Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019?

Support & discussion regarding DAWs and MIDI sequencers.

Moderators: khz, MattKingUSA

What are your favourites?

Ardour/Harrison Mixbus
55
41%
LMMS
7
5%
Qtractor
17
13%
Rosegarden
6
4%
Tracktion Waveform
12
9%
Renoise
3
2%
Bitwig Studio
7
5%
Reaper
18
13%
Muse
4
3%
Other
5
4%
 
Total votes: 134

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Michael Willis
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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby Michael Willis » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:31 am

bhilmers wrote:Well, would you look at that! Thanks MW!

:D

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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby JamesPeters » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:24 am

Death wrote:@JamesPeters - I recognise your avatar. I think you were very helpful to me once on the Reaper forum not so long ago! I can't remember my username there but I was trying to setup a drum sampler or something. It ended up getting a bit complicated and I just bailed in the end haha.. Thankyou once again though :)

And yeh, I know Reaper is a great program but it just wasn't doing it for me really. I have no complaints about the pricing either! I bought a license for it back in 2013 and I think it might even still be valid for today's current version. Maybe I will try it again at some point. I've given plenty of programs multiple chances in the past.


:)

Consider that a poll on this thread (and/or reading through what others like/dislike) won't help you make your decision, or at least it shouldn't. You know what you like and dislike about these DAWs already. Pick the one that works best for you (or more than one). If you want help with a DAW to make it work better for you, you should ask for that advice. See what you can get from that. If you want advice about Reaper, the forums there are pretty good. You'll probably see me there again. :)

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby tavasti » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:38 am

jonetsu wrote:
tavasti wrote:https://mixbus.helpscoutdocs.com/articl ... mixbus-32c
'The sound of Mixbus and Mixbus32C are largely identical.'


That's completely out of the point about the sound, and you did not quote the full text that follows which is:

"In both products, the channelstrip EQ is "always in circuit" ... meaning the signal is always passing through the math, ( bypass simply means that the gain for the EQs is set to "0" ). In practice, if the EQs are both set flat or bypassed, the difference should be vanishingly small: similar to the magnitude of dither. But some people ascribe a huge difference to dither; so yes, the sound of the mixers will be fundamentally different to a discriminating user."


But moreover, from that web page:

"The Mixbus32C EQ is a recreation of our analog 32-Series EQ, which has 4 bands ( the top bands can be switched from shelving to peaking ), and both high- and low- pass filters. The 32C EQ requires a larger monitor, to fit all the controls on-screen. But feature-wise and sound-wise, it meets nearly any need for equalization; you would rarely if ever need to add an additional EQ."


They are using same code and same algorithms on both. 32C EQ is bit different (bit more complex), and because in both models eq is active all the time, I may create bit different sound, but like they say, really small.

If willing to try, run Mixbus and Mixbus 32C demo without license, and put same clips to them, output, and then try to hear difference.

jonetsu wrote:From the presentation at 1:27:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YVQ__9pFg4

So they've taken the trouble to emulate a full 32C EQ circuit down to the resistors and capacitors and it results in a largely identical sound ?

UPDATE: I'm asking Harrison about that text...


Marketing stuff, I bet they aren't running circuit simulation all the time, but they have carefully modelled how that circuit behaves. And same stuff also on basic Mixbus.

sysrqer wrote:
jonetsu wrote:
"In both products, the channelstrip EQ is "always in circuit" ... meaning the signal is always passing through the math, ( bypass simply means that the gain for the EQs is set to "0" ). In practice, if the EQs are both set flat or bypassed, the difference should be vanishingly small: similar to the magnitude of dither
....

I don't think that's what it hints at at all. It's saying that if you play a track in mixbus and ardour at exactly the same time


It was not about Ardour and Mixbus 32C. It was about Mixbus and Mixbus 32C.
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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby jonetsu » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:02 pm

tavasti wrote:They are using same code and same algorithms on both. 32C EQ is bit different (bit more complex), and because in both models eq is active all the time, I may create bit different sound, but like they say, really small. "


As a moderator wrote yesterday at Harrison's, regarding the statement in question (that the sound between the two is largely identical) :

"In MB you have EQ largely modeled on the Series Ten / 12 generations. In 32C you have the analog modelling built upon one of the greatest consoles ever made."

Now, maybe you know the DSP code that's used enough to say that they are using the same code, or maybe you actually know in detail the electronics of both the 32C EQ and the Series Ten.

tavasti wrote:If willing to try, run Mixbus and Mixbus 32C demo without license, and put same clips to them, output, and then try to hear difference.


I might give it a try actually. Does it work also with licenses ? :mrgreen:

And if I do notice a difference then I will be able to go along with the text and call myself a discriminating user.

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby CrocoDuck » Thu Feb 21, 2019 3:22 pm

jonetsu wrote:And if I do notice a difference then I will be able to go along with the text and call myself a discriminating user.


Jumping in for a brief pro-tip.

If you guys make experiments of this kind, make sure it is a blind or double blind A/B comparison: you must compare clips by not knowing which is which:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A/B_testing

Or even an ABX blind or double blind test:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABX_test

The reason is that, especially with audio stimuli, our brain really really likes to trick itself unconsciously into anything that is consistent with its belief system or expectations. Hence, objectivity must be enforced: we cannot be objective not even if we want to, even if we try our best to be. Proper experiment design is the only way to objectivity.
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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby jonetsu » Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:08 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:The reason is that, especially with audio stimuli, our brain really really likes to trick itself unconsciously into anything that is consistent with its belief system or expectations. Hence, objectivity must be enforced: we cannot be objective not even if we want to, even if we try our best to be. Proper experiment design is the only way to objectivity.


Yes, it's not easy. But could be interesting to try. And of course it opens wide the door to remarks like "you say that 32C sounds better, but that's only you", so on so forth.

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby milo » Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:20 pm

CrocoDuck wrote:If you guys make experiments of this kind, make sure it is a blind or double blind A/B comparison: you must compare clips by not knowing which is which:


This point can't be emphasized enough. In my day job I am a medical doctor, and earlier in my career I was involved in designing and executing medical research trials. There are really elaborate processes in these trials to randomize subjects into the different arms of a study, and to keep both study subjects and researchers blind as to which arm the subjects are in. Some trials even try to measure the effectiveness of blinding procedures, as this can inform the interpretation of trial results. The double-blind, randomized trial is the gold standard for a reason, and it is just what CrocoDuck explained. We see what we want to see (or in this case, hear what we want to hear) based on our our biases, and it is extremely difficult to control this consciously. This is really the insight that separates modern medical science from alternative medicine.

Props to you, CrocoDuck!

Now, pragmatically speaking, if you are a hobbyist recording music alone in your basement for your own enjoyment (like me), then you shouldn't really care that much whether Mixbus sounds different than Mixbus 32c. Just follow your biases with joyful abandon and don't worry about it! If you believe that 32c sounds better, then it does, and that's all that matters for your personal recordings. A blinded trial is a much bigger tool than you need, and you should only conduct one if you really want to geek out on this subject for your own amusement (and ours), or if you are a software developer, recording professional, etc. And if you do conduct a trial, make sure you include enough study subjects to get sufficient statistical power for meaningful results. A study with N=1 doesn't prove anything. The smaller the effect size, the larger N you need to prove that there is a real difference between groups.

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby jonetsu » Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:19 pm

milo wrote:Now, pragmatically speaking, if you are a hobbyist recording music alone in your basement for your own enjoyment (like me), then you shouldn't really care that much whether Mixbus sounds different than Mixbus 32c. Just follow your biases with joyful abandon and don't worry about it! If you believe that 32c sounds better, then it does, and that's all that matters for your personal recordings. A blinded trial is a much bigger tool than you need, and you should only conduct one if you really want to geek out on this subject for your own amusement (and ours), or if you are a software developer, recording professional, etc. And if you do conduct a trial, make sure you include enough study subjects to get sufficient statistical power for meaningful results. A study with N=1 doesn't prove anything. The smaller the effect size, the larger N you need to prove that there is a real difference between groups.


And don't do that for 2 hours non-stop. Ears do tire quite rapidly even though it's not the kind of tiredness we can easily spot.

The point here is the statement by Harrison quoted by Tavasti above in which they state that Mixbus and Mixbus32C sound is largely identical to each other. Harrison who otherwise puts forth the amazing circuit emulation of the 32C EQ down to each single resistor and capacitor. So if the net effect is that 32C sounds largely identical to the regular Mixbus, what's the point of all that software development ? Or is it ? Could it be only marketing tactics ? Is the difference only for 'discriminating users' and has no impact for any 'commercial' mix ?

I use Mixbus32C since a few years now and I like the sound. I used previously the regular Mixbus and before that Ardour. I do find a difference in the sound, a better sound overall with the 32C, based on quite a lot of mixes in all three. Although I never ever did a straight sequential comparison.

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby milo » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:36 am

jonetsu wrote:Could it be only marketing tactics ? Is the difference only for 'discriminating users' and has no impact for any 'commercial' mix ?

I use Mixbus32C since a few years now and I like the sound. I used previously the regular Mixbus and before that Ardour. I do find a difference in the sound, a better sound overall with the 32C, based on quite a lot of mixes in all three. Although I never ever did a straight sequential comparison.


I think you hit the nail on the head here. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder, to paraphrase the old saying. If it sounds good to you as the artist, then you have achieved your goal and what else matters? Use the tool that pleases your ear.

This reminds me of a recent experience I had. My cousin sent me a couple of remasterings of his older recordings. One of them he had run through an EQ, bringing the vocals forward in the mix, and it sounded 10x better than his previous mixdown. The other one I honestly couldn't tell the difference between the new and the old version. I admitted this to him in my reply, and then he sheepishly revealed that he hadn't done anything to the second song, that the remastered version was identical to his previous mixdown! I felt a bit better about the discernment of my ear after that. :)

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby tavasti » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:47 am

jonetsu wrote:The point here is the statement by Harrison quoted by Tavasti above in which they state that Mixbus and Mixbus32C sound is largely identical to each other. Harrison who otherwise puts forth the amazing circuit emulation of the 32C EQ down to each single resistor and capacitor. So if the net effect is that 32C sounds largely identical to the regular Mixbus, what's the point of all that software development ? Or is it ? Could it be only marketing tactics ? Is the difference only for 'discriminating users' and has no impact for any 'commercial' mix ?

I use Mixbus32C since a few years now and I like the sound. I used previously the regular Mixbus and before that Ardour. I do find a difference in the sound, a better sound overall with the 32C, based on quite a lot of mixes in all three. Although I never ever did a straight sequential comparison.

Please read what Harrison says about Mixbus (that cheaper one):
https://harrisonconsoles.com/site/mixbus.html wrote:Mixbus Sounds Better

Other DAWs are designed by companies with experience in computer sound, but no pedigree in world-class recording facilities. The Mixbus DSP mixer is designed by Harrison specifically for its great-sounding EQ, filters, dynamics, and bus summing.


So there is things done differently and lots of development work for Mixbus. And most of the code and work is same for Mixbus and 32C. Most likely even modelling of EQ share big deal of code.

Point is that even Mixbus has great sound quality. In Mixbus 32C and Mixbus there is more than plain eq. Difference of Mixbus and 32C is EQ and 4 more busses. Biggest difference in EQ is one more band and low pass filter. You can do more with 32C EQ (if you can use, I don't think I can) and that way get better sounding stuff, but difference in sound of EQ itself is minimal.
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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby jonetsu » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:36 pm

tavasti wrote: So there is things done differently and lots of development work for Mixbus. And most of the code and work is same for Mixbus and 32C. Most likely even modelling of EQ share big deal of code.


That would be of good practice of a 'sound' software development. But that doe snot mean that they sound the same. The shared code does not define the nature of the result. Mixbus EQ is Series Ten, Mixbus32C EQ is 32C. If we believe what the company says, which I tend to do.

We can also question why is that so many well-known artists have recorded on Harrison 32C consoles. Has coincidence played a substantial role instead of sound quality alone ?

tavasti wrote:Point is that even Mixbus has great sound quality. In Mixbus 32C and Mixbus there is more than plain eq. Difference of Mixbus and 32C is EQ and 4 more busses. Biggest difference in EQ is one more band and low pass filter. You can do more with 32C EQ (if you can use, I don't think I can) and that way get better sounding stuff, but difference in sound of EQ itself is minimal.


As I've mentioned, I'm using 32C for years and previously to that I used Mixbus and Ardour. From Ardour to Mixbus the jump was clear regarding the audio output. After all Mixbus is a tainted mixing console. People use Mixbus for the sound. People do not use Pro Tools or Reaper or Bitwig or any other DAW for the sound the DAW gives because by their very nature they are aiming at being totally transparent.

And the the jump from Mixbus to Mixbus32C was also clear. 32C sounds much smoother. This is from experience doign mixes, not from a straight sequential comparison. At the beginning of using Mixbus32C I went back to Mixbus from time tot ime and noticed the difference. And so I decided to stick with 32C since then. I'm one of those who actually like the console to not aim at transparency. I like a console that has some character.

As such maybe Mixbus is not 100% DAW.

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby jonetsu » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:45 pm

milo wrote:I think you hit the nail on the head here. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder, to paraphrase the old saying. If it sounds good to you as the artist, then you have achieved your goal and what else matters? Use the tool that pleases your ear.


At least it starts there. Then eventually it will be shared and while going towards that goal beauty shifts a bit from being strictly in the ear of the beholder to be a carrying factor of the expression contained in the musical piece. It will then help to merge with a certain environment, beauty will become more interactive and considerate towards others' expectations. Which is not a betrayal of the 'original beauty' but rather one that adapts to a certain flow. The bridge between the 'original beauty' and the 'adaptation' is IMHO where lies a great deal of the work to carry over the source while trying to retain most of its freshness. But that freshness will crumble if too much force is applied. It has to be weaved in and that's a challenge.

If not the result ends up like those stars and people that piles up layers after layers of make-up in trying to prove freshness when it is constantly being buried deeper and deeper.

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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby tavasti » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:59 pm

jonetsu wrote:And the the jump from Mixbus to Mixbus32C was also clear. 32C sounds much smoother. This is from experience doign mixes, not from a straight sequential comparison. At the beginning of using Mixbus32C I went back to Mixbus from time tot ime and noticed the difference. And so I decided to stick with 32C since then. I'm one of those who actually like the console to not aim at transparency. I like a console that has some character.

Interesting indeed.

I don't regard myself as golden ear, but might be interesting to do some compare. I don't have 32C license, but demo version is anyway available.
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Re: Your favourite Linux DAW's in 2019? [PLEASE VOTE AGAIN - accidentally reset poll votes!]

Postby sysrqer » Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:39 pm

jonetsu wrote:We can also question why is that so many well-known artists have recorded on Harrison 32C consoles. Has coincidence played a substantial role instead of sound quality alone ?

I suspect the skill of the engineers and producers had more to do with it than the console specifically.

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Re: The best Linux DAW's in 2019?

Postby Death » Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:10 am

JamesPeters wrote:
:)

Consider that a poll on this thread (and/or reading through what others like/dislike) won't help you make your decision, or at least it shouldn't. You know what you like and dislike about these DAWs already. Pick the one that works best for you (or more than one). If you want help with a DAW to make it work better for you, you should ask for that advice. See what you can get from that. If you want advice about Reaper, the forums there are pretty good. You'll probably see me there again. :)


No, I didn't make the poll for that reason.. I just added that in as afterthought as I thought it'd be interesting to see what people are using, for me and everyone else. I would never pick a DAW based purely on stuff like this. It needs to be based on my own experience and preferences first and foremost. That said, a thread like this can help you learn about programs you didn't even know existed and might like which can lead to trying new things out.

It's very possible I'll give Reaper another shot. Everything I hear about it makes it sound so appealing. I think maybe I just need to have that moment where it clicks for me. I'm just working with FL Studio in Wine for now and playing around with different Linux native DAW's on the side. One day I'll end up sticking with one of them :)


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