Linux Guitar / Pro Audio Tools

Started by Elantric, August 20, 2015, 01:29:08 PM

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Quote from: kloniwotski on April 05, 2018, 04:53:46 PM
The new-ish cross-platform modular synth software VCV Rack (, offers some interesting processing possibilities, apart from its utility as a modular synth tool, since you can route audio into it with JACK on linux (or with various technologies on other platforms.)

For example, here is someone using the "Neil" module ( ) inside VCV as a reverb:
VCV Rack hits 1.0; why you need this free modular now
Peter Kirn - June 19, 2019  10 Comments     
Software modular VCV Rack just hit a major milestone – it's now officially version 1.0, with polyphony, full MIDI, module browsing, multi-core support, and more. And since it's a free and open platform, you don't want to sleep on this.

VCV and developer Andrew Belt have hit on a new formula. Rack is free and open source on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and it's free for developers to make their own modules. It also has tons of functionality out of the box – both from VCV and third-party developers. But then to support ongoing development, those developers offer some superb paid modules. Once you're hooked, spending a little extra seems a good investment – because, well, it is.

Digital Larry

Don't know what anyone else's experience has been, but I found trying to get audio stuff running on Linux to be an immense PITA.  I did hang out on forum for awhile.  My feeling is that the main reasons for many people choosing Linux (at least to the extent that they post in that forum) is to give the finger to "the man" aka Microsoft along with endless trite tales of Windows bloatware, etc.  It's all well and good to feel that way, but that does not make up for the shortcomings of the Linux solution.

I tried the following:
- old Macbook Pro with 4GB RAM and Ubuntu Studio.  Realtime core on, off, tweak this and that in Jack configuration, could never get rid of XRUNs and glitches.  This was with a Behringer UMC404 USB interface.  I don't get glitches on my Windows system.

- Raspberry Pi 3 or 4 with the same interface, much worse.  Of course, supposedly Pis have a fatal design flaw as regards use of the USB ports, something about sharing an interrupt with Ethernet.  So turn Ethernet off,they say.  Again, unacceptable solution.

I mostly was trying SooperLooper and the Hydrogen Drum Machine in what I had hoped would be a dedicated looping setup.  Had a Softstep foot controller and it did work.  Modulo the XRUNs and glitches which I could not get out of there.  I tried a number of other open source loopers and found quite a few of them to be half baked abandonware.

The other thing I can say about JACK with all connections brought out so that you can connect the audio inputs to the DAW and then whatever other things you like like a standalone VST/LV2 host might sound good in theory, and have some nifty screen shots, but for me in practice, it was a nightmare because you have to use yet another application to manage and maintain those connections and it never really worked all that well.  So a lot of time was spent connecting, reconnecting, ay yay yay.  There are things included like "Carla" and "Claudia" and other really nice female companions, I mean they were nice enough but didn't solve the underlying problems.  I spent probably a solid 6 months trying to achieve nirvana on Ubuntu Studio, gave up and got Reaper for Linux, which is an integrated DAW as you well know and solves the JACK routing problem.  However at that point it is just like the same thing running on Windows or Mac, but you might be tempted to check out all those FREE plugins.  Oh woop.  Real crap shoot on that angle.

Sorry to have such a bad attitude about it.  I'd love to hear someone's success story.  Not that it's likely to change my approach, which today is Ableton Live 10 and a Push 2 on Windows 10 medium spec Ryzen system.  Works fine for my modest project needs.  If you value your time, then paying for software isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world.



Your experience is valid, and as creative types, most of the time we don't want to have to do more than pick up our instrument in order to play; launching an app and loading a preset is more or less universally accepted as a small overhead for integrating technology, but most musicians have no patience for anymore than that, so I have long since stopped trying to suck people into the world of FOSS audio.

Running Linux on your desktop is, as you say, an ideological choice on some level. In very rare cases, it can be a practical one, but mostly it's a thing you choose because something about the other choices chafes on your ethics. So for me, I've identified that with a bit of extra effort relative to running on Windows, and accepting a modified toolset (mainly giving up Ableton, though I'm told even it works under Wine these days, so I might give it a try at some point), I can get the functionality and flow I need while remaining "Free".

For me, it's a world of possibility and learning, whatever primitive infrastructure might be in use today, rather than endless rent-paying for black-box software that often is hampered in arbitrary and frustrating ways. That freedom to build exactly what I need is worth more to me than a supposed extreme convenience of the "polished" OSes, which more often than not turns out to be a rather inconvenient lie.

If you own a lot of sound-generating hardware and don't need to rely on a lot of VSTs - if your computer is mainly routing Midi data rather than crunching DSP tasks - the choice becomes even easier.