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Old 01-02-2010, 11:22 PM   #1
gargamel
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Slackware64 for making Music: Hardware recommendations?


Hi there,

I'd like to use one of my machines for all kinds of audio applications, including home recording (MIDI and analog). Now I am looking for a suitable audio/recording interface. I've searched the web, but didn't find a lot of current information. Most of what I found is outdated.

RME Hammerfall seems to be brilliant, but exceeds my budget.
MAudio 2496 seems to be excellent in quality, but a bit limited in connectivity.
ESI Juli@ appears to be even better, but the parts exposed to the outside of the computer case don't seem to be overly robust...

And that seem already to be all PCI devices supported by ALSA for my purpose! (MAudio Audiophile 192, e. g., is reported not to work that well).

Now I thought, I could avoid all this hassle by choosing a USB device. However, situation seems to be even worse. Terratec DMX 6Fire USB is not supported, at all, MAudio Fast Track Pro is limited to USB 1.1 and 48kHz (I want 96 kHz, at least!) only and requires a patch for 24 Bits. And so on...

So, if there are some hobby (or professional) musicians hanging around here in this forum, I'd appreciate a couple of recommendations, what to buy, and what software to use. I am completely new to this subject!

Thanks a lot,

gargamel
 
Old 01-03-2010, 04:14 AM   #2
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I have au audio type son, who recommends 'harmony central' as a useful forum. He's into windows through and through, btw. Don't have an exact url
 
Old 01-03-2010, 01:59 PM   #3
gargamel
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Thanks, just took a look at Harmony Central. Looks actually good, but not a lot of information about Linux in general and Slackware for music in particulare.
Nevertheless, interesting site.

Any other hints, tips, caveats or pointers to useful sites? Thanks in advance, everyone!

gargamel
 
Old 01-03-2010, 02:04 PM   #4
GooseYArd
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Which DAW are you thinking of using? Ardour?
 
Old 01-03-2010, 02:50 PM   #5
gargamel
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Not finally decided, but Ardour is on my shortlist. Other options, I am thinking of, are Muse (still said to be not as stable as one might wish), LMMS and Rosegarden.

I have no experience with any of them. In the end, I want to have a combination of hard- and software that works from end to end.


gargamel
 
Old 01-03-2010, 07:46 PM   #6
GooseYArd
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If you want to do multitrack audio, I think Ardour is really the only choice. LMMS and Rosegarden are sequencers (which you'll also need), but to bring everything together, you need a DAW like Ardour.

The interface you use depends on how many live analog tracks will you be recording at once. If you were recording a drum kit live, with say five mics, you'd need something like an 8 channel firewire interface, or some kind of PCI interface like an M-Audio Delta 1010. I think the external devices are much more convenient, especially if you ever think you might want to do some mobile recording.

If you won't be recording many tracks at once, an external USB 2.0 interface is affordable and works really well. I use a Tascam US-144, although I don't think it's well supported. I would look at the Alsa documentaion and find the best supported one. Do not get a USB 1 interface, the latency will drive you crazy. The Edirol UA-25 looks like a good bet.
 
Old 01-03-2010, 11:02 PM   #7
gargamel
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Thanks, GooseYArd. As a beginner and self-learner I think two analog tracks will do, for the moment. Therefore I want something simple, but of good quality.

The Edirol/Cakewalk UA-25 EX looks interesting, indeed. It is mobile, and it has a bit higher specs than the MAudio Fast Track Pro, especially 96kHz sampling rate, and it seems to have better Linux support.

Could be just what I need!

The Maudio Delta 1010 is also something I am looking at. But it is really worth the higher price, compared to the Delta 1010 LT and the 2496? The only contender in this class seems to be the ESI Juli@.
The reason I am looking at these devices is, that there are quite a few reports on the net about problems with USB devices --- either because they are not well supported on Linux, or because they have problems with latency or data transfer rates (USB 1). With USB 2 this shouldn't be as much of a problem, anymore, but there aren't that many USB 2 devices with Linux support.

That's why I'd be interested in a Firewire device, too. My machine has Firewire, but I am not sure, how well this standard is supported by Linux. Does anyone know?

Thanks

gargamel
 
Old 01-03-2010, 11:20 PM   #8
gargamel
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BTW, just saw that the RME DIG 9632 HDS is available for a little less than the MAudio 1010. Actually both cost more than I want to spend, but if I had to decide between these two, I'd have a hard time. The Maudio has more features, the RME can be enhanced with optional hardware modules and seems to be the benchmark in this class.

But at the moment the Edirol UA-25 is indeed my favourite.

gargamel
 
Old 01-04-2010, 06:30 AM   #9
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http://code.goto10.org/projects/puredyne/

Anyone tried this? Might only be 32-bit, but I gather it's a linux distro with all this stuff installed in a couple of flaours
 
Old 01-04-2010, 07:16 AM   #10
GooseYArd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gargamel View Post
That's why I'd be interested in a Firewire device, too. My machine has Firewire, but I am not sure, how well this standard is supported by Linux. Does anyone know?

Thanks

gargamel
Since you'll be using Ardour, I would go ask around on their forums. The boxes and DAW software are quirky enough already- if you get an io box that isn't known to be really reliable, it'll be a really crappy experience.

The USB io boxes are nice since they're bus powered, which means if you're doing a mobile session, you don't have to draw along a wall-wart and find a place to plug it in.
 
Old 01-04-2010, 05:53 PM   #11
gargamel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GooseYArd View Post
Since you'll be using Ardour, I would go ask around on their forums. The boxes and DAW software are quirky enough already- if you get an io box that isn't known to be really reliable, it'll be a really crappy experience.

The USB io boxes are nice since they're bus powered, which means if you're doing a mobile session, you don't have to draw along a wall-wart and find a place to plug it in.
Very helpful, thanks again. Now I know, that the software will be Ardour, I'll browse their forums. I just thought, I start here, because Slackware is my favourite distro, and I'd be interested in information about any Slackware specific things I should be aware of, e.g.: Will I need to compile the kernel with low-latency options? And what options do actually make sense in my scenario? Things like that.

Now, my list of things to check has become considerably shorter --- thanks for all your useful answers.

Software will be Ardour.

Hardware will be one out of these:

Edirol UA-25 EX (USB)
MAudio Delta 1010LT (or maybe the fullblown version, if can get it at a good price)
ESI Juli@
MAudio Audiophile 2496

in that order. If I can find more evidence that the Edirol USB device works well, it's probably gonna be it.

gargamel
 
  


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