[GLLUG] Audio Production

Jan Henkins jan at henkins.za.net
Sat Nov 29 00:49:09 UTC 2014

Hello Leo,

On 27/11/14 19:59, Leo wrote:
>> The issue there is probably latency with virtual instruments: needs ASIO/Core or similar to fix...
> JACK can do super low latency but for best performance, you have to
> install one of the low latency kernels that you can get via a PPA for
> Ubuntu systems. I'm not sure how easy this is and whether it would mess
> up future updates and what not. If anyone has experience with installing
> specialists kernels, your advice would be greatly appreciated.

I don't see why running a low latency kernel would be a problem for you, 
since I use Ubuntu Studio 14.04 daily with the low latency kernel. OK, 
for normal desktoppy usage, the normal kernel would perhaps be better, 
but there is so little to choose between the two kernels for non-music 
work. To keep from having to reboot every time I want to make music, I 
simply stay with the low latency kernel. For you running Elementary, it 
should be as easy as adding the PPA, and then to look for the low 
latency kernel in your package manager like Synaptic.

Moving on to "standards", while I am perfectly at ease with the fact 
that the de facto studio environment does not include Linux, it can very 
easily be included. Especially in your guerilla studio, or as an 
additional sound source in your Mac/Windows environment. There is a 
myriad of functions a Linux-based machine can fulfil in a modern studio 
if you so wish. I have seen a lot of exciting things done with the 
Raspberry Pi! :-)

While I am not a pro muso or sound engineer, I do know that some people 
out there do indeed run Linux exclusively as their studio environment 
(see link below for an example). Most people use Ardour or Qtractor, 
while others do more tracky loopy stuff with the likes of LMMS and 
Hydrogen, or indeed a combination of these. I like most of the available 
software, and while I fiddle around with these things I find that I can 
get quite acceptable results. Not pro studio quality (my various cheap 
USB sound interfaces can do max 96k bit-rate), but good enough for my 

Here is an article written by a lady called Jannis Pohlman, describing 
her Linux studio setup in some detail:


And a fun little article on Ardroid, an Android app for interacting with 


So in synopsis, while Linux will most likely not completely replace 
studio rigs for most serious studio environments (let's face it, studio 
software and hardware costs truckloads of money...), it can very easily 
add value if you think outside the box. With some careful research in 
terms of compatible hardware, a Linux-based machine can very effectively 
run a home or guerilla studio. Jack might be a frustrating thing to 
tangle with, but it's sheer power makes up for it to a large extent. 
Persistence gets rewarded.


Jan Henkins

More information about the GLLUG mailing list