edited by de Bacon; January 1st, 2013 at 11:26 PM.
    AMD 64 bit, 2 Gb ram, xubuntu 12.04 /KXStudio repos. Makes a pretty good DAW for me.
    Playing my music my way.

  4. #4
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    64bit OS is slightly faster than 32bit OS. But it uses more RAM than that it is faster. Since you have (only) 2GB, 32bit OS is all you need. Of course, nothing wrong for you to use 64bit OS even that you have just 2GB of RAM.
    If you run properitary software, such as skype, or you use WINE, it is better to have 32bit OS, since it is 32bit program etc.

    For your PC i would go for 32bit OS with JACK1.
    You can find out what CPU you have with this
    Code:
    cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep name

  5. #5
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    I played around with Ubuntu Studio and as the posters above say you will probably need to learn Jack. It took me a few days until I figured it out but if someone were to show you I bet that you would pick it up in half an hour.
    So here are my two bits of advice...
    Try to hang out with some other Linux based musos
    Get a PC with two monitors or one really wide one. When learning new software I find it invaluable to have the help screen on one monitor and the program running on the other.
    Good luck and have fun.

  6. #6
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    Quote Originally Posted by coldraven View Post
    if someone were to show you I bet that you would pick it up in half an hour.
    I bet you are right! That is why I write here. I don't know anyone who uses Linux other than myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by coldraven View Post
    Try to hang out with some other Linux based musos
    I have no idea what a "musos" is? I do imagine you are saying, other like minded folks that use Linux but I stated above I don't know anyone. When living out in the very rural area, where the largest population base is 700 there is little chance of finding much more than windoze folks, who's sole purpose for that is to use FaceBook or other nonesense.
    Last edited by de Bacon; January 2nd, 2013 at 03:05 AM.
    AMD 64 bit, 2 Gb ram, xubuntu 12.04 /KXStudio repos. Makes a pretty good DAW for me.
    Playing my music my way.

  7. #7
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    Quote Originally Posted by jejeman View Post
    A pretty good article, that becomes even more clear after reading all the comments tacked on to the end. (clear as mud by completion) It helped my understanding of the things I need to learn about at best. It doesn't help for understanding how to configure Studio's component software parts/pieces/programs, so that they will function in a way that will allow a music recording system to work though. Nor does it say anything about what the functional software components do or how to integrate them as a functioning package for reaching my goal of a computer based recording studio.

    In the end I found value in reading the article. Thanks for passing it along.
    Thanks for reading the thread also!
    Regards
    AMD 64 bit, 2 Gb ram, xubuntu 12.04 /KXStudio repos. Makes a pretty good DAW for me.
    Playing my music my way.

  8. #8
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    Musos = musOS = music Operating Systems
    Like: AVLinux - it is really optimised for audio to work "out of the box".

    Now that you understand audio layers in linux it is easyer for you to understand what to do, or troubleshoot.

    read this
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuStudio
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuStudio/Workflows

    Basicly, when you setup JACK to work stable, then it all depends on what you want to do.

  9. #9
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    Sorry for the confusion but around here the slang for a musician is a muso.
    JACK as I'm sure that you know by now is a digital version of the old fashioned patch bay where you can connect inputs and outputs with jack leads.
    You can also connect the time-code so that an equalizer, for example, will alter it's settings during the track. Also a virtual drum machine (Hydrogen) will "rewind" as you move through your recording using Ardour.
    You will have to experiment.

    Again I suggest getting two monitors because you will need all the screen "real estate" that is possible.

  10. #10
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    Re: making an audio studio work

    First, your computer hardware is significantly newer than the hardware I use for Ubuntu Studio, so I think you should be fine there. No point in upgrading until you hit the limits.

    Second, I also used Cakewalk (later Sonar) back in the day, so I think I can appreciate where you're coming from.

    If you want to convert your Kubuntu system into a studio system, you'll want both the applications and also the low-latency kernel. This is critical to getting good audio performance.

    I find that Ardour had a much steeper learning curve than Cakewalk, it's a bit more like ProTools. And like others have said, understanding JACK is essential to everything else.

    Unfortunately I haven't had a lot of time to do recording on my system, and it's had some hardware instabilities to boot, but with some dedication it's possible to get comfortable making music on Ubuntu. I miss some of my old Sonar features like loop clips, and I really miss a lot of my old VST plugins (can't get Wine VST working for anything), but if you're doing very simple audio tracks without a lot of sequencing or heavy production, you should be fine.

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