Using FreeBSD to build Recording Studio

coyote_trackz

Member

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I am in the process of looking into what it would take to build a home recording studio. I would like to use FreeBSD as the base platform for the computer side of things and was wondering if anybody is aware of what to look for in regards to usb interfaces for a mixer that would be the connection between the instruments (along with mics) and the computer. Also open to learning if a different type of interface would be a better option.
 

SKull

Active Member

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As a FreeBSD user and owner of several synthesizers:
I really wouldn't bother with FreeBSD to use it as a DAW. I'm not saying it can't be done... but unless you're willing to fiddle around for hours/days, you're better off with a windows home license and the cheapest version of whatever DAW you're using...
Goran Mekić did a talk at FOSDEM in 2019 about using FreeBSD in an audio studio which might be of interest to you: https://archive.fosdem.org/2019/schedule/event/freebsd_in_audio_studio/
I've seen that talk when it came out! Definitely an interesting watch!
 

ShelLuser

Son of Beastie

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Skull beat me to the punch but yah, I agree. For multiple reasons: don't make the tool the focus of your project(s) because that is bound to cause problems in the longer run. Don't look at what tools might be "cool" to use but instead look at what would work best for you.

Heck, even a DAW such as Reaper could already provide a solid basis, optionally supported by stuff from (for example) free VST's (though I'd consider the TAL plugins a must-have, even the free stuff). I don't see any of that easily working on FreeBSD to be honest.

Then there's the issue of drivers. On Windows we have ASIO ("Audio Stream Input/Output") which allows audio software direct & unconditional access to your audio hardware (even bypassing official drivers), this greatly reduces latency. Mac OS also supports direct access but I believe it's out of the box (supported by the OS itself) but I'm not sure since I only use Windows as my client OS.

Yah, I don't see this easily working on FreeBSD (nor Linux). Worse yet: you'll have to limit your hardware choices on what's supported, not based on what will work best for you. And that can be a very critical and problematic issue for your creative process.

I'm also not saying that this cannot work no matter what, but I am convinced that it won't be very ideal. I've been working with digital audio for over 10 years now and only once came across someone who was using Linux, or trying to. He eventually bailed to Mac.
 

kpedersen

Daemon

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Worse yet: you'll have to limit your hardware choices on what's supported, not based on what will work best for you.
I find this also odd when people choose macOS solutions. There is a slight reduction of hardware available for technical audio because Windows still overwhelmingly rules the roost and yet so many (especially indie) recording studios are Apple houses.

Of course there is a difference between ~90% of hardware of this nature being available on Apple and ~20% being available on FreeBSD. (However if you do get access to that full 20%, you will have a big warm fuzzy feeling!)
 

ShelLuser

Son of Beastie

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I find this also odd when people choose macOS solutions. There is a slight reduction of hardware available for technical audio because Windows still overwhelmingly rules the roost and yet so many (especially indie) recording studios are Apple houses.
It gets worse... There have been 2 occasions already where an OS update rendered all major DAWs within the industry completely useless. Just to be clear: I'm not talking about "some" products or niche software, I'm talking about industry standards; from Cubase to Ableton Live, from Reason to parts of the Komplete suite. Everyone suffered. First time this happened it took over a year for things to get back to normal. I believe the most recent update is still causing problems (but I'm not sure since I don't bother to keep up with recent developments).

Apple may give out a sense of professionalism but... reality shows a whole different picture.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

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I find this also odd when people choose macOS solutions. There is a slight reduction of hardware available for technical audio because Windows still overwhelmingly rules the roost and yet so many (especially indie) recording studios are Apple houses.
Performing arts is a niche that is served well and is targeted by a number of hardware and software houses for that purpose. It doesn't matter if the hardware is limited to a few things. You only need one and everyone in that niche uses those very few.

At my son's performing arts college, EVERYBODY had a Mac. My son was the only one who didn't. He has one now and does all his creative work on it. (He just had a film accepted into Cannes but I'm confused. It's THAT Cannes but here in the US? I'm confused.)

When I worked at SGI, during the Jurassic Park days, the first they did was hand you the tax forms to fill out and a Mac.
 

kpedersen

Daemon

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He just had a film accepted into Cannes but I'm confused. It's THAT Cannes but here in the US? I'm confused.
That's actually really cool. I am not too knowledgeable of this kind of area so had to look it up: https://www.festival-cannes.com/en/ (is this the one?)

Either way, this event looks extremely prestigious compared to the usual ratty computer related conferences haha.
When I worked at SGI, during the Jurassic Park days, the first they did was hand you the tax forms to fill out and a Mac.
I am actually a little jealous that you probably got to play with the SGI machines and software whilst it was still fresh :D
I have an Octane but... it is almost dust!
 

kpedersen

Daemon

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Heh, it looks equally as fancy. I have a colleague who loves these arty or short kind of films. Much of them are lost on my boring ol' self ;)
 

astyle

Member

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Am I the only one who noticed that this thread is dated April 1?

Jokes aside, FreeBSD 13-RELEASE does have a way to do that, just read the FreeBSD handbook part about multimedia (https://docs.freebsd.org/en/books/handbook/multimedia/#sound-setup). There's also a few ports that deal with sound processing (just search 'midi' at freebsd.org/ports). I think you'd probably get stuck at sound capture. A decent page to look at is: (https://wiki.freebsd.org/Sound), which I found by googling 'freebsd microphone'.

Do pay attention to compatible hardware, and I would stay away from USB microphones - they are cheap, not necessarily high quality, and may not be supported. But I'm open to being proved wrong on that.
 

Alain De Vos

Aspiring Daemon

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Which reminds some audio hardware must be reverse engineered. Because , well , cfr Nvidia.
Ooh, even browsers don't work well with sndio. While sndio is not bad as compared to pulseaudio.
Even jack gave me a headache. It was not user-friendly
 
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