Old 05-02-2021, 09:59 AM   #1
ivansc
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Default Babyface Mk1 with Linux

I have recently acquired a fairly decent i3 laptop & am considering having yet another go at coming to grips with Linux and audio/MIDI recording.

Anyone already using one with a particular distro, or any other suggestions?

Bear in mind I am a total numpty with Linux since it is well over 30 years since I last used Unix or Linux.
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Old 05-02-2021, 03:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
I have recently acquired a fairly decent i3 laptop & am considering having yet another go at coming to grips with Linux and audio/MIDI recording.

Anyone already using one with a particular distro, or any other suggestions?

Bear in mind I am a total numpty with Linux since it is well over 30 years since I last used Unix or Linux.
Go with either Manjaro or Xubuntu, and James or I can help you with the Linux part. Jack Winter has a Babyface, but he runs Arch which is not a beginner version of Linux. Timothy's Monster also uses a BabyFace, but with Ubuntu 20.04 and just selected it off of REAPER's audio setup panel.
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Old 05-02-2021, 03:45 PM   #3
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Try running a live USB stick of whatever distro you choose, to see if the functionality of the hardware works. (Try media players, etc. at least.) If the interface works at all with Pulse Audio (the sound system that things connect to by default), it should work with ALSA and Jack too.

There's some learning involved, but it's nothing terrible. If you plan to run Windows VST plugins, especially ones which have copy protection and authorization schemes: you're in for some more learning, and some of those plugins might not work. Most of it isn't difficult, but you can get confused since it's not an OS you're accustomed to. Plus the idea of running Windows software in another OS as though it's native Linux software, that can be involved sometimes.
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Old 05-03-2021, 12:31 PM   #4
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Smile Raspi 3 ALSA issue dropouts

Sorry, i´m not sure if i am right here.

My Babyface pro is connected to my rasberry pi 3 B 1.2 (OS rasbian).
I use ALSA for my audio device in reaper. All in and outputs are well asigned.
But when i press record reaper records with certain dropouts, wether on a single mono track or a multi 4 track.
My Buffersize is 2048 and i use 44100 Khz.

Does anyone know about this issue?
Im really new to Linux and help would be appreciated!

reg, Felix
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Old 05-03-2021, 01:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Finow79 View Post
Sorry, i´m not sure if i am right here.

My Babyface pro is connected to my rasberry pi 3 B 1.2 (OS rasbian).
I use ALSA for my audio device in reaper. All in and outputs are well asigned.
But when i press record reaper records with certain dropouts, wether on a single mono track or a multi 4 track.
My Buffersize is 2048 and i use 44100 Khz.

Does anyone know about this issue?
Im really new to Linux and help would be appreciated!

reg, Felix
Some of the tweaks here might improve what you are getting. I would skip using JACK though, as it is a layer that runs on top of ALSA which is the native Linux layer.

https://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/raspberrypi

On my Pi 3 I used a tweak guide that was on the Pianoteq site, but it's no longer there. I would maybe try a smaller block size too.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:03 AM   #6
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Thanks, chaps! I wont be able to do this for another week, due to upcoming gigs (YAAAAAY) but am now looking forward to trying it again with a little more confidence now I know you guys have got my back!
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Old 05-04-2021, 01:40 AM   #7
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Some of the tweaks here might improve what you are getting. I would skip using JACK though, as it is a layer that runs on top of ALSA which is the native Linux layer.


https://wiki.linuxaudio.org/wiki/raspberrypi

On my Pi 3 I used a tweak guide that was on the Pianoteq site, but it's no longer there. I would maybe try a smaller block size too.
Hi Glenbo!

Am I getting you right? I'm supposed to use Alsa instead of Jack?

I will try smaler Block size.

Thanks !

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Old 05-04-2021, 02:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
I have recently acquired a fairly decent i3 laptop & am considering having yet another go at coming to grips with Linux and audio/MIDI recording.

Anyone already using one with a particular distro, or any other suggestions?

Bear in mind I am a total numpty with Linux since it is well over 30 years since I last used Unix or Linux.
I'm using Reaper on a laptop with Ubuntu 20.04.2 installed along with LinVst for the windows vst stuff. All is working well for the moment. I also use it with a Focusrite Sapphire 6 USB and all is recognised and functional. I have had help from the guys here too, so if you need help for anything just give me a shout.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:14 AM   #9
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Timothy's Monster also uses a BabyFace, but with Ubuntu 20.04 and just selected it off of REAPER's audio setup panel.
Hey Glennbo,

I also switched to Manjaro by now. I am running the Babyface with class compliant mode under ALSA. The laptop I run it on is a very old dual core, though. So I haven't been very lucky with good real-time performance when using VSTi. But There is more room to go through the different kernel version on Manjaro. The OS is just fabulous!
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:40 AM   #10
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Hi Glenbo!

Am I getting you right? I'm supposed to use Alsa instead of Jack?

I will try smaler Block size.

Thanks !
ALSA is usually the preferred audio system for REAPER.

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Hey Glennbo,

I also switched to Manjaro by now. I am running the Babyface with class compliant mode under ALSA. The laptop I run it on is a very old dual core, though. So I haven't been very lucky with good real-time performance when using VSTi. But There is more room to go through the different kernel version on Manjaro. The OS is just fabulous!
Glad to hear you are liking Manjaro. Some day I will eventually put an M.2 drive in my DAW machine and give it a try again. Three years ago I tried it, but had some issues and installed Xubuntu.

Soli Deo Gloria has a thread up for Manjaro tweaks that might have something to improve the realtime performance. In Xubuntu using rtirq to give the USB port with the audio device higher priority, and upping user permissions to allow 98% RT priority an unlimited memory locking made a difference.
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:49 AM   #11
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I also switched to Manjaro by now.
...So I haven't been very lucky with good real-time performance when using VSTi.
3 critical things for DAW use with low-latency audio:

1) install a realtime or low-latency kernel (if your kernel version is 5.10 or higher, it's low latency already)
2) CPU governor needs to be set to "performance".
3) for a USB audio device, you need to turn usb_autosuspend off.

The last two of those things, you'd be doing in Windows by using a "high performance" power plan. In Linux you have to do that other ways. I use TLP (there's a front-end for it TLPUI which makes it easy). Install those from your package manager and you can change those settings with them.

Once these changes are made, you can probably get low latency with your audio device and reliable performance.

There are other tweaks you can do to your system, but I haven't had to do any of them.
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Old 05-04-2021, 08:21 AM   #12
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2) CPU governor needs to be set to "performance".

I fully agree with James. And, besides, I'd check with TLP or, in my case, cpupower-gui, that all cores are effectively set to their maximum capacity. I thought at first that I had done it but when I checked with cpupower-gui, I wasn't really at full speed. That made a huge difference in performance.


Another thing, I'd add, is to check the realtime permissions once you're in the audio or realtime group. This provisory set of steps has allowed me to use an old dual core notebook that I had almost discarded for any type of live playing :


https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=252092


Feel free to ask about anything...
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:15 AM   #13
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James and Soli, thank you so much for your tips! Those two things actually made all the difference. Now I can play synths and guitar amp sims with very low latency. Yeaaah!!! Wow, I didn't think this would have been possible with my old machine. Linux just rules.
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:31 AM   #14
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Toes dipped in the murky waters but I have yet to try Xubuntu. I may well have a go with it after having whittled down all the Distros I have tried today to AV Linux Ubuntu Studio and er um Manjaro. I am still very much overwhelmed - downloaded Reaper but it wont install & I have yet to hook up the babyface!

Did get Ardour and the other @A@ audio app going but I have yet to address ALSA or Jack, etc.
I am using it on an old third series i3 lappy with 8gb of ram and a 480gb Crucial SSD that arrived today. So far I havent installed anything on it.

edit: Weird. I can only find versions of Xubuntu claiming to be exclusively for amd cpus! Surely there has to be a site where I can still get a D/L for my intel 13?
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:10 PM   #15
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Toes dipped in the murky waters but I have yet to try Xubuntu. I may well have a go with it after having whittled down all the Distros I have tried today to AV Linux Ubuntu Studio and er um Manjaro. I am still very much overwhelmed - downloaded Reaper but it wont install & I have yet to hook up the babyface!

Did get Ardour and the other @A@ audio app going but I have yet to address ALSA or Jack, etc.
I am using it on an old third series i3 lappy with 8gb of ram and a 480gb Crucial SSD that arrived today. So far I havent installed anything on it.

edit: Weird. I can only find versions of Xubuntu claiming to be exclusively for amd cpus! Surely there has to be a site where I can still get a D/L for my intel 13?
The LTS 20.04 version is here and I have it installed on three different Intel CPUs, one of which is an i5.

https://xubuntu.org/release/20-04/
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Old 05-08-2021, 01:29 PM   #16
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Yeah... I downloaded on of that & it wouldnt do a live run, sadly. Starting with Ub untu Studio 21.04 instead. Can always switch later when I know what I am doing.
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:18 AM   #17
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Ubuntu Studio is running happily, plus Reaper (!) thanks to you guys pointing me in the right direction.
Amazingly, I actually figured out why the Babyace was not showing up.
Due to Covid and Brexit, I havent been to France in a very long time & had overlooked updating the firmware and drivers!
So I did the update, plugged in my bass....still no signal. Turned out I was using a defective mono jack lead.
It now works, but I was too knackered to actually do any proper recording with it. Next step is going to be figuring out ALSA and Jack & how to use regular VST plugs with it.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:14 AM   #18
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Ubuntu Studio is running happily, plus Reaper (!) thanks to you guys pointing me in the right direction.
Amazingly, I actually figured out why the Babyace was not showing up.
Due to Covid and Brexit, I havent been to France in a very long time & had overlooked updating the firmware and drivers!
So I did the update, plugged in my bass....still no signal. Turned out I was using a defective mono jack lead.
It now works, but I was too knackered to actually do any proper recording with it. Next step is going to be figuring out ALSA and Jack & how to use regular VST plugs with it.
Leave JACK out of the equation unless you plan to be doing esoteric connections to synths running *outside* of REAPER rather than as plugins. JACK is an unneeded layer that runs on top of ALSA and complicates the setup, where ALSA is the native Linux audio system.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:54 AM   #19
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Next step is going to be figuring out ALSA and Jack & how to use regular VST plugs with it.
"Regular" plugins in Reaper for Linux = Linux VST, LV2, and JS.

If you mean Windows VST plugins, as in "plugins that shouldn't actually work in another operating system other than Windows"... Look for any thread on this forum about Yabridge, starting with the most recent ones. Depending on the Windows VST plugin, how it is installed (product manager, etc.) and if it has some kind of copy protection scheme, you might have more troubles than you expected. Hopefully you have read about this in advance, specifically about the plugins you intend to use and if they have challenges to get working in Linux.

You can also go to the Yabridge github page and read the info there. Don't install any version of Wine until you read the info on the Yabridge github page.

I wouldn't consider it difficult to do in general, but I'll put it this way: whatever you've just faced in terms of learning and effort to get to this point with Linux, dealing with Windows VST will exceed that.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:20 AM   #20
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HmmmmYeah. Already decided the smart thing to do is to review my most-used plugins and see if there are Linux compliant versions available.

same goes for Jack. All I can recall over the years of idly browsing Linux fora is that people struggle with Jack!

I am on the little i3 laptop typing this and the performance has gone through the roof since I dumped W10 and went to Ubuntu.

Quite amazing the difference it has made.

...and frankly I don`t give a shit about losing the MS Office I use on my other computers (Mac & PC) as Libre office works great.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:58 AM   #21
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Yeah Linux is a fresh of breath air in some ways.

I use ALSA and it's a no-brainer. When I first started using Reaper for Linux, ALSA was sort of an afterthought (to my surprise) and the focus was more on making it work with Jack (because so many other DAW applications in Linux use it). I'm glad Justin was convinced to do some more testing with ALSA directly to get it solid.

Think of Jack as a system to interconnect various applications for audio and MIDI. That's useful, but probably something you've never needed before so you probably don't need it now. I want to make my projects within Reaper only, not interconnected to other "standalone" apps/synths/etc.

Feel free to list the plugins you use and maybe we can suggest some alternatives. I'm fully disillusioned about what plugins seem to be (nice graphics, claims of their sound, etc.) and am laser-focused on what they really can do.

The only Windows VSTs I'm currently using are for drums. I could use Linux plugins for that (including the drum bank I made for DrumGizmo), but I want more variety in the sounds (and flexibility in the features of the VSTi) and currently Linux VSTi are behind. Likewise if you use Kontakt, it's likely you won't want to replace it with anything else.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:34 AM   #22
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Think of Jack as a system to interconnect various applications for audio and MIDI. That's useful, but probably something you've never needed before so you probably don't need it now. I want to make my projects within Reaper only, not interconnected to other "standalone" apps/synths/etc.
I just flashed on how similar REAPER's ReaRoute ASIO driver for Windows is to JACK in Linux. I used ReaRoute to dump Sonar projects, track to track in one shot. ReaRoute doesn't do MIDI, but the audio connectivity is similarly capable to JACK's.
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