The linux DAW thread

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Post Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:35 pm

Sugar-Bytes Obscurium and Aparillo synths hosted in Reaper,
are great instruments for those with a normal wine install,
(not a wine-staging, and without 'over-rides' enhancements)
I've used them Studio 1337 linux media system, and ordinary distros
and they are quite a duo which will appeal to those
who love experimenting, and fortunately there are a dozen or more videos
on the website, to help flatten the learning curve. The demos
are generous, plenty of presets to study, and the support staff
are friendly, timely, and know their products.
Probably a great purchase for many linux musicians who have bread and butter,
but crave marmalade and spice.

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:45 am

The Diodow synth is this months one-synth-challenge selection
and has a linux version, which I've tested in linux Reaper,
with good results. Just unpack the archive in .vst
or wherever your vst path leads, and start a daw.
It has it's own preset browser, with 100+ sounds to get started with.

The gui has several tabs and the controls each have a slider
and a value indicator that updates after slider movement.
It's a 35 meg download, it includes a sample folder with 46 waveforms
for the instrument to utilize.
Quite a unique and fine sounding instrument, where the learning curve
is on sound design, rather than grasping a needlessly complex gui. ...

There is also a demo release of their Tranzistow synth,
in the downloads area of the site.

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489 posts since 21 Feb, 2015

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:01 am

Hey glokraw, what distro do you use, and why? :hihi:

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:41 pm

I use Studio 1337, because it's blazing fast, very stable,
maximizes cpu/ram resources, and it's portable squash-filesystem
means I can can drop my full system as a file in whatever computer I'm granted
access to, reboot with a dvd, and using the 'early-boot-access',
soon be in my cozy virtual studio even at Grandmas house.
It's a Puppy/Slackware hybrid, and 'frugal install' is the puppy linux nik for
the portable filesystem.

I use rpm-based pxlinuxos because it has excellent support for the nvidia
proprietary drivers, and many of the advanced plugins from U-he,
discoDSP, and dozens of great softwares using wine, have gui scaling and other
splendors requiring the best video drivers. The pclinuxos kernel maintainer
is one of the best, and they keep a range of iso files current
to meet many common install preferences, along with unnofficial
niche distros. I use an Enlightenment variant, because I hate
wastefull scrolling, and enjoy the many nice themes.

I use Mint 18 ubuntu customization, because a lot of linux audio software
emerges first from the depths of Ubuntu/Debian-based distros, and takes
some effort to use elsewhere, so Mint acts as a time-saver from whence
new software and updates can be evaluated on their home field.

I mainly use Reaper for a daw app, along with Bitwig for it's effects chain,
and Harrison Mixbus for it's nice default settings for recording,
mixing, and mastering. And I also use qtractor sometimes, because the
developer is out front of the store, and he makes his own instruments
in his spare time.

Using recent wine-staging releases, and the LinVst and Airwave vst wrappers,
there's a huge number of plugins that work well enough for daily use,
and if the forces that be can get Native Access working, the NI collection
itself works quite well without 0sex or win10

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489 posts since 21 Feb, 2015

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:41 pm

So, in other words, you are into Linux! :hihi: :) :lol:

:hihi: Heh heh...well thank you for the reply, appreciate it.
glokraw wrote:I use rpm-based pxlinuxos
Maybe that is PCLinux OS? I might try that. Just starting to explore this stuff. Basically, what I would like to ask you is about WINE. You seem enthusiastic about it, is it fast and stable, or does it feel sluggish? Would like to hear your general thoughts about it.

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:37 pm

First off, wine is only dealing with a subset of windows,
just enough api and library etc to get apps up and running,
and Reaper is the daw-app to use.
There are distro repository-supplied versions of wine,
usually considered stable, and then there are the wine-staging versions
from wineHQ, often much newer, but always under testing.
For these, a Mint install is handy, as it's easy to add that repository to the synaptic package manager list. I removed all existing wine items before installing wine-staging, to reduce potential conflicts.

I've read that a Kontakt user joined the wine team a year or so ago,
and has helped a lot with the audio technicalities, and the list
of plugins I can use attests to that.

Currently, Reaper works solidly with probably any recent wine version,
from 1.4 up through V3.x. I've not verified any other daw app
to have that level of usability. The LinVst plugin-wrapper coder
did some tests, showing that comparative speed is not much of an issue, while gui display is very important, so a graphics card may have
better results than motherboard/laptop video chips.

I suggest starting with Mint, and google videos for synaptic package
manager qjackctl and kxstudio,
1. add the kxstudio repoitory
2. add the wineHQ repository
3. start synaptic when online, ( sudo synaptic ...(add password when prompted) press the reload button to 'reload' the new/updated
4. install qjackctl and wine-staging for a ubuntu 'wineasio' package, and install it (the one in
the repository may drag in unwanted wine versions) :

sudo dpkg -i name-of-wineasio.deb

run this command: winecfg (this will make your .wine folder,
and open a tabbed configuration panel, where you can
select your audio device, and desired windows version to mimic.

run command wine64 regsvr32 wineasio.dll

success will be confirmed (if not successful, copy the little wineasio.dll
to the other likely wine folders, /usr/lib/wine /usr/lib64/wine

Start a filemanager like thunar or pcmanfm as root user,
sudo name-of-filemanger

then drag/drop wineasio.dll where desired.

install reaper: wine name-of-reaper-installer.exe

create vst path(s) in .wine folder, and populate it
with plugins, like

/home/you/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/VstPlugins


launch reaper, and choose your vst paths in it's vst prefs,
and in device prefs, choose asio and wineasio, and then
activate your midi keyboard i/o, and restart reaper to begin
scanning plugins.

Hopefully the steps are fairly complete, and in order.
There should be a list of working plugins a few pages back has a nice qjackctl (using jack)
tutorial, and many youtubes exist for visualizing all this.


6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:25 pm

pclinuxos has wine 2.18 currently, which is quite useful,
and also uses synaptic package-manager, but their packaging uses
.rpm files instead of .deb files. But you can add the 'alien'
command using synaptic, alien allows converting between
rpm and debian packages, handy when something is needed or
to cool to do without:

alien -r name-of.deb

When converted, install the new rpm manually, as root user:

in terminal: su (enter) add password when prompted
command: rpm -i name-of-new.rpm

so you would do that to get a working wineasio version installed,
if it's not in the repository.

Rarely, with audio apps, one has to force an 'alien' install,
due to odd naming of system libraries, or when something supposedly
is too new or too old, and synaptic will demand you uninstall it.

Fortunately, you can hide the 'broken' file from synaptic,
which I (as root user) had to do when installing bitwig 8track,
which linux version comes ships as a ubuntu/debian package:

alien -r name-of-bitwig.deb
rpm -i name-of-converted-bitwig.rpm
rpm -e --justdb bitwig-studio

(note using the apps name in the command,
not including any extension.)

So occassionally it's a little more work for pclinuxos,
but over time, people settle in on things they like,
not limited to just the main thing passed down
from corporate headquarters.

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:54 pm

Grizzellda wrote:So, in other words, you are into Linux! :hihi: :) :lol:
from Coco3 to Amiga to always seemed
clunky, limiting, and intrusive, and macs quite over-priced,
in addition to being clunky, limiting, and intrusive.
If I win a lotto, I might even get one of the new Amiga's,
or a box of the nice hardware upgrades for the old ones.

If I win some time, I might spend some on the emulators,
winuae and Amiga Forever

User avatar
489 posts since 21 Feb, 2015

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:18 am

Well, thanks much for all the info here...I'll read and re-read it! :hihi:

But with your experience level, I would think that you have tried to run a few of the native DAWs, actually natively, on Linux?

That is what I would like to do, but then no access to all the Windows VSTs that WINE assists with, right? Or, is there a work around for this?

This is directly from Wikipedia:
Using Steinberg's VST plug-ins with Ardour on Linux and FreeBSD is possible if Ardour is compiled by the user or packager/distributor to include VST support. As of version 2.8, VST support no longer requires use of the VST SDK from Steinberg.
Interesting, any comments please? 8) :hihi: :) Have you tried running VSTs on a native Linux Daw installation?

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:25 pm

There are two vst wrappers, Airwave, and the newer LinVst,
which will reproduce a plugin with a .so extension
that can be scanned and hosted as a linux-native vst, in linux daws.

Linux versions of Reaper and Bitwig and Mixbus do quite well at this.
There is a subforum for this at the Reaper forum, and the LinVst coder
is often contributing tips, and fielding feature requests and issues.

I think the details and links are not far back in this forum.


User avatar
489 posts since 21 Feb, 2015

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:33 pm

:hihi: Much thanks for all the great info. Quite some stuff to explore here.

What about the whole audio interface thing? It does seem that there are not too many high quality, custom coded drivers in the Linux realm. Like drivers that are specifically built for a particular interface, straight from the manufacturer.

There is a more general type of driver that can be made to work with different sound cards, is that accurate?

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:47 pm

Many usb and pci cards work by way of kernel modules, and generic usb support.
Native instruments Komplete Audio 6 is a nice usb choice, and mAudio cards are
supported by the snd_ice1712 kernel module. As root user, or using sudo, you can list
kernel modules by command:


Modules can be added by a command:

modprobe name-of-module

The folder /etc/modprobe.d contains various text-files for module
management, including blacklists to isolate unwanted modules,
like a motherboard sound-chip module, in a system with a nice pci card.

There are usb/firewire cards that may have custom mixer software,
or a high number of i/o ports, and these products should be searched online
to see if there are verifyable examples of success. Standard mono/stereo usb i/o usually
works fine out of the box. I tried my old IK Stealthplug usb guitar interface
a while back, and it seemes to work fine, whereas it didn't work when
first purchased many years ago, a sign the kernel usb audio support
is getting better year by year. Fender Mustang usb guitar amps work fine,
perhaps competing brands with usb output also do.

There is an audio project at of which I know nothing (hat tip Sergeant Schulz)
I prefer to know less, and record more, when the option is viable :wink:

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:56 pm

An interesting update, linux user DIVINITY has updated
his packaging of Zynewave Podium with wine 3.1,
pretty much the first sighting of a wine 3.x in an audio setting.
This won't over-write an older .wine folder, but I suggest
renaming an existing .wine folder anyway, as a 2-pence insurance

from his posting at recorders/sequencers area
DiViNiTY wrote:I updated "Zynewave Podium Free" DAW for newest WINE 3.1 version.
Download for Linux x64: ... ~128,5MB
Unzip and run the file "" on your favorite Linux x64 Distro.

6483 posts since 6 Oct, 2004

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:34 pm

I totally missed this great announcement:

The generous and talented developer, fortunately,
did not! A huge and effective collection, with a golden-globe
worthy collection of youtube videos to accompany them,
likely a degree-programs worth of insight into the world
of specialized effects...the devs announcement:


:party: :hyper: :party:

User avatar
489 posts since 21 Feb, 2015

Re: The linux DAW thread

Post Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:15 pm

Glokraw, thanx for all your cool posts here, not just in answering my questions, but all you have contributed to this subject, around here...

If I were to make a "Linux joke", I might say you are a "repository of good info" :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thank You!

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