Having pondered the inevitable upgrade, to my production studio, from
Debian old stable (Squeeze), to Debian stable (Wheezy). I finally bit
the bullet. It wasn’t without apprehension, though. My system was
absolutely rock solid, and did everything to spec. It was time though,
and Gnome2 is no longer a developing desktop, so I also needed to make
the transition to XFCE desktop, with the upgrade.
The upgrade itself went pretty smoothly, but the transition to XFCE was
a little rocky, and took a few days to get working smoothly. Also, some
of the configuration for Jack needed tweaking, as it stopped working
properly, having gone from producing precisely zero xruns when in use,
to frequent xruns, post upgrade.
Around the same time I have also been investigating the
Non suite of audio applications (being a
few years since I did, last.) and found them to be back under active
development. Unfortunately Non is not packaged for Debian, so I compiled
it on my day to day system, to see how it is, nowadays. Unfortunately I
am getting plenty of xruns with non-mixer. I don’t know why, but I am.
There are packages for KX Studio and AV Linux. I wasn’t to keen on KX
Studio (An Ubuntu derivative), because it is built on KDE, which just
doesn’t work well for me, in an AV production environment. AV Linux
(Debian Derivative), though is built on the LXDE desktop, which is
similar in practice, to use, as my preferred XFCE desktop. The downside
of AV Linux though, is that it is built on old stable (Squeeze). Never
the less, I installed AV Linux on a virtual machine, to see how Non
worked when set up properly — not so well, on the VM; lots of xruns. I
also wasn’t that impressed with having a system laced with commercial
demo version software.
Next step was to investigate KX Studio a bit further, and it turns out
they know support XFCE desktop version, though without a how to, for
installation. But they do have instructions for converting Ubuntu to KX
Studio. It seems the easyiest method was to use a KX Studio XFCE
netinst, which is very minimal. So I started on another VM build. This
proved much better than I was expecting, because it starts out as a very
minimal XFCE set up, with some excellent KX Studio repositories, that
really are plug and play. My initial experience with the Non suite in KX
Studio is the same as in AV Linux, so I am guessing that it maybe an
issue with trying it in a VM, which doesn’t allow me to tune Jack, with
my external sound card. Which means I will probably do an XFCE KX Studio
install, natively on my computer. As I do want to spend some time
learning to use Non, which though simple in concept, to use (why I like
it) is proving harder for me to grasp, than Ardour (my current DAW).
Also I want to explore the use of Ambisonics in recording, which Non’s
developer has obviously spent a bit of time doing (He has built Non with
this capability). Given that most people listen to most of their music
with headphones now, I think that some of the results of using
Ambisonics would work well.