[LAA] Nama multitrack recorder-mixer, Debianized

Joel Roth joelz at pobox.com
Sun Jun 13 01:21:18 UTC 2010

Hi Everyone,

This mail announces the 1.062 release of Nama, an Ecasound-based
multitrack recorder, mixer and mastering tool.

New features, several code refactorings and uncounted bug
fixes make this version the best evar. There is also a

The Debian package, newly available through the Debian 'unstable'
repository, should work on 'stable' and 'testing'
distributions as well.

Nama is also available from CPAN, the Comprehensive
Perl Archive Network.

-- Basics --

Nama adds a text-based user interface and DAW-like concepts
to the Ecasound audio processing engine.  

Nama benefits from Ecasound's reliability, maturity and
flexibility, while saving the user from Ecasound's learning
curve. Although Nama has its own learning curve, it is
designed to make easy things easy, and some hard things
easy, too.

Since it does not depend on X, Nama is suitable for console
users, headless systems, and low-power CPUs. It could also be
used for comparative recording tests in situations where 
video card interrupt conflicts are suspected.

-- Some details --

Nama works seamlessly with ALSA and JACK. 

LADSPA plugins are automatically detected, and may be found
through Nama's help system by name or keyword.

Nama has an optional, ugly-duckling GUI that can handle
basic recording, mixing and fx-processing.

I'd like to acknowledge Julien Claassen for his thorough
testing, numerous suggestions and overall encouragement.
He's recently used Nama to produce some excellent
-- Features List --

+ Pre- and post-fader send buses 

  These are mainly for instrument monitor use, allowing
  each musician to have her own custom mix.
  A send bus duplicates all user track signals. Each
  musician can adjust volume/pan/effects set to suit.

+ Sub buses

  Useful for mixing groups of signals before
  they arrive at the mixer provided by the Main bus 
+ Post-fader inserts with wet/dry control

  Track signals can be routed signals through external JACK
  clients such as jconverter, or through the soundcard to
  analog effects. 

+ Track freezing 

  Like mixdown on a per-track basis, it can be helpful in
  setups with many effects and limited CPU resources.  The
  'cache' command records a new version of the current track
  with all effects applied. The 'uncache' command sets the
  previous version with the original effects.
+ Effect chains

  Nama's version of presets. An effect chain can be any
  or all track effects with current parameter values.

+ Effect profiles

  A group of effect chains for multiple tracks can be
  stored under one name.

  For example, "new_effect_profile Mastering jpop" stores
  effect chains for all tracks in the Mastering group as "jpop".

+ Track effects bypass/restore

+ Graph-based routing system

  Nama now has a more capable graph-based routing system
  that replaces the original rule-based system.  Nodes
  of the graph are used to represent tracks, signal sources
  and signal sinks. Edges indicate signal paths. Nama adds
  loop devices to the graph as needed, a significant 
  convenience compared to hand-configured Ecasound.

  The new routing system should also make it straightforward
  to build in latency compensation.

+ Two interfaces to Ecasound

  Nama will use libecasoundc via Brad Bowman's Audio::Ecasound
  module if it is available.  Otherwise, Nama will run
  Ecasound in server mode and communicate via the Net-ECI
  interface. This has no effect on the user interface.

-- Bugs and Limitations

  Nama does *not* have a graphic waveform display. 
  Fortunately you have many alternatives to choose from
  if you need this capability.

  All file IO in Nama uses the WAV file format.

  I just discovered that when Nama is installed from Debian,
  interrupting the program requires a Ctrl-C *plus some
  additional keystroke* to exit.

-- Installation --

+ For Debian 'unstable' systems

  apt-get install nama

  (Something similar is possible for other Debian
+ From CPAN

  cpan Audio::Nama
  cpan Tk            # to use the GUI

+ Browse or build from github[3]

+ Browse at CPAN[4]



[1] http://freeshell.de/~bolangi/nama
[2] http://juliencoder.de/nama/
[3] http://github.com/bolangi/nama
[4] http://search.cpan.org/dist/Audio-Nama/

Joel Roth

More information about the Linux-audio-announce mailing list