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Linux DAW Roadmap

Discussion in 'Recording' started by aloomens, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. aloomens

    aloomens Active Member

    I think it would be good if we where to create list of the basic steps that someone needed to accomplish in order to install and set up a Linux DAW. A Roadmap so to speak.

    After we come up with a list of steps, we could then work on filling in the details for each step. Differant people could work on differant steps, or everyone together. With recomendations for the best/esiest way to accomplish each step. Either way the discussion should be very usefull.

    A quick, OTTOMH, list to start with would be something like:

    1. Install and configure Linux -
    I use Red Hat 8.0 on PC, with the KDE desktop environment. This could include reccomended things to install/not install, settings, disk partitions etc.

    2. Install and configure the kernel with the Low latency and Realtime patches -
    I understand this will be included in version 2.5x and up of the kernel, but it's beta right now.

    3. Install and configure the ALSA sound drivers for your sound card -
    We could have a list of cards we have used with sample config files etc.

    4. Install and configure the JACK audio server -
    It seems that most serious Linux audio software uses the JACK server.

    5. Install audio software -
    Maybe infromation on installing and configuring the most popular/usefull audio software? What about MIDI, should that be included?

    What do you think? Any suggestions/thoughts?
  2. llornkcor

    llornkcor Active Member

    just some random ideas...

    you could sum all those up in one using

    or Demudi

    Those are the simplist ways to get a LAW running.
    Demudi _probably_ for more techinally minded people, as it is debian.

    Probably needs to be more of a how to configure these apps things.

    Red Hat and CCRMA includes low lat kernel, and all that fun stuff.

    Jackit and ALSA may or may not be properly configured/installed.

    where details of installing a particular card can be found. and also detailing the use of more than one sound card, and also syncing sound cards together.

    and also http://www.ladspa.org/
  3. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Before you can get to any of those things, you need a computer to run it on! I think it would be wise to compile a list of components that will work best for a Linux DAW.
    The first obvious question is ... AMD or Pentium ... or both (?). How are the Linux drivers for Intel, SIS, and nForce2 chipsets? What do most guys use for Linux DAWs?
    How are the Linux drivers for the Matrox G550?
    What's the best RAID solution for Linux?
    I looked at the sound cards that are supported under ALSA, and it seems that they're mostly common non-professional cards. Are there particular pro cards that are preferred?
  4. aloomens

    aloomens Active Member

    Well, from personal experiance. I know that the Intel Pentium CPU's will provide very good performance for audio. I suspect that the Athlon's will be similar. I would stay away from the lower priced chips, such as the Intel Celeron, and the lower priced AMD chips since they do not have as good Floating Point processing (complex math required by most audio processing). In the past I had a CPU made by Cyrix, and it barely was able to keep up with audio. I replaced it with an Intel Pentium chip (same speed), and it made a HUGE differance.

    I don't personally know about specific MB chipsets. I suspect that the ones that work well for Windows based DAW would also work well for Linux.

    Any of the major video cards are well supported by Linux. An ATI, Matrox etc. would be a good choice.

    The best RAID would a hardware SCSI Raid controller, with a hardware IDE raid controller second choice. I've used Compaq Smart SCSI-II Raid controllers with Linux. Very fast!. Linux does support 'sofware' RAID, but I don't know how well this works. I suspect it would add some CPU overhead. Anyone know?

    As for pro audio cards, ALSA does support the M-Audio Delta series, which are available in 2 or more channel configuration. I personally have the M-Audio Delta 24/96 card running with Linux using the ALSA drivers. $149.00 for a 4 channel (2 analog, 2- digital) 24 bit 96Khz plus MIDI interface. It works well. I'll be playing with it some more as I get time. Also the HME Hammerfall line of cards is supported, they are actually being used by the developer of the Ardour software.
  5. llornkcor

    llornkcor Active Member

    I am in the 'whatever works" camp. :)

    I have an Intel box and some AMD boxes.
    RME digi96 on the intel, and cheap sb's (awe64 & pci128) on the others. I think I even use the onboard c-media on one from time to time. :)
  6. aloomens

    aloomens Active Member

    Wow! llornkcor2, you are SO right about Planet CCRMA!

    I downloaded the two images files, and burned CD's. I wiped my whole linux system, did a fresh install of Red Hat 8.0. Then using the Planet CCRMA stuff, did, in literally a couple of hours, what had previously taken me days to do! In about 2 hours, I installed the low lat kernel, gotten the ALSA driver's installed and running with my M-audio 24/96 card, installed JACK, and installed and was playing around with ECASOUND!

    It's all pre-built, ready to install. It's by far the easiest I've seen so far to get up and running with a LAW. Any body who wants to try audio on LINUX should check it out.

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