Audio engineering on Linux

What other apps and distros do you use to round out your studio?

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

gamora77
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:50 am

Audio engineering on Linux

Postby gamora77 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:52 am

With the announcement that Windows 7 will not be receiving security updates after January 2020, I have decided, after years of "one of these days I'm going to switch to Linux" talk, that now is the time. I've tested a few different flavors on a VM and I'm very partial to Ubuntu, so that's where I'm leaning. Seems like a user friendly place to start and if I want to change later then I will, but for now Ubuntu just feels good. Ya know?



Anyway, as a hobby and part-time trade I am an audio engineer and use a variety of software and hardware that gives me compatibility concerns. Most of which I can address by changing the hardware if-need-be (not a big deal) but the software is a whole other story. Between the plugins running properly and the DAW not crashing, I've got a lot to consider. Switching DAWs is a lot like switching your OS. You have a lot to learn when you do and there is always an annoying curve to it. I'm curious to know if there are any long-time Linux users out there who do any audio work and what their experiences are?Nox VidMate Mobdro
Last edited by gamora77 on Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jonetsu
Established Member
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby jonetsu » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:16 pm

gamora77 wrote:" I'm curious to know if there are any long-time Linux users out there who do any audio work and what their experiences are?"

A work environment certainly brings constraints which are helpful to know how Linux-based audio engineering is dealing with. On the other hand, there are many people who do not have commercial/customer exposure who knows a fair amount about mixing and mastering using a Linux-based approach.

Edit: might as well add some details about what I use.

This is outside of any commercial/customer concerns. I switched to Xubuntu recently. Things are going good. I use Bitwig for creation and Harrison Mixbus32C for mixing/mastering. I use a certain number of VSTs plugins made for windows, by means of wine-staging and linvst, as well as native Linux plugins. You can hear some of the tracks I do in the signature below. There's more on soundcloud. I started to learn mixing and taking audio more seriously about 2.5 - 3 years ago. I have no experience with windows, so I can't compare. It also means that I had no legacy of windows plugins to absolutely make work under Linux, giving me freedom to simply forget about plugins that do not install correctly or wouldn't run.
Last edited by jonetsu on Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Linuxmusician01
Established Member
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:38 pm
Location: Holland

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:22 pm

gamora77 wrote:With the announcement that Windows 7 will not be receiving security updates after January 2020, I have decided, after years of "one of these days I'm going to switch to Linux" talk, that now is the time. I've tested a few different flavors on a VM and I'm very partial to Ubuntu, so that's where I'm leaning. Seems like a user friendly place to start and if I want to change later then I will, but for now Ubuntu just feels good. Ya know?

Anyway, as a hobby and part-time trade I am an audio engineer and use a variety of software and hardware that gives me compatibility concerns. Most of which I can address by changing the hardware if-need-be (not a big deal) but the software is a whole other story. Between the plugins running properly and the DAW not crashing, I've got a lot to consider. Switching DAWs is a lot like switching your OS. You have a lot to learn when you do and there is always an annoying curve to it. I'm curious to know if there are any long-time Linux users out there who do any audio work and what their experiences are?

Welcome to LinuxMusicians! I consider myself to be no musician even though I'm active here. I like to fiddle w/ synths (hardware, software and VST). Switched to Linux in 2005.

If you're going to switch to Linux then backup everything first okay?! I'd practice on an old PC first if I were you.

I think that Ubuntu is a good choice: it's very well supported by software developers (if there is such a thing on Linux, ha ha) and it's community is large. Community help is very important if you ask me. Just ask in the proper sub-forum about the hardware and software that you (want to) use. Software wise I'm very surprised to read that a lot of music Linuxers use Windows software on Linux. Fortunately some well know DAW's like Reaper and Bitwig have a native Linux version. They often appear, however, not to be officially supported by their manufacturers so beware before you swith!

Qtractor is a Linux native Midi sequencer that can also be used as a DAW. It's developer is active on this forum. I mainly use Audacity and Qtractor. I like to use old free 32 bit Windows VST's from http://www.vst4free.com. However, if you're a part time audio engineer all that is by far not professional enough for you! But others hare can help you, I'm sure of it.

Good luck with using Linux! :)

merlyn
Established Member
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:13 pm

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby merlyn » Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:47 pm

If you give us an example of something you do with Windows we could suggest how you would do that with Linux. For example: using Cubase to record a live performance, or using Wavelab to tidy up .wav files.

User avatar
bluebell
Established Member
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:44 am
Location: Saarland & Frankfurt, Germany

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby bluebell » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:22 pm

gamora77 wrote:I'm curious to know if there are any long-time Linux users out there who do any audio work and what their experiences are?


I am not willing to use Windows for privacy and freedom reasons. So Linux was my choice for making music. I didn't choose Linux for making music because it's better for that task. I think it's as good as any other system. But it doesn't want to control me like Windows and MacOS do.

There are some shortcomings in the Linux world if you don't want to run Windows applications with WINE or other tricks. You can't buy those big and highly sophisticated orchestra sample libraries and there is no Melodyne for Linux. If you don't need them, you can get everything you need: sequencers, DAWs, effect and instrument plugins. Even as free software that you can compile by yourself.

Of course you have just 10 or 20 compressors, not 200. That can be an advantage because it saves you time and money. And there is no successful looking mastering engineer on a glossy box. You have to look into the mirror :)

I'd say everything is there to make good music.

Sound samples? May songs are made with Qtractor and mainly CALF plugins.

https://soundcloud.com/suedwestlicht/tracks

User avatar
gennargiu
Established Member
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:56 pm

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby gennargiu » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:44 pm

Other daw native gnu linux are Tracktion 7 and Waveform 9 or 10. Tracktion 7 is free download after account register site tracktion, waveform 9 or 10 are little pay for basic version. It work great on gnu linux ditro.

For gnu linux distro specialized in music production there are : Ubuntu Studio,Av Linux 64, Kx Studio ( in the future).
For daw open source there is Ardour 5.12, Qtractor, Lmms ( but no audio recording). Other great daw are Reaper,Bitwig,Waveform Tracktion and various others programs dedicated for music production ( Pure data,cecilia,rosegarden,Sunvox, Sonic-Pi, Supercollider, Luppp,Sooper Looper, etc etc) :wink:

gennaro
Hp Elite 8200 3,1 Ghz - 16 Giga Ram Hd 2 Terabyte - Av Linux 64 (Debian Stretch 9 based + Repo kxstudio) - Ardour 5,12 - Mixbus 5
Asus X54c - Debian Stretch+Repo kx Studio-Ardour 5.12- Mixbus 5-RPI3 + Raspbian Stretch

tavasti
Established Member
Posts: 745
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:56 am
Location: Kangasala, Finland
Contact:

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby tavasti » Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:26 am

gamora77 wrote:Anyway, as a hobby and part-time trade I am an audio engineer and use a variety of software and hardware that gives me compatibility concerns. Most of which I can address by changing the hardware if-need-be (not a big deal) but the software is a whole other story. Between the plugins running properly and the DAW not crashing, I've got a lot to consider. Switching DAWs is a lot like switching your OS. You have a lot to learn when you do and there is always an annoying curve to it. I'm curious to know if there are any long-time Linux users out there who do any audio work and what their experiences are?

Most likely all of your hardware works also with linux. In fact, most likely your old hardware will be better supported in Linux than in Win10.

And for software, it may be possible to continue using your old software also in Linux, with wine. However, that may be bit tricky, and maybe there may be some flaws. As an example, I play windows Rocksmith with linux, and some people use FL Studio in linux.

However, learning native Linux DAW might be better option. For selecting DAW, there is few commercial and free options, and selecting suitable depends on your desired workflow and what kind of music you are creating. For recorded audio and pure electronic music suggested tools are different.
Linux veteran & Novice musician

Hear my music at https://audiu.net/users/tawaste

mk1967
Established Member
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby mk1967 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:02 pm

gennargiu wrote:For gnu linux distro specialized in music production there are : Ubuntu Studio,Av Linux 64, Kx Studio ( in the future).

A fourth one: LibraZiK studio http://librazik.tuxfamily.org/base-site-LZK/english.php. Highly recommendable. :idea: I use it for professional radio work.

Michael

ufug
Established Member
Posts: 379
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby ufug » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:31 pm

merlyn wrote:If you give us an example of something you do with Windows we could suggest how you would do that with Linux. For example: using Cubase to record a live performance, or using Wavelab to tidy up .wav files.


OP, this would certainly help us direct you to what you need.

gamora77 wrote:I'm curious to know if there are any long-time Linux users out there who do any audio work...


Ha, that is almost everyone here.

If you are heavily invested in your audio software, don't switch.

The typical scenario for switchers is that they want to escape from Windows. They install Linux, and then try to recreate their old workflow using their old tools. It doesn't tend to go well. These forums see that happen over and over, people get the Linux bug, try to switch, get frustrated and disappear.

Thinking like an audio engineer rather that a YouTube "10 Mixing Secrets!" consumer is the key: If you are willing and able to think "oh, I need a compressor" and then try the ~half dozen viable compressors that are Linux native and find one you are happy with, then you can 100% do it.

If you think "oh, I need my Specific Brand (TM) compressor" then you will just be flat out frustrated. Yes, you can bridge some Windows plugins, and WINE is great, but overall that direction leads to madness. It's a "why bother" scenario. Just stick with Windows.

Linux audio (saying this as a user and a booster) is kind of like going back in time 15 or 20 years. The software options are limited compared to other platforms. But if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve musically, and don't mind no autotune or whatever modern musical abomination/vice you may have become addicted to, you can certainly make good music using Linux.

jonetsu
Established Member
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby jonetsu » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:48 pm

[quote="ufug" If you think "oh, I need my Specific Brand (TM) compressor" then you will just be flat out frustrated. Yes, you can bridge some Windows plugins, and WINE is great, but overall that direction leads to madness. It's a "why bother" scenario. Just stick with Windows.[/quote]

I of course will disagree completely with that, based on experience. I use a good amount of plugins made for Windows in Bitwig and Mixbus32C and I'm not madder than before. It's totally transparent. I use wine staging and linvst. I did not had any backlog of Windows plugins to make work under Linux since I was not using Windows before. So the selection of Windows plugins becomes simple: if a demo runs fine, then it's OK. If a demo does not run fine, has problems installing, then it is trashed with no remorse at all.

ufug
Established Member
Posts: 379
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:28 am

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby ufug » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:19 pm

jonetsu wrote:I of course will disagree completely with that, based on experience.


Fair enough, and you certainly make it work (very) well. Would you really recommend that to a new Linux user though?

I think our community tends to forget how alien this world is to musicians who are not used to it

jonetsu
Established Member
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:05 am

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby jonetsu » Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:45 pm

ufug wrote: Fair enough, and you certainly make it work (very) well. Would you really recommend that to a new Linux user though? I think our community tends to forget how alien this world is to musicians who are not used to it


I agree. But then on the other hand, would anyone recommend ProTools to someone who can barely make a word editor work on Windows and dreams of recording 60-tracks projects by the end of the next week ? I'm quite sure that there's a need to adjust "things" in Windows also to obtain a performance setup.

So there's time to invest in both. Maybe a bit more on the Linux side although I do think that starting on the right foot helps a lot. This can be difficult since there are so many (outdated) tutorials out there. That might constitute the very first challenge: how to find out what's relevant to the setup at hand ? Is the distro a good distro for the job ? Is there a need for a specific audio distro ? If as a newbie I ask a question about jackd, what is the background ? There are so many options.

All of this takes time, but since here on LM there's Glen for the AV Linux distro, maybe, just maybe, there could be an AV Linux section in the Newbies dept. with an updated sticky topic of something akin to "First steps with AV Linux". Like, a one-stop reference to get going. Even if it's only to put a link to the current AV Linux 130-page documentation found at bandshed which seems to be very well written. The AV Linux user guide also has an extensive Windows plugins section. It seemingly does not pronounce itself on one method over the two others presented, letting a new user a bit perplexed as to which way to go. It could be a good idea to put one method up front to follow, the most solid perhaps, then presenting the two others as alternatives. It could also be a good idea to list some well-known Windows plugins (not all inclusive) that works with that preferred method.

glowrak guy
Established Member
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:37 pm

Re: Audio engineering on Linux

Postby glowrak guy » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:09 pm

ufug wrote:
jonetsu wrote:I of course will disagree completely with that, based on experience.


Fair enough, and you certainly make it work (very) well. Would you really recommend that to a new Linux user though?

I think our community tends to forget how alien this world is to musicians who are not used to it

The whole realm of computer based music is as alien to a newcomer
as any full-featured analog studio is. Switching an OS, a daw, a set of plugins etc
is mainly about shapes and colours and knob/slider/button locations, none of which require rocket science.

And these days, long hours of practicing instruments, vocals, and composing/mixing/mastering skills,
are increasingly alien to people raised on fast food, fast drugs, fast sex, and instant gratification in general.
They need software to make up for what they cannot/ will not do, thinking they found the easy way forward.

No need or desire here, to downgrade to mac/win. My toolbox is unlocked, deep,
and a pleasure to dig in to.
Cheers


Return to “Linux Distributions & Other Software”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests