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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
Doing Music using Puppy Linux
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 2007
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed 16 Aug 2017, 17:34    Post subject:  Doing Music using Puppy Linux
Subject description: is a pain for real
 

Hi.

I was doing a lot of work for months on my Audio Recording Suite program, which is a project file (.ars) based Graphical User Interface for the use of 60+ different Audio and MIDI Programs in Puppy Linux. It is created in T.O.P.L.E.S.S. LazY Puppy 5.4.2 based on Puppy Tahr 6.0.2 and setup for the use in Puppy Tahr 6.0.2 and 6.0.5, the 32bit versions. It is written in shell script (bash) using gtkdialog for the Graphical User Interface.

Current list of programs included into Audio Recording Suite 2017.1.0:

aeolus, amsynth, ardour2, ardour3, audacity, beast, bristol, BRP_PACU, calfjackhost, din, drumkv1_jack, fmit, foo-yc20, freebirth, freqtweak, gtick, gtklick, guitarix, helm, hexter, horgand, hydrogen, jackeq, jack-keyboard, jack-rack, jamin, jkmeter, jmeters, jnoisemeter, lmms, meterbridge, mscore, muse, mx44, nekobee, patchage, petri-foo, phasex, qjackctl, qsynth, qtractor, rakarrack, rosegarden, samplv1, setBfree, seq24, sineshaper, sooperlooper, specimen, spek, synthv1, terminatorX, tetraproc, timemachine, timidity, tk707, traverso, yoshimi, zynaddsubfx

All programes are placed in .sfs modules as I like to run Puppy in RAM only. Almost all programs are downloaded from the 32bit Ubuntu Trusty Tahr repository - except Helm which was downloaded straight from its website. A very few -which I can't recall actually- I just found them by Linux Synths Website and then downloaded from linked websites.

In Audio Recording Suite all connections to JACK are automated and presets/songs/templates for the different Audio and MIDI Programs can be chosen/selected from within the Audio Recording Suite GUI before executing a program (like qtractor, zynaddsubfx etc.)

So, after everything seemed to work properly I started using programs like rosegarden, ardour (2 & 3), horgand, helm and many more; I really was looking forward to it and its outcoming results.

But this wasn't what I'd expected as for its outcoming results!

Lots of those programs (especially the software synthesizers) do work and can be used by a MIDI-Keyboard - which is the good part of the story.

The bad part of the story is:

- many programs do crash frequently (e.g. Rosegarden on top of the list)
- many synthesizers aren't able for the use in a multitrack MIDI setup (e.g. sending/receiving just all channels)
- some plugins crashing programs (e.g. Calf and Audacity!)
- some programs don't want to recognize my external (real) synthesizers (e.g. Ardour)

After a long road of testing and crashings I found some programs that are usable in a multitrack MIDI setup and seems to work for a long distance without crashing:

audacity 2.1, bristol 0.60.11, hexter 1.0.2, hydrogen 0.9.6, qjackctl 0.3.10-2, qtractor 0.5.11-3 and zynaddsubfx 2.4.3-4

Though, there's some exceptions on the bristol synthesizers:

- bit99 receives MIDI data only on channel 1
- bit100 receives MIDI data only on channel 1
- bitone receives MIDI data on all channels
- cs80 doesn't receive MIDI data, doesn't connect to JACK
- granular doesn't receive MIDI data, doesn't connect to JACK
- monopoly no sound, receives and connects though
- poly800 no sound, receives and connects though
- voyager crashes on changing parameters

However, meanwhile I'd setup a basic collection of programs for the use in my current MIDI setup. Mainly I'm using hexter 1.0.2 (dssi plugin software synthesizer), hydrogen 0.9.6 (drum sequencer), qjackctl 0.3.10-2 (JACK control), qtractor 0.5.11-3 (audio- & midi sequencer) and zynaddsubfx 2.4.3-4 (software synthesizer), as I do own three external synthesizers - so, many sounds to use. Those synthesizers are pretty well connected to MIDI and immediately playable when using qtractor (I'd setup a song/template that loads first).

It's by now a nice little setup of a few programs making me able to do some music in Puppy Linux by home recording, though this doesn't need to have something like Audio Recording Suite as a wrapper/starter and so I'd quit this project completely.

I really like Puppy Linux and my creations out of it. Though next time, when there's a need for me to setup a new Music Studio in Linux, I will try to use one of the major distributions since there will be no need to compile programs especially for that version of Linux.

_________________
RSH

"you only wanted to work your Puppies in German", "you are a separatist in that you want Germany to secede from Europe" (musher0) Laughing

No, but I gave my old drum kit away for free to a music store collecting instruments for refugees! Wink
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 2007
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug 2017, 22:19    Post subject:  

After one of my internal hard disk drives had crashed the order of my drives had changed. So, my boot drive which was /mnt/sde1 for years now turned into /mnt/sdd1. Usually my daily used data was stored on /mnt/sde1 and /mnt/sde2 which now turned into /mnt/sdd1 and /mnt/sdd2.

I just found out:

- Qtractor doesn't find its MIDI files anymore after loading a project
- there's no information about this issue after the project is loaded
- there's no automated function to search for the missing MIDI files of the current loaded project
- there's no manually option to search for the missing MIDI files of the current loaded project
- there's just a function to import MIDI tracks, which is in fact crap on the use of restoring a qtractor project

Doing music in Puppy Linux (or probably in Linux generally?) is a ugly pain!

When I'm using my Cubase LE4 under WinXP Cubase gives immediately information about missing files plus offering a function to search for those missing files. So restoring a project is pretty easy and simple.

_________________
RSH

"you only wanted to work your Puppies in German", "you are a separatist in that you want Germany to secede from Europe" (musher0) Laughing

No, but I gave my old drum kit away for free to a music store collecting instruments for refugees! Wink
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Smithy


Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 779

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug 2017, 05:28    Post subject:  

Hi RSH, it can be a real pain in the initially, but when you have a setup welded in puppy with qtractor and jack, then it's just a couple of clicks to get going.

I presume you didn't save your songs as .QTZ files?

QTZ is what you want. It saves all your audio and midi in a self contained file along with all the settings for the song. It is an archived compressed file.

So you can copy that QTZ file anywhere you like, to another drive usb stick etc and qtractor will load it up with everything you recorded.

I learned that one using the .QTS file format and having similar trouble to what you are experiencing...

BTW, do you know of a Puppy that has PROPER QT5 in it?
Or even better a pet or sfs for pupjibaro or around that kernel version.

I can't get any of the newer Qtractor's to work (Rui Capello started to make them as qt5 first, qt4 with a compile tweak). I've only been able to get as far as version 0.6.0 march 2014 and now it is on 0.8.3 with fixes and stuff.
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LazY Puppy


Joined: 21 Nov 2014
Posts: 2007
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun 27 Aug 2017, 19:11    Post subject:  

Hi Smithy.

Usually I'm storing all qtractor projects as .qtr files. Had already noticed the .qtz option at save, though I didn't see any benefits to use this. Of course, I will try to save as .qtz at my next use of qtractor to hopefully avoid such trouble in future projects.

Thanks for the hint! Smile

For some reasons I have to stick with my T.O.P.L.E.S.S. builds of tahr puppy (32 and 64), so I can't say anything about qt5 and/or newer versions of qtractor.

Again thanks.

_________________
RSH

"you only wanted to work your Puppies in German", "you are a separatist in that you want Germany to secede from Europe" (musher0) Laughing

No, but I gave my old drum kit away for free to a music store collecting instruments for refugees! Wink
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