1. What you need to start
In this chapter I'll tell you about the software, which is a basis for my studio at home. There may be small variants, but in general you'd need those pieces of software, too. I'm not handing out installing instructions, because that would be beyond the reach of this project.
Table of contents
1.1 General installation steps
>In general - meaning: if there are no problems - to install a program is a simple task. Almost all modern programs follow a simple procedure:
- Download the source-code (usually in a tar.gz or tar.bz2 file)
- Unpack the file (with tar zxvf FILE.tar.gz
tar jxvf FILE.tar.bz2)
- Change to the newly created directory (with cd DIR)
- Read the README and INSTALL file(s) (optional)
- Run the configure script to figure out options, that you want (./configure --help | less)
- Run the configure script with the options you like (usually I have the ./configure --help | less on one console and type in the ./configure command with its options on a second.So I can read and directly type in the options I need)
- Run make (I always use gmake on my linux system)
- Run make install (or gmake install respectively)
- If there was no problem, you're ready to go!
1.2 The absolute basis - I wanna get some sound out of this
- A linux kernel >2.4 (I think), if you don't fullfill this requirement either update your entire system or get the kernel sourcecode
- ALSA >0.9.2 - It's best to always get the newest version from ftp.
Now you should be able to play a simple wav-file with the command:
aplay test.wav (or something like that) - If you ran into troubles on the other hand, you should read some material on the
or subscribe to the alsa mailing list, find the link at
In the toc-frame there is a table of contents. Somewhere you'll find links to mailinglists and newsgroups.
1.3 Useful libraries - I wanna have nice and cozy
A lot of the bigger apps like
use a good deal of libraries in the background. I will try to list those libraries, which will most certainly come in handy.
- JACK - jack is an audioserver, which is needed to perform some more complex multitrack recording or recording from software synths. It is also designed for lowlatency (you don't like a delay between playing your guitar and hearing it on your speakers). With JACK you can connect virtual ins and outs. It's like working with invisible cables.
- libsndfile - for ecasound and many more to read/write a huge number of formats
- libsamplerate - also used by ecasound and ardour to perform high quality samplerate conversion
- fftw - the fftw library is used by Steve Harris'
SWH LADSPA plugins
for the pitch shifter. You'll need them any way to compile them.
- mad - the libmad is needed by mpg321, which can in turn be used for ecasound.
Links to all software listed can be found at my
1.4 Intermediate apps - players/encoders/decoders
The software listed here is sometimes used by ecasound or other software. For example mpg321 is a simple tool to use in your recording ap, if you don't wanna add internal mp3-support. It's easy to pipe simple raw sound data to stdout and read it with your program. So here they go:
- ogg - on the oggvorbis site you'll find a collection of software. There is a library, some tools and - I think - the player, encoder/decoder. Those are basic apps for oggvorbis. You should have them, if you want to enjoy the sound of ogg.
- mpg321 or mpg123 - which ever you like. I use mpg321 and it's very good! It requires the libmad, included in mad
- timidity - this is a midiplayer. Again ecasound uses it for playing midi. Timidity is like a synthesizer in you computer, it takes sounds stored on your harddrive and puts out music to your speakers. Be sure to download the eawpatches, linked from the timidity-site!
- Some modplayer - there ist mikmod and xmp (not the X multimedia Player)! Again for links see
- mplayer - the player, that can nearly play EVERYTHING! Follow the links on their site to download all the special "codecs". They are used to play such strange and mostly proprietary formats. Mplayer can play audio and video - ALL IN TEXTMODE. For video you can use "-vo aa" or "-vo vesa". So you and other will be able to watch.
That is all I can think of now. If I remember anything else, I'll update this list, so take an occasional glance!
1.5 Recording software - I wanna get working
Now, that you've hpoefully installed all the basics and libraries you need, we can progress to the software you'd be using in a textbased studio. Let's make it simple: Here's the list:
- ecasound - You can do multitrack harddisk recording/FX processing/mixing with this tool. It's the central tool of my studio
- ardour - It does the same like ecasound. BUT BEWARE: I don't use it and can't give you any help concerning ardour! It can perform more complex wiring of ins/outs than ecasound though!
- sox - I use sox only because of its chorus/flanger effects. Sox development seems nonexistent, so you should have the latest version in your distribution. If you still have your CDs, just go looking for it. So you don't have to compile it!
- fluidsynth - Fluidsynth become more important by the day for me. There are so many nice sounds going around in the net. :-) Take a look at
hammersound.net. There you'll find loads of soundfonts. Your computer should have _AT LEAST_ 128MB RAM to fool around with it!
- ladspaplugins - Besides that single sox-chorus I only use ladspa effects. You should download both the cmt and ladspa-initial set and the swh-plugins!
N.B.: You should install the software in the order given. That means, that you should first install the basis, then the libraries and then the user-software. Please keep it in mind and don't blame me, if you don't proceed that way! :-)
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