Category Archives: Computer Music

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    Linux Music Workflow switching form Max OS to Ubuntu with Kim Cascone 

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Your article is excellent and it is at a pretty high level of research.

I have no idea about music but write comments on Linux distributions except Ubunbtu unfortunately

There are many Linux distribution specialized in Music.

  1. Dynabolic
  2. Musix
  3. ArtistX
  4. XBMC is a game box like xbox and audio and video capabilities. I won’t recommend it for Music but for games and store your music and video.
    I am going to extract some for your article for promoting Linux.

    I have extracted first few pages an article on computer music by Kim Cascone which is an excellent article.

  5. Audio files and audio rendering (Free Software ) was pain in the neck 10 years ago. Now it has matured into hugely successful formats.
  6. All digital music at the end of the day has to be read by our analog ears which has very narrow range and decibels to enjoy. We do not have the perception of a rat, mouse, dog or even an elephant. Snakes including cobras cannot hear music but they are receptive to vibration and catch a mouse in flight at night. Some snakes have infrared sensors.
  7. Mind you elephants love music.
  8. Reason of reproduction is two folds.
  9. To promote Linux including Ubuntu
  10. To promote  Computer Music

Historical Evolution

I’ve been working with computers since the 1970s. Inspired by the work of composer David Behrman, I taught myself assembly language and programmed a simple digital sequencer on a KIM-1, single-board microcomputer, controlling an Aries modular synthesizer I had built. I discovered a then-new magazine called Computer Music Journal at the local computer shop and bought every copy I could get my hands on. (I still have them, too.) Later, I helped a friend’s father, an executive at IBM, unpack and set up the first personal computer IBM made. The manuals alone took up two or three feet of bookshelf space.

Fast-forward through a couple of decades of owning Commodore 64s, Apple computers, and PCs. In 1997, I purchased my first laptop: a woefully-underpowered Compaq Presario. It wasn’t fast enough for real-time audio, so I had to render sound files to hard disk using the audio programming language Csound. I created many of the sounds this way for my CD ‘blueCube’. But the capacity to work anywhere was enough for me to give up ever owning another desktop computer.

Frustrated with the ‘code-compile-listen’ process of working with Csound and wanting to work in real-time, I switched to the graphical multi-media programming language Max/MSP, which necessitated a move back to Apple hardware, so I bought a PowerBook. Having Max/MSP running on a laptop was the perfect environment for me. I could build the tools I needed whenever an idea presented itself. The computer functioned as both sound design studio and stage instrument. I worked this way for ten years, faithfully following the upgrade path set forth by Apple and the various developers of the software I used. Continually upgrading required a substantial financial commitment on my part.

When I’m on the road, I use my laptop as a music studio, performance instrument, and administration office. I don’t like surprises on the road. Having a computer fail means a loss of income, and makes for an embarrassing moment if the failure happens during a performance. If watching laptop music bores some people, watching a musician reboot is even worse. So to be safe, I stress-test all new hardware or software in my studio for at least a month before I take it on the road. Max/MSP patches run for hours, software is used for weeks, and hardware is left on for days at a time to help induce failure before I leave home. But as fate would have it, an iBook I was touring with died a few years ago. I brought the laptop into an Apple repair shop in Berlin, where a technician diagnosed the problem as a faulty logic board. The failure rate on logic boards was high for that model of iBook, and in response to public pressure, Apple instituted a logic board replacement program. Luckily, my laptop qualified and the logic board was replaced for free. But the failure and ongoing buggy behavior impacted my work schedule and added to the stress of touring.

I’ve now replaced logic boards on three computers; the other two I paid for out of pocket. The out-of-warranty cost of replacing a logic board on an Apple laptop is around six hundred dollars — cheaper than buying a brand new laptop, but still significant.

If you make your living with applications that run on OS X, there are no options if a laptop fails. You either repair expensive Apple hardware or buy new expensive Apple hardware. This is called ‘vendor lock-in.’

Then, during my 2009 spring tour, my PowerBook G4 exhibited signs of age, with missing keystrokes, intermittent backlighting, the failure of a RAM slot, and reduced performance. As an alternative to repairing the PowerBook, I investigated what a new MacBook Pro and upgrades for all my software would cost. A quick back-of-a-napkin estimate came to approximately $3,000, not including the time it would take tweaking and testing to make it work for the tour. If the netbook revolution hadn’t come along and spawn a price-wars on laptops, I might have proceeded to increase my credit card debt. But as a wise uncle once advised, “you invest either your time or your money; never both.”

Meeting Ubuntu

I had tried Linux in 2005 on PowerPC-based Mac laptops, though at the time I couldn’t get audio working, even after extensive tweaking. But I had kept an eye on Ubuntu ever since. After considering MacBook Pro prices, I checked out the new netbooks coming to market and picked up a refurbished Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with Ubuntu pre-installed.

I loaded up my Dell with all a selection of Linux audio applications and brought it with me on tour as an emergency backup to my tottering PowerBook. The Mini 9 could play back four tracks of 24-bit/96 kHz audio with effects – not bad for a netbook. The solution to my financial constraint became clear, and I bought a refurbished Dell Studio 15, installed Ubuntu on it, and set it up for sound production and business administration. The total cost was around $600 for the laptop plus a donation to a software developer — a far cry from the $3000.00 price tag and weeks of my time it would have cost me to stay locked-in to Apple. After a couple of months of solid use, I have had no problems with my laptop or Ubuntu. Both have performed flawlessly, remaining stable and reliable.

Getting Past Ubuntu Audio Complexities

There are a few differences between how audio works on Mac OS X and how it works on Ubuntu Linux. OS X uses the Core Audio and Core MIDI frameworks for audio and MIDI services, respectively. All applications requiring audio services on OS X talk to Core Audio, which mixes and routes multiple audio streams to the desired locations. Core Audio is simple, monolithic, and easy to set up, and all the end-user controls are accessible from one panel. You can even create a single aggregate device from multiple sound cards if you need more inputs or outputs than one sound card can supply. To Apple’s credit, Core Audio and the applications that make use of it are the reason why you see so many laptop musicians seated behind glowing Apple logos on stage.

On Ubuntu, audio is a rather different story. Apple’s slogan ‘Think Different’ would be good advice for musicians encountering Ubuntu’s audio setup for the first time. Audio in Ubuntu can appear at first to be a confusing jumble of servers, layers, services, and terminology. Go to System->Preferences->Sound, click on the Devices tab, and check out the pull down menu next to ‘Sound Events’ at the top of the panel. You will see various acronyms, possibly including cryptic-looking technologies like OSS, ESD, ALSA, JACK, and Pulse Audio. These acronyms represent a byzantine tangle of conflicting technologies that over time, and due to political reasons or backwards compatibility, have ended up cohabiting with one another.

‘Frankenstein’ might be an accurate metaphor here.

Thankfully, there is a simpler way, which is the combination of ALSA [a high-performance, kernel-level audio and MIDI system] and JACK [a system for creating low-latency audio, MIDI, and sync connections between applications and computers]. The battle-scarred among us have learned to ignore all the other audio cruft bolted on to Ubuntu and just use ALSA and JACK. One can think of the ALSA/JACK stack, the heart of most pro Linux studios, as the Core Audio of Linux and in my opinion Jack should be the first thing installed on any musicians laptop. I’d go so far as to suggest placing it in the Startup Applications so it’s always running.

Mental Age, Physical Age and Credibility Gap of Classification based on Tests that cannot be Validated Scientifically

Children are different and their development physically and mentally are different and the variability can be immense.

The academic tests done are not assessed according to the age or sex even retrospectively.

The test is done on a single day the age difference of the population is 12 months.

A child who is one year younger is tested with a child who is one year older.

Sex difference value is 2.

The mental age variability may be as high as 5 years.

This even vary for even the mother language which is is almost automatically acquired.

Girls acquire language quicker than boys.

This is the function of the dominant but automatic side of the brain.

For example to swallow food or water one needs not have to teach even a dog.

This is not so for the second language which is the function of the creative side of the brain.

There is a time to introduce a second language.

Otherwise it becomes a translation of word by word process and that is not the way to learn a second language. The style of the language is never acquired.

This is what has happened to good old English. Every country imitate its its native (stepmother version of English) version. English is an international and universal language.

One need not be puritan but should not vandalize it.

The effect of the trainer or teacher is not taken in my analysis.

Parental and social effects are also dominantly operating.


Girls lag behind mathematics till their advanced level age and the nleveling off occurs automatically.

By then some boys are 2 to 5 years ahead.

That does not mean boys are smarter but is just the pattern.

Learning acquiring knowledge and skills is a pattern based not rote memory based.

One should employ the tradition of Buddhist monks. The monks fearing distortion handed down the teachings by rote memory, The writing down was done years later. By that time distortions have already taken place.

Simply there are two editions. We are still arguing about the sectors but very few practice the essence, the universal compassion.

This country has become the opposite.

Hate is propagated and encouraged in the name of fragile law of existence.

This is somewhat seen with computer competency too but nobody has done a long term study (wider availability of computer skills is only less than a decade and one cannot see the pattern of learning in such a short time).

10 or 15 year period is such a short time in academic functions and their assessment.

So test designed on a static moment of time is bound to be not a true assessment of the dynamic child’s potential.

Children are dynamic.

A test based on static nature has no validity. With or without a test some improve some go down and some drop out.
what am against is the labeling or appointment as a leader in academic skills (party politics does not apply here).

Learning is a continuous process up to one’s death.

After 5th year Scholarship has all the inherent defects which convicts 90% of some creative innocent children into thinking that they are not worth the mettle and is a national crime.


I had very few wishes and scrapping this test was one of my first priority if am given the mantle of education reforms.

One of the other wishes has gone by the wayside and into thin air which I stated 6 years ago and I wish not to repeat it here.

Such an amount of mounting stupidity in the system and at higher echelon having a intellectual discussion is almost impossible.

When dons are talking of virginity and their availability or non-availability for competence in academic activities is hilarious.


What little I know people who are engaged in healthy sex activities (men in particular) are forward in their academic activities.

Less being said about this is better except for proposing to appoint a Professor of Virginity for all academic institution including all national schools is ripe in this Banana Republic.


The criteria of eligibility except for having a Big Bunch, I cannot elaborate for my own sanity but I wish to sit at the Interview Board of selections since, I can still distinguish big from a small one.


This test which has variability of factor 12x2x5 x X-factor is over 250 folds.This is like saying there are 250 colours and which is superior. Children are all colourful in their own ways and every colour is beautiful for their parents.

The problem is when you make them only black and white.

That is what this test does. It is infuriating.

Where are those American trained psychologists who are selling education piece by piece?


It should be scrapped as soon as possible and I do not think even our grandchildren will not be spared to this ignominious (putting all others who fail to ignoramus) adventure by our education system, if things remain as it is without a revision 90% of our children are doomed.


There is another point I am totally against, the area basis selection of students to the Universities.

This is a violation of fundamental right of each student who sit a competitive examination.


If the government cannot rectify the difference and disparity in education and in the school system, they should pay some compensation for those students who are between the area basis marks and and above and not getting selected due to no fault of their capabilities but due to wrong government policy.

Let that be a healthy sum so that the particular student is able to go abroad and continue his/her education which he/she deserves.

Why only rich people send their children abroad?

University entry should be on first come first basis.

It should not be based on political decisions of proportionate representation.

It is wrong.

Why at least one student not contesting the education department on fundamental rights issue is amazing.

I wish a lawyer should represent this case without a fee from this student.

If I am a lawyer I would have done that by now.