Sound setups

The more I’m using my new Debian 11 “Bullseye”, the more I like it. The first – and big – change to something better is that thanks to Geoffrey Bennett, a friendly musician and developer there’s now a Linux driver for the Focusrite Scarlett 2nd and 3rd generation interfaces in the kernel versions 5.x – see his latest thread on Linuxmusicians about it. He’s even developing graphical tools to manage these audio interfaces, but hasn’t released anything public yet. Still they work great, and I can now switch inputs from line to instrument, or assign a -10dB pad with a simple mouse click for instance in qasmixer, which shows my interface like this:

qasmixer showing my Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 2nd generation interface

This is cool because now you won’t need any Windows- or Mac-only software just to change settings on your interface (only the smallest Focusrite interfaces have physical switches, and none comes with software for Linux).

I have also set up a new LADISH studio for the Sonarworks headphone correction in Cadence and Claudia, and Cadence bridges all of Alsa, Pulseaudio, and Jack nicely so that it all works together. The cabling for my self-built “systemwide” setup for Linux in Carla looks like this:

Carla showing my Sonarworks headphone correction sitting “systemwide” between the PulseAudio Jack Sink and the system

Of course, I also had to select the right inputs and outputs for Pulseaudio in their pavucontrol, which looks like this:

Pavucontrol in- and outputs set to Jack to make it all audible

And these settings also allow third party applications like SongRec to check if a song might be a cover of others – and if yes, it shows something like this:

testing some Wikiloops template on known “covers” or songs which sound alike (based on Shazam recognition)

All of this is very complex because the Linux sound systems are so many, from Alsa over Jack to Pulse, and so on. But it all works nicely now, better than ever I’d say.

On Arch Linux I have Pipewire which tries to replace all of the sound servers mentioned above, and that also works – tho I haven’t looked that deep into it, and it’s also not quite ready yet. But from what I have seen and heard so far, that one is also perfectly usable already, so no matter which system is up and running (except Windows), I could make some music.

Good times. I’m happy that my transition to newer operating systems worked so well. And so today I also wiped all partitions from my old 250GB system drive which will go and find a new home in my brother’s PC as soon as he has time to deal with that. I already made a Ventoy-based USB boot stick with these same systems on it (plus some others which he hasn’t seen yet) for him.

Ok, enough for today. And thanks for reading, as always.

My computer housekeeping is kind of ready

Since yesterday morning I installed the new Debian 11 with codename “Bullseye” which is now officially released. And that’s my main operating system since over 16 years, I remember that I started to use that while still living in Bremen where Zuleikha was born over 16 years ago. And if you keep something that long it has to be good, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I have everything up and running nicely by now, and even Ardour runs on both Debian (with Jack) and also on Arch (with Pipewire). The next thing I did was to take the same background image – a photo of the moon I took in 2011 using my Olympus E-520 DSLR (I didn’t have a mirrorless camera yet) – for all of my devices (2) and operating systems (4). Looks like this:


Since my Conky is using a light font, a darker background like this helped. But this is cosmetics, meaning I’m done with the most important stuff already. Cool, now I can turn my attention to some other things again.

As always, thanks for reading.

Goodbye ‘Buster’, hello ‘Bullseye’

Ok, the mirrors aren’t switched yet, but the release of Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ is going on with full steam ahead, and I have it already. Took both the live and netinstall images from their site, and installed from the latter, and here I am:

Debian 11 codename ‘Bullseye’ on my main machine

I still have some symptoms with my old home, must be some files under .config or somewhere which lead the mouse to be strange, so for the moment I switched my /home to the new 1TB drive, taking only what I need from the much bigger one.

But well – I can write my blog, send and receive mails, the rest will follow.

As always, thanks to all Debian developers – you girls & guys rock! And thanks to you for reading.

“Homeworld” – the artwork for Bullseye

I’m about two weeks early, I know – but I wanted to see Juliette Taka’s artwork “Homeworld” which she made for Debian’s next stable version 11, codenamed “Bullseye” on *my* desktop – so I downloaded her wallpaper and tested it:

Debian’s “Homeworld” wallpaper on my desktop (which is still “Buster”, or Debian 10)

Looks very nice with my conky system monitor, I like it 🙂

As always, thanks for viewing.

Looking forward to seeing “Bullseye”

As I wrote to my brother yesterday, the next version of Debian Gnu/Linux 11, codename “Bullseye” (like always it’s named after Toy Story characters), now has a release date announced. It was fully frozen ten days ago, so it was only a question of time…

Can’t wait to see this next stable version of the universal operating system, as the Debian devs call it. And I can say thanks already, like I always do (used to help the team a bit, and who knows, maybe I’ll do that again in the future). It’s a system for us all.

Setting output levels in Ardour

Some fellow musician in Wikiloops asked about output levels of songs, and how to get these. I tried to answer it to my best knowledge, and also explained how *I* do this using Ardour. Since version 6.3 of Ardour there are two ways to export to a certain loudness level, and I hadn’t fully explained that before, so I did it now – and made a short howto video about it:

short loudness tutorial ardour6

In case that is useful, I’m glad that I could help. And as always, thanks for reading, and watching/listening.

A “selfie” with my “webcam” at 720p

Toying around with my camera and OBS again because in less than a month from now, I won’t be an employee of IBM anymore, and so I’ll have to give back my current notebook, iPhone, and all what belongs to them. And on my own desktop machine I don’t have a webcam. But I have a very nice photo camera which is my Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk2, and my latest lens is the 17mm/1.8 Micro Zuiko which has that awesome manual focus “clutch”, very useful especially for videos… so here you go, tried this one in 720p:

Selfie with my “Webcam” in 720p, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021

OBS is currently set up to use Full HD (1920×1080), but that isn’t enough to show my whole desktop which would be 1920×1200, so I’ll have to experiment and to decide how to use that camera. A video stream of 720p would certainly be enough for video calls, since normally you’ll have more than one other person on the screen at the same time anyway.

But yes, let’s see how that goes – would like to use it with my fellow moderators from Wikiloops for a test, so I’m excited to see them again as well 🙂

Anyway, thanks for reading and viewing as always.

WordPress 5.8 Tatum

Sometimes you’ll learn a lot simply with reading the news, like these

And you’ll learn even more if you look up the artists – Art Tatum in this case – on Wikipedia, and listen to a song or two on Youtube…

Have fun exploring… and thanks to the WordPress team 🙂

New region “Kölsch”?

Had to smile this morning – I wanted to see KDE Plasma, so I downloaded the current UbuntuStudio which is based upon KDE to have a look. Put it onto my USB stick, booted from that, and while looking at the different settings, I found this:

Region “Doûtschland – Kölsch (ksh_DE)

Funny to read that date and time as “Samsdaach, dä 10. Juuli 2021 09:18:42 UTC (long format) 🙂 I guess some people in Cologne would probably love to have that on their screens 🙂

The backgrounds which are available are also very nice – you can for instance select a “picture of the day” from sources like Flickr, or like in this image, Unsplash:

Unsplash background for KDE Plasma

Very nice. UbuntuStudio made that task bar at the top I guess, normally KDE has it on the bottom – and yes, they have styles which look more like Windows or even the Mac (or Windows 11 with a centered task bar on the bottom of the screen).

Looks very nice, and like I remember it from long ago, KDE is still very configurable, much more so than Gnome or any other desktop. Oh, and UbuntuStudio brings KDE Connect as a default, so you can integrate your Android phone right away.

Very nice. If you don’t mind short release cycles (this one is supported until end of this year), have a look at the current UbuntuStudio or any other up-to-date distribution (like Arch or Fedora) with a KDE Plasma desktop. I liked what I saw so far.

And as always, thanks for reading.