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#1 2014-03-20 11:45:52

Modeler
Member
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 2011-07-28
Posts: 62

[SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Is anyone using Arch for MIDI sequencing? It doesn't seem unreasonable to be able to throw together a simple track using a host / plug-in workflow – the tools are all there but they just don't work together at all. For example, let's say we want to put down a simple piano score using Qtractor with FluidSynth as a plug-in. Immediately there is a problem. FluidSynth is a DSSI plug-in, which are currently broken in Arch. I found an unresolved thread from 2012 detailing the problem I have:

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=150453

This would appear to be in the same state today. If I install a fresh copy of Arch, add a desktop such as GNOME or LXDE, then install Qtractor and fluidsynth-dssi, I can load the plug-in but the GUI does not launch. I therefore cannot load any soundfonts so I have no piano. Yes, I can load FluidSynth as a standalone jack client and squirt MIDI events at it, but then I can't simply save my session in Qtractor and have it recall everything in one go. This works okay with LV2 plug-ins, I won't say it works perfectly because they crash a lot – another reason I'm not feeling much love for Linux as a DAW.

My Windows box has a commercial DAW (FL Studio) and a host of expensive VSTs (Sylenth1, Arturia V Collection and such), so I don't expect to be able to use my Linux box to do the same using nothing but open-source software. I'm trying to get something working on Linux so I can keep the faith as it were, for the benefit of any would-be desktop musicians who wouldn't spend a small fortune on audio software like I have.

There are some wonderful audio apps for Linux: the Fluid soundfont, ZynAddSubFX, amsynth, the calf plug-ins but if they can't be used together the way Windows VSTs can, then there's not a lot of point. Maybe I should just switch to Ubuntu Studio if this is such a big deal, but I would rather see this fixed in Arch.

Last edited by Modeler (2014-03-27 08:11:42)


Wirth's law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster"

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#2 2014-03-20 13:11:54

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,441
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

I've used Arch Linux for MIDI sequencing. I wrote the wiki page on seq24. It's been a while since I've used it though. I wrote that wiki page because I got so frustrated (AAARGH!!!) trying to setup a simple MIDI sequencer in Linux that was 100% functional, so when I finally got it I wrote it down. smile

Modeler wrote:

Maybe I should just switch to Ubuntu Studio if this is such a big deal, but I would rather see this fixed in Arch.

That depends. "Switch" is such a strong word. smile Aren't you doing casual ameteur sequencing? Keep Arch Linux (if you like it) and dual-boot with Ubuntu Studio for when you need to write some music. Setting up audio servers and plugins and software and linking them all together in Linux (and don't forget to modify the kernel for real-time access!) feels extremely complicated to me. If I want to write music then I'm in "artist mode", and, despite absolutely loving Arch Linux, when I'm in artist mode I want something that is preconfigured to work so I can get to creating right now.

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#3 2014-03-20 14:09:10

Modeler
Member
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 2011-07-28
Posts: 62

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

I'm glad it's not just me feeling this pain. I have just had a look at seq24 and it seems quite nice, however it doesn't do single project / recall. Qtractor is still the closest, but it's damn flaky – even the "Set Loop" option doesn't actually work. The other night I was getting nothing but Xruns just playing back a WAV file in the editor FFS!

I have dreams of a free / open source DAW for Linux that works. LMMS had the right idea in my view, but it doesn't support audio generator plug-ins and look and feel of the thing is dreadful. So much work has gone into Hydrogen, and ZynAddSubFX but they don't exist as plug-ins (well, there's DrMr and Zyn but the lack the full editing and patch management features of both). It seems so close, but completely denied to you.

I am learning C++ at present but it's early days, so if the program I'm thinking of still doesn't exist in 20 years and I'm still alive, I hope to be able to create it!

Last edited by Modeler (2014-03-20 14:09:43)


Wirth's law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster"

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#4 2014-03-20 16:22:33

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,427

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Modeler wrote:

I'm glad it's not just me feeling this pain.

Spoken like a true Linux user ;P


What exactly do you need?
Which DAWs have you tried out and in what ways were they lacking?

http://www.bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio - it's going to be released in a week.
http://kxstudio.sourceforge.net/
http://www.renoise.com/
http://www.energy-xt.com/index.php
http://traverso-daw.org/
http://non.tuxfamily.org/


Have you tried to make FLStudio work in wine? http://blog.thecoreme.org/2013/07/01/fl … ough-wine/ says it can be done (FLStudio 11).

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#5 2014-03-20 17:43:48

Sanne
Member
Registered: 2012-03-13
Posts: 86

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Qtractor and fluidsynth-dssi both work fine here, I have a fluidsynth GUI and can load soundfonts. There's also a fluidsynth GUI in the calf plugin suite that looks even nicer. The version from the official repositories only contains LV2 plugins, though. There's a fork of the calf plugins by developer FalkTX in the AUR that still comes with the DSSI versions also, which I have installed instead. Both LV2 and DSSI verisons calf's fludisynth GUI work fine here. I might not have the most recent version, though.

I don't know if it helps you, but just to say that it *can* work. If you need more info about my setup, just ask.

Lastly, in case you don't know already, there's a dedicated Linux audio forum with lots of knowledgable users and developers. Maybe also try to get help there?

Good luck!


If our currency were not money but appreciation and acknowledgement for what we do for others, for the community, for the benefit of all, we would have paradise on earth.

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#6 2014-03-20 20:16:34

abner
Member
Registered: 2013-12-16
Posts: 14

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

I don't know about the issue you're having with DSSI specifically but if you want all of your routing to be remembered then you can use Claudia or Non Session Manager. I prefer NSM myself, you add 'jackpatch' and it recalls all the routing you have configured and launches all the applications you had open.

Zynaddsubfx does exist as an LV2 plugin - http://linuxmusicians.com/viewtopic.php … =carla+lv2

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#7 2014-03-21 15:14:10

Modeler
Member
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 2011-07-28
Posts: 62

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

karol wrote:

What exactly do you need?
Which DAWs have you tried out and in what ways were they lacking?

http://www.bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio - it's going to be released in a week.

I'm happy to use FL Studio on my Windows box, so I don't need anything as such. I'm interested in a free / libre sequencer and a range of plug-ins for all.

Call me a hippie but our musical creativity seems unnecessarily limited by budget. Case in point, as sexy as Bitwig Studio looks it is going to sell for $400 and I don't think many casual Linux users will part with that much wad. Okay, just because it's Linux doesn't mean it has to be free / open-source, but it can sometimes be done – a project like Blender 3D for musicians is at the top of my wish list.

The code is there, but the apps don't integrate very well (if at all) right now. Linux has an amazing software synthesizer, drum machine, soundfont player, and several okay-bit-slightly-iffy sequencers / hosts. No disrespect to the developers or Qtractor, LMMS, MuSE, Rosegarden et al but I haven't been able to make a single track with Linux without some fundamental flaw. Maybe it's just me that sucks...

karol wrote:

Have you tried to make FLStudio work in wine? http://blog.thecoreme.org/2013/07/01/fl … ough-wine/ says it can be done (FLStudio 11).

I really appreciate the help, but don't even go there. It may work in Wine, but IMHO it's still a commercial product that belongs on Windows. I have gone down the path trying to run Windows VSTs through dssi-vst or FeSTige, even VeSTige in LMMS and found nothing but a patch-managementless, crash-prone box of agony.

The native LV2 plug-ins are unstable enough as it is. It doesn't do a lot for your creativity when you have to save after every mouse click and do "pkill -9 qtractor" every few minutes.

Sanne wrote:

I don't know if it helps you, but just to say that it *can* work. If you need more info about my setup, just ask.

Thanks, I would be interested to compare notes. I started this thread in the hope that someone would argue that Qtractor and DSSI wasn't broken so I'll PM you shortly.


Wirth's law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster"

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#8 2014-03-21 16:03:01

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,427

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Modeler wrote:

Okay, just because it's Linux doesn't mean it has to be free / open-source, but it can sometimes be done – a project like Blender 3D for musicians is at the top of my wish list.

Once upon a time Blender was shareware http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blender_(software)#History :-)

Modeler wrote:

I haven't been able to make a single track with Linux without some fundamental flaw. Maybe it's just me that sucks...

IIRC, in https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=121095 some people said that they've just stopped doing music when they switched to Linux, so I guess it's not you.

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#9 2014-03-21 16:29:30

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,441
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Modeler wrote:

Call me a hippie but our musical creativity seems unnecessarily limited by budget. Case in point, as sexy as Bitwig Studio looks it is going to sell for $400 and I don't think many casual Linux users will part with that much wad.

I don't understand your point. A casual user of ANY operating system isn't going to spend that much money on audio software, because it wasn't desingned for them. It's for music professionals.

The Linux software you've been trying out CAN be configured to work correctly. The people who developed it didn't just say, "Well, I implemented this feature but it doesn't work. I'll release it anyway." Either ask a specific technical question about how to fix something or just use a distribution that preconfigured to work.

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#10 2014-03-21 21:03:35

Sanne
Member
Registered: 2012-03-13
Posts: 86

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Modeler wrote:
Sanne wrote:

I don't know if it helps you, but just to say that it *can* work. If you need more info about my setup, just ask.

Thanks, I would be interested to compare notes. I started this thread in the hope that someone would argue that Qtractor and DSSI wasn't broken so I'll PM you shortly.

Better stay in this thread so others can benefit also.


If our currency were not money but appreciation and acknowledgement for what we do for others, for the community, for the benefit of all, we would have paradise on earth.

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#11 2014-03-23 20:25:35

omer666
Member
Registered: 2011-01-26
Posts: 70

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

I produced a whole album with Ardour and FOSS plugins and I'm planning on recording/engineering/mixing yet another one with Ardour 3's MIDI support. I tried it with my USB keyboard and both Calf LV2 synth plugins and it just works. No configuration, no pain, no UbuntuStudio tongue

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#12 2014-03-24 00:28:56

triplesquarednine
Member
Registered: 2011-04-12
Posts: 630

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Interesting thread that any linux musician can relate to [at some point or another].

Modeler wrote:

Call me a hippie but our musical creativity seems unnecessarily limited by budget. Case in point, as sexy as Bitwig Studio looks it is going to sell for $400 and I don't think many casual Linux users will part with that much wad. Okay, just because it's Linux doesn't mean it has to be free / open-source, but it can sometimes be done – a project like Blender 3D for musicians is at the top of my wish list.

Well, I don't know any musicians / producers who would make a big deal out of spending $400 on Professional audio software or H/W [or musical instruments, etc]The fact is; $400 dollars doesn't go very far, if music production is your interest.... But on the other hand, i get what you are saying, but would add - Ableton Live, Protools, Bitwig Studio, etc - aren't for 'causal users' or any operating system; they are Professional Audio tools for musicians, producers and engineers [whom are accustomed to spending that kind of money on S/W, if not significantly more. [especially, when you start to get into H/W].

Modeler wrote:
karol wrote:

Have you tried to make FLStudio work in wine? http://blog.thecoreme.org/2013/07/01/fl … ough-wine/ says it can be done (FLStudio 11).

I really appreciate the help, but don't even go there. It may work in Wine, but IMHO it's still a commercial product that belongs on Windows. I have gone down the path trying to run Windows VSTs through dssi-vst or FeSTige, even VeSTige in LMMS and found nothing but a patch-managementless, crash-prone box of agony.

@Karol - I have FL Studio 11 running in Wine [mostly just for testing purposes]. It can run in Wine [and the MacOSX port of FL is using Wine/CX], but it comes with a few caveats, that i've noticed anyway; SMP has to be disabled in FL mixer, as it does some odd stuff with creating/destroying threads [it's likely due to Wine's lacking AVRT implementation]. There are also a handful plugins that don't work correctly and would need to be avoided. But after that, it is quite usable.... Reaper is probably the most solid DAW in Wine that i am aware of. [it gets lots of testing in Wine].

@Modeler - LOL. the 'crash-prone box of agony' comment was priceless [been there!] ... Regarding VSTs/commercial software in Wine: It can be done, is done, there has been and currently are companies who's business is running Commercial Windows Products in Wine / hardware. ~ that being said, Wine needs to be patched in a number of ways to get decent performance, stability and reliability out of it [and patched in other ways to fix bugs, add missing functionality, etc]. Also Wine by default won't have half of the necessary runtimes/dlls for most VSTs to work properly [and winetricks won't install the x64 ones, either - they must be done manually]... so yeah, lots of stuff seems broken, when in reality, it can work... I, myself run many commercial VST suites [N.I, ASS, u-he, Audio Damage, etc] in Wine(-l-pa) and have for a long time - if i wasn't able to, i would find it difficult to use Archlinux as my primary OS. [I would still be using a Mac, probably].

As far as working with MIDI / sequencing / DAWs - I have little experience with Qtractor [although i know a few people who love it/swear by it], but as Ardour3 has been improving, i have been using it for recording/sequencing. [ i route my (Wine) VST instruments into Ardour [and bus the odd effect], but also use many native FX plugins in Ardour's mixer. as there tends to be more quality linux FX plugins than softsynths/samplers/etc]. For just jotting down quick ideas, i tend to use Non-timeline + Non-sequencer.... Then to manage Jack + apps + connections + sessions -  i tend to use NSM because it seems to be the least painful session manager / easy to use.

just my 2 cents.

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#13 2014-03-24 03:59:59

mynis01
Member
Registered: 2011-04-29
Posts: 66

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Having used a large portion of the audio production apps available out there for Linux, I recommend AVLinux if you're opting to switch distributions. There's "out-of-the-box" configurations for nearly everything in there, including WineASIO which will allow you to run a lot of Windows VSTs in Linux. The only VSTs I had issues with were ones that had intrusive DRM. That being said, I'm looking forward to running Bitwig on Arch.

Last edited by mynis01 (2014-03-24 04:00:22)

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#14 2014-03-24 20:42:14

Zaxth
Member
Registered: 2014-03-24
Posts: 8

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Bitwig Studio releases in two days. It should have everything you need, including support for vst.

Last edited by Zaxth (2014-03-24 20:43:04)

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#15 2014-03-24 20:44:30

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,427

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Zaxth wrote:

Bitwig Studio releases in two days. It should have everything you need, including support for vst.

Modeler wrote:
karol wrote:

What exactly do you need?
Which DAWs have you tried out and in what ways were they lacking?

http://www.bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio - it's going to be released in a week.

I'm happy to use FL Studio on my Windows box, so I don't need anything as such. I'm interested in a free / libre sequencer and a range of plug-ins for all.

Call me a hippie but our musical creativity seems unnecessarily limited by budget. Case in point, as sexy as Bitwig Studio looks it is going to sell for $400 and I don't think many casual Linux users will part with that much wad. Okay, just because it's Linux doesn't mean it has to be free / open-source, but it can sometimes be done – a project like Blender 3D for musicians is at the top of my wish list.

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#16 2014-03-24 20:46:57

Zaxth
Member
Registered: 2014-03-24
Posts: 8

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

karol wrote:
Zaxth wrote:

Bitwig Studio releases in two days. It should have everything you need, including support for vst.

Modeler wrote:
karol wrote:

What exactly do you need?
Which DAWs have you tried out and in what ways were they lacking?

http://www.bitwig.com/en/bitwig-studio - it's going to be released in a week.

I'm happy to use FL Studio on my Windows box, so I don't need anything as such. I'm interested in a free / libre sequencer and a range of plug-ins for all.

Call me a hippie but our musical creativity seems unnecessarily limited by budget. Case in point, as sexy as Bitwig Studio looks it is going to sell for $400 and I don't think many casual Linux users will part with that much wad. Okay, just because it's Linux doesn't mean it has to be free / open-source, but it can sometimes be done – a project like Blender 3D for musicians is at the top of my wish list.

I'm ashamed I didn't see that, I just noticed his plight and wanted to inform him tongue

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#17 2014-03-24 20:51:53

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,427

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Zaxth wrote:

I'm ashamed I didn't see that, I just noticed his plight and wanted to inform him tongue

No problem. before posting you can search the page (and the previous too in case of longer threads) for the occurrence of a related term e.g. 'bitwig' in this case.



@Modeler
Is there a possibility that your problems with the music software are caused by bad graphics drivers, kernel issues etc?

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#18 2014-03-24 22:01:14

ooo
Member
Registered: 2013-04-10
Posts: 979

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

I really recommend renoise if you aren't afraid of tracker interface/workflow. probably one of the best featured DAWs for linux there is at this time.
They've had linux support for ~7 years, it's very fast and sleek, and I've never had any major bugs or issues using it apart from some early betas maybe.

It's not open-source, but the development is somewhat community driven, and it's not too expensive either (70€ or so if I'm not mistaken, and that includes updates for major release, i.e. if you buy the current 3.0 version you'll get updates until 4.0).
You can get the demo for free. There's no time limits or anything and it's full featured except you can't render your final song with the demo.

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#19 2014-03-25 09:05:40

Modeler
Member
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 2011-07-28
Posts: 62

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Many thanks to everyone for your replies. Sorry for being so stubborn re. VSTs in Wine; I'm speaking on behalf of anyone who wants to get creative without having a mountain of technical problems to climb. I need to look into MIDI sequencing Ardour 3 some more, maybe it's more mature than I realised.

Sanne wrote:

There's also a fluidsynth GUI in the calf plugin suite that looks even nicer.

Completely failed to notice that this existed, thanks. It is just what I needed.

I am not knocking Qtractor at all; I quite like it. If I can just get to the bottom of this DSSI GUI issue... Interestingly, I dug out my old laptop with a year-or-so-old copy of Arch and it worked fine! Even after a pacman -Syu... I will try to find the root cause and update this (and the other) thread.


Wirth's law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster"

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#20 2014-03-27 08:29:34

Modeler
Member
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 2011-07-28
Posts: 62

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Okay, I found the cause of the DSSI GUIs not firing up! I noticed that they were working on my old laptop, but not on any of the installs I had done recently. It was lucky discovery, but I found that DSSI was broken only when connected to my wifi network! I reckon I know why too:

less_trivial_synth: OSC URL is:
osc.udp://ThinkPad-T60p:17324/dssi/less_trivial_synth/LTS/chan00

host: Ready
less_trivial_synth_qt_gui starting...

DSSI plug-ins seem to communicate locally over UDP using the host name of the system. When connected to my wifi network, my router offers no dynamic DNS and since I wasn't using static IPs, my laptop could not longer resolve its own host name. This was causing the plug-in to hang.

From the DSSI RFC at http://dssi.sourceforge.net/RFC.html :

OSC is a simple message-based protocol intended for communications among sound devices. DSSI does not mandate any particular implementation of OSC, but it does require that it be based on a UDP transport (OSC itself is transport-independent).

So the fix was to add an entry in /etc/hosts for my laptop's host name and current IP (have since done a DHCP static reservation). Simple really but not easy to pin down.

I'm marking this thread as solved because this alleviates much of my frustration. Moreover, I'm feeling a lot of love for Ardour 3 right now. Give it a few weeks :-)

Thanks all.


Wirth's law: "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster"

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#21 2014-03-27 11:24:17

Sanne
Member
Registered: 2012-03-13
Posts: 86

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Woah, great find, and good to know! Thanks for the followup.


If our currency were not money but appreciation and acknowledgement for what we do for others, for the community, for the benefit of all, we would have paradise on earth.

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#22 2014-03-27 12:26:47

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,441
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Modeler wrote:

So the fix was to add an entry in /etc/hosts for my laptop's host name and current IP

Wait... Wait. WAIT. Do you mean to tell me that THIS was the solution??

AAARGH!!! I'm going to go PURGE that naughty information from the Beginner's Guide and PRINT it out just so I can BURN IT! mad

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#23 2014-03-27 13:10:08

ColdPie
Member
Registered: 2007-09-18
Posts: 41

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

drcouzelis: Please do. I have to set it in the hosts file to host certain servers on my local machine. It's definitely needed.

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#24 2014-03-27 13:32:50

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,441
Website

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Ok. I finished burning it.

I also made the edit to the wiki. smile

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#25 2014-05-29 01:42:09

mikeoracle
Member
Registered: 2014-05-29
Posts: 1

Re: [SOLVED] Music production in Arch Linux is like... AAARGH!!!

Does anyone know if the .deb for the full version of Bitwig can be repackaged for Arch using the PKGBUILD in the AUR? How hard would it be to modify? I haven't done anything with PKGBUILDs or the ABS yet, so it may be a fun project. I'm not gonna throw down $400 for the full version unless I know there's a possibility of getting it working, though.

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