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Old 03-26-2017, 11:56 AM   #1
Rickkkk
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Multitrack recording on Arch on old Thinkpad A31p


Hey all - any musicians out there ? ;-)

I've been using the above mentioned machine (Pentium 4, 1 GB RAM) for recording under WinXP, using Adobe Audition an M-Audio FireWire 1814 sound interface. Been thinking of trying my luck under Arch. Couple of questions:

- Anyone had any success with the M-Audio FireWire 1814 under linux ? For years it was impossible, but I've read that certain users have been successful with the latest ffado libraries.

- Suggestion for recording software ... Read a bit about both Ardour (more complete but more complex, apparently ..) and Audacity (simpler, more basic). My needs are one track at a time, but I do want to be able to easily scale up to multiple tracks, all the while adding one at time.

Cheers - feel free to ask for precisions if required.
 
Old 03-26-2017, 12:54 PM   #2
Shadow_7
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Ardour for recording
Audacity for editing

And a few others out there. Most of the advantage of Ardour is that it uses jackd (or jackdbus / jack2). And it saves to disk as it records, so if the power fails you have something. Or if you run out of drive space you have a partial recording. Audacity records to ram, and if things happen, you lose your efforts.

Audacity is alright, but if the input you want to record isn't the first track/input, you have to record ALL tracks until you get to your input, even if nothing else is plugged in.

I have the m-audio mobile pre and the m-audio delta 44, both work fine under linux. Although USB and PCI respectively. That firewire device should work. Although what was freebob is now ffado-tools or some such. And firewire is mostly deprecated now, so you might have some kernel hoops to jump and other things.
 
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Old 03-26-2017, 01:50 PM   #3
Rickkkk
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Thanks, Shadow_7 - I'm in the process of setting up Arch on the old A31 ... Decided to dual-boot in case I run into too many issues ...

I'll let you know how I fare ... Much appreciated.

Rick
 
Old 03-27-2017, 01:05 PM   #4
teckk
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Quote:
I've been using the above mentioned machine (Pentium 4, 1 GB RAM)
Arch is dropping support for 32bit. 32 bit install images have been dropped this month. 32 bit repo support will stop in a few months.

Read the front page.
https://www.archlinux.org/
 
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Old 03-27-2017, 01:26 PM   #5
Rickkkk
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Originally Posted by teckk View Post
Arch is dropping support for 32bit. 32 bit install images have been dropped this month. 32 bit repo support will stop in a few months.

Read the front page.
https://www.archlinux.org/
Hey teckk - thx - well aware of this - old-time Arch user here ;-)

I may not stay on Arch for this machine or may eventually scrap the laptop altogether ... Performance is ... well ... less than optimal :-) ... If I do keep it, I'll freeze the image at a certain point in time and live with the situation until I eventually DO get rid of the A31.

Thx for your input, though.

Cheers !
 
Old 03-28-2017, 02:13 AM   #6
ondoho
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if you use it only for audio production you can take it offline and never update it.
so if you do it quickly you possibly have the last ever 32bit arch installation ;-)

about firewire - that seems to be the main topic here, no? - i know nothing about it & linux, but here maybe:
http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/faq/start
 
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Old 03-28-2017, 01:42 PM   #7
Rickkkk
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Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
if you use it only for audio production you can take it offline and never update it.
so if you do it quickly you possibly have the last ever 32bit arch installation ;-)

about firewire - that seems to be the main topic here, no? - i know nothing about it & linux, but here maybe:
http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/faq/start
Thanks ondoho - I've done that (used a frozen Arch system offline) before for obsolete hardware - we'll see how it goes.

For firewire, linux support for audio interfaces is hit and miss. Most need the ffado library (libffado) but not all devices are supported. My M-Audio Firewire 1814 (mid-2000s vintage) is unfortunately not officially supported, but anecdotal evidence suggests it can be done ... Nothing like a challenge.

So far, no joy. If this doesn't go anywhere, I may stick to Windows for audio production or pick up a linux compatible interface and / or retire the old laptop and set up something more recent.

Thanks for your input !

Rick
 
Old 03-28-2017, 01:52 PM   #8
ondoho
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http://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/hardware_matrix
http://www.idevelopment.info/data/Un...iveLinux.shtml
http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplan...orials/7119/1/

just some top search results.

problem is, firewire seems to be outdated & possibly dead...
 
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
Rickkkk
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Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
Hey ondoho - thanks for the links - much appreciated. I'll go through them all in case there is some info there that I haven't seen yet.

You are right about firewire - it's less and less of an interface of choice since USB 2.0 and especially 3.0. Its throughput used to be several orders of magnitude higher than USB, but this is no longer the case. Thing is, the A31 is a USB 1.1 laptop, so audio processing requires either an add-on USB 2.0 or higher interface or firewire (which I already have). So depending on whether or not I keep the A31 and what I decide to replace it with if I DON'T keep it, the firewire issue may or may not become moot.

Thanks again for all your assistance !
 
Old 04-04-2017, 08:04 AM   #10
jsbjsb001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post
Ardour for recording
Does Ardour have similar plugins/audio effects as Audacity?

Sorry Rickkkk, for jumping into your thread without offering any useful suggestions for ya. Wish I could though
 
Old 04-04-2017, 11:03 AM   #11
DavidMcCann
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I wondered if Ubuntu Studio, as a specialist distro (and a light-weight one), might support firewire, and I found these
http://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ubu...Wire_Recording
http://ffado.org/?q=devicesupport/list
 
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:36 AM   #12
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Ardour allows plugins of the VST style, more real time type effects / sounds.

Audacity has some nyquist style scripting plugins that are useful for non-real time editing. Like notching down a particular frequency / frequency range. Or the standard lowpass / highpass and limiter things to adjust the sound to reproduce better on average speakers.
 
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Old 04-04-2017, 11:38 AM   #13
Rickkkk
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Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
I wondered if Ubuntu Studio, as a specialist distro (and a light-weight one), might support firewire, and I found these
http://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ubu...Wire_Recording
http://ffado.org/?q=devicesupport/list
Hey all,

jsbjsb001 - no worries :-)

David McCann: thanks for chiming in. Although Ubuntu Studio may be considered light weight on most hardware, it brings the poor ThinkPad A31 to its knees .. :-( ... That's why I'm trying to build something as lean as possible based on Arch, with which I'm familiar. My main problem is definitely the audio interface I own - it is not officially supported either through ffado or any other linux layer I've found. My attempts at reproducing the success of the user who claims to have got it working have been unsuccessful. Arch "sees" the M-Audio interface, but not all of its I/Os and so far can't use it.

As mentioned earlier, I'm looking at picking up a used, older model of another audio interface manufacturer with proven linux support. .. To be continued ... :-)

Thx to all for your continued interest and assistance !
 
Old 04-04-2017, 12:42 PM   #14
ondoho
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hmm, i was using AVLinux for a while, a few years back. definitely very lightweight.
 
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Old 04-04-2017, 06:09 PM   #15
Rickkkk
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Originally Posted by ondoho View Post
hmm, i was using AVLinux for a while, a few years back. definitely very lightweight.
Cool - never heard of that one - thanks - will take a look :-) !
 
  


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