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Linux Journal: Visiting the New World of Linux Sound & Music Software

Jan 08, 2004, 13:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dave Phillips)

"One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, 'What's the easiest way to get into the world of Linux sound software?'. In the latter half of the 90s, there was no simple answer to that query. Typically, you had to install your distribution of choice and then customize it for audio work yourself. This usually meant such activities as patching the kernel sources for improved performance, replacing the older OSS/free kernel sound modules with the ALSA system, recompiling and reinstalling the kernel, optimizing disk performance, installing all the needed applications and various pieces of support software and so forth. Although not terribly difficult, the process was time-consuming, prone to annoying errors and incompatibilities and thus was rather intimidating even to a relatively experienced user.

"In true Linux fashion, a number of projects have appeared since then whose primary aim is the alleviation of the aches and pains resulting from installing and configuring an advanced Linux sound system and applications base. These projects provide the software resources for audio capabilities suitable for simple desktop listening pleasure or for professional-quality, multitrack, multichannel audio and MIDI production. Appropriate hardware is required, of course, but the ALSA system currently supports a broad range of soundcards and digital audio boards, from the popular SoundBlaster Live and Audigy cards to high-end boards, such as the RME Hammerfall and M-Audio's Delta series..."

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