[linux-audio-dev]converting old pc hardware to a live music performance toy

Dave Robillard drobilla at connect.carleton.ca
Thu Apr 15 13:42:14 UTC 2004

On 04/15/04 08:22:41, Ariel Sommeria wrote:
> Hi Everybody!
> I have some old pc hardware that I want to use for live music performance.
> To start with it would be an effects box, then if all goes well an expander,
> a sampler, and/or whatever other ideas I come up with. I was thinking of
> using a footswitch controller, with a few buttons and a wah-wah like pedal
> as a knob. I have yet to buy the controller so I'm open to suggestions. It
> would work with USB or MIDI, or better both. If MIDI, then I also need a
> MIDI input card. Ultimately I would like the software to be as compact as
> possible, so I can run it off a flash card instead of a hard drive. It would
> probably be without GUI, though I'm leaving this open.
> Now to the linux bit:
> There is all this cool stuff already programmed for linux that I could be
> able to tailor to my needs, so its worth looking at, it seems. And I am sure
> I am not the first one to come up with this idea. So would you have any
> suggestions on where to start?
> As you have probably gathered, I'm a newbie to Linux. But I'm not to
> programming, and I'm ok with doing some coding.
> bye,
> Ariel

Definitely go MIDI.  You just can't go wrong with MIDI, it's always going to  
work with everything forever.

As long as whatever controller (conventional or completely insane) you have is  
MIDI, you're set.  Most all linux audio apps support MIDI control to some  
extent, many support MIDI control of almost every possible parameter.

The ones that don't need too anyway, and it shouldn't be too hard a feature to  

For a MIDI controlled FX box, you probably want to check out jack-rack (for  
simpler chains) or AMS (for arbitrarily complex networks of effects).  Both  
allow mapping MIDI to most any control (AMS in a really nice easy way too, no  
remembering controller numbers etc.)

AMS can supposedly run without a GUI (there's a command line option for it  
anyway) even though at a code level the two aren't separated.  Not sure about  
jack-rack, but I have a feeling it can't.


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