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DeMuDi Linux 92

Sleen writes: "DeMuDi stands for Debian Music Distribution. This is the first distribution of GNU/Linux whose sole purpose is to create a stable OS for Multimedia. The project is led by Guenter Gieger who is the developer of the Linux low latency driver for the RME Hammerfall 96xx series. Combined with realtime kernel patches, the Hammerfall card in Linux can achieve hardware level latencies. Though many are already using Linux to make music, Guenter has started this project to consolidate the decentralized resources needed for setting up a linux system for multimedia. Drivers, applications, a realtime kernel and many other things are missing from the typical linux distro. If anyone wonders what is available to work with, take a look at the packages page. They include multitrack hard disk recording software, physical modelling and virtual analog synthesizers, beatboxes, midi sequencers, processors, and Advanced Open Architecture Synthesis systems such as Csound. For more information such as project details, a mailing list and contact info visit"
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DeMuDi Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    For nonlinear, nondestructive audio and video editing, check out Broadcast 2000 [], which is stable and has a good reputation. It's included in this distro, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    For the record, there are as far as i can tell NO music synthesis programs for mac os x at this point. Cubase is the only nonlinear digital mixing system that i have seen that seems to even have a plan on Mac OS X migration, and they have NO timetable-- they are simply "looking into the possibility" in case demand should arise at some point. Neither Cubase nor Protools will even work in *classic* (as if classic wasn't enough of a hassle anyway), and i suspect Reason and MAX/MSP fare little better (though i have not tried them). A few shareware sound editing apps have been carbonized-- for example, Amadeus, which is shaping into a very nice sound editing program (it can even do VST plugins now) even if it can't do tracking-- except that they are still hamstrung in a number of ways. For example, i have yet to see ONE application capable of recording audio which has been able to implement an audio playthrough option into their record feature under mac os x-- including carbonized apps such as amadeus which have playthrough in their classic versions! I have begun doing some work with protools free recently, and must boot into OS 9 every time i wish to record *anything*, much less mix.

    I am not aware of any MIDI hardware or software that has drivers available for mac os x at this point-- but then, because i can't find any software to use the hardware with, i haven't been looking very hard. (If you can point me toward any MIDI hardware where the company DOES have a commitment toward os x compatibility, PLEASE let me know, as i am in the market for a cheap os x compatible midi keyboard!!).

    As of now, OS X's audio capabilities are completely undeveloped. This may have something to do with the fact that the APIs seem to have only recently stabilised, and there has been little time for porting to take place; i don't know. Either way the process of moving the Macintosh as a platform for digital audio recording and editing into the world of OS X has not, from where i am standing, even *begun*, much less reached a point where it even begs COMPARISON to something like DeMuDi, which by contrast to os x seems to be an INCREDIBLY mature platform for professional musicians.

    Pity, because i started looking through the CoreAudio/CoreMIDI API documentation yesterday, and it seems like a *really* nice programmer's interface. Well, we'll wait and see..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It would be good if there was a dedicated linux distrobution for all computing tasks. For a firewall there is trinux, for a good all round server there is redhat, and now for multimedia there is demudi, all we need now is a dedicated distrobution for business users, and for gamers.
  • THis isn't the first "musicians can't edit conf files" post I've seen in this thread, and I'm curious as to where this attitude comes from. You say:

    "Musicians are very, very rarely computer jockeys, and being weaned on the MacOS and Win32, most of them will shit a brick when if they have to deal with the CLI or edit a .conf file."

    On what do you base this? It would seem that there is a lot of evidence to the contrary: musicians were the first artists to really embrace computers, there is a long history of musician-hackish tendency crossover, modern electronic music gear requires loads of tinkering that people who do music on computers are often drawn to. Have you ever used a modern keyboard? It's ridiculous. Open a KB magazine and the articles are all "OS patch this, Driver revision that". Very computer-techy.

    Have you ever used an old keyboard? OO design before CS had it, exactly. Modular/old-analog synths (esp. machines like the Korg MS-20) had the whole OO pattern down with data/functionality hiding, modularization, message passing, many musicians are quite fluent in these concepts.

    I'm not trying to argue with you or "set right a common misconception" or anything, I just see this a completely different way from the way you and many /.'ers seem to. Why do you think musicians aren't technical. I'd argue that of all artists, they tend to be the *most* technical, and if you had to draw any subgroup of society but CSers, programmers, and engineers, I'd think the group best able to deal with a computer would probably be musicians. Yes, even over other scientists like physicists and biologists.

    Have you ever seen Max or MSP? I've seen some shitty code by engineers and physicists, but the code some of those musicians are basically writing in Max is pretty good.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    These types of developments excite me because of the good things they say about the flexibility of linux, but I think that there may be a drawback to this level of specialization for linux as a whole, and an alternative that can avoid this drawback.

    Maintaining a distribution requires a lot of overhead beyond its primary focus. Things like updating system packages, maintaining compatability lists of entire systems of packages, documentation, and etc. fall into this category. This overhead is present in all distribution development alike, and uses up precious developer time. What this means is that if there are distros for every single specific task from pr0n viewing to juice-carton designing, then this overhead will take its toll on the the linux development community for every single one of those distros. The work that must be done to take care of the overhead is work that has already been done by every other distro.

    To put it mathematically, suppose the overhead in maintaining a distro needs the work of 10 dedicated people, and suppose there is a total of 100 developers for linux. If you have one very flexible distro, you will have 10 people working on the overhead, and 90 people working on the good stuff such as web browsers, editors, GUI toolkits, etc. But if there are 5 distros total, you will need 50 developers to work on the overhead altogether. They will all be duplicating the work done by the other overhead-workers. This would only leave 50 people to work on the good stuff. We need good stuff more than duplicated effort.

    The only solution I see to this is simply for people who want to roll their own specific linux distro to try instead to modify existing distros, building ontop of the existing infrastructure. Does apt-get install task-audio-studio or task-ipmasq-firewall or task-thinclient sound good to anyone else? :D

  • The point of this distro is not to solve the age-old mysical problem of linux: no apps.

    The point of this distro is to put linux in a *much better* position to become an architecture for development of *hardware-based* music systems using open source tools.

    This distro should be at the *end* of the MIDI chain, not trying to drive the front of it.

    (In my opinion, software sequencing is held in too high regard by musicians. try playing synth music *live* as much as possible, and see where that takes you for a while... but I digress...)

    I'm excited by this distro because it means that with the right tools, and good MIDI *input* capabilities, I could write a pretty fucking amazing hardware sampler system...

    Better than Emu. Better than Akai. And yes, even better than the Yamaha samplers.

  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:50AM (#74543)
    Music production requires a decent amount of hardware to work right, particularly for those that like to play a instrument directly to a digital version (ala midi keyboards). Notoriously a heavy OS can get in the way as to increase latency and reduce the quality of the final product. Linux is well suited since the OS can be very small and avoid latency. I'd love to see a similar project used for video technologies too; sure Linux doesn't have a Premiere-like program, but if someone develops the groundwork for a sleek kernel to avoid interrupting digital real-time editing, someone will write the necessary tools.

  • Get a soundcard that does hardware mixing. The Trident 4DWave NX series of cards do this quite nice and cheap. You get 32 audio devices to play with (i.e. you can open up to 32 audio apps simultaneously). Of course you can run esound as one of the 32 to increase this in software. The Live! cards supposedly do this too. All this with ALSA [] drivers of course.

  • Too bad linux is still stuck with single threaded X.

    That's not the problem, your videocard is not threaded so a multithreaded X server will not buy you any significant speed increase.

    A good multi-threading windowing toolkit is whats needed. Qt 3.0 is supposed to fill this gap, However I've had very good results with GTK+ too. I ported some code over from BeOS and it runs beautifully under Linux/X. Unfortunately GTK+ uses one big fat global app lock for GUI threading but with careful design you can get impressive results .

    And I don't think musicians will be happy with the idea that they need to install a patch in order to get low latencies. It should be default so that developers can just assume everyone will have it.

    That is coming in the 2.5.x kernel series. But don't let that stop you to start experimenting :)

    -adnans (who just recorded another 2 hours of video + audio under linux, without dropping a single frame :)
  • Would it be a reasonable task to cull the pachage list to act as a stereo component-style MP3 player? (attractive component-looking case not included)
  • I think musicians more than most computer users would be willing to use whatever it takes to get the job done, putting aside the stuff they've used before to try something new.

    VST support would probably be the easiest to achieve, as VST plugins are already cross platform (Mac and Win) although I don't know the details of how painful it is to port one. DXi would be a little more difficult but having seen Windows avi codecs interfaced to in Linux, ActiveX controls and the WINE project, I wouldn't be surprised to see wrappers for the Windows DXi plugins and VST instruments.

    Oops, reading Ardour's features page [] bears my point about VST but introduces some IP stupidity on the part of Steinberg.

    Chris Cothrun
    Curator of Chaos

  • it would be nice if Be Inc supported it too. Too bad linux is still stuck with single threaded X. And I don't think musicians will be happy with the idea that they need to install a patch in order to get low latencies. It should be default so that developers can just assume everyone will have it.
  • also known as the Eunuchs operating system
  • almost all of the QNX is just ported from linux so why not just use the real thing instead?
  • But, to quote the ad, I'm "sick of crashing." Especially while I'm recording something. ;-)
  • The main thing here is the low latency patch. Linus refuses to admit it to the kernel because it's kind of a kludge (but not really all *that* bad). Many musicians might not know how to patch a kernel or even install a binary kernel safely. If you *can* do it yourself, it's probably a better solution.
  • Check out the MusicKit (from the good 'ole days of NeXT) here []. It's a OO framework that combines the flexibility of Music 'N' systems (like CSound) with realtime control of MIDI. Plus, a Linux/GNUstep port is being worked on.
  • I know that this is not going to be answered, but will be marked a +1 or -1 on /., but when I think of needing a Realtime or Hard Realtime system I have always used QNX. Why would someone want to use Linux, and patch everything in sight and work so hard to make Linux a pseudo-"real-time" system for use with your system?

    I think it's for several reasons.

    First, QNX has a reputation as being for embedded systems. Consequently, most of the developers in Free Software music circles think of it as being for those "weird" marketing types who want to make internet washing machines available--not for serious musicians. Also, most of us aren't interested even in "embedded" music applications. We're more interested in a regular general purpose computer that hosts a lot of useful but separate applications. It's just kind of a mindset that prevails.

    Second, there's probably even less sound card support for QNX than there is for Linux. Especially in the high end (which is all that really matters in this case). Plus, we've already almost got ALSA ready. ;-) And quite a few apps already in common use and more on the way.

    Third, the latencies with Linux are so good now (with Andrew Morton's patch) that hard real time doesn't even seem worth the trouble for something like this.

    Finally, QNX just doesn't have the mindshare that Linux has and this probably counts for more than anything else. I think NeXTSTEP should be ruling the desktop right now and we should all be using BetaMax instead of VHS. Kinda sucks, but that seems to be the way things usually work out.

  • At school, we're using Deck and Peak on a Power PC. (We've had a lot of problems with it. Although, not as many as with our DAT deck that nobody will CLEAN!) Elsewhere, I've used everything from Win 3.1 to Win 95. Haven't tried 2k yet, though. At any rate, Ardour + RME Hammerfall works quite nicely. ;-)
  • by szo ( 7842 )
    BeOS has nothing to do with linux. It's a completely different OS.

  • Not to point out the glaringly obvious but I hardly think something named (expanded) *DEBIAN* Music Distrobution is a "start-from-scratch" proposition. And completely replacing your kernel, and (probably) other major software with real-time versions, as well as a different orientation (probably easier setup, we all know musicians aren't techies ;-), etc, does constitute a good reason for forking the distro, at least for a while. Maybe once they get it all shaken out and the bugs worked out they will merge back, but at least for now it is a wise idea.

  • (Note that since the site is EXTREMELY slow I can't browse the list of packages, so maybe I'm missing something).

    This reminds me a lot of BeOS. Be is very, very well suited for music and other media production. But the hardware and major software support never materialized, so it didn't catch on. Unless companies like Cakewalk, Steinberg, and Logic start porting their apps to this new distro, it really won't matter how kickass the OS is. Maybe if VST or DXi support was available in the OS, things might be a little more attractive to potential developers.

    I suppose that you *could* see some pickup in use if tools in the same league as those released by the companies above is developed for this distro. On the other hand, the Gimp is available for Linux, and I still don't run into many serious graphic designers who use it instead of Photoshop. Most folks are gonna stick with what they know unless there is a compelling reason for them to switch.

    I'm also a little worried about the issues of useability that normally pop up with Linux distros. Musicians are very, very rarely computer jockeys, and being weaned on the MacOS and Win32, most of them will shit a brick when if they have to deal with the CLI or edit a .conf file.

  • by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <> on Thursday July 19, 2001 @09:40AM (#74559) Homepage Journal
    I thought EMACS was to text editing what a howitzer is to precision shooting:)

    (I use emacs, so don't get all pissy)
  • To be a legitimate digital audio/midi sequencer box for either home enthusiast or actual studio, Linux needs some really good sequencing software. Something like cakewalk or cubase. The last MIDI sequencer I used was really behind (not that I blame them).

    Is anyone working on this? I've considered it, but the MIDI spec is pretty daunting looking to me....
    Have you looked at Quasimodo [] yet? It's definately something to think about if you're doing serious sequencing work.

  • All we need now is a Linux version of ReBirth 338 and the distro should be complete.
    Check out gsyn [] or Green Box [] if you want a ReBirth-type solution under Linux.

  • by rufus t firefly ( 35399 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:52AM (#74562) Homepage
    The most surprising thing was that Ardour was packaged and included in that distribution ( []). For those who don't know, ardour is Paul Barton-Davis's professional DAW software package, and is quite possibly the most important professional audio application available for Linux.

    So many of us have had problems setting ardour up. This is definately a godsend to anyone looking to do professional audio work, which is consistently overlooked when people are designing operating systems and environments.

    I wonder how long until this story is overrun by "Linux audio SuX! Use BeOS!" or "Mac RuLeZ!" posts...


  • by rufus t firefly ( 35399 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @09:04AM (#74563) Homepage
    Are these multitracking / hard disk recording packages new? And for this distro only? Are there user reviews of any of these packages?
    Are these multitracking / hard disk recording packages new? And for this distro only?

    Are there user reviews of any of these packages?

    I'm still using a Mac and Deck or ProTools for multitracking / hard disk recording and would love a stabler, though just-as-able alternative ...

    BeOS looked real good for awhile - especially Pebbles - but things have way slacked off. Any additional, personal usage info would be great.
    If you're looking for multitracking, you can use either Broadcast2000 [] (which is fairly limited, since it doesn't use ALSA, AFAIK) or Ardour [] (which is very far in development).

    I believe that both are included in this distribution (check the package list if you're not sure).


  • Is that any better?
  • I don't know what to think about these specialized distros. If someone makes a distro for this, and someone else makes a distro for that, when what do I do if I want to do both? Do I need two computers?
  • I believe the low-latency patches give latencies of the order 1-2ms. RTlinux is overkill for this type of problem, and requires specialised hardware support in the form of new drivers for the soundcards. AFAIK, no commonly used cards have RTlinux driver support...and there are no audio apps that use the RTlinux API either.
  • This will definitely give us a good solid dedicated multimedia box, but what I for one really want is my current distro - which is is running a fairly lean, fast kernel - with all these applications added. I'm quite happy to shut down any resource hogging processes while I record/mix/edit etc, but I can't really be bothered setting up a whole new box just for this, or wiping my one as it's quite happy right now.

    I'm sure other users are the same - it'll only be the dedicated music makers who will go to these lengths. Of course, maybe us part timers have no need of such low latency, I mean I use Cubase on my Windows partition pretty successfully, but aside from that and Unreal Tournament I would rather dump that partition completely.

    Of course, at the moment I have no sound support at all:) A 1.2GHz Athlon, 500Mb RAM, 1.2Tb disk, Voodoo3 all supported, but my SBLive! card...damn!

  • This article suggests to me that Linux is to OS kernels what Emacs is to text editing, too. Or it will be very soon.

  • Are these multitracking / hard disk recording packages new? And for this distro only?

    Are there user reviews of any of these packages?

    I'm still using a Mac and Deck or ProTools for multitracking / hard disk recording and would love a stabler, though just-as-able alternative ...

    BeOS looked real good for awhile - especially Pebbles [] - but things have way slacked off. Any additional, personal usage info would be great.


  • Will someone please point me to the line I have to add to my source.list?

  • He didn't write it? I'll have to track down where I saw him getting credit for the driver...thanks for the corrections! Hopefully someone will read this and update the article.

    Generally in terms of ms, what would be the differences between using the low latency patches, and RTlinux? I guess 0 ms is the definition of Realtime, but does it ever happen, even in hardware?
  • What about Jazzware's Jazz++ midi sequencer / audio editor? ( []) I used it, and (once you get past the interface...RTFM and you get it) it worked great. It does midi sequencing and audio editing (like what CuBase does), and it is under the GPL (it used to be proprietary IIRC).

  • Maybe it was the .mid file format that seemed complicated.... It was a while ago that I even looked at this stuff, so I might be getting it confused.... Of course, the two are likely the same thing, so maybe I'm just backpeddling :)
  • To be a legitimate digital audio/midi sequencer box for either home enthusiast or actual studio, Linux needs some really good sequencing software. Something like cakewalk or cubase. The last MIDI sequencer I used was really behind (not that I blame them).

    Is anyone working on this? I've considered it, but the MIDI spec is pretty daunting looking to me....

  • Exactly what you have to do now, find the relivent patches and programs, and install them yourself.

    A specialized distribution just makes it easier for someone who isn't interested in computer configuring, but rather getting the end job done.
  • but the MIDI spec is pretty daunting looking to me....

    The MIDI spec isn't daunting at all... when I was younger and more innocent I wrote a couple of MIDI file processors that stripped various bits out, have to see if I can find them... the most difficult bit if I remember was delta-time - the length of time in between events. Let me explain:
    In MIDI, you have pretty much two major types of data: Status bytes, and data bytes. Status bytes always have an MSB of 1, and data bytes have an MSB of 0. Status bytes begin with an ID nybble, the second nybble specifies the channel (yes, there are 16 channels, and 16 types of status event).
    Having specified the channel, the data goes on to do whatever it has to do - for a note on event, you must specify the key (in the range 1 - 127, well encompassing an 88 note keyboard), and the velocity, again within a 0 - 127 range.

    Things get complicated when you include system exclusive messages - they are proprietary to each manufacturer and model - and continuous controllers. There are 127 possible controllers, some of which are reserved, e.g. volume is 7, expression is 11, modulation is 1, pan is 10, etc. Reverb and Chorus are included in there somewhere, as are certain other parameters depending on the midi module.

    MIDI files can also contain messages such as lyrics, copyright, etc. Good clean fun.
    For more information, there are many resources available online.

    Check here [] for an overview of how the chunks work.

    We may be human, but we're still animals.

  • Right... and this *really* helped BeOS.
  • Does linux have any decent solution for playing multiple streams at the same time, and automatically mixing them? I wish I could listen to mp3s and still be able to get alarms and reminders announced to me via festival. I tried esound, and the distortion and overhead are unbearable. I'm using an 750 Athlon, too.
  • I used to be the head of the now defunct "LAMP" Linux Advance Multimedia Project -- and we tried to do this same thing ... Its true that some of the latency stuff was neat -- But the whole thing just turned out to be a disaster :) The audio software was UBER fidgitdy -- *IF* it complied it usually segfaulted -- projects were abondoned -- and programs that did operate were 5 years behind their windows brethren... Another problem -- DirectX and VST plugins are really the spice of life for EM's ... theres nothing beyond simple reverbs / chorus / flangers / delays built into the programs, and theres no plugin API IIRC so :)

    What needs to happen -- is for someone like Steinberg or Emagic to get behind linux -- which might actually be a possibility since before BE died it was clearly on everyones radar. A good marketer would be looking for something to replace BE...

    Ultimatley though, the windows performance for audio is pretty good -- with a FAST cpu most ASIO sound cards can easily do 1ms latency -- which is far below the latency of a synthesizer even -- also soft synths like Reality ( have kernel drivers taht can reduce their latencey to 3 - 5ms even on slow machines like P1'S and PII's [win98 only]... The trick to having a good audio machine for windows is to not load it up with windows crap that'll eat ram ... just use the machine for audio, no icq, aol, norton antivirus (have another machine scan that one), no photoshop, no VSC++, just cubase and your plugins :)

  • ohhhh yer problem -- a mac -- :) My father has a notoriously unstable 40,000$ protools system -- and I have a notoriously unstable 37,000$ Avid Media 100 system [at my place of employment of course, thats more then I make in a year :)]

    When you pay the price of a BMW for a system and it still crashes, you know the average consumer dosen't have a chance...

    You should check out Win2k if you have a pro audio card -- its not that bad and rarely has problems ... only thing is some of your win98 apps may not run if they have kernel drivers

  • wow, thats very cool :) now if *any* of my music hardware was supported in linux ... :)
  • also unlike standard midi instruments, csound can take an unlimited amount of time to render :-)
  • hmmm what configuration are you using? Cubase crashes for me all the time -- but win2k -- very rarely
  • CSound is to music synthesis what EMACS is to text editing.

  • I know that this is not going to be answered, but will be marked a +1 or -1 on /., but when I think of needing a Realtime or Hard Realtime system I have always used QNX. Why would someone want to use Linux, and patch everything in sight and work so hard to make Linux a pseudo-"real-time" system for use with your system? That was not meant to be a troll. You can make all of the "free" or "open source" software in the world on QNX, they will even provide the tools to do it. Plus the "hard real-time" design of the system is already in place and has been for over 20 years. Since this system is essentially *nix (100% Posix Compliant) it would be a great platform to program for if you are interested in *nix programming. Plus, you can fit QNX on a 1.44MB floppy with a full webrowser, webserver, OpenGL demo, and a bunch of hardware drivers. That technology would be perfect for an entire multimedia OS or embedded Multimedia/MIDI OS set up in hardware.
    What does anyone else think? I mean "intelligently" and "honestly." Please no "it's not Linux, so it sucks, posts" please. I am also interested in developing my own multimedia/MIDI software for personal use right now, and I used to use BeOS (don't even get me started on Be Inc.) and have completely fallen for QNX. Thanks :-)
  • if i remember correctly
    this acronym bugs the shit out of me too. I don't know why. maybe it's because I would typically use "as I recall" in its place.
  • "the groundwork for a sleek kernel" is already done. Multichannel audio has much more demanding requirements than typical video, and the standard kernel plus Andrew Morton's or Ingo Molnar's low latency kernels can provide applications with a phenomenal environment for soft-realtime work. Andrew's patches more or less guarantee that an application driven by a h/w interrupt (e.g. from an audio interface) will never miss a deadline by more than 1ms. I already use and develop such a system for multichannel audio work, and the kernel is simply not an issue. I run with h/w interrupts every 1.3ms, and nothing ever goes wrong. --p
  • RTLinux provides realtime *guarantees*. The low latency patches merely make it overwhelmingly likely that you will make your timing deadlines (if you use POSIX RT scheduling, anyway). No, 0ms is never possible, but RTLinux can offer timing guarantees on the same order as the h/w (tens of microseconds).
  • by paulbd ( 118132 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @09:03AM (#74589) Homepage
    The project is led by Guenter Gieger who is the developer of the Linux low latency driver for the RME Hammerfall 96xx series. Combined with realtime kernel patches, the Hammerfall card in Linux can achieve hardware level latencies.
    • Not "realtime" patches to the kernel. The patches in question are "low latency" patches that decrease scheduler latency. They have nothing to do with RTLinux or "hard realtime" programming.
    • Guenter didn't write the "native" digi9652 driver, Winfried Reitsch did that. Guenter hacked Pd to use the driver. There is also an ALSA [] driver for the Hammerfall (I wrote it) that was based loosely on Winfried's driver.
    • "hardware latencies" is a loose term. lets just say that a properly written application can use any audio interface via ALSA to get audio i/o latencies that are bounded only by the h/w design.
    • I don't think Guenter started Demudi, but I think he may be those most active developer involved in its evolution. Most active by far, in fact.

    If you are a developer working on or interested in Linux audio software, I also encourage you to check out the Linux Audio Development [] web site.

  • by paulbd ( 118132 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @09:07AM (#74590) Homepage
    As the author of Quasimodo, I beg to differ. Quasimodo is not a sequencer, and more importantly, its a dead project at this point, for many reasons. You should be looking at MusE [] which is a really high quality MIDI sequencer. As an aside, if the MIDI specs look daunting, I would forget about even considering programming in this field. MIDI is one of the simplest protocols there is, and one of the simpler problems in the area of MIDI/Audio programming. --p
  • PLEASE: We need your help and advice then ! I'm a member of the group, and I've noted that we need input from graphics/animation/video people. You're right, it's currently heavily biased towards audio. So get on the list, write to Guenter, help us out, please !
  • GNU DeMuDi au rutti

    Shouldn't that be:

    GNU DeMuDi
    on rooti?

  • I wouldn't be able to switch my desktop music studio to linux entirely until there is a decent music notation editor. Seems that any score I'd create in current linux software would be given a big fat 'F' if I turned it into a college composition professor, just based off of notation style. The standards are very high. It seems that lilypond is the most advanced, but their longer examples and their font doesn't hold a candle to Sibelius, Finale, Igor.


  • As I am a Debain user and work mostly with video (1394, DV, Kino, gstreamer), I became interested in this distro. However, after inspecting the packages list it becomes apparant this is an *audio* distro, not a multimedia distro. What about video, drawing, animation, and 3D tools too? Oh well, +-DRD-+
  • i have never heard anything put so perfectly.
    i tip my hat to you sir!
  • i've done some looking around on the site (now that it is a little less on the /.ed side) and i still can't figure out how to get my grubby little paws on this distro. any ideas?
  • if you read their site, they haven't built a distribution from scratch. DeMuDi stands for Debian Music Disttribution, meaning that they're working to add more multimedia drivers, applications, and capabilities to an existing distro (which, i might add, is the distro you're using).
  • by seanmeister ( 156224 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:48AM (#74598)
    GNU DeMuDi au rutti
    GNU DeMuDi au rutti
    GNU DeMuDi au rutti
    GNU DeMuDi au rutti
    GNU DeMuDi au rutti

    Thank you.


  • by far their logo. The Debian swirl as a bass clef?! Genius.
  • by cvd6262 ( 180823 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @10:22AM (#74600)
    In an earlier /. story, an animator from ILM explained that the reason they dumped Windows for Linux was not the cost, but that they could customize Linux to meet their needs.
  • This is exceptional. Not that it will take off immediately (because Mac and Win are already so established in this field) but it does come at a good time. Software distributors will raise an interested eyebrow when they see that Linux distributions can be tailored easily to revolve around a specific task structure; it will provide them an incentive not really present on mainstream OSs, because the first movers will have the power of a whole Linux distro more or less revolving around their software. Good idea!
  • that this had been around about three years ago... I might still be in school full time, and I might still be a music composition major! lol
    Well, maybe not. ;)
    It does sound like a great idea. This is exactly where money could be made! Make the specialized distros instead of even worrying about the blooming desktop! People will use whatever is there. However, when something can be used as a _real_ tool, the interest starts to rise and with that, usage follows.
  • thought that was obvious....
  • What do almost all cutting-edge games have in common? Loads of multimedia.

    Maybe this would be a good place to lead game development from, as they are working on sound and video, things that aren't usually considered Linux's strong point. Besides, if hardware vendors can be pointed to a specific distribution to support, they might be more likely to create useful drivers than if they are asked to "make a linux driver".

  • I have actually been very interested in these low-latency patches of which you speak. I've heard of patches by Ingo Molnar and one by Andrew Morton. Which one do you have?

    Also, how much faster is the performance? It would seem that if this improves desktop performance it should be included in distro's like Mandrake. Also, how responsive is video playback with these patches installed? I'm interested in playing divx, avi, mpeg, etc and it appears that windows is still better at this sort of thing. I'd rather use Linux for all my desktop usage!

    Finally, which low-latency patch did you use as I have heard of a few. If you could post the link I'd greatly appreciate it.

  • I don't know the details, but shouldn't it be possible to add the DeMuDi source lines to your sources file in Debian? In principle, since this is a Debian based distribution, all one would need to do is a simple apt-get. The great thing about making this a separate distribution is that if all you want is music at first, you start with DeMuDi. Want to upgrade to the whole Debian distribution? Change your sources.list to point to a Debian mirror. I don't know if this is how the DeMuDi maintainers are thinking, but it should be.

    I think this is cool stuff, and means that the main Debian distributors don't need to put as much effort into maintaining these specialized packages. It is in keeping with the specialized Debian Jr. distribution that is currently in progress, as well.

    Keep up the good work, and I for one am completely in favor of it.

  • Check again; I saw it on the packages list [].
  • by Fatal0E ( 230910 ) on Thursday July 19, 2001 @08:47AM (#74608)
    I have to admit, even though a specialized distro is not really a new concept I'm quite intrigued. Imagine that instead of selling a card that plugs into a PC (as it's sometimes done now), a company could sell an entire PC with a home brewed Linux distro. Obviously the price would be higher but that kind of custimization could lead to some really interesting setup from a professional perspective. Kinda like the embedded concept but scaled a lot higher!
  • As a huge fan of electronic music and occasional dabbler in writing it with my Mac and MIDI gear, I hearby announce that if Linux and Free software can replace a Mac running Cubase with VST plugins, Reaktor [], Reason [], the new Absynth [], and other staples of electronic music, with MIDI and low latency, I will SHIT MYSELF LIKE AN INFANT IN DIAPERS!!

    i.e., I would really be impressed and would install it straight away. :-)

  • You can happily roll your own, or let them roll it for you. The applications are probably mostly in unstable already, the main thing is the low latency patches and possible driver additions to their kernel.
  • +1 Funny.

  • If I remember correctly, AFAIK.

  • Those low-latency kernel patches aren't just for audio guys - they're great for a desktop system as well. I find X and KDE to be more responsive with them installed (esp. when using drag-and-drop) and KDE's audio daemon aRts works much better with them.

    I guess the reason they're not included in Linux releases is that they aren't suited for a server, which doesn't need low latencies. However, if you're running a desktop system, you should definitely look into these patches. I think Mandrake should include them by default.

  • I think the ones by Ingo are for 2.2.x and the ones by Andrew are for 2.4.x. Or maybe its the other way around. Anyway, I think that the kernel version you choose dictates which set of patches you need.

    how much faster is the performance?

    Its not exactly faster, just more smooth. Consequently it won't make your boot time shorter or improve startup times of applications, or improve game framerates (I think, although I could be wrong). It will make your mouse pointer move more smoothly while your system is under load (though enabling DMA on your hard drive gives a bigger improvement), it will allow you to set a lower latency on your sound programs, giving you faster response, and it will in all likelihood help videos (I'm on a modem connection and have very few videos to try it with).

    As for links, Google is your friend. A search for Low-Latency Kernel Patches [] reveals many interesting links, the most interesting being a site with history about low latency in Linux [] and a link to Andrew Morton's scheduling page [] where you can download patches for many 2.4.x kernels.

    If you haven't done it already, enabling DMA on your hard drive will probably make a bigger difference than these patches, though, and without a kernel recompile too! Definitely look into that.

  • ... and call it Mac OS X?

    ... oh, and can you imagine...
    ...a Beowolf cluster of these?
    (or however you spell that)
  • DeMuDi?

    Ugh. It sounds like a Turkish word for diarrhea.

  • I alse see Csound is on of the packages. Csound is pretty amazing stuff that can create unique synthetical music. And now that CPU's are getting a lot faster, it can probably be used to play music in realtime.

    As opposed to Midi, a csound instrument can have an unlimited number of parameters. This distro could become the most powerful music creation platform ever.

  • Why not just work with a current distro (debian) instead of doing a whole new distro from scratch? I run debian, I would want multimedia capabilities --- so I should give up debian for this distro?
  • hmm... BeOs is a single user, extremely GUI-oriented OS that was supposed to be so friendly that it would be the perfect choice for novice users. Oh yeah, and the multimedia stuff is integrated with the OS, iirc.

    That sounds a lot like linux, right?

  • Since BeOS is practically dead, I think this is a lot better, heh.
    Sad to see Be fight for its life instead of developing more cool techonology.
    I hope they open source it before they go under...

  • of course, what we really need now is a linux distro specifically for downloading porn off the net; something that'll search google and the newsgroups and sit on IRC and just d/l the porn for you.

    it'll need some multimedia, and it's own plastic cover.

    Slashdot: When News Breaks, We Give You The Pieces
  • >BeOs is a single user, extremely GUI-oriented OS that was supposed to be so friendly that it would be the perfect choice for novice users.

    except for that whole "no software for it whatsoever" thing, and the "oops, no drivers either," thing, and the "extremely limited hardware support" thing. BeOS is beutiful, and if it had half the support behind it that linux has (w/r/t developers volunteering their efforts,) it would kick every other OS's ass. The fact that it's single user might be an impediment to some, but for the average user (i.e., not most readers of slashdot,) it's not a big deal. they already treat their machines as single user. (the fact that they're running Win9x helps.)

    As soon as BeOS releases whatever source it can (i know they can't release parts because of NDAs for proprietary code,) and gets whatever little open source movement behind it that will go, the better off BeOS will be. Doesn't look like that's going to happen, though.

    Slashdot: When News Breaks, We Give You The Pieces
  • i'd much rather see Reaktor or SoundForge ported over to Linux, but ask for it, or suggest it to either company and Native Instruments (Reaktor's makers,) give you hearty gales of germanic laughter and SoundForge basically ask you to fuck off (pretty rudely too).

    really, any kind of high quality gui music util that would really benefit from the power that linux offers would be super nice on linux. reaktor(as well as other NI products), cubase, soundforge, logic, ACID all come to mind.

    Slashdot: When News Breaks, We Give You The Pieces
  • I would like to see how this works with video encoding.. MPEG4 ...
  • Well, the DeMuDi website said it was going to be based on Debian wich means to me that they'll take the basic Debian distro and then add enhancements to it that are designed to make it more media friendly. So, unless they alter it a LOT, switching from Debian to DeMuDi should be relatively painless (though in my opinion switching distros is always painless, Linux is Linux, whether it wears a RedHat or is a "slacker"). As for whether or not you SHOULD switch over just apply the basic decision making formula you use evrytime a new distro comes out, if DeMuDi offers you more/better features for your based on your personal needs than what your using now, switch, if not, don't.
  • What about QNX [] or BeOS []? Maybe BeOS [] is a bit dead in the water, but QNX [] is a solid and ultra fast OS that does multimedia quite well. I think that Linux is possibly a bit too fragmented with far too many different standards for sound drivers and stuff like that to be that useful. Yes, to anybody who asks, I have used some of these pieces of software under Linux.
  • Well, the rme thing is only almost right,
    my driver is an OSS driver, loosely based on
    Winfrieds driver ...

  • With regards to all the stuff posted here about whether musicians are technical enough to pick up on this i'd agree that musicians tend to be pretty technical people as far as artists go, especially anyone who's going to take a DIY approach to producing their own music. If you're a control freak, if you're on a tight budget (isn't every musician?), and if you want the time and freedom to make your songs "perfect," it makes a hell of a lot more sense in the long run to forget booking recording sessions and spend your money on a home studio.

    Everything you hear out of a speaker is electronic music, and i don't care if you're listening to some acoustic folk guitar crap, to get that sound from your head to a recording medium you're going to need to have decent technical understanding of the tools you're using, not to mention the soundwaves you're making. The better the understanding you have, the closer the recordings will sound like the noises in your head. Anyone who's spent any time with programs like logic audio, or who's played with MIDI, electronic synthesis, or sampling, is going to have to become more technical if they are serious about getting the right performance from these tools.

    I can attest to this because I never felt any strong need to really learn about computers or electronics until I understood that I'd need something like logic audio to record the sounds i wanted. i got into pc recording about a year ago and now i'm actually serious about learning computer programming because of it (something i didn't see coming.) the control i need over sounds had extended to the tools i need to create them, and now i can't separate techological development with musical development; they're one and the same now. my guitarist friend is getting caught up with it too and neither of us were very technical people before we started with this. now we're both heading back to school to learn computers and electrical engineering. i guess my point here is that playing music can often be a springboard to learning technology if you're really serious about the sound you want. just look at guys like aphex twin or autechre or some noise musicians to see how musical and technological development are often the same thing. these are people who tweak their shit to the limit, who program, create, or modify their own tools and it shows in their music. some would argue that it's what makes them so "great" or "unique" or whatever, but no matter what it can be an important part of what distinguishes your sound.

    with regards to what i think about this linux stuff, i can say that my experiences with logic audio in windows98 has lead me to believe (with my still quite limited technical understanding) that having a linux distro streamlined for audio production would be a very powerful thing. it's not like i can use my current computer setup for much more than logic and the internet; if i install games i take huge risks screwing up libraries that it needs. i tend to max out on the 32 tracks it lets me use and when you pile on software effects you learn pretty quickly how valuable every ounce of RAM is. it doesn't take too long to realize how good getting a RAID would be when you push your hard disk to the limit on a regular basis.

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.