Old Producer, new DAW

Hi Everyone.

I’m a professional producer that has been using Pro Tools, then Logic for years.

I’ve been getting tired of Apple though and how every time I upgrade my computer I seem to lose efficiency in
computer performance. As well as the apple tax and I hate the various apple ideologies as of late. That said.

I’ve been looking at Ardour and the Ubuntu platform for the last few months as an awesome alternative.
From what I can tell, it has everything I would ever need, plus I LOVE the fact that I can donate and help the
platform evolve through participation. Its like a dream come true knowing that my money will actually help the platform grow.

So I decided that I want to plunge right in. Will this be good enough for heavy work?
I bought a:

  • Intel core duo 2 quad 2.5 GHZ
  • 6 gigs DDR3 Ram
  • Nvidia GT 220 1 gig ram
  • Connect my audio drive through eSATA 7200 RPM g Tech drive.
  • Running Ubuntu 9.10

Also, I used to use Apogee gear as my I/O. The Duet and the Ensemble.
I would like to use something that is compatible right out of the box.
Preferably USB 2.0 that has light pipe so I can record at least 8 ins at a time.
Is there anything out there that can handle that?
The reason I ask that is because I would like to be able to keep my I/0 portable and
use it on my desktop and a laptop I’m going to get eventually.

Also, I noticed that in the Ubuntu Software center, only Ardour 2.8.2 is available.
I would like to buy the newest version but I have no experience with how to compile source code.
The reason I would like the new version is to use the http://www.linuxdsp.co.uk/ plug ins which look fabulous.

This project is looking wonderful and I would like to financially support it as much as I can.
If anyone has any other tips or ideas please feel free to offer them as I am eager to jump on board.

Thank you very much.

USB isn’t the best way to go becuse of latency / stability etc.

Looks like Apogee Duet and Ensemble are not supported by the current linux-firewire-audio driver projects :frowning:

check out the numerous “what audio hardware should I buy, please help” threads onn this forum for some competent answers.

@TheAwesomeking: Compiling Ardour on Ubuntu 9.10 is not too difficult, there are some good instructions here:


There is a pre-compiled version of Ardour 2.8.4 for Ubuntu 9.10 on my site but it is only 32Bit. Alternatively, I think 2.8.6 is now included with Ubuntu 10.04 - I’ve tested the beta release of 10.04 and it seems good so far.

@TheAwesomeking: The link that LinuxDSP is pointing to is indeed 32-bit only (I built it) , but if you’re running ubuntu 9.10, you can download my kernel from here:


If you install these two files, your 32-bit system will support up to 64gb of ram (the kernel uses PAE). Personally I prefer this method unless you’re willing to compile yourself, as many packages (at least those not used in a server environment) on Ubuntu are buggy in their 64-bit iteration.

Also, I hadn’t noticed before, but I have an Ardour 2.8.6 package on my site now (I don’t even host 2.8.4 anymore). Check these links:

this will give you vst support

this will give you everything but.

You’ll need this file for either one:

Happy tracking!

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses.
I installed the 10.04 LTS today to see if Ardour 2.8.6 was there and it is.
But now of course jack wont start for some reason.

Any thoughts?


If you log in to irc we can try to troubleshoot

Want to thank the boys on the IRC chat who helped me out.
Amazing helpful and friendly.
Thanks guys.

When I installed 10.04, jack wouldn’t start, because, despite the installer asking me if I wanted to automatically make the changes to /etc/security/limits.conf during the ardour install, this failed to happen, so jack wouldn’t run because I didn’t have the necessary permissions to run jack in realtime mode (which is now the default). I understand why it might be better that jack now wants to run in realtime by default, but personally, I prefered it when it was an option and not the default, because then when the realtime permissions config inevitably got screwed up by the distribution, at least it would run (albeit with some x-runs) now it just fails to start which can be (more) confusing to those not familiar with the poblem.
I suppose the correct solution is to make sure the distributions actually get the config right in the first place… I just manually edited my config and added myself to the audio group and it was then fine.

I also had to uninstall PulseAudio before I could get any sound out of anything (as usual)

I’m working on fixing this issue as we speak (don’t forget that ubuntu 10.04 is still pre-release;-).

Jack (in 10.04) now correctly adds permission while it installs, while the adduser package still ignores adding all users to the “audio” group. As far as I’m concerned, this is absolutely ridiculous (from a desktop user’s standpoint). My distro (based on 10.04) will add this functionality, as well as a PAE kernel and a proper config for pulse->jack, which is basically all Ubuntu needs to be a super multimedia OS. Expect my release by late may (for beta at least, maybe final). You will be able to add these packages to stock ubuntu or install from scratch with all hacks applied (and Ubuntu’s ease of use for newcomers to linux).

The silly thing is, even though I’ve applied for the job as Ubuntu’s multimedia sound maintainer, they seem to have hired someone (once again) who is excellent at programming/packaging, and have failed to consult any end-users (have a look at bug reports dating back to 2005 with no status updates) in their latest iteration of a “desktop” system. Seriously, with all the FOSS solutions out there, wouldn’t you rather improve a system that already exists (obvious since ubuntu seems to use anything that comes from fedora) than re-invent the wheel?
But, I digress.

What the hell is wrong, especially with UbuntuStudio?

I vote for you being hired by Ubuntu.
You seem to really know and care about the community, and I’ve only been in it for really a week or so.

Check out AV Linux as well, I am liking it better than I have ever liked ubuntu studio. I still use ubuntu for my main OS but switch to AV for music work. And the linuxdsp plugins are indeed awesome, the mix I am working on right now (just finished for the night) uses his graph-eq, vc1, vc2, and mxdyn1 extensively. The graph eq has made me fully comfortable doing music production on linux.