Originally Posted by hargal
I'm a musician and I've have used Windows to produce/compose music for more than 15 years.
Because of a recently bad LIVE-experience I had with my 4 year old HP laptop (WIN XP) - where sound card suddenly disconnected - I am more that willing to enter the world of Linux - where stability is the one of the great principles.
I have several questions I really would appreciate some help to:
- Intel P4 2,66 ghz
- 1 gb RAM (max possible)
- 60 gb HD (I also use external hard drives)
1) What is the best distro if I want it to use Linux as an audio workstation?
Ubuntu(Studio) - just install ubuntu, and then install the Ubuntustudio-audio meta package through synaptic
Other possible choices are:
Fedora with CCRMA - a little bit harder to handle
JAD - haven't tried in some time, didn't install the last time I tried.
and 64studio - some people like it. I haven't tried it yet.
2) I use both firewire and USB2 to connect soundcards and external hard drives. How hard is it to get those connections to work?
If its using a standard protocol it shouldn't give you any problems. Google for the name of the interface+linux. You won't be the first one to try.
3) What are the best audio softwares like Cubase and Wavelab in Linux?
Depending on what you want to do :P
No, seriously, that can't be answered that easily. Are you mainly doing sampling, midi, score editing, multitrack recording...?
For multitrack recording Ardour is a promising project, but I just can't get comfortable with it. It is however very stable.
Hell, if you are comfortable with cubase, Ardour shouldn't be that bad :P
(I've been a cubase users for years, I switched to Cockos's 'Reaper' when it came out, and I'm much more comfortable with it)
I also use a notation editor - Sibelius. Are there any available for Linux?
Quick answer: no
You can try to run Sibelius with wine or in a virtual machine with virtualbox.
Longer answer: Rosegarden - but not for serious score editing. It can't handle multiple staffs, you have to split them up to muliple tracks, and you can't notate two independent voices on one track/staff.
Lilypond can do all that, but you have to learn the typesetting language. I personally had no luck with Noteedit Canorus or Denemo, which provide a graphical interface to write scores that can be exported to lilypond.
While Denemo seemed to be the most promising project to me - it just didn't work - maybe you have better luck.
If you get it to work you will most likely end up with splitting up the tasks between different Programs - Sampling with Rosegarden, Recording with Ardour, playing back midi with Qsynth...
Most audio programs in linux can be easily synchronized and connected with Jack - could be compared to Rewire, but does a little bit more.
4) I also have a lot of VST-plugins avaiable for Windows. Can I use those in Linux?
Yes and no. I only use them with reaper running in wine.
There are ways to use them with Ardour.
Here is a quick introduction to ardour.
You can browse the Linx Journal for articles by Dave Phillips, he has been writing them for years (look at the date - some are pretty old)