Monday, July 30, 2007

Ubuntu Studio

One of my projects for this summer is to get my guitar (1995 Fender Standard Telecaster) and amplifier (1976 Fender Vibrolux Reverb) fixed and to do some home recording. I did a few recordings about 6 years ago on a Tascam 4 track tape recorder (you can find them on my UMD web page if you're interested, but bear in mind that I suck). However, audio production on Linux has progressed significantly in recent years---e.g., Ardour---so I figured I'd give it a whirl.

I despise compiling and configuring software by hand, so I was thrilled to discover the existence of Ubuntu Studio. The current release, 7.04, is essentially Feisty Fawn with a low-latency kernel and prebuilt binaries for all of the major audio/video/graphics applications, plus some cool new desktop themes. Through the magic of apt-get, it was a matter of three shell commands to upgrade my home machine to Ubuntu Studio. (Plus 400 MB of downloads through my DSL connection, of course.) The only hitch was breaking X because I didn't get the restricted binary kernel modules for the new kernel (nvidia drivers, alas). Once that was fixed I was in business. People talk about whether or not Linux is ready for the desktop. I think Ubuntu has not only answered this question with a resounding yes, but proven that it is a better desktop system than Windows many times over.

I haven't tried out Ardour yet, since I'm still waiting for my guitar and amp to come back from the shop, and also for the soundcard (M-Audio Delta 1010LT) I won on ebay to arrive. Thanks to Ubuntu and Ubuntu Studio, I'll be ready when they all arrive.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

In reply to your comment about is Ubuntu ready for the Desktop, I believe the same as you. Also, for the laptop! Linux has come a far way in little time from what I've seen, and Ubuntu has been the easiest and friendliest OS to use on my laptop, both for use and resources. I can run Ubuntu on literally 1/4 of the resources I currently have without a problem. When it comes to desktop effects, I can run WAY more than Vista has and still stay under the requirements of resources that XP needs. I do love Ubuntu. The only issue is an iPod won't work in Ubuntu (at least not the newest ones, because I hear Apple has changed the MDsums to try to get rid of the OpenSource using them, or something to that matter), and Quicken. I've yet to find a program as full-featured (at least all the features I use) as Quicken. I'll keep searching though.