My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

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asbak
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by asbak »

What stops you switching to Linux?
The biggest problem I've encountered is getting rid of xruns when playing live eg when routing an instrument into an effects processor running in a host on the computer or when playing softsynths live. Thus far I've not been able to achieve the goal of an xrun free session testing on different hardware platforms (some of them being high-end) with different audio interfaces, some PCI, some USB.

Hardware used:
Core2Duo
Core i7
Xeon E3

All with (different era) Intel chipset motherboards.

Audio Interfaces used:
Edirol UA-25
Behringer UMC404
RME HDSP 9652 PCI

Software Platforms:
Linux Mint 17 64Bit + Lowlatency kernel
Minimal testing with AVLinux + LM 17 32Bit


Jackd Settings:

Priority 89
@48Khz
128 Buffers

Testing was done mainly on 64Bit systems. Perhaps one can achieve better results with 32Bit.....

varpa
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by varpa »

One issue is you may have background processes which periodically steal the cpu and cause xruns. Wireless daemons are notorious for this. Running kxstudio on my laptop gives a frequent xruns, however, if I boot with the hardware wireless disable switch off, I get nearly no x-runs. Curiously, on the same laptop running AVLinux 6.0.3 I get virtually no x-runs even with wireless enabled. In general you may want to examine all the daemons you are running (with lsmod) and disable any that are not needed during live play (use modinfo to get a description of modules, and rmmod to remove modules).
Also see http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/system_configuration and http://carlh.net/ardour/manual/html/ch17s03.html.

asbak
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by asbak »

I've been disabling unnecessary services, it made no difference. Thanks for the lsmod suggestion, I'll look into that and see if there's anything else that can be killed off. Most of the issues are on workstations which don't make use of wifi. I guess most typical users don't really make heavy use of v-synths for live playing and hence this isn't an issue which bothers too many people? There's tons of CPU headroom left so it's not as if the systems are even being pushed hard. But something is obviously interfering and as a layman I don't know how to trace the cause or causes....

There aren't particularly many xruns but one xrun is one xrun too many :mrgreen:

Ironically enough I'm getting some of the least xruns on the lowest powered system of all, an AMD based Microserver with a low-power CPU (running 32Bit LM17).
I'm beginning to wonder whether the 64Bit Ubuntu type (and other?) 64Bit Linux systems aren't more xrun prone. AVLinux is still 32Bit, perhaps he stuck with 32Bit for similar reasons? Who knows......

Thanks again for the URL's, it'll be something to investigate this week to see whether it'll improve anything.

glowrak guy
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by glowrak guy »

32 bit works better for me, for music production, regardless of which distro. Stable, and predictable.
I would hope that is more a result of having a group of hardwares that coexist nicely, rather than of the quality
of any 64 bit releases. There is such a variety of hardware, and relatively few hours available to support it all.
I think sorting the systems hardware components will be more important than choice of distro, and bit depth,
Cheers

asbak
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by asbak »

Thanks for the info, I'll do some more testing in 32Bit with Obxd (sounds so awesome) synth this week and see how it goes.

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GMaq
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by GMaq »

glowrak guy wrote:32 bit works better for me, for music production, regardless of which distro. Stable, and predictable.
I would hope that is more a result of having a group of hardwares that coexist nicely, rather than of the quality
of any 64 bit releases. There is such a variety of hardware, and relatively few hours available to support it all.
I think sorting the systems hardware components will be more important than choice of distro, and bit depth,
Cheers
Yessss!

A well set up 32bit system is much better than a 64bit system that isn't (and vice versa of course!). If one or two applications are optimized for 64bit but the rest of the system is unstable or prone to xruns then those relatively minor optimizations don't count for much in the real world. Very sad to see Lightworks, BitWig and Tracktion very lazily supporting only Ubuntu 64bit when 32bit still (for the time being) has something to offer as a stable platform not to mention the thousands of high spec single core and early Core-Duo machines which still are viable to use as studio appliances...
Last edited by GMaq on Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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briandc
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by briandc »

Personally, I've never even USED much less owned a 64-bit, neither for work nor for audio production. Progress wishes for things to go forward, so I agree with falkTX that 64-bit will eventually replace everything else. Still, for those of us who still use 32-bit and enjoy it, why leave it in the dust?


brian
Have your PC your way: use linux!
My sound synthesis biome: http://www.linuxsynths.com

glowrak guy
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by glowrak guy »

Another aspect to consider, is budgeting priority, for the music one hopes to produce.
Investing $500 in a 64 bit motherboard, i7 cpu,and 8gig ram, when using a lousy video display,
maxed-out hard-disks, barebones midi controller, bottom-of-barrel guitar, or sad sack headphones/monitors,
might not be best bang-for-the-buck. For some, a great chair, with a second display monitor
might make a huge difference in long sessions, for others, a pair of ssd's, and a great linux commercial software
like Discovery Pro, might be an advantage. The main thing I've noticed in 64bit, is fast boot time,
and file management, but I don't use slow bloated distros, so it's not a huge plus to me,
and I would upgrade a few of the items mentioned above, before a doing a high end 64 bit computer upgrade.
Low end used win 7 systems around here, with 4 gig ram, 500 meg drive, and 17" monitor, are under $100.

Someone wanting to use large sample collections, to create pro movie scores and orchestrations,
might need the i7 scenario just to be competitive. Tools made for the trade.
Cheers

Eino
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by Eino »

The distro I use is a custom one, made just for my needs for my music production.
The system is 64 bit with, and light weight desktop environment. I use rox filer with icewm, and the rox pin-board for the desktop.
The system is made for sound production, and less eye candy. It's made to be fast, and light weight On first boot it loads only 80 processes . With 290 M of memory being used.
I use LMMS for music production, and Audacity for live recording.
This was made on a 4core AMD system with 2gb of memory using LMMS.

https://jumpshare.com/v/2C17n4NCa6bui750gQuz
"Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it. "
John Lennon

https://soundcloud.com/eino1953

glowrak guy
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by glowrak guy »

A good test of your system would be to use U-he' Diva demo, and it's Magic Flute preset.
It would fit well in your song. Another fit would be a great synth string patch from the zynaddsubfx 'un-named'
patches collection. There is a link to the sounds at the zyn website, although you have to
rummage around, to find it, it's worth the effort. You can test and rename the keepers from
the collection, to suit your naming schemes.
Cheers

asbak
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by asbak »

Fwiw I tried Debian Jessie 64Bit and it appears to work reasonably well out of the box (stock kernel) wrt low xrun counts even when using Windows VST's with WineASIO. At any rate, performance appears to be better than with Linux Mint 64Bit.
I disabled dbus stuff like gvfs, upowerd and jackaudio. I speculate that it may be inducing xruns (could well be wrong).

Things may become even better with a rt-kernel but I haven't tried to compile one yet.

glowrak guy
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by glowrak guy »

Another option is to use the official nVidia 3D drivers, and not worry about RT.
You may find that helps in some cases, with busy pro synth GUIs. It would be easy enough to have
a few systems to choose from, for special cases. I have three at the moment, one for keys, one for guitar,
one for bleeding edge. and will add Arch and Redhat setups after the Christmas shopping
is wrapped and bagged, and tucked away on Santa's sleigh.

Oh, wait, Santa drives a Toyota, now :shock: :lol:

Eino
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by Eino »

I'm using Debian wheeze's core for my build, I don't worry about nVidia 3D drivers, it seems to take more memory, a causes xruns anyway. I have found a basic drivers works well, when your not worried about 3D effects, and eye candy. It's not built to watch movies, or play games just sound production.
video driver I use.

Code: Select all

  Display Server: X.Org 1.12.4 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1024x768@85.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on NV4E GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 8.0.5
"Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it. "
John Lennon

https://soundcloud.com/eino1953

glowrak guy
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Re: My KVR 'What stops you switching to Linux' thread

Post by glowrak guy »

The official nVidia driver also does 2D the 'official way', handy when using a mouse or midi controller
to access synth gui controls with precision, while recording/performing.
It's not a 'just for gamers' option. Works well for Native Instruments, and IK Multimedia GUI's,
and native linux vsts, which can expose a lot of parameters. And things run well,
despite the paltry 2 gig ram.
Cheers

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