Some really good tutorials and tools for musicians

If you make music and even record yourself and care about sound, you should have a look at the Youtube channel from Dan Worrall, a senior live mixer and sound engineer from the UK.

Dan is using the really cost-insensitive (read: cheap but worth it) DAW Reaper, and he also works with the guys from FabFilter. These are professional tools, although he also often checks the “stock plugins” from DAWs like Reaper, Ableton, or Cubase, and compares them to the more expensive ones.

On the FabFilter channel he has some great tutorials about “The Philosophy of Bass“, and also one of the best guides about compressors I’ve ever seen, the “Beginner’s Guide to Compression (part 1)“. Really recommended stuff if you care about making a singer or a voice-over heard. And even if you’re using just the “stock plugins” of your DAW, you can achieve great results if you know what to do…

I myself very often use the Linux Studio Plugins, which are free and open source plugins for – as the name says – Linux. On Arch, I have the newest ones as the listing shows:

unfa (from Poland I think) shows the LSP 16-band stereo eq here, and the LSP Project has their Youtube channel as well of course. So go and have a look at Dan’s and unfa’s, and enjoy your mixing.

Like always, thanks for reading.

… and back to a triple boot system

I had installed the new and upcoming Debian 12 (aka “Bookworm”) on my machine, parallel to the stable version (Debian 11 aka “Bullseye”) and Windows 11 – so I had a triple boot operating system again since a while.

The Windows part is a bit controversial – since I have this new self-built machine with the AMD Ryzen 7 5700G processor, my Windows 10 offered to upgrade itself to Win11 which I did. But in recent times, more and more reports arrive saying that Microsoft is forcing ads upon its clients all over the place – I’m running it with a local account and haven’t seen them yet. But the day I will, it’ll be a “goner” as they say.

Anyway, I was also looking at Arch Linux again since that is always the latest and greatest (like Debian unstable aka “Sid”, it’s what they call a “rolling release”). First I tried some things in virt-manager and QVM/KEMU, but then I decided to overwrite my old stable Debian 11 with Arch. Went fine, except that both Arch and Debian have different ideas about where their respective /boot folders are mounted. They’re both of the EFI partition alongside Windows, but still – anyway, maybe that’s a good thing; at least they won’t overwrite each others’ kernels and/or firmware. But both run fine, even if at the moment I can’t start Arch from Debian’s grub or vice versa; doesn’t matter.

Once I damaged my Debian 12 part, accidentally deleted the firmware, so it wouldn’t boot. Didn’t matter the slightest bit since for Debian I’ll always have my /home and system parts on different partitions – so wipe it with the latest (RC2 at this time) installer – and I just saw that since today there’s even an RC3 installer – and all is well. Except of course a bit of manual labour with reinstalling Ardour and all, but even that could be remembered and more or less automated when using Debian; have done so in the past with saving and later restoring its list of installed packages…

Anyway, here’s a screenshot where I newly registered the only commercial program I’m using on Debian, it’s Sonarworks’ Reference 4 headphone correction which I use in the monitoring bus in Ardour:

Haven’t installed Ardour in Arch (yet) since at this moment they’re close – with version 7.3 in Debian’s “unstable” and 7.4.1 (or so) in Arch.

The only programs which I still use in Windows from time to time are the OM Workspace from the former Olympus guys, and Nik’s Silver Efex Pro2 which you could get for free from Google for the time they’ve owned it (sold by now to DXO, not sure what they’re going to do with it…). So it’s kind of a jump-through-the-hoops for photography, but for music I’m on Debian alone since long, like for everything else as well.

And now, from time to time, I’ll have a look at/into Arch again. Normally when you read about new program versions with new features somewhere, looking into Arch means that you’ll have that newest version already. And Debian will stay my main and stable machine once that Debian 12 will be made official on June 10th.

Oh, by the way: Arch is slim, as they say on their homepage. Unlike Debian or other distributions, it doesn’t come with LibreOffice or any other programs pre-installed, so it’s *you* who has to decide what’s needed. Together with the Gnome desktop plus Firefox, Thunderbird and a few goodies, even with all my Wikiloops albums copied onto it, it’s still less than 10GB as you can see here – one third of that is my data so far:

That blue and purple stuff is all music (with the purple bits being published albums, and the outer blue one being raw and unpublished songs in .wav form)…

Like always, thanks for reading.

In German / auf Deutsch: Arbeiten mit Linux

Wer Deutsch kann und mit Linux und freier (und meist kostenloser) Software Musik machen möchte sollte sich den Artikel Arbeiten mit Linux von Michael im Musiker-Board durchlesen:

Abeiten mit Linux, von Michael im Musiker-Board

In English: if you can read and understand German, and if you’re interested in making music with Linux and free (mostly also cost-free) software, then you should read Michael’s article “Arbeiten mit Linux” in the German-speaking Musiker-Board.

Recommended reading. Thanks for your interest.

Saying hello to and thanks for the “Blonde Bop”

Glen MacArthur aka GMaq, farmer, musician, and inventor/creator of AVLinux and the AVL drum kits has decided to give us all a new gift, his “Blonde Bop” drum kit. Here’s kind of a “making of” and explanation:

New Free Drumkit! AVL Drumkits Blonde Bop Kits and LV2 Plugin!

So if your DAW can take sfz or sf2 samples or even better, LV2 plugins, go and have a look – and as you can see, you can – at least in Ardour – even spread out Robin Gareus’ nice plugin over separate channels just like a drummer would do in the studio.

Seen/found in Linux Musicians and the Ardour Discourse, and thank you very much Glen – again!

Some two years ago: Pieces – Oliv’s mix, remastered

Just pointed an interested musician to a song which I accompanied in August of 2020. In retrospect, I should have pointed her to Monsieur OliVBee’s remix which sounded much better than mine, and which I later “remastered” for an album like this:

Pieces – Oliv’s mix, remastered

I recorded this some 11 days after buying my used Christopher DB202T upright bass, here’s a photo of it, also from Wikiloops:

At the time when I recorded this, that instrument had Presto Nylonwould Ultralight strings which are very nice Nylon-based strings – they sound great but aren’t the best for bowing, so I later replaced them with Thomastik Spirocore Weich strings.

Time to pick up that big bass fiddle again, and to play some more tunes… 🙂

Like always, thanks for reading, viewing, and/or listening.

Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Got them for Mitchie during the last Black Friday Sale, and later for myself, both 40% off, so almost two for one:

Google Pixel Buds A-Series, dark olive (Picture: Google)

They sound okay, with a very full bass, even more so than the Moondrop Chu in-ears with cables. Not the best and most HiFi (or neutral) sounding headphones – the Moondrops are probably even better in that regard, but I’ve tried them with a bit of Wikiloops radio and TV via the Zapp app, and they’re good, and even for TV you won’t really notice the latency. Then I listened to one of my own albums because I know the sound of these of course, and yes, they’re still nice – of course not comparable to my open Sonarworks-corrected Sennheisers, but if you want neutral on your phones, there’s always Wavelet – if you believe in that. My personal experience especially with in-ears is that it’s mostly the correct fit which “makes” the sound, especially in the lows. And both Mitchie’s Jabra Elite Active 75T and my Moondrop Chu can’t reach these here in the bass *in my ears* (yours might be different – Zuleikha for instance would prefer the Jabras I think). Anyway, in case you want to read and know more about Wavelet, you can do that here, here, or here. Or directly at the source.

I started listening to my album with both the phone and the earbuds at 100% charge, and after the 41 minutes of my album it was 97% for the phone and 87% for the earbuds. All good.

So yes, if you want to (or have to) get rid of the cable, and for casual listening and/or phone calls, and for 59€ these are nice ones. Recommended.

Update, from Friday Dec 2nd, 2022:

For movies these are even great – if you have a low rumble like from a ship’s engine in ‘1899’, or some other low-pitched stuff, these are just massive – think Dolby in a good cinema. They’re better in that regard than my closed Sennheiser HD569, and I thought that these have a good bass as well. But these Pixel Buds A are a bit louder with the same setting on the phone, and even voices appear clearer, and are easier to understand. So what more could you wish for? These now have my ‘highly recommended’, especially for the movies.

Using open source for music and video, by Bransby

This is a very cool video about what you can achieve using “only” open source software when creating music and videos for the tubes. The gentleman calls himself “Bransby“, and his explanation of things is about the best I’ve seen, so thanks for that, sir! Here we go:

Recording and Mixing using Open Source Software – Ubuntu, Ardour, Calf Plugins

I’ll use this for friends in Wikiloops in case they’ll ask about a howto, so thanks again for your good work and for the nice explanation, Bransby. Oh, and your song is great as well 🙂

Looking at / listening to Ardour 7.1 on Windows

Today I’ve been looking at & listening to the new Ardour 7.1 free and open source software DAW on Windows 11. Looks and sounds awesome:

Ardour 7.1 on Windows 11, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

The music you see within that program is from Dan and Chris, you can listen to that one on Wikiloops if you’d like to. The program seems to work fine, so next step is to also install it on Linux 🙂

And like always, thanks for viewing, listening, and reading.

What’s New in Ardour 7.0

I had downloaded the new Ardour 7.0 for both Linux and Windows as soon as it was released, but haven’t tried it yet (except that on Windows I installed it parallel to the 6.9 version I already had).

In case you’re interested, here’s what’s new, in about 4 minutes:

What’s New in Ardour 7.0

Maybe I’ll try it with the next song & project I’ll be “working” on 🙂

As always, thanks for watching. And thanks and congrats to the Ardour team of course.

Edit, from later the same day: as soon as I show this, there’s a new version again. See here

Three hours with Paul Davis of Ardour

I reported about yesterday’s interview event, and in case you haven’t seen it, here are three hours of talks and interesting news about the upcoming version 7.0 of Ardour. Starts at 30:11 according to unfa, one of the hosts.