SynthXploration 1

April 13, 2011 4:23 PM

If this jumps around a little, it's because I was just looking for a way to demo sounds from ZynAddSubFX.

I set up Ubuntu Studio on my laptop. I had been telling someone about it, and decided recording something would be a good way to demo the onboard synths and other capabilities, as well as to try it out for myself. Wasn't sure about posting this here, because it's just a string of sketches. I only really wrote out the first section, shooting for a fantasy questing soundtrack parody.

Maybe it's food for discussion:

Any other Ubuntu Studio users out there?
VST synths/plugin recommendations?
Vote for sections of this piece that should be developed further?

(Apologies if the above is supposed to be in the talk section).

posted by AppleSeed (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Aggh! One minute of silence at the end of the file. Not sure what happened there. If there's a way to replace the file, I will.
posted by AppleSeed at 4:29 PM on April 13, 2011

I tried Ubuntu Studio years ago, and was annoyed to find that Jack was sort of thrown in there at the last minute and not integrated at all, so it had to be rebuilt. I ended up going back to normal Ubuntu/Gnome.

And I feel like kind of a traitor, since my preferred platform for music production here on Ubuntu is the awesome Psycle running through Wine. (Runs beautifully, by the way, and allows you to plug in VSTs, unlike pretty much every Linux-based tracker / DAW I've used. Are there ways to use VSTs now?) Well, actually I'm even more of a traitor, since pretty much everything electronic I'm doing recently is on the awesome NanoStudio on my iPad.

I don't even know what they do with Ubuntu Studio anymore. Is it easy to get Jack working? Have you successfully built or installed Ardour? Love that Ardour stuff -- built it once with VST support, but never got around to actually using them with it. I recorded a lot of earlier stuff with Ardour before my new mixer (and the lack of drivers ANYWHERE for it) sadly necessitated a move of my live-recording platform back to Vista. Argh.

Hrm. Well, anyway, I like the last thing in this best, I think -- the jazzy organ. The harsh saw at 2:00 I did not like. Heh. I like the waw-heavy shimmery soundtrack-type thing right after it, though. Some interesting stuff here -- I'd say you have at least four or five songs in there, anyway, if you dig 'em apart and see where they go.
posted by koeselitz at 9:23 PM on April 13, 2011

Thanks for the comment. It took quite a bit of coaxing and determination to get Jack to work together with everything (outboard sound card, MIDI from the keyboard, Ubuntu Studio audio components). I did not try loading any VST components yet, but it is purportedly possible. Ardour worked out of the box. I am getting some occasional static, pops, and horrific MIDI looping, so it's not a perfect set-up.

I don't think you are being a traitor. It's shareware, so using it without contributing in some way is probably much worse than deciding it's not your cup of tea. The technology should not get in the way. There are some nice tutorials on YouTube for getting started, if you decide to try it again, but if you have something that works for you, why bother?

That weird saw sound was originally a low-fi, useless woodwind, so I wanted to see if I could at least make it really ugly by piling on some effects (alien wah + portamento). Kind of cool in the low register, but prolly not a sound I'd use - also, that track has too much presence for some reason, which doesn't help. I'm going to try to repost the file without the dead air after it ends.
posted by AppleSeed at 9:54 AM on April 14, 2011

Thanks to pb for replacing the file.
posted by AppleSeed at 4:29 PM on April 14, 2011

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