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Thread: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

  1. #1
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    Question Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    Hello!

    I'm hoping i can get some info on the programs and hardware i use, and how they work on Linux.
    I'd like to run everything i need on Linux, but my previous attempts weren't as successful.
    Those were years ago, and i know Linux has gone a long way since then, especially with gaming, so i'm hoping maybe i can get everything else to work.

    I'm mainly concerned with how music making software works on Linux.

    I use Reaper and plugins like virtual amplifiers and the like for music recording. I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd gen audio interface.
    Is it possible to use those on Linux? Most of what i have is written as a VST plugin either for windows or Mac. Is there a way to use those on Linux somehow?
    Or would i need to run a Virtual Machine with Windows to use a DAW? And how would that impact latency?
    I don't mind doing that btw, i can set up a VM for just music production, it's fine. I'm just worried about latency or stuttering. It's kind of hard to record and mix when you can't hear the mix properly...

    Other programs i use are Photoshop, Illustrator, After effects and simmilar.
    I plan on getting Affinity Photo and the rest of their software. Has anyone been able to make those run?

    Lastly, i play only one game (Guild Wars 2) and i know it can run on Linux pretty well. So for gaming, i'm not concerned much, there's tons of helpful software that basically automate the process now, and even Steam has Proton now so gaming on Linux was never easier than it is now.
    And of course, multimedia on Linux is effortless (web, movies, music), i always liked that.

    My main concern is with music production software.

    Thank you for reading, i'm looking forward to hearing what can be done!

  2. #2
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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    Quote Originally Posted by gordan-vrbanec-vepar View Post
    I'm hoping i can get some info on the programs and hardware i use, and how they work on Linux.
    Fire up a live USB and try it.

    I use Reaper and plugins like virtual amplifiers and the like for music recording. I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd gen audio interface.
    Is it possible to use those on Linux? Most of what i have is written as a VST plugin either for windows or Mac. Is there a way to use those on Linux somehow?
    The DAC will be fine. There is DAW software available that can handle VST plugins, but I've not tried it. Ardour and Muse, I think?

    For low latency audio you'll want to use JACK (to be replaced by PipeWire at some point soon); it's extremely flexible and not especially new-user-friendly. Anticipate needing to take some time to get up to speed.

    Other programs i use are Photoshop, Illustrator, After effects and simmilar.
    I plan on getting Affinity Photo and the rest of their software. Has anyone been able to make those run?
    Adobe ignore the existence of Linux. I don't believe their software works in Wine.

    There is ample software available to do the tasks that you're interested in, but not the specific software that you've listed. Even if you ultimately prefer the software that's available on Linux, you'll have a productivity hit while you learn a new workflow, and there's every chance that you won't prefer the software that's available.

    Find some time to have a play. Have a hobby project - rather than something with a deadline - to give your experimentation some structure. The skills you know are mostly transferable; specific knowledge of particular tools is not, really. Your own particular balance between the two is something that you'll have to discover for yourself.

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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    Fire up a live USB and try it.



    The DAC will be fine. There is DAW software available that can handle VST plugins, but I've not tried it. Ardour and Muse, I think?

    For low latency audio you'll want to use JACK (to be replaced by PipeWire at some point soon); it's extremely flexible and not especially new-user-friendly. Anticipate needing to take some time to get up to speed.



    Adobe ignore the existence of Linux. I don't believe their software works in Wine.

    There is ample software available to do the tasks that you're interested in, but not the specific software that you've listed. Even if you ultimately prefer the software that's available on Linux, you'll have a productivity hit while you learn a new workflow, and there's every chance that you won't prefer the software that's available.

    Find some time to have a play. Have a hobby project - rather than something with a deadline - to give your experimentation some structure. The skills you know are mostly transferable; specific knowledge of particular tools is not, really. Your own particular balance between the two is something that you'll have to discover for yourself.
    Yeah, i guess i can test it live, though, i always thought that's kind of the bare bones of what the OS can do, not sure i'll be able to test everything, but i'll try it, thanks!

    Good to know about VSTs! Thank you, gives me hope!

    About Adobe, yeah, i'm not married to that software and i'd rather use anything else, but a lot of people use it so i have to as well. If i can use Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer on Linux somehow, that would be great.
    The only "adobe specific" program that i can't find a real replacement for is After Effects.

    As for the workflow, i'm adaptable, that's not really a problem for me, as long as the programs have all the tools i need.

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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    I have used musescore in the past successfully, but not being a musician I do everything manually and very slowly.
    It does, apparently, work very well with midi keyboards so that me be worth investigating further.

    Musescore, if you haven't heard of it, is similar I believe to Sibelius, but I have never seen Sibelius so don't know how they differ.

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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    Quote Originally Posted by gordan-vrbanec-vepar View Post
    The only "adobe specific" program that i can't find a real replacement for is After Effects.
    DaVinci Resolve maybe? Their Red Hat Linux "RPM" packages can be converted for Ubuntu's "DEB" package format. It's not free software, but compared to what Adobe is charging these days it's dirt-cheap in comparison.

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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    https://alternativeto.net/ tries to show alternatives based on the name of another program.

    Make a list of programs and features that you use. Prioritize them. Then work through the available native Linux tools, list the features and prioritize them.

    You've made compromises when using the programs on Windows/OSX already - perhaps you didn't realize that because there wasn't any choice in your mind at the time. Now that you know more, when you look at the Linux options, it is doubtful there is a 1-for-1 replacement. Also, Linux users will make custom little programs using scripts to extend many of these tools, so it could be that things which required 10 steps before can be automated into 1 step now, thanks to scripting.

    Just have the idea of scripting in your mind as you look at the tools.

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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    You should definately go for Reaper! Since a couple of versions ago it has support for LV2 plugins. It has had good support for VST2 and VST3 native plugins for a long while. If you have some Win VST's there are solutions including Wine and some other intermediary plugins. I had Ardour for long while but I find the Reaper community more alive and vibrating and that Reaper have very active developers.

    Focusrite 2i4 works very well indeed. Drivers built in the kernel.

    Reaper: https://www.reaper.fm/
    Any follow-up information on your issue would be appreciated. Please have the courtesy to report back.

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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    Quote Originally Posted by gordan-vrbanec-vepar View Post
    Yeah, i guess i can test it live, though, i always thought that's kind of the bare bones of what the OS can do, not sure i'll be able to test everything, but i'll try it, thanks!
    Just so you're aware, the live installer environment is exactly the same as the one you'll have after you've fresh installed, with a couple of wrinkles: load times will be slower because everything needs to be decompressed before it can be used; it can't use the proprietary Nvidia driver, since then it wouldn't work on non-Nvidia hardware; and you can install whatever applications you want, but they won't persist because the install medium is read-only. There's a way to set it up with persistence, but I've never tried it. Other than that, it's exactly the same.

  9. #9
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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    Quote Originally Posted by ajgreeny View Post
    I have used musescore in the past successfully, but not being a musician I do everything manually and very slowly.
    It does, apparently, work very well with midi keyboards so that me be worth investigating further.

    Musescore, if you haven't heard of it, is similar I believe to Sibelius, but I have never seen Sibelius so don't know how they differ.
    Yeah, Musescore is a music notation software like Sibelius. I personally use Guitar Pro, but i'm sure there's alternatives that work.

    I'm more concerend about music recording and production software and plugins.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorp123
    DaVinci Resolve maybe? Their Red Hat Linux "RPM" packages can be converted for Ubuntu's "DEB" package format. It's not free software, but compared to what Adobe is charging these days it's dirt-cheap in comparison.
    Ah yes, Resolve is pretty nice! I didn't try the full version so i don't know how it compares to After Effects, but the free version is basically a 100 times better Adobe Premiere without the crashing!


    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu
    https://alternativeto.net/ tries to show alternatives based on the name of another program.

    Make a list of programs and features that you use. Prioritize them. Then work through the available native Linux tools, list the features and prioritize them.

    You've made compromises when using the programs on Windows/OSX already - perhaps you didn't realize that because there wasn't any choice in your mind at the time. Now that you know more, when you look at the Linux options, it is doubtful there is a 1-for-1 replacement. Also, Linux users will make custom little programs using scripts to extend many of these tools, so it could be that things which required 10 steps before can be automated into 1 step now, thanks to scripting.

    Just have the idea of scripting in your mind as you look at the tools.
    I did try some of the alternatives, but unfortunately, when it comes to audio, most plugins are written for windows and there's no real alternative here...
    But i'll check it out nonetheless, maybe there's something i missed.

    Quote Originally Posted by webaake
    You should definately go for Reaper! Since a couple of versions ago it has support for LV2 plugins. It has had good support for VST2 and VST3 native plugins for a long while. If you have some Win VST's there are solutions including Wine and some other intermediary plugins. I had Ardour for long while but I find the Reaper community more alive and vibrating and that Reaper have very active developers.

    Focusrite 2i4 works very well indeed. Drivers built in the kernel.

    Reaper: https://www.reaper.fm/
    I'm using Reaper on Windows too, it's awesome! I know it has a native version, but is there a way to use the windows plugins on the linux version as well? Like, some translation layer or whatever? Cause if i can make that work, then i'm all for it!
    And awesome info about Focusrite! Good to know it will work in linux! Makes me so happy!

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller
    Just so you're aware, the live installer environment is exactly the same as the one you'll have after you've fresh installed, with a couple of wrinkles: load times will be slower because everything needs to be decompressed before it can be used; it can't use the proprietary Nvidia driver, since then it wouldn't work on non-Nvidia hardware; and you can install whatever applications you want, but they won't persist because the install medium is read-only. There's a way to set it up with persistence, but I've never tried it. Other than that, it's exactly the same.
    Yes, i'm aware, thanks for the heads up! I did try persistence once, and it's ok, but still, not as responsive and as good as having it installed obviously.

    One question though (not directly quoting anyone here, just in general).
    Currently, i'm using my mobile phone usb tethering to connect to wireless (since my wireless is busted). In the meantime until i get a new antenna, is this going to work on Ubuntu? Do i have to install something specific or enable something?
    Cause i can't really get on the internet without it...

  10. #10
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    Re: Trying to fully switch to Linux, need info please!

    Quote Originally Posted by gordan-vrbanec-vepar View Post
    Currently, i'm using my mobile phone usb tethering to connect to wireless (since my wireless is busted). In the meantime until i get a new antenna, is this going to work on Ubuntu?
    That's something you could test with an Ubuntu Live-USB stick or Live-CD/DVD. While the live session is running, plug-in the USB cable that is attached to your phone (which should be set to USB-tethering) into the computer and then open a terminal and type in this command:

    Code:
    sudo dmesg
    You should see some kind of reaction, e.g. your system telling you that it can see a new network device on the USB port.

    When I do that here with my Samsung Galaxy phone (set to USB tethering) and an Ubuntu 20.04 installation I get this:

    Code:
    [ 2408.360953] usb 2-1: new high-speed USB device number 5 using ehci-pci
    [ 2408.524369] usb 2-1: New USB device found, idVendor=04e8, idProduct=6860, bcdDevice= c.00
    [ 2408.524377] usb 2-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
    [ 2408.524382] usb 2-1: Product: SAMSUNG_Android
    [ 2408.524387] usb 2-1: Manufacturer: SAMSUNG
    [ 2408.524392] usb 2-1: SerialNumber: xxxxxxxxxxx
    [ 2411.285817] usb 2-1: USB disconnect, device number 5
    [ 2411.809001] usb 2-1: new high-speed USB device number 6 using ehci-pci
    [ 2411.967593] usb 2-1: New USB device found, idVendor=04e8, idProduct=6863, bcdDevice= c.00
    [ 2411.967602] usb 2-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
    [ 2411.967607] usb 2-1: Product: SAMSUNG_Android
    [ 2411.967612] usb 2-1: Manufacturer: SAMSUNG
    [ 2411.967616] usb 2-1: SerialNumber: xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    [ 2412.033043] usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_ether
    [ 2412.038880] rndis_host 2-1:1.0 usb0: register 'rndis_host' at usb-0000:00:1d.7-1, RNDIS device, xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
    [ 2412.045373] usbcore: registered new interface driver rndis_host
    In that very moment my desktop's top panel also showed a new "Ethernet" network icon. So there definitely was a reaction and it worked.

    So that's something you should definitely be able to test in a Live session too.

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