… Manjaro Linux, and also Pianoteq.
In the LinuxMusicians forum there was a thread about Manjaro lately, so I thought why not try it? Manjaro, for those who don’t know it, is based on Arch Linux and as such has a “rolling release” strategy instead of publishing more or less fixed versions and updates. This means that your software will always be fresh and up to date, a bit like if you would use the Debian unstable repository aka “Sid”.
Manjaro also uses XFCE as their default desktop environment, so I wanted to see its status as well – and as I’ve learnt from the forum post mentioned above it also comes with packages for almost everything including trial versions of Pianoteq, Reaper, and Bitwig. I have tried Reaper on Windows already (and really, it looks very similar on Linux), not so much interested in Bitwig (tho I did have a short look), but Pianoteq was of interest to me, and after trying their standard version first, I also had a look at the lesser (and with 99$/€ cheaper) “Stage” variant of the software. Looks like this on a standard Manjaro (in a VirtualBox VM):
Of course I could only dream of having realtime, being in a VM, but for a first look it was good enough – and those piano models really sound wonderful. I’d really like to hear some of Zuleikha’s tracks with these sounds, so I could compare them with the (also commercial) Addictive Keys xln audio “Studio Grand”, and with the free “Salamander Grand” which is a nicely sampled Yamaha C5. Maybe I’ll come back to that at a later point, let’s see.
As for Manjaro, yes it looks and performs good, so for anyone who wants to try something new and fresh, go and give it a try. I don’t really need it because Debian already provides everything I need (ok, together with the KXStudio repositories for music-related stuff), but in case you’re interested, why not? From what I saw I liked it.
As always, thanks for reading.