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yPhil's picture

Hey, only the linked song was made in this timespan, are you crazy no, heck, a song in two days is already a good pace for me ;) Thank you very much for the comments though ; I'll try to comply with your information request :

"Takaddum" is 18 tracks : 10 MIDI tracks and 8 audio ones (using flac containers) ;

  • One 3 channels bus to sidechain-compress the 303-style bass (nekobee) with the kick (a free 808 Sound font played by fluidsynth) using SC3
  • the other Beat elements are made with Rudolf 556
  • A Hexter synth is doubling the bass in the subs
  • The organ is a Calf organ
  • The Lead synth is a Calf Monosynth
  • The guitar is a g10 double coil Ibanez in a focusrite preamp
  • The microphone is a chinese Neumann knockoff in a focusrite preamp
  • The girl asking "what" ? in the background is called Fatima-Zohra
  • Everybody is EQ'd with LADSPA C* 10 bands Equalizer from CAPS
  • Everybody is comp'd with Calf compressor DSSI
  • I did not use any automation curves, but only because I did not seem to need it. I have other current songs that make a heavy+happy use of them
  • There is a LADSPA "Fast lookahead limiter" on the master out bus
  • The final bounce, a "normalize" and a quick and dirty fade out are made in Audacity


The Qtractor workflow very much works for me. At times it felt like some of the real studio session I had, fiddling with the 3/4 patch cables behind the SSL desk and trying not to become crazy figuring out what goes where, but at the end, knowing exactly what's what.
I'm using the config file mentioned on this page, that by the way really got me started. I love to navigate the timeline with the keyboard, using "h" and ";" I love the unified no-frills plugin interface that remembers everything, and generally, I love the way Qtractor leaves everything open. You can do very silly, stupid, dangerous things with it. Now that's cool.
I also found very comforting that I could ask stupid RTFM/Use Your Brain/Try things out questions to you on the forum, thank you very much :)
I got some sync issues between tracks, well, in fact between my fluidsynth tracks and the steady rest of the mix, but then again I have latency problems, read on :

This setup is a Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6300 @ 1.86GHz with a mere 2Gb of RAM.
The soundcard used is a Novation X-Station USB 1.0 MIDI & Audio
The kernel is a #1 SMP PREEMPT RT Sun Jun 13 13:38:14 UTC 2010 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

cat /etc/security/limits.conf
* - rtprio 0
* - nice 0
@audio - rtprio 80
@audio - memlock unlimited
#@audio - nice -10

Qjackctl is currently configured like so :

  • Priority 65
  • Frames 512
  • Sample Rate 48000
  • Periods 3

I have a little script that manages the "studio" on a per-song basis : First kill everybody, qtractor, jackd, qjackctl, whatever, everything. then launch Qjackctl, then sleep 1, then whatever I need for the current song, this ams, sleep 1, that yoshimi, oh and qmidinet, and then qtractor. but really, basically qjackctl & qtractor and the current .qtr file as $2. With various option switches to launch either the latest SVN qtractor or the current stable Mandriva one. Saves me quite some time when fiddling with jack setting via qjackctl, not having to re-lauch everything, doing the same gestures over and over, we all hate that.

Everything is ready, the MIDI especially, in both the control surface part of the X-Station and the keyboard, that triggers whatever MIDI track is currently selected, and from day one. And now I can start/stop/mute/solo/ recordings from my kitchen table or wherever I'm lying with the guitars with headphones and jacks wired everywhere, with my phone and that both blows my mind and saves my cables ;

I could not get a situation where I can record audio without noticeable latency, so I had to hard-monitor, say my guitar, and then manually re-position the whole track in the timeline, feeling a little dirty each time I do that. So I would say that there are more latency factors than those computed by jack (I know 8ms, come on this is not 8ms ! ;) ) . Please somebody tell me that this PB will be gone once I'll throw 2 more Gig of RAM at it.

Qtractor is very stable. I use the and if the RAM level stays under half total, then it does what it's told to do.
I can't wait to put the whole GNU/Linux paradigm of many interconnected pieces to work together, and spawn racks and racks of hosted wonders in a sonic swirl of sub-harmonized chaos, but for now the latency is unbearable if I attempt to route anything from and/or to Qtractor ; I'm happy I can bounce to Audacity as it is without xruns.

Boy, this is a very exciting time for me. For decades I used windows for music and GNU/Linux for everything else. Now you can install and setup a whole complete studio in a day. That can only bring better music :) Thank you Rui, and everybody in the GNU/Linux Audio galaxy.