Hi — newly switching from Mac

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wolftune
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Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by wolftune »

Hi everyone,

I have been a Mac user all my computing life. I have always been sympathetic to concerns about freedom but also about respecting human psychology in all its quirks. A good aesthetic and natural computer interface is valuable to me, but not at the expense of liberty. I've been really uncomfortable with Apple's directions, particularly with the App Store etc. and I'm finally transitioning to GNU/Linux.

I am a full-time private music teacher, mostly guitar. I have been encouraging my students to use FLOSS software in their music studies (esp. Audacity / Musescore). It's been a slow process moving more and more toward true FLOSS freedom for myself.

I had used Cubase, then Digital Performer, before moving more toward REAPER. While I appreciate the FLOSS DAWs, none seem to really be as fully professionally capable as REAPER even. Also, I do a lot of work beyond strict 12-note temperament and Melodyne is an important tool for me. I also use a Tonal Plexus microtonal keyboard (from H-Pi.com). So to make a full transition to GNU/Linux, I'll have to see about getting Melodyne running under Wine... Anybody done that ever??

I started with Linux Mint (I got both my parents, who are computer illiterate, set up with LM for their daily computing!). I like the system a lot. But I tried to install KXStudio, not really knowing what I was doing, and now things are screwier and having problems that I didn't have before. I'm still thinking a fresh install done just right of Linux Mint KDE w/ KXStudio is probably what I'll prefer.

I'm currently downloading Debian to try (because a super political FLOSS-oriented friend strongly recommended it).

I tried a Live USB version of AV Linux and was really disappointed with the interface and the fact that it had no control panel for trackpad preferences so it didn't recognize my Toshiba's multitouch features and, worst of all, there was no apparent way to turn off the awful tap-to-click setting. I know I could probably customize the heck out of it and make it what I want, but if I'm going to do that then there's no reason to specifically stick to AV Linux, right?

I'm also downloading Remix OS to try, and I'm very optimistic about that. I think Remix OS is going to be my one main competitor to Linux Mint + KXStudio.

I'm glad this forum exists and seems active! I'm gonna need help here, but I'm dedicated and if I get comfortable, I'll be able to encourage my students to switch over too...

Cheers!

Aaron Wolf
Ann Arbor, MI
wolftune.com
Aaron Wolf
Music teacher, scholar
http://wolftune.com

GraysonPeddie
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by GraysonPeddie »

Well, do try to stay away from politics in relation to FLOSS. :) Me? I don't like politics at all. I'm very flexible on what software and OS I want to use no matter if it's proprietary or open source.

Anyway, welcome to the forum. :)
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

wolftune
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by wolftune »

Thanks, Grayson. But actually, I'm much more comfortable with a statement that life involves compromises than a statement that we should ignore politics. We should reject dogma, I'll give you that, but politics matter — the entire idea of being able to control my computer and not have to have some corporations permission for what I do on my computer is a political matter. So how about we say that we acknowledge and respect the importance of politics but we try to be moderates rather than extremists?
Aaron Wolf
Music teacher, scholar
http://wolftune.com

GraysonPeddie
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by GraysonPeddie »

Well, I don't want to know too much about politics, but I found it important that I have control over my devices and computers that I own.

For example, I chose Arch Linux (not for beginners to Linux) because I want control over what I want to do with Linux. For Windows, I've disabled Windows Update because I want control over what I want to download and when I want to restart my computer as soon as I install updates. I'm pretty much the same for smartphones. I want control over what I want to do with my phone and not have manufacturers put a custom skin in an Android phone so I bought an Optimus V for use with Virgin Mobile and this recently, I've rooted my phone so that I can install a non-bloat version of Android that is compatible with Optimus V.

Is that how I define "politics" of being in control of my life? Like I said, I know nothing about it and I'll do everything I can to stay away from it. *sigh*
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

wolftune
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by wolftune »

Sounds like politics to me. There's the waste-of-time politics of fussing over labels and group affiliation and more, and then there's politics that matter: like the importance of it being legal for you to root your phone.

Anyway, I guess Arch is not for me then. I want to learn to be more comfortable with the programming level of computing, but I'm not there yet. I'm still at the stage where the instructions for adjusting things to have real-time low-latency access / install some preferable kernel for audio... that's all pretty baffling. I want to get started with something that just works. Is it realistic to use Linux Mint KDE and modify it with KXStudio? Any pointers on how to figure this out?

I guess I should be specific on my experience: I had Linux Mint running fine, including Audacity and Musescore. I installed the trial of Pianoteq and it worked when I set up Jack, but it was sometimes glitchy. Pianoteq included instructions about real-time access and kernels and other things, but I didn't understand it. I tried installed KXStudio by adding repositories, but then I got some G(something) key missing error, which I was able to fix with instructions I found online somewhere... but now Jack is all messed up and there's other problems, and Audacity doesn't work anymore...

On a total side-note, we just got gifted a Kindle Fire... Can I use that in some capacity with my GNU/Linux laptop? If I root it, can I actually use it in a reasonable way with control over the device? I am hesitant about the whole thing because I'd have sought out a specifically user-controllable tablet to work with my laptop, sync calendars etc. if possible; but this was just a gift... Haven't even opened it.

Thanks for the help!
Aaron Wolf
Music teacher, scholar
http://wolftune.com

GraysonPeddie
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by GraysonPeddie »

No problem. I can't help you out with Kindle Fire since I don't plan in buying one. But with a search in Google, I can direct you to a website here. Root your tablet at your own risk, though. I was a ittle worried about bricking my Optimus V when I need to root my phone so that I can do what I want with it.

If you give falktx some time and if I recall correctly, falkTX might produce an ISO of KXStudio 12.04. Perhaps that can be of help keep the use of Linux terminal to the minimum? falkTX is a member here, so he might be able to help you out.

Oh, by the way, check out the tutorial in setting up a studio with Ubuntu. You might want to install Kubuntu instead of Linux Mint KDE, as I found myself not needing Mint. Don't worry, there's always kubuntu-restricted-extras available for you. When you get done with setting up a studio with Kubuntu, just open up Konsole, type "sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras" (no quotes) and you should be good to go.

I've gained a lot of experience with Debian-based Linux distrobutions (but haven't used all distros that are derived from Debian) and I've started to gain experience with Arch recently, so I'll do whatever I can to help you out. :)
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

wolftune
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by wolftune »

So, I tried Remix OS... Looks great, I'm happy REAPER runs so well... REAPER has been my main DAW now and will continue to be unless I'm won over by Bitwig...

HOWEVER, Remix OS didn't automatically connect to my wifi, I tried a lot of things, didn't know what was going on... I couldn't find any obvious way to determine whether it was a driver issue or how to install the driver... Linux Mint just worked perfectly run on install. I'm just not up for this level of futzing around now, given that I already know I'll have many more hours of messing with things to get my system really how I need it. Screwing with wireless drivers is not my idea of fun or interesting.

Looks like there's some concern about the future of Kubuntu: https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/kubun ... 05782.html

I think I'll just reinstall Mint KDE, and then carefully follow that "Setting up a studio" guide for KXStudio and more (thanks for the link!) , then use LinReaper to get REAPER going. If all that goes well, I'll then get to trying Melodyne and other things under WINE. If the whole thing works, I'll probably be able to switch to this for all my primary work, but we'll see... This plan seem good?

(should I consider Netrunner as an alternate KDE option? Seems like a much less used option, but gets good reviews... Some people at the Mint forums say they prefer it...)
Aaron Wolf
Music teacher, scholar
http://wolftune.com

slowpick
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by slowpick »

You are a pro, you should have a desktop computer for your daw,
maximized to suit your profession. The laptop can cover the extras,
and lessons done away from home. The remixos forum can sort the wireless,
and avlinux forum can deal with touchpad.
Having installs of Mint, AVLinux, and RemixOS, would minimize the chances
of some cool new software being unsupported, and leave you with 2 good systems
should any experiment go awry.

I install the vanilla reaper in /home/username and have few problems,
and less typing in the short path.

Linux tuning tools:

http://kokkinizita.linuxaudio.org/linuxaudio/index.html (Zita AT1)

http://web.mit.edu/tbaran/www/autotalent.html
http://web.mit.edu/tbaran/www/autotalen ... efcard.pdf

http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_key_frequencies

slowpick
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by slowpick »

GraysonPeddie wrote: Is that how I define "politics" of being in control of my life? Like I said, I know nothing about it and I'll do everything I can to stay away from it. *sigh*
That attitude is why the U.S. is on the brink of collapse. Everyone looked the other way and partied
while control freaks took over healthcare, energy, real estate, education, banking, and created
a government class of unaccountable workers, soaking up unsustainable pensions and benefits,
and a welfare state where 50% of the people pay NO federal income tax, then want to tax employers
even more.

You can't stay away any longer. See you Monday morning at the gas pump, and the next Monday
at the grocery store, and the next monday, the utility bills...

GraysonPeddie
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by GraysonPeddie »

Sorry but I'm visually impaired. And yes, I do pay taxes when I buy things at the grocery store and Best Buy and whatnot.

Oh, well. I apologize for bringing up politics in the first place even though the word "politic" caught my interest.
--Grayson Peddie

Music Interest: New Age w/ a mix of modern smooth jazz, light techno/trance & downtempo -- something Epcot Future World/Tomorrowland-flavored.

Pablo
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by Pablo »

Welcome to the forum!

The typical case in a personal computer is that there is only one user, let's say, wolftune, and of course, wolftune wants to run jack-aware apps, (e.g., wineasio). In this case, wolftune needs realtime and memlock privileges because jack deals with realtime stuff so it needs to override the "secure by default" linux behaviour. By default, a user won't allow any program to run in realtime mode or to lock memory.

As of lately in debian/ubuntu and derivatives, these privileges are given to the "audio" group automatically when the jackd package (the jack daemon or jack sound server) is installed. This means only users that belong to the audio group will have these privileges.

Therefore, the most important tweak you have to do in any debian/ubuntu derivative is adding your user (the user who wants to run jack, in any case) to the audio group. Even in KXstudio. You do this by running:

sudo adduser wolftune audio

Then restart the computer. You can check said privileges via this command:

ulimit -r -l

Linux is a bit involved because there are so many choices. For linux musicians it is important to know a bit about the audio infrastructure. Pulseaudio is the default sound server in ubuntu/mint and jack is a different one, oriented towards low-latency audio.

Some programs are not jack-aware by default, others are not jack-aware at all. In some others jack is Hobson's choice. For example, you can run Audacity and Mscore without jack, but you need jack for LinReaper, qtractor or ardour.

Specialized distros like the ones you mentioned make things easier, but finding your ideal distro is a bit ot hit and miss, as you are experiencing.

Be patient and don't hesitate to ask (but try to use the appropriate board).

Cheers! Pablo

wolftune
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by wolftune »

Thanks so much, everyone! That sort of clear advice (like both the necessary terminal command and the explanation for my comprehension) is exactly what I need.

As to running multiple distros, I'm really not sure about it. My inclination is to get the best functional thing, learn my way around it, and make regular backups. I might try others to learn about things, but I'd rather have one functional system.

Gratefully,
Aaron
Aaron Wolf
Music teacher, scholar
http://wolftune.com

slowpick
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by slowpick »

Just install test/extra systems on external drives, and start one with the 'early boot menu'
(press the dedicated F-key on startup) Use extra disk space for your backups.
This protects your data, your 'uptime', and gives you options for special/new software that
may not be usable across the broad spectrum of distributions, but works in a certain version.

A new usb disk case, and 40 gig recycle drive, is only $30

slowpick
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by slowpick »

GraysonPeddie wrote:Sorry but I'm visually impaired. And yes, I do pay taxes when I buy things at the grocery store and Best Buy and whatnot.

Oh, well. I apologize for bringing up politics in the first place even though the word "politic" caught my interest.
Don't apologize, current trends and events directly affect us as musicians, and computer users.
We can share opinions and insights, and remain civil and respectful. Politicians are elected to serve
the public, but have broken the trust. The result of this needs to be musically understood.

Hope and change: hope was $1.89 per gallon, change is $4.09 per gallon. That cost me
a couple thousand dollars, that could have upgraded gear that is starting to ware out,
malfunction, and lacks modern features.

wolftune
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Re: Hi — newly switching from Mac

Post by wolftune »

Sorry, but I'm with Grayson partially... you want to get people to care about politics? You can't just rant about things and express simplistic dogma upon any mention of politics. It is utter nonsense to just say that a particular political campaign slogan is to blame for some complex economic phenomenon. You can't just dismiss complex issues by blaming some faceless class of people as "unaccountable workers" — all that is useless, simplistic, and a perfect demonstration of why Grayson decided not to want to deal with politics.

Even the issues we probably mostly all agree on, like FLOSS and civil liberties, are certainly complex.

There are some ways we can actually try to deal with politics rationally and scientifically, such as exemplified by Jonathan Haidt here: http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... e-marbles/

If political discussion means fair, open-minded, non-prejudicial exchange about trying to understand the issues without presumed dogma, that is useful. The real reason the U.S. is in serious trouble is because of polarization because too many folks out there bought into simplistic dogma. The entire FLOSS community, such as this forum, is adequate evidence for us to rationally dismiss the claims of pure laissez-faire free-market capitalism. None of you are helping me (or each other) for financial profit. On the other hand, we all value our individual privacy and freedom and would not be happy with a top-down restrictive communist system. Anyone who simply blames the Obama administration for our economic problems is clearly clueless, anyone who think that if the Republicans only stopped obstructing everything would work out is equally clueless. Grayson, for having chosen to avoid this nonsense, deserves more respect than anyone ranting about blaming particular politicians or parties or whatever.

Skip, if you don't want to learn about all the complex issues of externalities and subsidies and finite resources and other complex and global economic issues; well, instead of looking at a single factor like gas price at the pump and blaming particular politicians, you be better off to follow Grayson and avoid politics entirely. At best, you're just showing Grayson that he was right to avoid the topic.

And unless any aspect of this political discussion gets to be more reasoned and scientific (such as relating FLOSS and Linux to that article I linked to), I'm going to avoid further response to any simplistic ranting.

Respectfully,
Aaron
Aaron Wolf
Music teacher, scholar
http://wolftune.com

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