Saturday, September 17, 2005

More Musix GNU+Linux

[Linux; UTUTO-e; Musix GNU+Linux 0.26; DAW]

Updated: 18 Sept. 2005

This is not a full review by any means, just some initial impressions...

My first thoughts are "Wow! This distro is slick, I need to install this to HDD and see what it can really do!" I have run it on both my AMD64 3000+/1GB RAM; SB PCI512 and my dedicated "Digital Audio Workstation" (AMD XP 2000+/256MB w/Realtek Avance ALC audio). In both cases, Jack works flawlessly. I mean, no XRUNS! Zero! Nada! And, this is running from the LiveCD. How can this be? I am amazed to say the least.

When I run DeMuDi from the HDD on the AMD64 this is the realtime response that I expect. On the Athlon? DeMuDi Jack performance is good, not perfect but really very good.

What are the Musix developers doing to the kernel to keep it rock solid in real time? More investigation is in order I think. Whatever it is, major props (does anyone still say that?) to them for getting it right!

The following remarks are from my look at Musix GNU+Linux running from CD on the Athlon XP system.

I played around with Rosegarden using our Yamaha MIDI keyboard... Flawless!

I tried to do a simple two-track recording in Ardour, but it didn't work. I ran out of memory. This is not surprising, I only have 256MB RAM to work with. Something as intense as Ardour is going to eat that up really quickly when running from a live disc.

Even when you start the session in english, some of the prompts you'll see will be in spanish. This was not a major issue however and the distribution is still very usable for me. Musix GNU+Linux is developed in Argentina--utilizing all free software (based on UTUTO)--I think they have done an admirable job in their translation efforts to make this very approachable for english speaking users.

After the CD boots, you are prompted to start the Xwindows manager of your choosing. The starten openbox option is worlds above dealing with DeMuDi in terms of desktop navigation, IMO. Musix GNU+Linux is (as far as I have discerned from my initial perusing) the Linux-based DAW as it should be, at the moment--there will always be room for improvements but Musix GNU+Linux is very solid & usable.

My only complaint so far is with their implementation of the Hydrogen drum machine application. It fails to start because it is missing some critical files that it needs. Checking the output to see what is missing, I am certain I can make it work if installed to HDD but not on this LiveCD unfortunately. I'm confident this issue will be resolved in the next release.

AGNULA/DeMuDi has been my DAW of choice and I have been happy with the results that I have obtained with it. I hope they take some notes from Musix GNU+Linux with regards to the user interface and whatever the Musix developers are doing to eliminate xruns. I am comfortable using DeMuDi. It's staying put, but I definitely foresee installing Musix to the HDD.

I have non-computer/non-Linux oriented friends that need a FLOSS DAW--the commercial audio tools are too costly. I am going to recommend that they take a good look at both AGNULA/DeMuDi and Musix GNU+Linux. I think they will be amazed at what they see in either of these distros, but I am betting they like the user interface in Musix the best. Take a look for yourself, tell me what you think.


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(...if it does not open automatically by clicking the link, cut & paste into Azureus --> File --> Open--> Location or CTRL+L)

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