Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

What other apps and distros do you use to round out your studio?

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Fmajor7add9
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Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Fmajor7add9 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:43 am

So this is a bit of a downer to share among all the great inspiration and research here but I decided to come clean anyway.
Feel free to debunk my assumptions and signal paths :)

My DAW usage is for
1) Live looping bits and pieces written on guitar and keys and index them on disk for easy remixing and editing
2) Fiddling with virtual instruments and explore new sounds and fx techniques
3) Record demo, lesson, practise tracks and videos.
4) Occasionally lay down some tracks on collaborators projects.
5) Rarely produce sheet music and tabs for a few songs

Initial approach was to setup an old Win 7 laptop and Jack network a few apps only to a Linux DAW with Bitwig as mothership for loop recording and Tracktion or Ardour as traditional sequencers and hosts for any mixing and mastering. But a quick line up of wants and needs against current budget and licenses made me realize I'm kind of stuck on Windows.

If I had a full Bitwig Studio license I'd go all in on Linux but for now it's Reason Lite 10, Ableton Lite 9 and 8, Bitwig 8-track and some Win only guitar amp modellers and fx and VST instruments.

Gonna strip Win 7 down before MS freezes it and then just keep using it only as a DAW stuck on the currently installed versions until quantum computing makes audio virtual machining and containers a breeze, ca. 2033. Any budget excess is allocated to hardware, lessons and instruments.

Other options like...
Sampletank free
Spitfire Audio LABS
Cakewalk Bandlab Free with Melodyne
Pro Tools First with Xpand!2
..are also intriguing

And tools like M-Audios MIDI controller surface editor, a Playstation 3 controller to MIDI translator, Blackstar amp patch editor are hardly worth any WINE or VM or dual boot hassle. I expect to keep using Tracktion as multitrack sequencer (due to blazing fast workflow mostly) and a combo of Ableton Link, rewire and MIDI clock to sync all when needed.

I'm aware of most of the great Linux software and plugins but I've had a Jack'ed up Win 7 running Bitwig, Ableton and Tracktion smoothly before and decided to keep any OS tinkering and Linux learning away from the music room and time. If networked audio by Jack is doable without too much fuss I'll keep a Linux DAW in the chain and use Tracktion there as a mixer for tracks from the Win DAWs to be added to videos edited in Kdenlive.

So that's my 2019 end of year report. I love Linux and everything Open Source and I love music just as much and is a bit disappointed to realize that my skills and needs can't combine both at this particular point in time. But time is running backwards and I've spent way way way too much time not playing music while setting up OS and sound cards and all kinds of that stuff for one lifetime. Peace.

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milo
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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby milo » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:31 am

Being a die-hard Linux user is sort of likee being an exclusive barefoot runner. Yes, there are some theoretical advantages to barefoot running, but there are also some very real limitations that you have to be willing to accept. Barefoot running, for all of its challenges, is actually a lot of fun. So is Linux, for all of its quirks.

Linux is not a religion, although some people treat it like one. There is no shame in using Windows -- it is a very capable OS with a mature set of tools for audio production. Use the tools that suit your budget and workflow and which support your creativity, and don't worry about it.

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby tavasti » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:44 am

I suppose there is basic questions:
- Why you need/want to get away from windows?
- Is there need to get away fully, or is it ok to keep something still in windows?
Linux veteran & Novice musician

Hear my music at https://audiu.net/users/tawaste

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Fmajor7add9 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:21 am

milo wrote:Linux is not a religion, although some people treat it like one. There is no shame in using Windows -- it is a very capable OS with a mature set of tools for audio production. Use the tools that suit your budget and workflow and which support your creativity, and don't worry about it.


thanks milo :)

tavasti wrote:I suppose there is basic questions:
- Why you need/want to get away from windows?
- Is there need to get away fully, or is it ok to keep something still in windows?


spot on, I want to use Linux as much as possible and keep learning more about everything from kernel to keyboard and need to be a part of the open source community to stay a sane PC user :)

Also need a stable music DAW on a OS trimmed to preference and wasn't aware of all the Windows only tools involved in the chain before drawing a signal path chart.

Bitwig runs flawlessly on my Linux box and I'm sure that could be my Linux DAW wedge some time ahead (full Studio license required). With a classic linear sequencer workflow (Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools etc.) it'd be simpler to switch to Ardour, Tracktion or Rosegarden but I need the Ableton / Bitwig loop based time and pitch stretched building blocks for recording and editing so there it is for now.

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby glowrak guy » Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:07 pm

A semi-pro reaper license is only $60. If you'll get used to wine-staging,
installing some wine over-rides, using the linvst wrapper, and applying
linux paths and comon sense to installers, the linux reaper and
windows reaper in wine are the best price/compatibility duo you'll get
for running windows plugins.

The entire U-he collection have linux ports, synth/effects heaven on earth,
and also work in wine. Most discoDSP products have linux versions.
The great Fathom modular from Seaweed Audio works in wine,
as do KV331 SynthMaster ONE and SynthMaster 2.9. Even the Reason Intro Rack vst
can be used.

You'll be able to run most plugins that have sane installer and registration schemes.
I can run IK Sampletank 4, 3, and 2.5, Miroslav Philharmonic, Syntronik,
Amplitube 4, and T-Racks, although I've only used a few of the T-Racks modules.

There are guides out there to install Native Access, so most the vast
Native Instruments/Reaktor/Kontakt Komplete collection can be used.
Cheers

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:43 pm

Maybe it's me but from what I read you mainly use Traction, for which there is a native Linux version... What exactly is holding you back from using Linux? A looper? Then you might like Sooperlooper (link).

Good luck! :)

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Fmajor7add9 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Thanks for the pointers and comments, some quick replies below

glowrak guy wrote:A semi-pro reaper license is only $60. If you'll get used to wine-staging,
installing some wine over-rides, using the linvst wrapper, and applying
linux paths and comon sense to installers, the linux reaper and
windows reaper in wine are the best price/compatibility duo you'll get
for running windows plugins.


I'm a happy user of Bitwig, Ableton and Tracktion as a combo for recording, looping, editing and VST hosts. Intrigued to give Cakewalk a quick spin and won't be looking at payware for this DIY setup nor Wine exercises for though it does seem pretty straightforward.

The entire U-he collection have linux ports, synth/effects heaven on earth,
and also work in wine. Most discoDSP products have linux versions.
The great Fathom modular from Seaweed Audio works in wine,
as do KV331 SynthMaster ONE and SynthMaster 2.9. Even the Reason Intro Rack vst
can be used.

You'll be able to run most plugins that have sane installer and registration schemes.
I can run IK Sampletank 4, 3, and 2.5, Miroslav Philharmonic, Syntronik,
Amplitube 4, and T-Racks, although I've only used a few of the T-Racks modules.


Thanks, wasn't aware of that, noted for a possible 2nd synth and sampletank distro to feed into the sequencers.

There are guides out there to install Native Access, so most the vast
Native Instruments/Reaktor/Kontakt Komplete collection can be used.
Cheers


not a need nor want atm.

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Fmajor7add9 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:39 pm

Linuxmusician01 wrote:Maybe it's me but from what I read you mainly use Traction, for which there is a native Linux version... What exactly is holding you back from using Linux? A looper? Then you might like Sooperlooper (link).

Good luck! :)


Thanks and maybe it is you :)

Tracktion is great but can't deal with multitrack looping and pitch and time stretching as smooth as Bitwig (and Ableton).

I've had a brief look at Sooperlooper before (and https://www.giadamusic.com) and the features seems to be on par - but I'll skip learning a new looper and VST host at this moment and SL seems stuck on a 2014 release (that might be golden, but still...).

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:07 pm

Fmajor7add9 wrote:
Linuxmusician01 wrote:Maybe it's me but from what I read you mainly use Traction, for which there is a native Linux version... What exactly is holding you back from using Linux? A looper? Then you might like Sooperlooper (link).

Good luck! :)


Thanks and maybe it is you :)

Tracktion is great but can't deal with multitrack looping and pitch and time stretching as smooth as Bitwig (and Ableton).

I've had a brief look at Sooperlooper before (and https://www.giadamusic.com) and the features seems to be on par - but I'll skip learning a new looper and VST host at this moment and SL seems stuck on a 2014 release (that might be golden, but still...).

One can use Bitwig on Linux if I'm not mistaken. Is there a reason why you do not want to use Bitwig on Linux (I can't find a reason in your top-post)?

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Fmajor7add9 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:11 pm

Linuxmusician01 wrote:One can use Bitwig on Linux if I'm not mistaken. Is there a reason why you do not want to use Bitwig on Linux (I can't find a reason in your top-post)?


Sorry if that wasn't mentioned earlier, only reason being I don't own a full Bitwig Studio license only a 8-track. On Windows that can be Jack'd to 8 more tracks in Ableton and Reason Lite plus anything else the CPU and RAM can drive.

With a full Bitwig license I'd use it as a single DAW for sort of everything in a Debian DAW, with FOSS and Wine apps and plugins where needed alongside.

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby JamesPeters » Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:34 am

Reaper is amazing, but if you prefer the live aspects of something like Ableton (loops and song "chunks" reorganizing on the fly etc.), Reaper probably won't be what you want.

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby Linuxmusician01 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:01 pm

Fmajor7add9 wrote:
Linuxmusician01 wrote:One can use Bitwig on Linux if I'm not mistaken. Is there a reason why you do not want to use Bitwig on Linux (I can't find a reason in your top-post)?


Sorry if that wasn't mentioned earlier, only reason being I don't own a full Bitwig Studio license only a 8-track. On Windows that can be Jack'd to 8 more tracks in Ableton and Reason Lite plus anything else the CPU and RAM can drive.

With a full Bitwig license I'd use it as a single DAW for sort of everything in a Debian DAW, with FOSS and Wine apps and plugins where needed alongside.

Aha, I see. I'm afraid that your particular usage scenario indeed does not lend itself to Linux. You use two DAW's "as one". Thing always is w/ switching OS (i.e. switching to iOS, Android, Linux, etc.) that certain things just won't work. Switching always comes w/ the bitter sweet farewell to certain things you're used to. For some that takes a little getting used to, for some it just won't do.

Anyway, if you ever want to switch completely to something like QTractor you can really switch to Linux. See QTractor tutorials by Demonic Sweaters on Youtube. Here's one: link.

Good luck! :)

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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby AlexTheBassist » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:22 pm

milo wrote:Yes, there are some theoretical advantages to barefoot running, but there are also some very real limitations that you have to be willing to accept.

Limitations like what? I don't see any significant besides Dante protocol, but it's way out of scope of home/stage user. Others are lack of knowledge or intelligence, solely depending on a person.
milo wrote:There is no shame in using Windows -- it is a very capable OS with a mature set of tools for audio production. Use the tools that suit your budget and workflow and which support your creativity, and don't worry about it.

That's exactly what I tell noobs when they come to complain that Linux doesn't serve as a “legally warez” version of Windows, which I find shockingly stupid: Windows apps are meant to be run on Windows, and Windows workflow is still in Windows, not elsewhere. I would disagree on the “very capable” part, however, but Windows still sort of can do audio tasks. There's indeed a bunch of software available, but it's never as flexible and stable as UNIX-like systems are. I'd recommend a not-so-old Macbook instead. They are usually built much better than Windows laptops.
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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:19 pm

Hi!

I think the exchange is interesting, so I will jump in.

milo wrote:Being a die-hard Linux user is sort of likee being an exclusive barefoot runner.


AlexTheBassist wrote:Limitations like what? I don't see any significant besides Dante protocol, but it's way out of scope of home/stage user. Others are lack of knowledge or intelligence, solely depending on a person.


I guess Linux too, as everything else, must have its advantages VS disadvantages chart. However, after more than a decade running Linux only, I really cannot think about any disadvantage or limitation either, insofar as audio is concerned (but also most of the other stuff). Anyway, it's the example in milo original remark that got my attention. It feels like a Linux user is represented as somebody that chosen one very particular path, a deep specialization, to the point they learned how to workaround limitations, or accept then. I don't think this is accurate. Rather, I feel the opposite, as if learning Linux helped me a great deal in grasping computing as a whole, enabling me to achieve what I want not only with Linux but also with any other OS. I think that moving from Win to Linux broadened my horizons, capabilities and options rather than the opposite. So, it is more like as if I went from being an exclusive barefoot runner (Win days: can only do what the Win world allows me to, barefoot running in this example) to being a runner who also know how to craft his own hi-tech ultra ergonomic shoes or something like that... don't know if it makes any sense as an example... I don't really know running that well...

milo wrote:Linux is not a religion, although some people treat it like one. There is no shame in using Windows -- it is a very capable OS with a mature set of tools for audio production. Use the tools that suit your budget and workflow and which support your creativity, and don't worry about it.


AlexTheBassist wrote:That's exactly what I tell noobs when they come to complain that Linux doesn't serve as a “legally warez” version of Windows, which I find shockingly stupid: Windows apps are meant to be run on Windows, and Windows workflow is still in Windows, not elsewhere. I would disagree on the “very capable” part, however, but Windows still sort of can do audio tasks. There's indeed a bunch of software available, but it's never as flexible and stable as UNIX-like systems are. I'd recommend a not-so-old Macbook instead. They are usually built much better than Windows laptops.


Yes, I struggle to see the "vary capable" side to it too :twisted:. Still: if it works for you it works for you.

So, to reply to the OP: I do agree with milo, pretty much, that there is no need to force yourself down a path when you already have a workflow you are happy with. So I do agree that there is no shame in using Windows. Or Amiga OS. Or the tape recorder you used in the 90s when you were a kid... As long as you can make the art you want with it, you are sorted! And if you need help in with Linux, you already know where to find us :wink:
Check my Linux audio experiments on my SoundCloud.
Browse my AUR packages.
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Re: Why I can't get away from Windows (for now)

Postby merlyn » Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:09 pm

If your head is done in with configuration files then it sounds like a good idea to play some music for a while.

As a long term solution I wouldn't think Windows 7 is an option.

The setup you've described where you install what you need and leave it sounds good in principle. It's like treating a computer as an instrument like a guitar -- you don't upgrade your guitar every six months, well, I don't.

In practice it's a bit more complicated than that. Even a guitar needs maintenance. The strings need changed, the intonation needs setup and sometimes a guitar has to go into the shop to get the truss rod tweaked. A computer, being vastly more complicated than a plank with wires, can need more maintenance.

Windows is going to become a desktop as a service eventually, so you'll have to jump ship at some point. The question is -- when?

(You may need zircon encrusted tweezers and F A C E G is Fmaj9) :D


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