[linux-audio-user] Re: Attracting more Linux audio developers

Rob lau at kudla.org
Tue Dec 12 19:22:42 EST 2006

On Tuesday 12 December 2006 14:30, david wrote:
> Mathias Friman wrote:
> > If there existed a one-mouseclick-install Linux audio
> > solution that ran VST-synths, had a latency of below 2 msec
> > and with an abundance of documentation and user following,
> > there would be no discussion. I personally think that it is
> > the amount of study-time and steep learning curve that
> > deters the people from adopting Linux.
> Most people are too lazy (or busy) to change once they've
> learned to do adequately what they need to do. They'll change
> if they must - e.g., their old computer died, they got a new
> computer with different software on it. But they're generally
> not going to change on their own, even if the software is
> free, better and easy to use. Look how many people still use
> Internet Explorer, even with other, better and more secure
> browsers a simple download away?

Such a package would be for people who DO try new things.  It 
would probably work best as a bootable CD.

If I had the time, I'd take that as a challenge... take Agnula or 
Demudi or whatever it's called nowadays, try to get a bunch of 
free-beer-ware VSTs working out of the box, set up a desktop 
that automatically has everything running and an intelligently 
laid out set of well-described applications, and try to make a 
bootable CD of it.  I'd make it just for myself and then post it 
for everyone else, because trying to get everything working 
under Mandrake and then Mandriva and now Ubuntu, without 
breaking my other hardware, has proven to require more time and 
expertise than I apparently have.  And I've been using Unix for 
20 years, Linux for 12.

Maybe someone will take up the mantle and do that.... maybe the 
Studio64 guys are already planning to do something like this.

> Also, how many professional musicians use PC hardware in
> performance? The only ones I've been close enough to see on
> stage (Al Dimeola, for instance) use Mac.

Music doesn't have to be about performance.  If I never perform 
for an audience in my entire life, I'll be fine with that, but 
I'd like to get more compositions recorded and maybe even finish 
a project.  I think with the rise of electronic music and to a 
lesser extent hip-hop, the parts of music creation that once 
took place in a studio -- composition, arrangement, recording, 
mixing -- are becoming the entirety of the process for a lot of 

That said, the artists who use machines on stage probably use the 
Mac because either (a) it's what their tech guy taught them to 
use, (b) it was easy enough for them to pick up on their own, or 
(c) they tried other things and had bad experiences with them.  
Just as 4-track recorders enabled an entire generation of 
musicians to make their own demo tapes (or in some cases, entire 
finished works,) Linux could very well make it possible for the 
next generation to use computers for music without spending the 
money on a Mac.  I guess it's more likely they'll just pirate 
Acid or Protools or whatever, because they heard of someone 
famous using them or saw someone else using them, but getting 
something totally turnkey would go a long way towards breaking 
that cycle.

Maybe thinking further outside the box and creating an interface 
that makes sense not to existing Windows or Mac users, but 
people who have never used computers and don't really like them, 
would give us an edge in that department.  The OLPC project is 
doing some interesting things with user interface with users 
like that in mind, though I suppose the needs of musicians are 
probably somewhat different than the needs of third-world kids.


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