open for extra tracks/parts

Hello all,

it’s over a year now that my low end solar powered 12V homestudio in my off-grid hermitage is relatively useable, so here’s some output:
It’s just a sketch, a part, and the idea is to figure out what others could add to it. So you’ll find 4 tracks in 44.1kHz 16b .wav audio ready to import, and a mix in .mp3 for an idea, appx. 15MB total. Furthermore, you’ll need to know that the project has 79BPM, if I’m not mistaken.

Feedback welcome!

done on an atomN450 powered laptop running UbuntuStudio+kxStudio goodies, Ardour3, Hydrogen, an original chinese “Jack & Danny brothers” prime plywod acoustc tuned baritone, with a pre-paleolithical electromagnetic pickup added, and a cheapest of the cheap 2nd hand alesisIO2 A/D interface. Monitoring by use of a car stereo.

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For the love of all that is holy in your world, please stop using Ardour 3. The program has serious risk of data loss. Congrats on the solar powered studio.

forestandgarden I had a go with your song :slight_smile:

I just let it play in the background for a while and played my guitar on top of it. Then I cut together some of the pieces I played.

I had a little trouble finding your tuning, did you use a tuner ? It’s best to use a tuner when sharing sessions with someone. I felt my tuning was always off and I needed constantly tweak it. You can hear it in some of the parts I played.

I did not stop to correct timing errors etc, its a quick and dirty mix :slight_smile:

The whole song is here (mix of all instruments):

Just my guitars (a flac format file):


different people like different features, see , for example, I like the ALT+P shortcut to the wiring window, for instance. I’ve certainly noticed the crashes, made worse by Ubuntu’s apport trying to do full crash dumps, but as a linux tinker I’m sort of used to getting them for one if not the other reason, sometimes manually renaming the backup session file works, sometimes tracks have to get imported into a reconstruction project from /interchange .
From my point of view, the ‘…seems to have been in the middle of recording…’-part of the recovery dialog is misleading: and what if you weren’t recording? Ah, I can miss that crash data, you think, and bang!, now you’d need HD forensics. Plus track bouncing has proven a very risky thing, half of that could be prevented by a progress bar window like for rendering, blocking user interaction while processing is under way. I am working with Ardour4, too. Actually, I am very grateful that ardour doesn’t take part in the general update terror and allows different major versions to peacefully coexist on the same system, so now a bit of maintainance to older versions is all that’s missing to make a perfect world, isn’t it? Given you find the time…

oh great, I shall download your takes and listen tonight. I am aware that the tuning is a too-high B , I had to tweak the synth bass for that. I am a bit obstinate with my analog approach to music, I’d much appreciate a MIDI general tuning feature rather than adapting to machines that ought to adapt to me. Now with this piece, I could admittedly have tuned the guitar to a standard B, but what if non-tuneable real instruments come into play, like some of my tin whistles or my melodica? I have to pitch process these takes in a painstaking hit&miss fashion, or well, that’s how I do it, at least.
But nevermind, I’m really glad about the prompt feedback and can’t wait to listen to the guitar. Btw, is there a way to get email notifications for forum replies?

@forestandgarden: “Maintainance to older versions” is what we are doing ALL THE TIME. The result is new versions.

All keybindings can be changed by you, the user, to be whatever you want.

Please - 3.x can destroy your already recorded data. Stop using it.

My ophtamologist has warned me that the egg yolk yellow of marked items in ardour4, particularly in connection with the red of selected channels, could cause me severe and irrevocable eysore :), so I’m desperately sorry…
But since you insist: were all the teams of stable and LTS linux distros aware of this state of ardour 3? And if this was the stability achieved by the end of a major version, what am I to expect from ardour 4, 5 then? Just my retarded logic…
In this amusing video , you can see a certain master musician in his studio, pointing at some ancient Atari STs running cubase, with the words “These are flawless! They never crash!” .
Ardour4 can run without JACK that’s a real point, otherwise it does crash or show unexpected behaviour, too, and so far hasn’t compensated me much for learning a changed GUI. I shall try 5, too.
I could say quite a bit more about ardour 3 vs. 4, but isn’t there a better thread for this on the forum?

thanks again for the track. The blues/rock style gives quite a twist to the piece, that originally came from a poppy fusion side. If you want an idea of the way of different chords triggering different scales I had had in mind at first, Pat Metheny: Phase Dance is a good one to play along with, you could even loop just the 2 chords that dominate it - they sound so near to each other, yet it’s near impossible to use the same licks on both.
But hang on a bit, I am working on something… :slight_smile: , just 1 or 2 more sunny days, and there ought to be a new mix.
I definitely like the challenge of working with someone else’s material. And I get a feeling you could be nice to jam with, it’s not all solo, but also a god harvest of themes & little motifs that repeat…

@forestandgarden: we do not write software for Linux distributions. We write software for all 3 major OS platforms that we release in ready-to-run form for all those 3 major OS platforms. Because it is licensed under the GPL, Linux distributions are free to make it available via their own mechanisms and tools. We do not and cannot support the versions that they distribute, which particularly in the case of Ubuntu, often contains bugs minor and occasionally major that are not present in our builds. We do not collaborate or have special channels of communication with the packagers for Linux distributions - we expect that they will do what we hope all other users will do, and notice that we’ve made a new release and understand that version 4 obsoletes version 3. In addition to the data deletion issue, 3.x also contains hundreds if not thousands of bugs that have been fixed in Ardour 4 and 5. Are there a few new ones? Almost certainly. But we work on fixing those almost every day (particularly when the two lead developers are not (independenly and coincidentally) moving out of their current homes :slight_smile:

Regarding early MIDI sequencers on the Atari: those programs didn’t handle audio data (much). They also ran on an operating system in which the application gets to take over the machine 100%. This is not possible (or desirable) with any of the 3 major OS platforms that have come to prominence since the demise of the Atari ST.

Also, you can change the colors of almost everything on the screen, as demonstrated by the 4 new color themes included as part of Ardour 5.

forestandgarden I’m eagerly waiting to hear what you come up with :slight_smile: I will be traveling for 10 days starting tomorrow (2nd September), but will be back reading the forum after that.

I had Ardour 3 loose a couple of audio files, luckily I had a backup. If you need to keep on using version 3 you could make a copy of your sessions with rsync so that you can recover if files vanish.

There are still some problems with the new Ardour 5.x line that will be ironed out in the coming weeks / months. In the mean time I personally recommend you to switch to Ardour 4.7 for it is very very stable. I use it almost every day and it does not crash on me. Some plugins can cause instability for all versions of Ardour. Calf plugins a famous for that. If this happens, then find the plugin that is causing it and get the latest plugin version directly from the author either as a precompiled package or compile the latest source yourself.

Since getting online involves, for me, an hour of trekking to town and back, and since I mostly use old android gingerbread devices for that ( also for shifting packages from the interwebs to my main spaceship ) , both wisening up about things and putting such enlightenment into practice, are relatively slow processes.
In the past few days, I have also looked into the way ardour makes it into the different linux distros, and yes, in debian/ubuntu, iso images for any given version tend to not get updated, the user is expected to update the packageges after or during install, far from ideal for off-grid nerds. Small wonder if old things that simply work are attractive to me; but I, too, have realized that updating to a4.7 should be relatively painless for my setup, and judging a4 from a4.1 alone is maybe not fair, anyway, I’m discovering features and config options as I go already, so I bet I’ll eventually make peace with it. And I’ve put high hopes in AVlinux’ last release, but downloading 3+GB to an android during various days and ending up with an uncorrupted file, is all a challenge of its own.
One thought: wether you are or aren’t responsible of any given compile, the way ardour looks in linux distros must have a major impact on its image, after all, that’s the OS where ardour isn’t just one more DAW, but the flagship of DAWs, with a distance.
Work on the musical project is currently stuck at pinpointing what seems to be a midi timing problem and manifests as my drum tracks’ timing varying, sometimes on time, sometimes audibly off. My workflow is composing beats on hydrogen, first syncing it through jack, then moving the midifile into ardour and using hydrogen (or DrMr plugin) merely as a sampler, and usually ultimately recording the drum track(s) as audio prior to mixdown. Letting hydrogen play the song synced sounds fine, using midi doesn’t, and there could be many reasons.
I’m working on it…

As I’ve said countless times previously, if I could stop Linux distributions from distributing Ardour, I would. However, I delberately chose the GPL for Ardour, something that will not change, and so I cannot stop them from continuing with their diverse and frequently broken packaging of the application. All we can do is try to educate people about these issues, and the reasons why we cannot and will not support versions distributed via Linux repositories.

Valid point about Atari’s OS allowing user programs to take over practically all of the system. Could still be an approach: a DAW OS. After all, the three mentioned contemporary OSs still do not even manage to perfectly coordinate user input, responsiveness thereto, and screen layout (i.e. by integrating a very consequent fine-graining of priority) , even before resource hungry apps are running. Users repeat actions, because there was no feedback to their input, clicks or touches trigger the wrong action, because a new responsive element has popped up just that moment… Its usually not as bad under the embedded OSs of hardware DAWs, keyboards, effects etc. (64Studio seem to be happier in that world today), and there is no reason why a desktop computer could not be looked at as a piece of audio hardware to ‘embed’ an OS onto. Of course that would be writing a new OS, but it is likely that the linux kernel could have a place in it.
Well, just some idle brainstorming…

I definitely do not expect you to support linux distro packages of ardour, I’m getting them for free, and I understand what they are and what they aren’t, so who am I to complain. I am just pointing out that if it weren’t for those packages, I had probably never heard of ardour in the first place. And many others neither.
So that’s the ardour I talk about to my windows and mac os x using friends, because that’s the one I know, and if the home-compiled ardour is significantly different from it, I’d have to take your word for it.
But part of my motivation for talking others into checking out ardour is making the case for FOSS, so why that bitter note about linux?
Linux ardour is a big part of your image, and that’s not a bad thing by and large.

co-recording/composing, who up for it?
(see initial post)
and yes, hooray!, that avlinux iso downloaded in countless sessions over various days through different WLANs and mixing mirrors, after tweaking my bronze age android into permitting such a feat, does have the right md5 sum, so in a few hours I’ll be able to lay my hands on what’s remained recognizeable of ardour 5.1 after being compiled by a linux serial killer.[weird laugh] <–irony warning

@paul: do you know pyramix? it’s basically a hacked windows system, getting you much closer to atariland again. i recorded (as a musician) several times in a studio with that system, and it is truly amazing. lowest latencies for monitoring, huge trackcount… worth a read:

hmm, it seems this would be much easier on linux…

echo 0 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu3/online for example and then talk to that cpu directly :slight_smile:

of course i have no idea what i am talking about…

@mhartzel sorry, you can see where it went, from creativity straight to technicalities. So I’ve got a4.7 and a5.3, both of which look promising, but at least under my current setup, did not work with this particular project, failure modes being varied. a4.1 and 3.5 at least allow working with it.
But in effect, I’ve put considerable effort into trying to build a working linux system for audio recording and editing with the hope of eventually being done with setting up and moving on to more creative things. The picture I am getting: by the time I’m done setting up, if ever I am, the distro’s version will have reached end of life, and I’ll be faced with the pleasures of upgrading, which, in turn, will force me to learn all the exciting new features the developers have put into the new packages…
Apart from juggling different major and minor versions of ardour, I am trying out ubuntustudio, avlinux and kxstudio on diferent partitions and have fedora waiting on a pendrive. Which has lead me to putting most of my energy into reading up on grub and initramfs recently, to figure if I can get around repartitioning and boot a linux that just resides anywhere in a directory.
Thanks anyway for the suggestion of using backups if sticking to a3, that was constructive at least. I’ve thought just write protecting some files might work, and maybe some suid/guid trickery on the containing directory might even automatise that - to be tried.
I’ve made little progress, moved the whole drumtrack back to hydrogen, which plays it back more steadily; and edited audio tracks selecting, but not combining yet, suitable snippets. Clouds and shorter days mean less hours of solar battery power, too.

forestandgarden: Yes it can be frustrating trying to be on top of distro and audio software development. About a year ago I decided to dedicate one of my laptops to audio work, take it off internet and not upgrade distro or software once I had found versions that work for me. I have been very happy with this decision. I moved to Gentoo Linux which is a rolling release distro, so I never need to install it again (if my hard drive doesn’t fail), I just upgrade it maybe once a month to get new versions of software if I feel like it.

I think a audio workstation should be stable and unchanged so that you can always rely on it. The KXStudio distro that is very popular among people writing on this forum is a nice alternative. You can keep it and boot it from a USB stick, so it never changes or upgrades without you knowing.

I recently also studied grub and how iso images can be booted with it. It took me 2 - 3 days of trying different distros until I found out that grub can only boot iso images that has been built with support for it (Only Ubuntu based distros, it does not work with Debian or AVLinux) and floppy images (with the help of syslinux) and images that has the whole “distro” contained in a initrd image (for example memtest).

KXStudio can be booted right off the iso image since it is based on Ubuntu. This iso image can be on your ext4 hard disk or a bootable USB stick. If someone is interested for how this is done here is the recipe for a usb stick boot:

  • Create one partition on the USB stick and format it to Fat32. This is easy to do with Gparted.
  • I assume that the target partition on USB stick is: /dev/sdb1 (Change all device names below if your device is not sdb. This is very important since you can lose data if you give the wrong device name to a command).
  • The commands below must be run as the root user
  • mount the USB stick somewhere (the directory needs to exist) for example: mount /dev/sdb1 /media/
  • make a directory for iso images and grub boot files on the USB stick: mkdir -p /media/boot
  • Install grub to the USB stick: grub-install --force --no-floppy --boot-directory=/media/boot /dev/sdb
  • copy KXStudio image (KXStudio_14.04.2_64bit.iso) to the USB Stick to directory: /media/boot/
  • add the following lines to /media/boot/grub/grub.cfg

set timeout=300
set default=0

Boot from disk by default

menuentry “Boot from First HD (default)” {
chainloader (hd1)+1
menuentry “KXStudio 14.04 Amd64 ISO” {
loopback loop /boot/KXStudio_14.04.2_64bit.iso
linux (loop)/casper/vmlinuz boot=casper iso-scan/filename=/boot/KXStudio_14.04.2_64bit.iso noeject noprompt splash –
initrd (loop)/casper/initrd.lz

End of grub.cfg

Boot with the USB stick, there are two choices on the menu, boot from first hard disk or boot KXStudio iso image.

The forum might mess the grub.cfg long lines above, so you can check my original grub.cfg here:

There are a lot of entries for different isos in it, seach for KXStudio.

Thanks a lot, if I continue trying to boot isos, this might be useful. Gentoo is what I will be looking at if one day I really want to learn compiling & building, but indeed I didn’t know about its ‘rolling’ nature - a lightweight debian based distro + KXstudio repos or KXStudio directly if I can afford running KDE is a more probable solution.
But so far this is out of reach: I had a burglary, my intel Atom netbook and my i5 quadcore 8GB laptop are gone, with a lot of work on it - if I have a backup of this project at all, then it will be the early stages. Call it the perils of off-grid life. So now my flagship is a 2002 laptop found in the dumpster by a friend, with a single core 1.6GHz Pentium M, and Puppy Linux has proven a very capable ally in getting back on my feet. And, blessed be the almighty, I had a copy of AVLinux5.0.3 (debian 6 “squeeze” based) around in my backups, so guess what, now I’m trying out ardour2 :slight_smile: Not too bad actually, I could record guitars with a considerable amount of effects at a tolerable (256frames=10-12ms) latency when testing it, but probably I’ll have to look at bouncing, freezing, and provisional mixes soon, and can forget about the big mixdown with all parameters adjustable, let alone Jamin running in rt… …but hey, there was a time when I swapped cassettes between a borrowed Tascam 4track and my daddy’s HiFi deck, and yet managed to stack 14 tracks and make it sound decent by i.e. recording early tracks with lots of extra treble to make up for copying losses.
All this has brought me to again muse about a simple monolithic DAW-OS based on an early ardour or NON, possibly fixed no. of tracks & buses and fixed effect rack, Hydrogen, very cut down display server and window manager, for example fixed set of full screen windows to switch between, or xdm… Like, turn your 50€ stone age laptop or desktop into a 500€ Boss BR-whatsoever. Or run 8 of them in VMs if you own a real spaceship and are bored.
However, if I manage to revive the original idea of this thread and bring a lot of attention to it, it might eventually lead to crowd-funding my next studio and ending up better then before the burglary :slight_smile:

I’m really sorry to hear that your stuff was stolen :frowning:

Maybe you could get a cheap secondhand laptop, old 2 core machines are quite cheap and still very capable of running many tracks and plugins.

It’s true one does not need much technology for making good music. Think about the Beatles, they did not have multitrack available at the time they recorded their first albums. Sometimes it might be good if one has some technical restrictions, it forces to think hard about the arrangement when one can not have 20 tracks :slight_smile:

I’m a bit worried about your usage of Ardour 2, it was quite crashy. Ardour 4.7 is still the most stable for me and I have install media for 32bit and 64bit Linux and can send those if you need them. On the other hand Ardour 4.7 might need newer libraries than those in Debian 6, but maybe it works on Puppy.

Wish I could do something to help :slight_smile:

I’ve been hanging here on Ardour forums almost 4 years now and you were the first one to offer some music tracks for others to mess around with. I hope others will follow your example :slight_smile: