Ardour on the new dream studio 12.04 LTS - Review

After messing around with serious issues with Ubuntu Studio 11.04 64-bit & ardour 2.8.14 not opening in real-time mode,
I decided to try the new Dream Studio 12.04 LTS with Ardour & Jackd already installed. The new Dream Studio comes standard with the 3.2.0-23 Low Latency Kernel with the new gnome 3.4.2 platform. All I can say is wow! No hickups, and no Problems with Ardour or Jackd opening up in real-time mode. This says alot about both the new Ardour & the new Dream Studio 12.04. Now all I have to do is get my M-audio Fast Track working & I’m on my way. Well, that’s my plan. But more than likely have to invest if it does not work out. Currently I am using Pro-Tools on my windows 7 32-bit. It works well, but it’s not the full Pro-Tools flagship. What I love about the idea of Ardour is the many free add-ons that are available. If I am able to produce reliable recordings with Ardour, I plan on being a regular contributor for sure fer sure! TY Ardour! And ty Dream Studio for giving us something better than an outdated Ubuntu studio. So far, no errors upon fresh installation of D.S. 12.04. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. As far as I can tell with Ardour, it’s just as good if not better I’m betting just from opening it up & seeing for myself. Great Job Ardour! My dreams are finally at the green light. Thank You.

If your device is M-Audio Fast Track Pro this link will help you:

You can also find it in the JACK website under FAQ (thanks for the addition Paul).

I think you’ll might have better response with AVLinux with this specific device, nothing against Dream Studio which is great also, but I’m not sure if like AVLinux it has all my blog configurations setup for it, still it’s a good idea to read my blog and double check some things.
If you decide to build your own system with Debian, then following all my blog steps will help.


So sorry Anahata, yes, it is the 2.8.12 version. And thank you Joegiampaoli for the advice. As you both can tell I am new to Ardour. I have had some previous dwindlings with Pro-Tools. The opening screens between the two look similar so I was not totally in the dark about how they are supposed to open up. I had trouble with Ubuntu Studio 11.04 64-bit. I have thought about AV Linux, however, I find the debian distros hard to understand since I’ve only been using Linux for about 8 months now. I do know that Debian is a bit different when it comes to the terminal commands, but now you have my wheels turning again as having the best suited DAW is really what I am after. I chose Ubuntu because that’s what I learned on starting with Zorin which is Ubuntu based, then returning to the newest Ubuntu. I noticed Dream Studio 12.04 seems to have a lot of bugs already worked out of it. In wraps, I’m sure you guys know all about the correct way to go and I will take it into consideration & look more into AV Linux. Thanks so much for the info & I will check out your Blog. Many thanks!

@cominatyalive: Thanks for your kind words! I’m glad you’re enjoying Dream Studio as it’s designed specifically for people like you, who want to get multimedia projects done without having to have extensive knowledge about the command line or apt-get installations.

I had a look at Joe’s blog, and everything he says is not only great advice, but they are all also things that I’ve taken into consideration when creating Dream Studio. The only things you’ll find different if you follow all the steps on this particular blog post are:

  1. a realtime kernel. Dream Studio uses a lowlatency kernel by default, which is not quite as low latency as a realtime one, but pretty darn close. The main reason I chose not to use a strictly realtime kernel by default was incompatibility with the stock proprietary graphics drivers on Ubuntu for Nvidia and AMD cards (which video and graphics enthusiasts need). By the way, the 32-bit version of Dream Studio uses the PAE option mentioned in Joe’s blog, so it supports up to 64GB of RAM, and there’s always the 64-bit version of the distro if you want full 64-bit support.

  2. Hardware specific tweaks (the lines about modifying rtirq-init). I don’t include anything specifically tied to certain hardware for obvious reasons.

Other than those two, all the tweaks mentioned are stock in Dream Studio, and the instructions given will work for those that aren’t, in case you really want to get hacking.

Rock on!

P.S. If you don’t need proprietary video drivers, and want a realtime kernel in Dream Studio, just open a terminal (dash->terminal), and type “sudo apt-get install linux-realtime” (in fact if you should just be able to click on the aforementioned command and have it installed automagically)

Ardour 2.8.14?
Is that some sort of unofficial pre-release version out of SVN, or a typo (Ardour 2 current release is 2.8.12)

Which version of Ardour in in Dream Studio?

I’m sure that a distribution like Dream Studio, ready configured to work with Ardour is the way to go. AVLinux is the same, except it’s based on Debian rather than Ubuntu, and my experience was like yours in that my first installation of AVLinux enabled me pretty well overnight to stop battling config problems and start recording music!

One of the great strengths of Linux is that it can so easily be made into special-function systems like this.

Mr MacInnis,

Pleasure to meet you.
Hats off to you! Still using the 12.04 LTS Dream Studio 64/Bit and lovin’ it.

I’m fairly up to speed with the Apt-Get language and that’s why I chose Dream Studio. Although yes, Joe’s Tutorials are awesome and I did
install A/V linux. But I was a bit under the carpet in getting it side by side with Win 7 32/Bit without losing the boot manager. Hindsight on my behalf I’m sure. So I installed it alone using the gparted partitioner. But it got a bit sticky for me in getting it side by side. I use a different computer for recording with Win 7 & pro tools with my simple Fast Trak usb box. It’s just the plain Fast Trak. The reason I wanted it side by side is that I have a son who is a musician & likes to record with Pro-Tools because he is not very Linux savvy. I also have a 13 yr old son who likes Windows. Hence the reason I have another full tower just for me with D.S. 12.04 stand alone. For the reason of having a hard time getting A/V side by side with the boot manager operational, and the reason of my PA being hooked up to the other computer so I decided on D.S. instead. Although, I must say that A/V linux is a very awesome application indeed. I am really into Linux and I am striving to get away from Windows altogether as I am sure most of you know where I’m coming from. So for now, I may look into getting another input usb M-Audio box for my computer or something better suited. What kind of firewire box do you recommend? Is there another company or brand that is better suited other than another M-Audio device? Joe’s sight is very informative & I will study up more on Devian in which I am not completely in the dark, but I have much to learn.

It’s all of you guys who keep the music alive & give the little guys like me these fine choices.
Again, it is a real pleasure to see your reply as well as the responses from Joe & the others.
Thanks again friend.

PS: Ive also been checking out your site & your vids on you tube. Let it Roll!


Dear Joegiampaoli I do have an Edirol UA 101 it is an UB2 device, is it better to go 64 Studio or your way…does Ardour 2.8 14 run on your debian ?

cominatyalive: I noticed you subscribed to my Youtube; thanks! But like I always say, don’t tell me, tell your friends :wink:

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@ greasegirl:

I don’t think my guide will do much for your device, your device is totally different and as you stated it’s a USB2 device, the Fast track Pro by M-Audio is a USB1 class compliant (which means basically it’s almost plug and play), so I’m afraid I can’t help you much with your question, you should see if you can reach other users who have the same device you have to see if+how they got it working under linux.


All tho I have used AVLinux since v5 I always have a problem with Grub…invalid license or the magic flashing line…

Dream Studio just did not trip my trigger when I tried it awhile back, I guess I will re-download it & see whats up there.

And GMaq, becasue AVLinux 6 supplied the demo of Mixbus for me to try out I am now getting ready to pull the trigger on it, it’s essentials package, and MAYBE the linuxDSP & Mixing in Mixbus video, so Thank You for working to get that demo to be available in AVLinux, it made a sale that I will be sure to filter thru your site!


There is no question …Debian+Custom Kernel+Proprietary Video Drivers=Occasional Problems, unfortunately this is true for pretty much any pure Debian distro, without a doubt Graphic Card drivers are an advantage with Ubuntu…whether this alone outweighs some of the disadvantages is clearly up to the user.

Again there is never a need to suffer in silence, although I frequent the Ardour forums the best assistance for AV Linux itself is at it’s own forum…

I’ve used AV Linux, is great but had to fool around with it for a while to understand it… actually took me about 2 full days to setup my screens (at that time had 2 screens landscaped, with the 2nd above and turned upside down, so asking AV Linux to setup that was a nightmare) so i would say… AV Linux is great specially if you really know and handle Debian and also recommended if your machine is old and without much resources… i’m right now on Ubuntu Studio 12.04, its very good.

@cominatyalive: as a lot of people, i came to Linux looking for a good, stable, virus-less system without having to spend $$$$ on a Mac, tried a Mac Mini with Logic, everything is so minimalistic that i ended hating it… had to download a PROGRAM to set up my LCD Tv as a monitor over HDMI… just because Mac didn’t recognice my TV then i couln’t force any resolution… and then i ended up using my PC with Linux and its great, its been 2 years now totally dedicated to Linux, use Windows only for whats necessary (program the interfaces, Mini Disc Audio download… etc) but the biggest issue that i found as a Linux new user was the interfaces so here is my advice:

  1. READ A LOT, ASK a lot before going out to buy just any interface, you’ve got to know for sure beforehand that it will work on linux because there is very little to no support from most audio companies.

  2. PCI is a better choice, at least it’s been for me, got a completely supported RME card used from ebay and is more than perfect, no problem at all

  3. USB 1.1 is better if you don’t need lots of tracks, try to stick with USB 1.1, if you look at any USB 2, take a look at the forums and ask the oracle (google) if it will work or not, won’t name one because don’t have any.

  4. Firewire is very good, the basic thing you should look at when looking at firewire devices is if it is somehow supported on, they have a database of different devices with subforums, i have a Profire 2626 that won’t work properly never ever… just use as ADAT Pre, and have a Saffire Pro 40 which works very well both as Adat Pre and as Firewire interface (not great as my RME card, but does the job very well).

  5. Take a good look at Mixbus, for me it is like Ardour on steroids, its great and also supports Ardour which is it’s core, worths every cent it costs, take a look at LinuxDSP plugins which are great.

  6. Show off your music if you want at Made With Ardour on the forum, you will get very good advices from pros which i’ve used to learn more about the software, some about the hardware and some about recording techniques.


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I have AVLinux and don’t have a problem with apt-get.
I don’t understand your comment about passwords.
sudo no problem here. I might have had to to edit the sudoers file, so long ago I can’t remember…

I can’t comment about group tools or synaptic as I don’t use them.
It might be compatible with Pentium -M but mine runs fine on AMD Athlon 3.3GHz dual core.

AVLinux was the first one that worked out of the box, after I’d tried several others (but I didn’t get around to Dream Studio, that looks promising too)

Lack of a 64 bit version might be a problem if I wanted to run HUGE mixes and 2GB wasn’t enough memory. And lack of future development might become a problem as AVlinux 6.0 was announced as the last, ever.


You must have gotten a bad download or corrupted ISO of AV Linux, there is no password for the Live user, it logs in automatically. Also of course there is no sudo by default, Debian (the base of AV Linux) uses the su method by default so you require a root password and a user password this is made very clear in the manual and in the installer itself, despite Ubuntu’s widespread use of sudo many distros including pure Debian do not use sudo by default.

As far as Synaptic and apt-get of course they are on there and fully functional to the root user as usual. AV Linux uses a light desktop to get the most out of older computers but it can be run on ANY PC from 1-10 years old.

That’s absolutely cool if AV Linux is not your cup of tea, but a few questions at the AV Linux forums could have saved you a lot of time and cleared up some confusion for you.

I’ll agree Dream Studio is also a great choice. :wink:

tried AV linux. No. Password longer as 5 letters if not, not working. No sudo as user is not in the sudoer group. There is no group tool. No way to use synaptic. No apt get as written in the manual,Only install via gdebi. No tool to use. Made for pentium -M or older computers. just a fun tool to play around

Oh, Ubuntu 64 breaks Carla and Cadence, installing Acrobat ends withn a big cleanig action to get unwanted i386 files off. Studio64 dates from 2008. Alsa tells me how to get my Edirol UA 101 running and more Great. Testing he 386 realtime pae kernel. Took the download version KXstudio, . KDE 4 the only way to go as Gnome now call weak code. XFCE is not as stable as to be. If there is no way …anytime there is a way


Thanks for all the great advice man, sorry I have been gone for several years :slight_smile: but my hobbies kind of changed to just being a Linux freak & Reef Aquariums go figure. But now that I am wanting to play music again I am wanting to get back into the swing of things. I do have pro-tools on my Win 7 system, but more than likely I will be turning to AV linux again. Don’t know if Dream Studio is still in production but I will look for any new stuff from Kckinnis as well. I think I will try AV first. You say your on Ubuntu Studio 12.04? but I realize years have passed. Have you tried any newer Ubuntu Studio Distros lately? I will also check it out. Can’t wait to get my feet wet again! But I will be taking it slow, see what works & what does not, etc. Again, Thanks for all of you with your priceless information. It is with a great heart-felt and very much appreciated.

Have you tried any newer Ubuntu Studio Distros lately?
I've two backup computers on which I have upgraded from UbuntuStudio 12.04 to 14.04. They both work but I'm not 150% impressed ;-). KXStudio 12.04 seems to be more comfortable and reliable.

As for AVLinux, I have made similar experiences like greasergirl has described them above, so I dropped it. If you like to set up a multimedia distribution based on Debian - I have recently very much enjoyed to work with TangoStudio ( It runs well even on old computers (like a Pentium4 2,66 GHz, 1,5 GB RAM). My favourite multimedia distributiuon at the moment.


greasergirl’s account of AVLinux is either out of date or flat out wrong. I tried it myself. If I wasn’t doing development, I would use it myself. Not a single one of the complaints except password length is correct. AVLinux is a great multimedia distribution.

Well in her (I hope) defense, that post was written in 2012:)