Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

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BartSTS
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Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by BartSTS »

Hello my fellow musicians!
As a total newbie who has just switched from Windows to Linux Mint, I have completly failed with installing all the sound drivers, MIDIs and making any DAW to work without generating lots of xruns. Now I am in real need of help with setting this all over again, but first things first.
What do I need? Be able to record and play sound with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, use Tuxguitar (with sound), run any DAW stable (Reaper preferably) with a few of Windows VSTs, and use MIDI keyboard. I have followed some youtube tutorials on how to prepare Linux for audio engineers, but ended up with working Reaper but generating alot xruns and with working TuxGT but without sound... Could anybody explain what do I need to do just after installing Linux Mint in order to achieve all of the functions mentioned before? I mean I'd be very happy if anyone could make something like a step-by-step instructions what to install (may be just with the terminal commands) in what order to get everything work properly... Or maybe should I start using Ubuntu Studio instead of Mint? That's an option I'm thinking about, too.

If I am sounding like a total newbie that's propably beacause I am one, don't bash me please :lol:

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sysrqer
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by sysrqer »

A low latency kernel would be good if you haven't already got one.

For Windows vsts there are few options, Carla, airwave, linvst. I find Linvst much more stable and less time consuming to set up than airwave. I haven't used Carla for this so can't say much about that.

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CrocoDuck
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by CrocoDuck »

BartSTS wrote: I mean I'd be very happy if anyone could make something like a step-by-step instructions what to install (may be just with the terminal commands) in what order to get everything work properly...
It is hard to came up with a tutorial for each single person. Let's go step by step. I think that what we should do first is configure the system, then install the software you would like to use.

Please, have a look at Libre Music Production tutorials, especially this one:
http://libremusicproduction.com/article ... arted-jack

Every time I install an operating system, I run realtimeconfigquickscan to see what we have to improve in the configuration. Have a try at running it an post its output back:

https://github.com/raboof/realtimeconfigquickscan
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
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Jack Winter
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by Jack Winter »

FWIW, if you want to use a midi keyboard with reaper then you have to run jack. You'll also have to use either jack1 (which has a builtin alsa/jack midi bridge), or if using jack2 you have to run an external midi bridge, but don't remember the name. You'd also have to connect alsa and jack midi ports using the command line or something like qjackctl.

For running windows vsts my vote goes to linvst.

Regarding calf plugins, they won't work in reaper as both use gtk+/gdk. Also they are lv2 iirc, and reaper still has no lv2 support. I think you could possibly use the calf plugins hosted by the carla plugin, but not sure as I haven't tried. Another pretty complete suite that works in reaper is LSP: http://lsp-plug.in/

And have a look at the link in my signature, hopefully explains most that you might need to run reaper on linux.

Edit: If you use Mint you might consider adding the http://kxstudio.linuxaudio.org/Repositories for a better expecience :)
Reaper/KDE/Archlinux. i7-2600k/16GB + i7-4700HQ/16GB, RME Multiface/Babyface, Behringer X32, WA273-EQ, 2 x WA-412, ADL-600, Tegeler TRC, etc 8) For REAPER on Linux information: https://wiki.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/REAPER_for_Linux

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CrocoDuck
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by CrocoDuck »

42low wrote:
sysrqer wrote:A low latency kernel would be good if you haven't already got one.
Is that that important? I have none, never had, and also never had serious latency problems. Not even with 25 heavy filled tracks.
Not always. When I am in the situation BartSTS is reporting (tons of xruns) I usually do:
  • Check the configuration files. Tweaking few conf files in the systems usually improves performances very significantly.
  • Did step 1 suffice? Yes? We are done. Otherwise:
  • Install a lowlatency kernel. Did this solve the xrun issue? Yes. We are done. Otherwise:
  • Install a realtime kernel (and then I really hope we are done).
  • Final tweakings if needed: disabling services, set up low weight DE, etc...
In many modern day cases a normal Linux kernel works OK, especially for desktop computers using firewire or PCI/PCIe audio cards. However, for many laptops using USB soundcards it is still fairly common to have to escalate at least to the lowlatency kernel, and usually rtirq is necessary (but that works also with normal kernels nowadays).

I personally never owned a computer that would work well without at least a lowlatency kernel, where by well I mean a grand total of 0 xruns whatsoever while recording stereo with 7 to 15 ms of total round-trip latency. This use case is tailored towards "live effects" use case, as per using the computer as an effect station on stage. For mastering/mixing or just recording while monitoring with a parallel interface output there is really no need for this, and system requirements can be drastically relaxed.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

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briandc
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by briandc »

BartSTS wrote:Hello my fellow musicians!
As a total newbie who has just switched from Windows to Linux Mint, I have completly failed with installing all the sound drivers, MIDIs and making any DAW to work without generating lots of xruns. Now I am in real need of help with setting this all over again, but first things first.
What do I need? Be able to record and play sound with my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, use Tuxguitar (with sound), run any DAW stable (Reaper preferably) with a few of Windows VSTs, and use MIDI keyboard. I have followed some youtube tutorials on how to prepare Linux for audio engineers, but ended up with working Reaper but generating alot xruns and with working TuxGT but without sound... Could anybody explain what do I need to do just after installing Linux Mint in order to achieve all of the functions mentioned before? I mean I'd be very happy if anyone could make something like a step-by-step instructions what to install (may be just with the terminal commands) in what order to get everything work properly... Or maybe should I start using Ubuntu Studio instead of Mint? That's an option I'm thinking about, too.

If I am sounding like a total newbie that's propably beacause I am one, don't bash me please :lol:
Welcome to the forum and to linux! :)
If you're serious about using a PC for music production (and I think you are), you might indeed consider installing an audio-production-type distro, such as Ubuntu Studio, or Librazik, or AVlinux, etc. This will allow you to have certain performance parameters tweaked out-of-the-box so that you can start making music right away. You can even burn a DVD/make a USB version with one of these distros and try it live, to see if you like it, before doing an install.
Once you get your set-up going, you'll be glad you are using linux (for the flexibility, speed, etc).

Just my 2c,
brian
Have your PC your way: use linux!
My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

BartSTS
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by BartSTS »

Thank you for all your advices! I've overcome some problems like xruns and recording stuff without crashing windows vsts (but I'm still thinking about using Ardour instead of Reaper, just have to get used to it). I believe I've made a mistake installing jack2 because now no MIDI files are working, and I don't have a clue how to fix it. This really affects working on Tuxguitar, so I'm going to try installing Jack1 to see if that helps.

Can somebody just clarify one thing for me? Does Jack and Cadence do the same thing? I mean I have both programs installed but turning Cadence on turns Jack automatically and turning Jack on turns Cadence the same way. I have also seen a youtube tutorials where ppl were having only jack OR cadence.. so does it mean I can get rid of one of this programs?

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CrocoDuck
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by CrocoDuck »

BartSTS wrote:Can somebody just clarify one thing for me? Does Jack and Cadence do the same thing? I mean I have both programs installed but turning Cadence on turns Jack automatically and turning Jack on turns Cadence the same way. I have also seen a youtube tutorials where ppl were having only jack OR cadence.. so does it mean I can get rid of one of this programs?
Please, make sure you understand how the Linux audio stack works. This is a bit old, but still relevant:

http://www.linux-magazine.com/content/d ... Server.pdf

i also written a basic description of the audio stack, published on my blog:

https://thecrocoduckspond.wordpress.com ... o-anatomy/

JACK is a sound server. Cadence is a program that you can use to configure it and managing it. I personally prefer qjackctl, but cadence is a good one too. Getting rid of JACK will break Cadence. Getting rid of Cadence will just remove a tool to manage JACK. You don't need a GUI tool to manage JACK, you can do it from the command line. A GUI tool makes it more convenient, especially for beginners.

I would actually recommend to use jack2. a2jmidid is a tool you can use to bridge MIDI between various JACK clients as you wish.
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
Fancying a swim in the pond?

folderol
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by folderol »

I would add that jack2 is under development. Jack1 is in 'maintenance' mode.

rghvdberg
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by rghvdberg »

Just slap on the KX repos ;-)

Jack Winter
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by Jack Winter »

folderol wrote:I would add that jack2 is under development. Jack1 is in 'maintenance' mode.
AFAIK, none of them are under development right now, in fact one might state that jack2 has quite a lot of catching up to do, see internal clients, etc. But AFAIK, development will probably pick up again, and it will be the jack2 code that gets updated.
Reaper/KDE/Archlinux. i7-2600k/16GB + i7-4700HQ/16GB, RME Multiface/Babyface, Behringer X32, WA273-EQ, 2 x WA-412, ADL-600, Tegeler TRC, etc 8) For REAPER on Linux information: https://wiki.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/REAPER_for_Linux

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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by folderol »

Jack Winter wrote:
folderol wrote:I would add that jack2 is under development. Jack1 is in 'maintenance' mode.
AFAIK, none of them are under development right now, in fact one might state that jack2 has quite a lot of catching up to do, see internal clients, etc. But AFAIK, development will probably pick up again, and it will be the jack2 code that gets updated.
There was a post on this site some time ago by our very own falkTX saying he had taken over development, with the above info - and more.

Jack Winter
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by Jack Winter »

Yes, IIRC the initial plans for this year was for jack2 to catch up with jack1 regarding the internal clients and the metadata api, and to make it use the same submodules for headers, examples, and utilities.

I guess we'll see what happens after that. Looks like jack1 will be put aside and new development will be in jack2 instead. What I meant is that they have both been mostly dormant for a few years, but that jack2 still has some catching up to do, so I think we need to wait for any new development to happen until that has been accomplished..
Reaper/KDE/Archlinux. i7-2600k/16GB + i7-4700HQ/16GB, RME Multiface/Babyface, Behringer X32, WA273-EQ, 2 x WA-412, ADL-600, Tegeler TRC, etc 8) For REAPER on Linux information: https://wiki.cockos.com/wiki/index.php/REAPER_for_Linux

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Linuxmusician01
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by Linuxmusician01 »

Jack Winter wrote:[...] you might consider adding the http://kxstudio.linuxaudio.org/Repositories for a better expecience :)
Would be my first and only tip to @BartSTS. The rest are worth a separate topic.

Good luck :)

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JHoermann
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Re: Preparing Linux Mint for audio production, help needed!

Post by JHoermann »

I made a Youtube video about this topic:
"Prepare Linux for audio production" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6LuvdDEqCA

Hope it helps :)
My Youtube channel about Linux audio production: https://www.youtube.com/user/JHoermann
Gear:
Notebook: Dell XPS 13
Audiointerface: Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen
Guitar: Gibson Les Paul Tribute 60's
Mic: Superlux E205

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