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Author Topic: Do we need to update contribution help article about music/sound artwork?  (Read 539 times)

Offline nick87720z

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Hello there again. While watching forum for new discussion about development, i stoped attention on this page:

It attracted me by listing usually freeware software. Not so numerous however.
Page is last modified in 2010 (can't remember, wether i have seen ever this game that time, but that was peak of active learning of linux audio software for me). Many things were changed then, when more and more of this stuff became available for other OS.

While i'm not so skilled at composition practice, i could take part in extending of this article.
My current questions to community:
- Does anyone use this stuff, or composers of ufoai tracks rather prefer commertial branded tools instead?
- Do we need ever more compositions ever? While this page has link to TODO section about music/audio stuff, that section is actually empty. Or is it related only to world sounds?
(my assumption, that still could get improvisation, as well as more music styles - including for more contries).

I made short research in last week, which is still not completed. What is done for now, is simple check for info update about known open-source tools, all of which are initially created for linux, but are cross-platform, and support most important "industrial" standards, such as VST/AU and ASIO. My goal now is to test, how much integrated and easy to maintain resulting production environment will be. Below is first draft if this list of what i could find available for download. Now it just needs to be tested.

I'm going to test it under wine, but i stucked into problem of simply running executables...
While it is always recommended to have wine supporting 32-bit (while 64-bit could be optional), last windows versions are 64bit, we have 64-bit skype, and open-source crossplatform software is usually built for 64-bit as well. But reality appeared harder. Some things are not built for 64-bit, and most, if not all, existing 64-bit versions of most audio software, i have ever stored (including vlc, smplayer, soundfont editor, libreoffice... all that i use under linux) fail under wine64 as if if run under wine32 or wine64 runs 32-bit versions. Some are claimed to be hybrid versions (asio4all installer also fails to run).

Now i need to rebuild all for both 64/32bit, so 32-bit windows versions could be tried. For now i wait completion of big upgrade, after which i can get to rebuild wine with its deps (will keep only necessary features, like audio, video, with disabled printer/textures support).
Would be appreciated if anyone else try it as well.

Note, that some tools in list go under interesting distribution license: while code is open (you may just download or clone from git and build it), ready to use binary installers (no matter of what OS) are commercial, but price is either low or even may be varied by purchaiser. This is about Ardour. Just visit its download page and you well see, what i'm about. However, just for test, demo version should be enough (usually demo restrictions don't affect features). Such license is really good way of monetization: while it is open, non-devs (anyone, who unable to build from source) are motivated to donate by money.

About expected software list. For overview, we have these possible building blocks:
- Ardour: sequencer (Reaper replacement),
- ZynAddSubFX/Zyn-Fusion: pure-synth type virtual instrument plugin (those, composed of oscillators, modulators, filters, etc),
- LinuxSampler: modern sampler, supporting sf2, sfz and extended gig variant (supports scripting as in kontakt),
- DrumGizmo: drum sampler plugin with several free banks, whose size is more than 1Gb each,
- Hydrogen: drum machine (dedicated sequencer),
- Carla: modular environment, similar to NI Reaktor, which supports several formats of processing plugins, yet has embedded support of sampler banks,
- Audacity: digital sound wave editor - just because must have (it is already in article)
Below are secondary tools, that could be useful for environment:
- JACK Audio Connection Kit: modular audio environment with both native and ASIO interfaces;
- Catia: nice graphical patchbay tool for jack, which probably could be replaced by carla, shipped in Cadence software suite by falktx.

Also, this list might be extended with free/opensource plugins, built for windows either in VST or LV2 formats.

For samplers some list of good free instrument banks may be added. While for hydrogen and drumgizmo enough much banks are concentrated in one place, those for linuxsampler are usually spreaded. Of course, it is not going to be clone of existing forums: just a compact list.

For many of these links to video or other tutorials are available.

/   Verbose descriptions  \
Ardour: Digital Audio Workstation and sequencer (see website info about distribution).
Quite mature sequencer and digital audio workstation.
It may be downloaded as source code, demo version or bought in ready to use form. Price is not fixed - you decide, how much to pay (pay more to get some optional bonuses). Think about it rather as required donation (really, without donations project would die).
   Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux
   Plugins: AudioUnit, VST, LV2, LADSPA

ZynAddSubFX or Zyn-Fusion:
Great "pure" software synthesizer, providing dozens of sound parameters (some of them may be automated).
Zyn-Fusion - commercial version with redesigned user interface (promised to become open one time).
   Platforms: Win (+VST), Mac (+VST), Linux

LinuxSampler, QSampler: Virtual instrument synthesizer, using sampled instruments.
Maximum instruments size is not limited by RAM.
   Platforms: Win (+VST), Mac (+VST, +AU), Linux
   Formats: gig, sfz, sf2

Hydrogen: Drum machine sequencer, using sampled instruments in own format.
Drum sampler.
   Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux

DrumGizmo: Sampled drum synthesizer. Available as VST plugin. Several very HQ banks are available with size >1Gb. Windows version is tested in Reaper and Cubase.
   Platforms: Win (=VST), Linux:

Audacity: Multitrack digital sound wave editor.
   Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux

Carla: Modular virtual studio, capable to load external instrument plugins, as well as virtual instruments, supported by linuxsampler.
    Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux
    Integration: ASIO (Jack Router)

Draft notes about environment structure
For now i have just few notest about that.
- Applications, supporting ASIO, may be connected all each to other via JACK Router. They are unlikely, however, to have MIDI channels, so each component in jack environment must have some sequencer mean.
  - While carla provides LV2 plugin in linux, but i did not discover it in windows/wine yet (not before i can try Ardour demo in wine). Without this - still possible to use it with any plugin sequencer, if any available, so audio from Ardour still could be passed through it.
- LinuxSampler, unlike usual plugins, loads in single instance, while VST plugins refer to its single instruments.
- JACK may be configured to use real ASIO backend, like asio4all, but according to documentation, it is now not via GUI.
Still very possible, that ardour disro uses own jack instance.