Has anyone used Studio 13.37?

Has anyone tried Studio 13.37? Not saying I am just wandering if it has been mentioned on the forum.


Keeping the answer intentionally short, sorry.


Not so popular around this forum it seems…lol.

Not that, it is much more, I don’t want the rehash of what has been said on other forums to repeat again here.


I know you are looking at my 1 post, thinking I am just here for this topic and to sing the praises of Studio 13.37, but please read on…

I recently finished a 6 month project – a feature film score that I produced using Ardour 3 (and Qtractor). The reason I am a “newbie” posting here is that I really have had no problems with Ardour 3. My distros have been another story, though…

This was the first time I committed to using a completely linux-based solution for a professional recording. But due to latency and XRUN issues in Ubuntu Studio and other distros, I begrudgingly installed the free version of the predecessor of 13.37, which was called Studio4. I don’t even want to explain how much better it worked out-of-the-box. So much so that it made me angry and frustrated. Maybe two or three XRUNs in months of intensive use of Studio4…I get them once a minute in Ubuntu Studio even with nothing happening. Latency is over 60ms better in favor of Studio4 over a clean install of Ubuntu Studio on identical hardware. GRRRRRR.

The reason I am here is that I am a professional who recently committed to getting out of the windows/protools game. I am a lifelong linux user, and proponent of open-source and community development. I support developers whenever I can, but do not support the repackaging of software we see with studio 13.37. I LOVE Ardour 3, but unfortunately the distribution that gives me the best performance (by leaps and bounds) is Studio 4. I do not want to support the developer who is exploiting the spirit of open source development, but I can’t afford to have XRUNs and high latency either. What am I to do?

The controversy around this distro should not cloud our judgement of its performance. Those who refuse to even try it because of the developer issue are missing something very important…and it seems that most of us hardcore linux folks are refusing to try it. And yet, MANY users are struggling with latency and XRUNS with the most common distros.

There is no reason we should not be able to “reverse engineer” the kernel and other improvements and release a new distro, right?? In a perfect world, I believe I should be able to download a distribution that boots to a completely optimized system that runs Ardour 3 to its maximum potential…not install Ardour 3 over a bloated distro that cripples it.

What is stopping a few of us from getting together and doing this? I am willing to commit the time, and my intermediate knowledge of the Puppy/Slacko system to making an “Ardour Distribution”. What better way to stop the spread of people profiting from community development than to release an open distro that works even better?

In a nutshell, I am encouraging you to NOT support the “developer” of Studio 13.37…but I am also telling you that we need to learn why it does work so well and learn how to incorporate the improvements into existing (or new) distros. The stubbornness of the community on this issue is holding back potentially major improvements to the performance of Ardour on legitimate distributions.

Thanks for reading, and anyone with Puppy/Slacko knowledge who would like to get together and figure this out, please PM me!

And just to show you that I am not a creepy lurker, here is the trailer for the film… audio produced with Ardour/Qtractor (though I think the final mix studio used Mac software).


@mightysween: The stubbornness of the community on this issue … where is this stubborness being manifested?

but I am also telling you that we need to learn why it does work so well

Could just be luck… I’ve tried many different distros and kernels etc, and (as a developer who has some insight into what causes the problems inherent in using a PC for audio - whichever OS) it seems to me that the reasons why you get something which just manifests (to you) as an ‘xrun’ are vastly more complex and subtle than most people imagine and while you can spend significant time optimising away the problems for one mix of hardware (and a particular kernel). That doesn’t always mean it will magically work on every PC (numerous threads written by well intentioned people describe how they got a perfect system set up, and almost invariably someone else says the same ‘tweaks’ made their system worse). I saw an interesting discussion by the google android devs about this, in which they break down the detailed problems they cured to get low latency audio working, and then qualify it with (‘on this device’) or something similar

The stubbornness of the community on this issue is holding back potentially major improvements to the performance of Ardour on legitimate distributions.

Not sure about that, but there are definitely a few developers I’ve encountered (normally on the linux musicians forum) whose - largely misinformed - ‘self belief’ (to put it politely) can be a major barrier to actually getting ideas accepted.


I have no comment on Studio 13.37 itself, I haven’t used it although I will say as someone who knows a bit about custom packaging that the developer has done a huge amount of work on a platform (Slackware derivative) that requires a lot of supplemental packaging to use for Linux Audio and I can respect his work ethic. Some of us Linux Audio historians may recall ‘Dynebolic’ which was also based on Slackware and was also in it’s time a well-performing system but I digress…

To clear up some confusion and debunk some of the FUD that surrounds this whole issue when comparing to other distros (most notably Ubuntu Studio) I think it is important to realize that Studio 13.37 boots with the ‘toram’ boot option which to oversimplify for the sake of brevity means that a large portion of the ‘userspace’ gets loaded directly to RAM instead of just the Operating System itself which is proven to give a significant performance boost and obviously allows for extremely fast data I/O directly from RAM. Secondly 13.37 is using a super light Desktop Environment which is requires less space and runs lighter on resources than even Openbox/LXDE as an example. No other comparable distros (AV Linux, Ubuntu/Dream/KX Studio) are booting with ‘toram’ and therefore of course do not show the same performance when used as Live Media even if you don’t factor in the huge difference in Desktop Environment resource usage and RAM space requirements. To summarize Studio 13.37 is completely optimized intentionally for Live usage and everything else is using Live sessions as a quick demonstation with the intended goal of the user installing to HDD for the most complete experience.

Comparing a ‘toram’ Live Session to a regular Live Session is an oranges to apples comparison…

Thanks guys for commenting.

@mightysween: So you’re using Studio 13.37’s free predecessor, Studio 4, because you say that nothing else touches it and it makes Ubuntu Studio seem pathetic in comparison. But then you have the nerve to say: “I do not want to support the developer who is exploiting the spirit of open source development.”

Studio 13.37 holds itself to the highest values, including full adherence to the GPL license. Don’t you know that there are many Linux-based commercial products, ranging from Red Hat to Android, and that the GPL supports this activity? Studio 13.37 pays money for advertising, and has real overhead costs in terms of usb sticks and web hosting (not to mention the developer’s time). It gives back to the community by contributing packages to the parent distro’s repositories and upstream bug reporting.

All of Studio 13.37’s predecessors have been released for free. This business model didn’t pay off for the Linux-based software vendors of the early 2000s, but we do it anyway. (Why? Because we’re cool, that’s why.) Studio 4 is only a couple years old and completely functional, which is why you prefer it. So why are you dissing me, when you’re freely benefitting from my work?

As to your question about getting Ardour 3 working on a vanilla Slacko install, check here: http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=85776 I’ve had a custom Ardour 3 .sfs available since April.

@GMaq: there’s more to it than that, but thanks. :slight_smile:

@Paul, I was referring to the gut response to this distro that is prevalent on so many forums. Rather than say, “Hey, this works well, I wonder how we can incorporate this approach into our own work?”, most seem to just say “NO” and move on. FWIW, I did manage to get Ardour3 built from source on Studio 4 and it is incontrovertibly better compared to installs of other distros on the same machine. The stubbornness is manifested in that no one seems interested in WHY these side-by-side installs ( come up with such drastic differences in performance…they just tell me to buy a faster computer to run Ubuntu Studio – in the Linux-community of the past, this was not an acceptable answer!

@l0wt3ch, a big part of this whole problem is your attitude and approach to “promoting” your product. When you are not posting under alias usernames, you often seem to be responding defensively to people who are actually supporting your vision for a linux audio distro. If I had purchased 13.37 and then advocated for its improvements to be threaded back into a free Slacko build, would that be better?

See, I donate or pay for software I use wherever possible, and 13.37 is the first I have considered paying for. If there were an ISO to download, I would probably have done that despite my view that it I would just be paying for someone to repackage improvements on existing work. After all, you have not re-invented the wheel – you have taken existing software and put it together in a way that seems to work well. Yet, the same GPL that allowed you to improve these works and charge money for the package allows the community to incorporate and improve upon your ideas. Perhaps you could recoup some of your costs through donations, rather than getting angry at people who try out the software that you freely offered up (studio 4)…or you could take a less abrasive approach and perhaps convince people like me that I should be buying what amounts to your SERVICES, not your software.

@Gmaq, I have Studio4 installed to the HDD, not running as a “live session” (though this is pretty much how Puppy/Slacko work anyway). The main reason I did not purchase 13.37 originally is that it is not available as an ISO and due to the audio equipment taking up all USB ports (and additional hubs causing glitches and headaches) I had no desire to run a live session from the USB.

And, by the way, starting with 12.04 (I think?) Ubuntu Studio uses XFCE…hardly a “huge desktop environment”.

If it were as simple as the userspace booting to RAM, the vanilla Slacko/Puppy would run just as well as Studio4/13.37…this is not the case.