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

Michael Bechard gothmagog at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 6 18:25:44 UTC 2013

I second the frustration on a lack of user feedback...


 From: Devin Anderson <surfacepatterns at gmail.com>
To: Dave Phillips <dlphillips at woh.rr.com> 
Cc: linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org; linux-audio-dev at lists.linuxaudio.org 
Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 11:09 AM
Subject: Re: [LAD] [LAU] So what do you think sucks about Linux audio ?
Hi Dave,

On Tue, Feb 5, 2013 at 6:58 AM, Dave Phillips <dlphillips at woh.rr.com> wrote:

> Not enough native plugins, esp. instruments.

I think this is one of the key problems with Linux audio.  Part of the
problem is that there is no clear mechanism for (non-developer) users
to create their own instruments.  Many VSTs are constructed with
modular DSP programs like synthedit and flowstone (formerly
synthmaker).  There's probably an opportunity here for Ingen or a new
graphical DSP program based on Faust to fill this hole.

In general, I think that Linux audio has a lot of tools that help
users to create music, but not a lot of tools that help users create
their own tools (e.g. instruments, plugins, sample libraries, etc.) to
help others to create music.

On the development side, I think Aurélien and others like him have the
right idea in taking instruments/plugins that are specific to a Linux
audio application and porting them to LV2.  There's a lot of awesome
instruments that are specific to applications (e.g. ALSA Modular
Synth, LMMS, etc.) that would generally be more useful if they were
LV2 plugins.

> Poor external/internal session management.

Interacting with external hardware can be frustrating.  Commercial
programs like Renoise account for external hardware in their workflows
(e.g. latency management, MIDI clock, MMC, etc.).  Most Linux Audio
apps don't do this.

> Too much conflict/fragmentation within the development community.

I've been trying to write something about conflict and fragmentation
for the past 10 minutes.  I think this is a complex issue.  I'm not
able to find the words to communicate about it right now.

> 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 ?

As a developer, I'm missing a couple things:

1.) User feedback.

I can't stress this enough.  I watch the download counts increase on
the applications I create, but I hardly ever get feedback.  I'm
discouraged and frustrated by the lack of feedback.

2.) Non-code developers

We have a lot of dedicated open source developers writing Linux audio
apps, plugins, etc., but I have yet to meet an open source UI
designer, or an open source graphic artist.  I think a lot of the apps
we create could benefit from the feedback of a user interface
experience expert.

There's probably more, but these are the two things that occur to me now.

Dave, this is an important topic.  Thanks for taking it on.

Devin Anderson
surfacepatterns (at) gmail (dot) com

blog - http://surfacepatterns.blogspot.com/
midisnoop - http://midisnoop.googlecode.com/
psinsights - http://psinsights.googlecode.com/
synthclone - http://synthclone.googlecode.com/
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