[LAD] [LAU] So what do you think sucks about Linux audio ?

Gabbe Nord gabbe.nord at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 16:12:17 UTC 2013

Let's hope this turns into a productive thread and not a flamewar, because
I think this really has potential.

My comments will be the way I see it, and how I understand it from other
musicians I've talked to about Linux audio and music production in general.

Generally, what I think is that what needs to be bridged is the knowledge
gap that hinders people from making the music they want. There are upsides
and downsides to using Linux in this sense, I do think it attracts more
technically proficient users and that that's a good thing in the long run,
but there's only so many of them. Musicians want to record and mess around
with music. They do not want to compile applications or scour the internet
for countless hours looking for suitable plugins.

I think most things can already be done in Linux, even with newer more
MIDI-based musical styels as electronic etc. The issue in my eyes lies with
having something unitary that you can just hand over to people and let them
start messing around themselves with minimal effort.

So in short, what I think is the main issues currently is basically lack of
documentation and "established workflows" that people can just simply get
into using. There's 10 ways to do one thing, and there's rarely information
available to find out easily to use either of the ways.

I got some plans for a small project that will revolve around just
providing a workflow for making electronic music, kind of like gathering
alot of information and provide easy access to a set of plugins, synths and
instruments that people just can start using. The plug-and-play idea I
guess. But that kinds of efforts is what I think is needed more, we do have
alot of very capable technology, people just need to know how to use it.
On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM, Dave Phillips <dlphillips at woh.rr.com> wrote:

> Greetings,
> I've been reading a lot of negative (read: vitriolic) commentary about the
> world of Linux audio development and applications. I won't bother to say
> where, just "the usual places" will have to suffice. Of greater interest to
> me is the commentary itself - it seems to boil down to the following
> plaints and lamentations (in no particular order) :
> Too many distros.
> Too many audio-optimized distros.
> Not enough native plugins, esp. instruments.
> Inconsistent support for VST/VSTi plugins.
> Too many unstable/unfinished applications.
> Too many  "standards" (esp. wrt plugins).
> Poor external/internal session management.
> Poor support for certain modes of composition (think Ableton Live).
> Lack of support for contemporary hardware.
> Confusion re: desktops, and GUI toolkits.
> Too difficult to set up audio system.
> JACK is a pain.
> Too much conflict/fragmentation within the development community.
> I'm not so interested in comments on the commentary, I have my own, but
> say what you will about the list. I figure that most denizens of these
> lists already have ready replies and responses to these and other
> criticisms, many of which have been voiced here previously. What I'm more
> interested in is what *you* think is missing most or just plain wrong about
> the situation. Please, try to speak your piece without flames or dissing
> other developers and/or their work. Frankly speaking, I've had enough of
> that crap, and I'm most thankful these days for such forum amenities as
> "mute user" and autodiscard, along with the standard filters found in mail
> clients.
> <aside>
> I'm reminded of John Cage's comments regarding the behavior of the NY
> Philharmonic when they destroyed his equipment during the premire of Atlas
> Eclipticalis, something to the effect that his concerns had ceased to be
> musical and had become social, i.e. that he had to figure a way to allow
> people to be free yet behave themselves with respect towards the common
> goal (e.g. Cage's music and property). I'm going to guess that he was still
> working on that up to his death.
> </aside>
> So, in your honest and bold opinion as user and/or developer, what do we
> lack most and what can we do without that we already have ? Please feel
> free to expand your remarks as you like. I'm planning an article on the
> topic and will likely use selected comments, subject to approval of course.
> Best,
> dp
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