Friday, May 23, 2008

Making Musix or the Distro Disco

Friday May 23, 2008

Hola! The topic for tonight is music and the focus will be on a unique all-in-one solution for music making. In the past I've tried a few different Linux distributions, most recently settling on Suse. While I've had some success with most applications, the one area that really favored the Windows OS was sound and audio. Getting my Terratec EWX 24/96 audio card to work with Linux proved particularly problematic. This past week I found the Musix Linux live CD distro and decided to give it a whirl. Mus
ix is a single CD containing both a Knoppix Linux OS and a slew of music and media programs; a sort of portable music/graphics studio on a CD that has the added advantage of being FREE(!). I downloaded the ISO image, burned the CD and proceeded to try Musix on a number of machines. On the first PC (Athlon XP) Musix was able not only able to run, but properly configured my “problem child” Terratec card. I immediately got some music running through Jack and Rosegarden. Next I went on to the more powerful Athlon X2 PC with the Emu 1212M. This time Jack couldn't configure the sound card, and after a few fruitless minutes I gave up and went on to the next machine. The 3rd computer I tested is a lower spec AMD Sempron machine, with a Terratac DMX Xfire 1024 sound card. This time Musix was defeated by the LCD monitor I had hooked up. The resolution/frequency was out of range so I wasn't able to test it properly. So the final score for this outing was 1 out of 3. Musix might work on the other 2 systems with a bit of research and effort, but that's been one of my major beefs with Linux from the start. It's still kind of a computer geek's OS rather than a easy consumer product like Windows. I'll continue testing Musix, but in the meantime I don't see it replacing my other commercial music packages like Orion, Acid, and Music Creator.

The picture of the week was created using Project Dogwaffle.
Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week are some static synth runs.

The PC game of the week is still Travian.

The book/graphic novel of the week is “Preacher: Gone to Texas” by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. I can't believe I missed this remarkable series (and Neil Gaiman's Sandman) during it's first comics run in the late 90's. Thank goodness for trade paperback collections.

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.

Bye for now!