Try a Fully-Loaded, Pre-Tuned Linux Workstation on Your Laptop, Netbook: Sale

Renoise + Linux is a delicious combination. Ah, there’s nothing like bleeding-edge laptop performance. And to really convey to your audience that you’re indeed playing live, there’s nothing like glitches, dropouts, and crashing in the middle of a live set. It brings that homespun, digital authenticity to your performance, as you… Okay, who am I kidding? You may be longing for a more stable, predictable, controllable mobile music rig. One way to get there is with the Linux operating system. The problem, however, is that if you don’t know what you’re doing, that setup can wind up being less stable, …

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In-the-Box Mixing, Analog Console Style, on an Open Source DAW

Marrying open source and commercial development, or trying to bridge analog consoles and computers – either task on its own might seem improbable. But yesterday, a newly-announced tool promised to bring together all those dimensions. Ardour is the free and open source Digital Audio Workstation software for Linux and Mac. It’s widely underrated and has some terrific architecture underneath, with tools that are maturing at a healthy pace. Harrison is not an open-source developer – they’re a commercial manufacturer of analog and digital consoles and do proprietary DSP development. Conventional wisdom says the two shouldn’t be able to work together, …

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Free Linux Studio: How to Use LinuxDSP Effects with Ardour

Alongside our Renoise + Indamixx netbook-optimized production competition, I’m kicking off this week a series of CDM and guest tutorials on working with Linux audio tools, Renoise, and more. First up, here’s a basic look at how to route the free-as-in-beer linuxDSP effects toolkit into the powerful, modern, open-source DAW Ardour. Correction: I implied that linuxDSP had an open source license, which is not correct. It should be considered “freeware” but not free software. Ardour, of course, is fully open source, and this is as much a tutorial on how to use JACK to route effects as it is linuxDSP …

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Linux Music Workflow: Switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu with Kim Cascone

Here’s a switcher story of a different color: from the Mac, to Linux. It’s one thing to talk about operating systems and free software in theory, or to hear from died-in-the-wool advocates of their platform of choice. In this case, we turn to Kim Cascone, an experienced and gifted musician and composer with an impressive resume of releases and a rich sens of sound. This isn’t someone advocating any platform over another: it’s an on-the-ground, in-the-trenches, real-world example of how Kim made this set of tools work in his music, in the studio and on tour. A particular thanks, as …

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The Mobile Music Netbook: Linux-Powered Indamixx OS + Laptop Looking Slicker

Going ultra-mobile: Korg’s nanoKEY controller plus a svelte, two-and-a-half-pound netbook running Linux and energyXT. Laptops for music are nothing new. But better versions of Linux make no-hassle music production easier and more powerful – and new netbooks make it cheap and ultra-portable, too, for times when even that 15” laptop feels clunky. Netbooks aren’t for everyone, and I imagine some people will miss Windows and Mac OS, even with better compatibility and powerful features on Linux. But if you are looking for an additional, more mobile machine, the combination is definitely worth a look. A significant revision to the one …

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Indamixx Laptop is First Pre-Configured Music Netbook, Running Linux, $499

Five hundred bucks. In music tech terms, that usually gets you, what, a single app bundle? Now, it can get you a whole computer, pre-loaded with a bunch of music software. It may not be as powerful as a modern laptop, but it’s also in a cute, smaller form factor you can keep everywhere in case inspiration strikes, or balance on the corner of your Steinway grand. Meet the Indamixx laptop. Whether you want one or not, it’s emblematic of the ongoing commoditization of laptop technology, with ever-cheaper, lower-power brains. Highlights: Brains: 1.6Ghz Intel Atom CPU netbook (looks similar to …

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Trinity’s Indamixx, Fully Mobile Music Studio with EnergyXT and Ardour – Take Note, Developers

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 …

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CES: Free Transmission Audio Distro, Running on UMPC, Trinity, or Your PC

Open-source music and audio is finally delivering the goods: useful and unique tools that make sense even alongside commercial/proprietary software. And as a sign that the mainstream could get a taste of these tools soon, Intel is exhibiting at the massive Las Vegas CES consumer electronics show with Transmission, says Trinity Audio’s Ronald Stewart. Transmission is Trinity Audio’s open source software bundle and live Linux distribution. It’s built for Trinity’s Linux-powered Trinity mobile studio device, which we’ll be seeing more of soon. At CES, it’s running at the Intel booth on the Samsung Q1 Ultra Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC). (The …

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MIDI Gets a Boost in Free Ardour DAW, Via Google Summer of Code

Ardour, the free and open source DAW for Mac and Linux, has already won some fans by providing robust audio multitrack features in free software, along with some unique innovations (like robust support for inter-app JACK audio routing). But one major complaint has been a lack of serious MIDI tools. MIDI functionality is baked in, but it’s not as full-featured as some might like. That should change soon: Ardour is involved in Google’s Summer of Code, a seasonal code-fest that helps develop open source projects. Ardour creator Paul Davis describes progress on his Ardour blog: Dave Robillard continues his work …

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The Mobile Audio Workstation: Trinity Linux Hardware, Now with Free Ardour DAW

For mobile work, your choices have traditionally come down to one of two choices: either lug your laptop and audio interface, or get dedicated recording hardware with far fewer capabilities. We’ve been following the evolution of the Linux-powered Trinity mobile recorder for over a year now because we’re interested in what could happen between those two extremes. Prototype Trinity recorders initially failed to impress on the software side: the bundled software focused on Audacity 2.0, a fairly basic waveform editor. That already allows far more than what’s possible with dedicated hardware recorders, but maybe not quite enough to warrant leaving …

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