A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Discuss how to promote using FLOSS to make music.

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unfa
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A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by unfa »

I've been working on this one for three weeks.
I hope it can really help spreading the word about FLOSS for music production:

02.jpg
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(click the thumbnail to go to YouTube)

EDIT: now you can also watch on PeerTube instead:
https://pe.ertu.be/videos/watch/b4d3a3d ... 8a273ed5d8

I hope it's good enough to make you guys want to share it far and wide :)

With this video I'm starting a new "season" of videos on YouTube, taking notes from the past 2 years I've been doing that and working to improve upon it.

Enjoy!
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Last edited by unfa on Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by CrocoDuck »

Great video! Keep up the good work!

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by wjl »

Good one, unfa - thanks!
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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by folderol »

Very nicely put together

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by tavasti »

Indeed your experience on video blogging shows, great work. Liked & commented on video so it would it better ranking on searches!
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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by jonetsu »

Open Source is OK, but as it is said in the video, it becomes better year after year. So how many years before getting top notch synthesis tools ? People doing this software are great, I agree, but they are not doing this as if their living depends on it. As if they are in direct competition with other offerings.

Start using Zynaddsubfx ? It's more like start exploring Zynaddsubfx because of almost total lack of documentation, and eventually you'll get into the mind of its creator and understand enough to be totally creative with it. As in: "year after year". No RTFM there. Unfa did make a few videos on Zynaddsubfx though.

And then there's a mention of Bitwig, Mixbus, Reaper, Renoise, etc... And then you can install FL Studio on Linux.

So the choice is political. It is a political statement. The state of musical tools comes second.

I believe (I might be wrong) that the commercial tools I have belongs to me. They are working now so I can keep the system running as it is for the rest of my life. None of these companies can force me to send them money, to upgrade, for something that's already paid and working.

There are no chains. Thus no chains to break.

I do not consider that the Open Source tools are at par with professional commercial tools. And as such provides a total integrated support for professionals. Calf plugins ? Where can you get in Open Source a synth sounding as nice as u-he's Zebra2 (to take only one example) which runs natively on Linux, and which is supported by so many 3rd party sound sets ?

Yes, Linux can be used in a professional context. Harrison Mixbus32C is pretty solid. So is Bitwig. So are the u-he plugins. Biotek2, Waverazor, OvertoneDSP plugins, pianoteq and some others. Although all these are not Open Source.

This said, anything can be used to make sounds and eventually music. Today when working on a table I was hitting two Forstner drill bits (large drill bits used to make large holes in wood) and they were sounding so nice. I can then grab some PVC pipes, cut them to different lengths and add some notes to the drill bits sounds. Grab a piece of sanding paper and use it as a shaker kind of noise. And record all that using Ardour. Seriously. Anything can be used to make sounds and music. There's no problem with that at all. It depends on what you want to do. Some people are contended with the 'exercise' and find great joy in doing it, which is great. We forget too often about simple things. But then, there are also considerations on maybe - just maybe - try to share to a larger audience who are used to a certain format. So far, on the sound generation front, and even though there are some nice sounds coming out of Zynaddsubfx (I still think this synth is quite something) and OB-xd the palette is very much restricted. You have to make restrictive choices. On the recording front it's way much better with Ardour.

The video is good, though. It depends on who is listening. I remember at the beginning of my Linux journey, when I built Linux systems from scratch for both work and home usage, and then ran the Muse sequencer with some soundfonts and was all enthusiast and that was so great ! But then a bit later, it's only part of the equation and not the universe all by itself. Although the enthusiasm about Open Source is great !

There's criticism in the text above but it's certainly not negative. I posted the text and now I look at it ... wow, I wrote quite a lot !

Cheers.

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by unfa »

Thanks fro the criticism, jonetsu!

I hear you, it's a sure thing that the open-source toolset is not identical in functionality to the proprietary one - as you said, peoele are usually not making a living by doing that (with a few exceptions like Ardour).

As for the sound design possibilities - I think you can get (and I believe my music shows that) stunning results if you get creative. Often you'll need to show a better understanding of the tools you use to achieve these results, and you might need to combine multiple plug-ins in a chain etc, instead of using a single "monster" synth, but nearly everything is possible. What is not still possible is decent wavetable synthesis - but there's a new open-source synth coming out in a few months that'll satisfy this need.

I'm enthusiastic about the open-source software and I love the community that creates and uses it, and I think there's limitless potential in it - that's why I want to see it grow, and I do what I can to help it.

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by jonetsu »

I totally agree unfa.

Do you have some specific links to your music, maybe 1, 2 or 3 pieces that would be fitting for this topic here ?

Cheers.

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by d.healey »

jonetsu wrote:I believe (I might be wrong) that the commercial tools I have belongs to me.
Unfortunately this is rarely the case with proprietary software (there is a lot of free/open source commercial software btw). The case with proprietary software is that you almost never own anything other than a license that allows you to use the software under specific terms. If you break these terms the license can theoretically (although impractically) be revoked. With free software you own your copy, you are free to resell it, change it, share it, etc.
They are working now so I can keep the system running as it is for the rest of my life. None of these companies can force me to send them money, to upgrade, for something that's already paid and working.
That depends on what software you are referring to. If for example your software requires a dongle that connects to a server then you can be disconnected if the server goes down or the company can remove your license if they believe you've contravened their terms. If you are using an OS like Mac or Windows then the companies behind those systems can force software changes on your computer (assuming it's connected to the internet).
I do not consider that the Open Source tools are at par with professional commercial tools.
Yes, in the music world free software is lagging behind proprietary software but in other software fields, like web development for example, free software dominates. Saying that there are several free software applications that are "at par" or better than proprietary tools. Musescore as an engraving tool is as good as Sibelius (might not have all the same features but can do the job just as well). HISE is better than Kontakt in almost every regard and has many features that Kontakt doesn't. Loop Auditioneer is the best batch auto-looping software available (free or proprietary).
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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by jonetsu »

d.healey wrote: Unfortunately this is rarely the case with proprietary software (there is a lot of free/open source commercial software btw). The case with proprietary software is that you almost never own anything other than a license that allows you to use the software under specific terms. If you break these terms the license can theoretically (although impractically) be revoked. With free software you own your copy, you are free to resell it, change it, share it, etc.
Hmmmm. So in very practical terms I own that software, 'they' cannot take it away from me. This said, I have never read a license fully. Or at all. What matters for me is that, am I free to make music and share and potentially have people show their appreciation by giving money without me having to pay back the company for each song that brings some kind of renumeration ? Eg. not to pay any royalties to the software and sound set makers. I'm, pretty sure that's the case. So after I have paid, I am free.

And of course, I certainly do not intend to do anything akin to burglary regarding these software. They are not Open Source, but I respect the designers and developers who created them nevertheless. Like I also buy music I like and not just rip it off youtube or something.

As for using dongles I do not have any. Actually, if a software gets too complicated on the security side and does not run or installs because of that, I simply drop it. No time to waste with that.
d.healey wrote: Yes, in the music world free software is lagging behind proprietary software but in other software fields, like web development for example, free software dominates. Saying that there are several free software applications that are "at par" or better than proprietary tools. Musescore as an engraving tool is as good as Sibelius (might not have all the same features but can do the job just as well). HISE is better than Kontakt in almost every regard and has many features that Kontakt doesn't. Loop Auditioneer is the best batch auto-looping software available (free or proprietary).
Agreed 100%. And yes, especially on the server/web side, including databases like postgres and sqlite.

I do not know about HISE. I quickly took a look and it mentions being a framework. I do not want to program software for music. That's a choice I made and holding, so far. When music is concerned I only want to do music and of course, to learn more and more about doing music, mixing and mastering, and about all those tools. There's so much to learn with only these things, that I do not see myself doing audio/music software development on top of that. At least for the time being.

Cheers.

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by d.healey »

jonetsu wrote:I do not know about HISE. I quickly took a look and it mentions being a framework. I do not want to program software for music.
HISE is a tool for creating VSTi sample libraries. So not much use directly to musicians, but because it's entirely free it means developers can finally create free sample libraries that are the same level as proprietary libraries like those made with Kontakt.
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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by tavasti »

jonetsu wrote:Start using Zynaddsubfx ? It's more like start exploring Zynaddsubfx because of almost total lack of documentation, and eventually you'll get into the mind of its creator and understand enough to be totally creative with it. As in: "year after year". No RTFM there. Unfa did make a few videos on Zynaddsubfx though.
Is that so much different from commercial products? What ever you start using, ending up to googling instructions and helpful videos. I've learned Zyn from these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oQSKqr ... eJqxW4qJLH
jonetsu wrote:I believe (I might be wrong) that the commercial tools I have belongs to me. They are working now so I can keep the system running as it is for the rest of my life. None of these companies can force me to send them money, to upgrade, for something that's already paid and working.
In theory, yes. But then in reality, in most cases you are limited by lifecycle of hardware. When you need new hardware, in case of windows, moving your system to new hardware is nearly impossible. And even for linux, you can't use 10 year old version on new hardware.

Yes, you can install new OS. But will that old software work there? Is there some online licensing stuff involved? With closed source products, if manufacturer goes out of the business or just ends product, there is nothing you can do.

But still, you are right, there is some difference on opensource and commercial music software, but I can accept that. I am not willing to pay such sums of money most commercial products require. Instead, I am willing to help my small share on getting open source better. Not done too much, but maybe in future I will do bit more.

On operating system side, I would not use windows or osx in any case. Or ok, if someone would pay me something like 3000€/year for switching to windows, I might consider.
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More my music https://audiu.net/users/tawaste

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by d.healey »

Guys, commercial is not the opposite of open source. Proprietary or closed source is the opposite. There is plenty of free/open source software that is commercial.
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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

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tavasti wrote: Is that so much different from commercial products? What ever you start using, ending up to googling instructions and helpful videos. I've learned Zyn from these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oQSKqr ... eJqxW4qJLH
I did not know about those videos on Zyn. Maybe they are still relevant for the new version I have which does not look like that one from 2013 at all.

But I disagree. Although videos are an important way to gain knowledge about an audio/synth plugin, the 'printed' documentation plays a very good role depending, of course, on how its written and how much time was spent on writing it. Many commercial products do come with a good documentation. This is part of their customer offering, it is part of the product. Many also offers videos. Look at Rob Papen's streamings, Melda's tutorials, Image Line, u-he, Bitwig, Harrison, etc.

They cannot say "go read the code" to understand how it works :)

Let me open a parenthesis that blurs the two domains. First, 'open' contribution to commercial software. Witness this example of a 185-page manual on Harmor and additive synthesis written last year by Jens Malgren:

https://www.malmgren.nl/Harmor.pdf

This is a great free contribution to commercial software. There are several examples like this, to different levels. People like to talk about what they like and to share it with others.

The second example is about commercial-realm people extending their help to a platform they do not support (Linux, that is). Vojtech, founder of Melda Production, does not support Linux. And yet, when I had problems with MDrummer he sent me a couple of debug-enabled versions to generate log files and then spent some time analyzing them. For a platform he does not support at all.
jonetsu wrote:I believe (I might be wrong) that the commercial tools I have belongs to me. They are working now so I can keep the system running as it is for the rest of my life. None of these companies can force me to send them money, to upgrade, for something that's already paid and working.
tavasti wrote: In theory, yes. But then in reality, in most cases you are limited by lifecycle of hardware. When you need new hardware, in case of windows, moving your system to new hardware is nearly impossible. And even for linux, you can't use 10 year old version on new hardware.
Preserving software means preserving everything, OS included. ... until like you said the hardware dies. There were drastic changes, an rapid evolution of CPUs and such in the recent years which in some cases made it impossible for some software to run on newer platforms. That sharp evolution might be tamed and hardware in 10, 20 years from now might be able to run today's software. ... if not in a fully integrated very fast virtual machine that can run real-time tasks and audio.

Nevertheless, it'll be interesting to see what hardware will look like in 20 years from now.

Yes, you can install new OS. But will that old software work there? Is there some online licensing stuff involved? With closed source products, if manufacturer goes out of the business or just ends product, there is nothing you can do.
tavasti wrote: But still, you are right, there is some difference on opensource and commercial music software, but I can accept that. I am not willing to pay such sums of money most commercial products require. Instead, I am willing to help my small share on getting open source better. Not done too much, but maybe in future I will do bit more.
It is a blend of politics and finance. A choice to go a certain way and accept the limitation and work with it. Like saying I'm not buying furniture, I make my own. The hell with IKEA ! :) Basic furniture is easy enough to build once someone takes the time to look at it, get some tools and give it some time to learn and get basic skills. It will be nice, it will give a good feeling of having built it to a good enough daily use standard, but it will not be commercial furniture. It will have its pros and cons. It might not be as much sophisticated but will have its own charm and useful features.
tavasti wrote: On operating system side, I would not use windows or osx in any case. Or ok, if someone would pay me something like 3000€/year for switching to windows, I might consider.
I stopped working with/using Windows in 2000 and switched to Linux for both work and home use. Never used a Mac. I don't think I will ever switch back to using Windows. I do not consider using 'Windows' plugins to be actually using Windows. Those plugins were made by software people who happened, for a business choice, have chosen that OS. They are not related per se to the Microsoft business except for paying them for developer's tools and their OS upgrades and such.

Cheers.

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Re: A video promoting the use of open-source software for music production

Post by folderol »

jonetsu wrote:Start using Zynaddsubfx ? It's more like start exploring Zynaddsubfx because of almost total lack of documentation, and eventually you'll get into the mind of its creator and understand enough to be totally creative with it. As in: "year after year". No RTFM there. Unfa did make a few videos on Zynaddsubfx though.
Cheers.
I understand that a full manual is in the process of being written. However the basic structure still has enough similarities for the very detailed Yoshimi manual to explain most features. It is available either within the Yoshimi package or from here.

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