[LAU] [RFC] A “poor man’s”, yet professional level studio setup

Sam Kuper sampablokuper at posteo.net
Thu Mar 4 17:55:05 CET 2021

On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 07:23:27PM +0100, Francesco Napoleoni wrote:
>> Here, I would do things differently.
> Certainly, Sam! I think it depends on your needs. In my reply to Len
> Ovens I tried to explain a bit better my current setup and my ideas on
> how to improve it.

I think my suggestion was pretty close ;)

Anyway, I have recently been researching options myself for having soft
synths (audio out) or audio effect plugins (audio in -> FX -> audio out)
hosted in a satellite computer outside of the PC that hosts the DAW.
E.g. a headless Raspberry Pi or other SBC, or a NUC-like thing.

As usual, I want to avoid proprietary approaches.

So to add a bit more detail to my previous messages to you, my possible
approaches (which may be of interest to you) include:

- Traditional approach: 5-pin (or 3-pin) MIDI to satellite, audio from
  satellite to DAW over analogue cables or S/PDIF or AES-EBU or ADAT
  lightpipe.  This is appealing.  Some SBCs have very low-latency
  analogue or digital audio I/O available:

- Audio over IP; MIDI probably also over IP.

  This has the obvious advantage of avoiding the need to buy soundcards;
  and will probably result in fewer cables over all, as you noted.

  I had already seen this FAQ: https://jackaudio.org/faq/netjack.html .
  But I just learned of Zita-njbridge, which also seems good:

  - https://directory.fsf.org/wiki/Zita-njbridge

  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URxTxY4xm3w

  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjIbCVujQFE

  And at some point I will try: https://github.com/Drumfix/avb4linux

- Hybrid approaches, combining aspects of traditional and IP approaches.

Of course, if I can increase the power of the main (DAW) PC to the point
where satellites aren't needed, then fine.  But that might not be
doable, or at least not without sacrificing flexibility (ability to
split rack into "live" and "studio-only" sections), silence,
portability, etc.


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