[LAD] A small article about tools for electronic musicians

Ralf Mardorf ralf.mardorf at alice-dsl.net
Wed Apr 28 09:16:49 UTC 2010

Louigi Verona wrote:
> Hey guys!
> Read it here:
> http://www.louigiverona.ru/?page=projects&s=writings&t=linux&a=linux_electronic 
> <http://www.louigiverona.ru/?page=projects&s=writings&t=linux&a=linux_electronic>
> Any comments are welcome.
> Cheers!
> L.V.

I don't agree completely. I'm doing several kinds of music, from 
hardrock and jazz playing guitars made of wood, to electronic music 
"constructed" by the sequencer. The only real annoying issue to me, is 
MIDI jitter when using the absolutely needed external equipment, as I 
often pointed out, there are no emulations, for no OS, for e.g. CME 
microchips used by Oberheim, Roland, Sequential etc.. Coders like Fons 
do say that this jitter shouldn't be audible, but it is, it's breaking 
every groove. Btw. jitter is a problem for other OS too, excepted of 
some very expensive solutions or for very oldish Computers such as the 
C64 or Atari ST.

I don't agree that electronic musicians do use overloaded effect chains. 
An experienced electronic musician should be an experienced audio 
engineer too. I do agree that for other OS there are "better" FX, but 
even for those OS there aren't effects that reach the quality of 19" 
rack FX. There's a limit for the quality of Linux FX at the moment, but 
OTOH listen to electronic productions, independent and mainstream, both 
are produced with "better" FX, but at the end most productions are in 
the bobo because of the idiotic usage of multi-band compressors. The 
disadvantages of Linux will give us the chance to focus to the more 
important things. Some time ago I pointed out, that music doesn't need 
automation for mixers, musicians need to control the dynamic etc. by 
playing OR BY EDITING the instruments.

Full ACK because of the GUIs, that's why I e.g. do use Qtractor instead 
of Ardour + Rosegarden and I'm always whining about basics like panning 
samples e.g. for fluidsynth. Today Linux audio lacks regarding to user 
friendliness OTOH other OS do lack because of ethics. Btw. I experienced 
that Linux do need much more resources, than other OS does, but IMO 
today this isn't a problem any more.


A very good Linux app, unfortunately similar to Qtractor, Jconv(olver) 
and others, it has been treated as an orphan by distros, even by audio 
distros, while users bagged to include packages.
And again the GUI, a problem for e.g. Jconv, there is a GUI, but this 
GUI has disadvantages.

Btw. it's needed that FX can be synced to sequencers, when changing the 
tempo delay edited by ms is bad, it's needed that FX can be synced by 
notes, instead of ms.

"Some decade ago composers did not have a whole lot more toys to tinker 
with." This isn't true, 19" equipment was more expensive, but even today 
no OS do reach the possibilities of this equipment. "it can synthesize 
any sound you want" no real and no virtual synth is able to do this, you 
need several synth.

You are aware that you e.g. don't need to roll knobs, but that you 
instead could move the mouse up and down?

I agree, even a ping-pong delay is hard to do, or better completely 
impossible, if it should be a very clean and hard ping-pong delay.

"in the hardware world a composer could've had only one or two to use 
for several of his albums" No, sharing synth with friends, having one 
expensive, but in addition low cost synth, because not all sounds needs 
to be fat.

Aaaaargh, could you please add "Change theme to white" at top of your 

2 cents,

More information about the Linux-audio-dev mailing list