Trinity, the folks who have been pushing the notion of a Linux-based handheld audio studio for some time now, have launched a full product today. It’s called the Indamixx Mobile DAW, and it’s a full software studio running on Samsung’s Q1 Ultra (formerly known as an Ultra Mobile PC). In fact, it might more accurate to say that it’s multiple DAWs, as you have various, full-blown software choices you can use pre-optimized on a handheld computer.

For anyone unimpressed by people tapping on iPhones and such, this is the real thing. Software includes, among other things:

  • Just-added special version of EnergyXT, the increasingly-popular music production tool (as pictured here)
  • Ardour, the powerful, open-source DAW software
  • Hydrogen drum machine, Seq24 sequencer, Ardour audio editor
  • Powerful Linux tools: LADSPA and VST effects support, synth and sound tools, and utilities

You also get tools like Skype and Pidgin, plus the usual Linux Internet apps, so I could imagine this would be a really powerful tool to have with you in world travels. Find wifi, call whomever you like.

It’s all about form factor. Some people will, naturally, be perfectly happy with a no-compromises laptop. But for people who prefer a handheld machine that could fit easily atop a keyboard or music stand, this finally gives you some real power – and a full-blown Linux OS. (The addition of EnergyXT to me is really the killer app.)

The hardware features:

  • 7”, 1024×600 screen and VGA output
  • 802.11g wifi and Ethernet
  • 40 GB hard drive (not sure about real-world track count on that; I’ll try to find out)
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports, so you could use this with a MIDI or audio interface
  • Touch screen and physical keys, plus an 8-way joystick
  • 1G RAM expandable to 2GB, reasonably speedy (very much so for a mobile device) Intel processor

Cost: US$999 as a special intro offer through 8/31 or until supplies are gone.

Availability: Now.

Whether or not you’re running out to buy one of these, I think the message to developers is clear. You can no longer assume the traditional computer and mouse is the target platform. With touch capabilities in Windows 7 and likely on Mac OS, with killer apps on everything from the iPhone to the DS, the growth of Linux laptops like the Eee, and touch and mobile interfaces everywhere, the potential diversity of computing is finally being realized. That means UI design will increasingly have to accommodate alternative modes of control (like touch), scale to different screen sizes (including higher resolutions as well as lower ones), and think about mobile. And Linux – already capable of emulating Windows well enough to run many music apps, and ready to host VSTs – could have a new window of opportunity. The change may not happen immediately, but smart developers will be prepared for whatever direction their customers may take.

Indamixx Portable Studio Site

  • http://www.acityheart.com kris

    Holy Crap.

    That's amazing- the only other thing i wish they'd included would be firewire support so I could hook up my Firebox to it. I wish I had the cash to throw down on this, I'd take it pretty much everywhere with me.

  • gbsr

    @kris: you and me booth.

    if my wallet allowed it, id probably get one as a portable monster modular software effect processor. energy xt yum.

    btw peter, links dead.

  • andrew

    er…I totally get the samsung Q1, especially the q1 ultra premium, but it comes with XP as standard, so you can load any DAW and any VST. So does linux really stand up as an alternative on this device

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Indamixx site link is now fixed; sorry!

  • http://www.indmaixx.com ronald stewart

    Andrew,

    Try loading any DAW and VST on there and let me know how that works for you… we tried and it was lack luster at best… Instead we tought about the customer and did all the hard work for them so they don't have to. Also, windows is a hog and our Linux is mean and lean so instead of dedicating your processor power and RAM to the OS you can put that power towards the pro audio applications… Indamixx has Real time RT with SSE2 and JACKDMP coupled with optimized subsystems and rewindowing the applications for small screen. I don't think you will be as happy with performance as an audio guy by just throwing apps on there, but you might. Our biggest responders are those that are not getting solid performance (low latency)out of the ASIO and are tired of all the OS and driver fuss. Plus there is a lot of value in Indamixx with all the bundled apps that work together with JACK server client (rewire-ish).

    Thanks

    Ronald

  • andrew

    thanks ronald

    I've held back from the Q1 for the very reasons you gave – there was simply no real information about how audio software would run on it, and no shops that stocked it. So its great to hear that linux offers excellent performance.

  • http://www.indmaixx.com ronald stewart

    I believe you would be very pleased with our product. If you are in Los Angeles August 3rd please stop by our booth at Dub Show Tour http://www.dubshowtour.com and I would be hapy to give you a detailed demonstration of how powerful Indamixx truly is. If you are an audio ninja than this is definitely your ankle dagger :)

    Cheers!

    Ronald

  • apoclypse

    I was at the NY Remix Hotel in June and Justblaze (the producer) had hacked one of these Q1's to run OSX. He was running logic on it and was using it to mix. Everyone's eyes went glassy when they saw it. It was just too damn cool.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Well, I will say it's more possible to tailor the OS to the hardware with Linux than with Windows. It might be a generalization to say that "windows is a hog". But, *on this hardware*, again, the ability to customize is absolutely important, whereas Windows is comparatively inflexible. We hope to have a hands-on with the result here on CDM.

  • TheBat

    I'd love to see how this DAW performs on an MSI WIND netbook. If this is as powerful as the creators claim, pairing it with an MSI WIND could make for a killer budget music machine, with the WIND priced at just 399USD in the Linux version.

  • amoeba

    nice! i dig the size and the touch screen aspects, but at that price point i think i'd be looking at a macbook, etc. but this is certainly taking things in the right direction. if i was a true linux freak (and u-he stuff ran on it) i'd be all over this.

  • RobertArctor

    The Samsung Q1 is pretty sweet, but I just don't get this bundle. Why constrain yourself to the limited pool of Linux sound apps? You can buy a Q1 with XP and a 40 GB HD online for about $800.

  • Guy Moon

    I ordered one before Ron had a chance to complete the demonstration!

    Guy Moon : Composer

    "Fairly Odd Parents"

    "Back To The Barnyard"

    "Danny Phantom"

    "Cow & Chicken"

  • JG

    I have been using a Q1 (not ultra) for quite a while now, and I take it travelling/on tour alot. I have been gigging with it, running Live and Reason, and so far (*gulp*) it has been steady and reliable. The touch screen is so great for live work, as it reduces the point and click time drastically.

    I would be interested to try Linux on my Q1, but would rather experiment on a different machine, as I am happy with what I have running on the Q1.

    I upped the memory to 2GB, and it has a 60GB hard drive. It's a great machine, and SUPER portable.

    I regularly sit in a cafe with some headphones and write stuff in Live/Reason, very satisfying.

    If anyone knows who I could contact in the UK about trying a Linux boot on the Q1 please let me know.

  • Captain Howdy

    Sorry, I'm as unimpressed with this as I am with "people tapping on iPhones and such".

    I also don't know why using software on handheld computers really rates as news anymore these days. Do people really have such short attention spans? Hasn't anyone ever seen a Toshiba Libretto or a Palm Pilot before?

    Not to mention that I have a hard enough time focusing on making music at home, yet alone on an airplane, bus or dentist office lobby.

    Cute stuff, but I think that I'll stick to my 15' Macbook pro for now. A smaller screen would probably just make me nuts… or blind. Probably both.

    Look forward to hearing an album produced on this stuff. I won't hold my breath.

  • http://ixlproductions.co.uk Sah

    oh so nice!! i hope I have enough budget to purchase this thing. I've been wondering whether the new iPhone could create beats as well as a computer but I think Samsung's gonna be much better.

  • http://www.indmaixx.com ronald stewart

    Hey Captain!

    Does this count?

  • http://www.indmaixx.com ronald stewart
  • http://www.indmaixx.com ronald stewart
  • Otterbop

    Taking the plunge…

    I received a nice, hands-on demo today and I have to say that holding and playing with this thing is worth a thousand screen shots. No doubt there are bugs (as in all software) and there will be a learning curve, but I see a great deal of potential which is only on the surface of being tapped.

    There are so many quality features which I'm sure a hardcore Linux-junkie could exploit.

    At any rate, I look forward to working with this set-up in a live context. I think Captain has a certain point and there will always be a need for dedicated home-studios with massive processing power and gear-porn, but some of us may find it really fun to be able to go anywhere and make music.

  • Debaser

    Hello Ronald.

    These babies look awesome, and I feel my credit card burning a hole in my pocket …

    Could you please confirm the price tag on these ? The article says $999, but indamixx.com displays $1 199.99 ?

    Thanks.

  • http://www.indamixx.com ronald stewart

    Hey Guys,

    Yes, Indamixx is 999.00 plus FREE Fedex shipping (USA only), 30 Days FREE software support from http://www.64studio.com. Each unit has an individually numbered badge, plus you get some other great goodies!. Please use the gift coupon ShowMeSomeLove to receive the 200.00 discount.

    For Indamixx overseas, you get the same great deal, but you have to pay for shipping to your country.

    email me direct for any questions: ronaldjstewart@gmail.com

    We are at the DubShow Tour in Los Angeles CA. this Sunday August 3rd, 2008 booth 149 stop by if you can. I don't think I can put anymore shameless plugs here so go to the website http://www.indamixx.com (oops got one more plug in)

    Thank you

    Ronald

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