[Ardour-Users] Ardour-Users Digest, Vol 79, Issue 13

Jörn Nettingsmeier nettings at stackingdwarves.net
Sun Sep 19 12:16:16 PDT 2010

On 08/11/2010 01:25 PM, Peiman Khosravi wrote:

> a- the lack of easy-to-install drivers for external sound-cards

well, if your external card is supported at all, installation shouldn't 
be much of a hassle - chances are your distro has everything that's 
needed already. usb1 gear is supported by the kernel alsa drivers which 
are present on every recent system, usb2 gear needs support on a 
case-by-case basis (and again, if it's not there on a recent ubuntu, you 
might not want to use it yet). ffado is a bit trickier to install, but 
if you have dealt with ardour, it should be a walk in the park. check 
out the wiki at http://subversion.ffado.org for step-by-step docs.

> b- the lack of guarantee that the OS will actually work with my hardware
> (e.g. the Ubuntu system that I have crashes every hour or so and I have
> to restart the computer, this is hardware related I'm sure).

very probably yes. sounds like a temperature problem. you might want to 
look into your system log (/var/log/messages on most systems) for last 
words... if it's faulty memory, a fix is cheap. if the cpu runs hot, 
underclocking can help, or cleaning that fan ;)

(if you build your own kernels, try a make -j4 bzImage - if it fails 
with signal 11, that's a dead giveaway to get new ram).

> [most importantly] c- the lack of surround mixing plug-ins and support.
> I find that for my purposes AMB is not really suitable since it is not
> exactly intuitive or easy to set up.

i'm assuming you need 5.1?
if you don't rely on discrete routing, only continuos panning (i.e. you 
can tolerate a bit of bleed to neighboring speakers), you could get to 
work with the 3rd order plugins today and use fons' ambdec with its very 
good 5.1 decoder to feed it to your standard dolby rig. (technically 
speaking, 2nd order would be sufficient, but using 3rd today gives you 
some leeway if you ever decide to move to 7.1 or 10.2 later)

> Now once ardour includes a usable built-in surround panner

/me refrains from a tasteless, uncalled-for remark involving 
netherworlds and low temperature. instead, /me had better write one...

> (or when
> linux starts supporting the format)

if by that you mean "provide a dts encoder", i think there are licensing 
obstructions. you can't write free software for a technology that 
involves per-seat licenses.

> I will seriously consider moving to
> linux for good. Currently I'm doing multichannel mixing with Ardour on
> OSX with an external plug-in, which works perfectly well. The mentioned
> plug-in is free and open source but AU only :-(

care to toss us a link? if it's open-source, it might grow an lv2 cousin...

> However, if I have a choice between staying on OSX and not using Ardour,
> and moving to linux + Ardour, I shall choose the latter! Thank god I
> don't have to produce 5.1 projects for a living though or logic it would
> have to be (ouch!).

things are not looking that dire, except for the dts encoding. and since 
that doesn't have to happen in real time, a virtual machine running that 
other os could do the job without too much pain.

Jörn Nettingsmeier

Audio engineer
Meister für Veranstaltungstechnik (Bühne/Studio)

Lortzingstr. 11, D-45128 Essen, Germany
+49 177 7937487


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