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New desktop for new linux/opensource and DIY studio
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william
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: New desktop for new linux/opensource and DIY studio Reply with quote

I am moving into a fucking HOUSE. like without creepy strangers also living in it.

this house has a pretty decent basement, where i will be building a studio.

i will be using as much free software and DIY components as possible, while still remaining semi professional and being capable of making pretty decent recordings. id like to be able to have other artists/friends make use of the facility as well, free of charge, to kind of spread the good word of free software and maybe inspire some to build their own monsters.


ok, so the point of all this is that i need to get a desktop computer that is 3 things:

1)not very expensive. im not really sure what my price range is but i do know that i dont have any money. i also know that in many cases you get what you pay for, and i am interested in not investing in already obsolete shit.

2)linux compatible. so, basically a windows unit that i can wipe clean and install ubuntu, or maybe another distro if one seems appropriate.

3)powerful enough for my needs. ive been out of the computer scene for a while, not really sure what to expect out of my hardware anymore, or what minimum requirements are considered to be in the computer based production world.


any helpful advice is welcome, regarding computers and studios in general. ive never built a real studio, nor had any place to build one, so this is pretty exciting for me. Smile


thanks guys.
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blacktaxi
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuck linux, there's not much cool DAW-related soft for it.
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william
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blacktaxi wrote:
fuck linux, there's not much cool DAW-related soft for it.


sure there is.

ardour is looking pretty good these days.

http://ardour.org/


the idea is to support the ideals and contribute. i know i wont have as much in the way of options, but then again im not terribly keen on the options i have. a protools rig would be nice, but really pricey. same with ableton.


if ardour is plenty good as a daw, thats all i need. there are lots of trackers and whatnot available.
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blacktaxi
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well good luck then!
i guess i misunderstood your intentions at first. i myself respect the opensource community very much, and really appreciate the free soft Laughing
but i guess if there's no decent support for vst in linux, you'll always find yourself not able to get what'cha need.
however, if you're about to just record shit using mics, and won't need much except compressor and EQ, you'll be fine i guess Very Happy

really looking forward to see your progress posted!

ps: ardour is really that nice Shocked nevermind my shitty opinion, just do what you were going to do.
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blacktaxi
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

regarding your hardware.

i suggest you base it around Intel platform.
basically you will need CPU as fast as possible, as much as you can get RAM, decent HDD and the best audio interface you can afford, assuming it works under linux!
also i'd suggest you get a pair of cheap LCD displays, so you can have much shit open at a time Laughing
here in ukraine people mostly build their own systems from parts (well,not by themselves mostly, but with assistance of friends, or for some small fee to the retailer who can set the shit up). it is way cheaper to buy parts and assemble the shit yourself than getting a plug-n-play ready PC in shiny new package. so if you're tight on budget you might consider this. also this way you won't pay for Windows (which price is somehow included in the overall PC cost i guess), since you don't need it.

hope this helps!
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william
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blacktaxi wrote:
regarding your hardware.

i suggest you base it around Intel platform.
basically you will need CPU as fast as possible, as much as you can get RAM, decent HDD and the best audio interface you can afford, assuming it works under linux!
also i'd suggest you get a pair of cheap LCD displays, so you can have much shit open at a time Laughing
here in ukraine people mostly build their own systems from parts (well,not by themselves mostly, but with assistance of friends, or for some small fee to the retailer who can set the shit up). it is way cheaper to buy parts and assemble the shit yourself than getting a plug-n-play ready PC in shiny new package. so if you're tight on budget you might consider this. also this way you won't pay for Windows (which price is somehow included in the overall PC cost i guess), since you don't need it.

hope this helps!



indeed, the oft-cursed "windows tax." if im not going to be using their software, i may as well not further line their pockets for no reason.

building it myself would be in line with the rest of the project, and a good learning experience for me.

however, i do wonder if i can get all this for less that 600, building it myself:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883108199

thats some nice featurage. but on the other hand, will the blue ray drive be linux compatible? why am i paying for one on a music workstation anyway? how much of that cost is going toward windows vista? maybe 600 is far too much to pay, i dunno.


mostly i need the thing to track smoothly and reliably, at high quality, and have a decent interface for editing. i really like hardware and analog gear for special FX, and still like analog filters and reverbs for many applications, and definitely dont want to do alot of VST instrument stuff. if i use a synth ill buy an analog one.


im looking at putting together a PC on newegg, not sure about compatibility between the parts, or if thats really an issue, but for now im trying to just get an idea of how much this thing will cost me.

thanks for your advice!
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junkbox
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ardour is tha shit if you're going the open source route.
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Reece
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isn't there a linux distro made for audio production? like it's optimised for the best performance in terms of latency and it's got lots of built in support for stuff so you don't have to go hunting for drivers.

i'm sure i've seen it somewhere.

googling tells me there ae a few.

i think this is the one i've seen before. SUSE based:
http://jacklab.net/jacklaborg/english/

or theres apparently a ubuntu based solution if that's what you're used to, bit more general though:
http://ubuntustudio.org/

i'm planning to make the switch to linux next time i need to format or reinstall. i'll still have to dual boot windows 'cause theres quite a few things that quite simply don't work on linux that i use but other than that i'm all set. when are you planning on doing this? i'd like to know how linux fares with audio production.
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william
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reece wrote:
isn't there a linux distro made for audio production? like it's optimised for the best performance in terms of latency and it's got lots of built in support for stuff so you don't have to go hunting for drivers.

i'm sure i've seen it somewhere.

googling tells me there ae a few.

i think this is the one i've seen before. SUSE based:
http://jacklab.net/jacklaborg/english/

or theres apparently a ubuntu based solution if that's what you're used to, bit more general though:
http://ubuntustudio.org/

i'm planning to make the switch to linux next time i need to format or reinstall. i'll still have to dual boot windows 'cause theres quite a few things that quite simply don't work on linux that i use but other than that i'm all set. when are you planning on doing this? i'd like to know how linux fares with audio production.


ooh, this is what im looking for. ill check out those links.

i suppose i am sort of "used to" ubuntu, but only because its the only one ive had more than 2 minutes with. since im a linux noob, now is the time to figure out which one i want to stick with and really learn, without having to "relearn" any thing. except all that windows garbage ive learned to use (read: deal with) over the years.

i picked up mac OS fine, ive been using only it for months, and ubuntu is just as easy, superficially speaking.

itll be a bit, i have some credit issues to resolve and a car to sell, before i can make any more real investments. but that wont take long and i will be working on the rest of the studio in the meantime, and we move in on the first. give me a few months. but yeah, i plan to post updates about my progress, and then eventually some recordings (oh dear...)

this will be my first purpose built computer, like, no "i only have one computer so ill use it for teh internets, my thesis, recording, teh pr0n, music playing, etc." this is partly why im making it a desktop, so i am not inclined to drag it into the living room for other shit. ill get a netbook of some kind later for general use.


good to hear good things about ardour. looks like itll be the one.

thanks guys.
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william
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://jacklab.net/jacklaborg/english/?JAD_1.0_Screenshots

there are some screenshots, giving some idea of functionality. it says "full VST integration" ...does that mean what it says? im reading further.

if they have been able to get full VST usability, then im all set, man. and if i wanna invest in some $$$ commercial software, i love reaktor, and looks like it runs here too. didnt know it worked with linux, unless they are using wine for that shot, but wouldnt that be kind of cheating?

EDIT- oooh... the ubuntu one has a really nice looking GUI:

HUGE FUCKING PIX: (okay, turns out you gotta click em to really see their huge glory, but they are pngs so its worth it.)

Hidden: 





this is looking pretty good to me now. seems like the jacklab guys went way out on audio, as you said, and made things really comprehensive there, but this description gets me all hot:

Ubuntu blurb writer wrote:
Ubuntu Studio is aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast as well as professional.

We provide a suite of the best open-source applications available for multimedia creation. Completely free to use, modify and redistribute. Your only limitation is your imagination.


im really into other sorts of design as well, so this could be good for pulling the different arts together to make a comprehensive whole, and a creative hub (albeit in a semi dank basement: ill defo post before and then progress pics, i wanna make the most of it.)

ill look more into the real dirt of it, and see how the features really stack up. thanks, zaphod, for turning me towards these distros, this is getting excitebike.
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william
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DANGZ.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuStudio/PackageList

that sounds like enough to get me started.

ill probably go with a PCI soundcard/interface since portability isnt an issue. saves my USB/firewire ports for other shit. looking for compatibility now.
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Al_
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only recommendation is to get yourself at least two drives for recording audio files on--one as a primay and the second for making backups. I know for PTLE it's recommended to have the program running on a drive separate from the one your audio files are getting printed to; not sure on the programs you're considering but might be worthwhile checking out.
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william
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al_ wrote:
My only recommendation is to get yourself at least two drives for recording audio files on--one as a primay and the second for making backups. I know for PTLE it's recommended to have the program running on a drive separate from the one your audio files are getting printed to; not sure on the programs you're considering but might be worthwhile checking out.


you mean two hard disks?

i was thinking about getting two smaller drives (like 2 300 GB HDs instead of 1 600GB, or something) for this reason, so that i can put all my developed songs onto another disk that doesnt get cluttered with half baked ideas and sketches and shit.

i was also thinking about running a large high quality hard disk for mass storage and a smaller solid state drive for active projects. thought that would be pretty solid and fast.

so, i could have my programs running on the solid state, and recording on the same, and make periodic saves to the larger disk.

also, if i get a dvd-r, i could make super high quality masters of finished work. thats sort of a backup... however eventually this sort of media breaks down. not sure how long that takes.
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Al_
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, two hard discs. I tried the DVD-R thing for awhile, but it's a bit of a PITA because the discs just aren't all that big, making it difficult store much on them. The bottom line is that you want all of your recorded material in two places at all times. The worst thing is to have a drive or whatever crash on you and vaporize everything you've been working on. So your idea of getting two smaller drives rather than one big one makes sense to me. The size will depend on what bit depth/sample rate you'll be recording in; along with how long you think you'll need to archive sessions on your drives. Another approach is to have whoever comes in to use your rig bring their own drive.
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william
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al_ wrote:
Yeah, two hard discs. I tried the DVD-R thing for awhile, but it's a bit of a PITA because the discs just aren't all that big, making it difficult store much on them. The bottom line is that you want all of your recorded material in two places at all times. The worst thing is to have a drive or whatever crash on you and vaporize everything you've been working on. So your idea of getting two smaller drives rather than one big one makes sense to me. The size will depend on what bit depth/sample rate you'll be recording in; along with how long you think you'll need to archive sessions on your drives. Another approach is to have whoever comes in to use your rig bring their own drive.


is there a way to save on both drives at once? like, all my software and shiz can be on just one, but when i save certain kinds of files they also save automatically to another drive (in addition to the 'main drive')?


that would be kinda badassed, and it would take the human element and error out of it. i wouldnt be able to "forget" to backup my shit.

just an idea.
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Al_
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just do it manually myself--at the end of session when everything is done I copy over to the other drive before heading out. I know on my home PC I got a new drive that came with some sort of auto backup program, where you can schedule in automatic backups. My only concern would be it might mess up your program if it was actively writing to a file. I'm not aware of what's available in the audio programs themselves. I know in PTLE you can select "round robbin" recording which basically records audio on all the available drives. It also does automatic backups, which I imagine you could setup to save to a different drive. Again, this might impact your workflow, as copying large audio files can take time depending on the size of your sessions and how you work. For instance, when I'm tracking a band I set up a "tracking session" and record all the songs in that one session as multipel .wav files. That file and it's associated audio files can get pretty large and take awhile to copy over. If you're doing everything as individual songs then it might be more manageable.
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william
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al_ wrote:
I just do it manually myself--at the end of session when everything is done I copy over to the other drive before heading out. I know on my home PC I got a new drive that came with some sort of auto backup program, where you can schedule in automatic backups. My only concern would be it might mess up your program if it was actively writing to a file. I'm not aware of what's available in the audio programs themselves. I know in PTLE you can select "round robbin" recording which basically records audio on all the available drives. It also does automatic backups, which I imagine you could setup to save to a different drive. Again, this might impact your workflow, as copying large audio files can take time depending on the size of your sessions and how you work. For instance, when I'm tracking a band I set up a "tracking session" and record all the songs in that one session as multipel .wav files. That file and it's associated audio files can get pretty large and take awhile to copy over. If you're doing everything as individual songs then it might be more manageable.



interesting. mostly i just meant can you have it save to two disks simultaneously when you save a song, without you having to tell it. or even if you did have to tell it each time, at least you wouldnt have to remember to copy the files after you saved them.

either way, 2 drives sounds like a sound plan. i will definitely execute.
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Reece
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RAID 1 will do that.

you'd need a third HD for your OS and programs if you wanted to keep it all seperate though, the two disks will be mirror images on each other and as far as your OS is concerned it'd be writing to one 300gb HD whereas your RAID controller would be writing it to 2.

it also handles crashes so you wouldn't notice if one of the disks fails, i'm sure you get notified somehow but unless they both die it wouldn't fuck stuff up. you can then just put in a new HD and it'll copy all data from the first to the second and you're back on form again.
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william
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reece wrote:
RAID 1 will do that.

you'd need a third HD for your OS and programs if you wanted to keep it all seperate though, the two disks will be mirror images on each other and as far as your OS is concerned it'd be writing to one 300gb HD whereas your RAID controller would be writing it to 2.

it also handles crashes so you wouldn't notice if one of the disks fails, i'm sure you get notified somehow but unless they both die it wouldn't fuck stuff up. you can then just put in a new HD and it'll copy all data from the first to the second and you're back on form again.



nice! soo looks like ill have a speedy and probably smaller HD for running my software from, and two larger HDs for storing 2 identical copies of my media.

thats badass. thanks, man.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reece wrote:
RAID 1 will do that.

you'd need a third HD for your OS and programs if you wanted to keep it all seperate though, the two disks will be mirror images on each other and as far as your OS is concerned it'd be writing to one 300gb HD whereas your RAID controller would be writing it to 2.

it also handles crashes so you wouldn't notice if one of the disks fails, i'm sure you get notified somehow but unless they both die it wouldn't fuck stuff up. you can then just put in a new HD and it'll copy all data from the first to the second and you're back on form again.


You're on the right track, however the mirroring parody has high latency for writes to disk. Because of this, I would avoid working off this raid volume, and rather save stuff you want to keep indefinitely there.
Tbh using a ssd for your work area sounds badass.

Edit: This problem could be alleviated by having enough ram so that you never have to write to disk while recording, if you didn't want to have 3 drives in your system.
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