[LAU] To improve Linux audio tools: a Blender like idea

Francisco López lopezfrancisco1985 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 10:29:18 EDT 2009

I think the problem has to do with what kind of "production" work are we
talking about.

If we were talking about recording a band, mixing it and mastering it, then
I'd say we are pretty much ready: Ardour + ladspa + jamin and off you go.
Of course, an equivalent project to Durain should help improving a lot of
the software (and even there is still room for improvement, let's be
honest). The "Open Movie Project" of the Blender Foundation is designed with
that in mind: they tackle specific production problems they KNOW are in
blender, and use a real production (with a high quality standard and real
deadlines, that it's going to be distributed "in the real world") to work
them out and test the solutions.

And even though I thnk Free Software is ready for a "professional recording,
mixing and mastering", the situation is far behind from Blender.
I work a little in 3D and, in that Field, Blender is not just about the
enthusiastic, or the "open source advocates": it's a tool people consider
alongside any other. Everybody knows about it. They complain a little bit
about the interface but it doesn't seem to be a major problem. OK, it's not
the most widley used, but everyone knows it and a lot of people had at least
played around with it. And some people is actually using it for the day
If I talk about Ardour, Ladspa, Rosegarden, LV2 or Jamin in the
"professional audio world", then 99% of the people I'd talk with wouldn't
have any idea what I was talking about.
It'd be a good idea to see what's the difference between the free audio
software and Blender AND between the audio and the 3D community that leads
to this two scenarios.

The other thing to consider is what I said earlier, the kind of job we are
talking about:
The Blender Open Movie projects require this ridiculous Hollywood type of
- Fake but HUGE orchestral sound (may I remark HUGE?).
- A lot of mood and tempo changes.
- Perfect Sync wiht video.
- The possibility to mix down the same work to stereo AND different
multichannel outputs (5.1, 7.1, etc).

I'm really no expert and never intended to make THAT kind of work, but I
think we'll encounter some technical issues if we try to do that with free
audio software under linux.
For starters, it should require a lot of Library Stacking. Do we have a LOT
of different great quality orchestral free sample libraries?
Do we have software that would allow, in a comfortable workflow, to work
wiht this different stacks of sample material. Could we sequence that by
midi in a way we can have tempo and mood swings all around the place while
syncing it in video?

And that's just the things I can think of, not ever being even nearly
interested with that kind of job. I'm pretty sure someone that's more "in
the know" would find a lot more things to consider.

If we were thinking of another kind of score (wiht a more synthetic sound,
for starters) then form some reason I have the feeling we can pull it off.
We wouldn't be 100%, but we could pull it off and improve the software while
at it.

But are we in the same situation that Blender is in the 3d field?
I don't think so.

But hey, that's not exactly a bad thing. Actually, is what makes me so
excited about free audio software in the first place: there's a lot to be
done, I feel like I grow WITH the tools.

There's a great future, but I think it's a good thing we start to think
seriously about this stuff...

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