Posts Tagged 'netbook'

eeepc as a linux audio workstation

A few days ago I told you about the first steps into using an eeepc as a real-time audio tool. jack runs up fine. I chose the internal audio card with the combination 48kHz,  256frames, 4buffers (which gives a latency of  21.3msec) and running on its  own  it doesn’t cough up any xrun.

I couldn’t get sooperlooper working yet. Sooperlooper works (see solution)! freqtweak works  (A nice little thing!), too.  Ardour works very nice, too. Sometimes the screen is a bit small for the whole window, but  I was using ardour a bit today and it wasn’t too much of  a hassle. Audacity is buggy (converting to mono + playing results in a segmentation fault).

I will try and find out about sooperlooper and audacity. Other programs and how an external audio card  connects  (I hope  my older posts will tell me what to do), a midi interface and all that will come up soon…

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a real-time kernel on a netbook

As I hoped it would be I can now give you some good news about using a real-time kernel on an ATOM platform. Basically: it works!

I bought an eeepc 1000h, one of those small laptops, which has an N270 chip from intel, 1GB of memory and a 160GB hard disc. I thought, this cannot have much less performance than my old laptop (see the About-page). I have an ubuntu 8.04 installed and usually run the linux-eeepc kernel.

To have good audio performance, I installed the real-time kernel from the 8.04  repositories and did what I wrote in the first post. Then I started the jack daemon with “/usr/bin/jackd -R -dalsa -dhw:0 -r48000 -p1024 -n2” and it worked quite well. I expected a lot of problems, but no. For some cutting, single track recording or trying bits and pieces it should be okay. I’ll give it a go and will try it out more. With an external audio card it could even be better…

So this is not bad. What the standard real-time installation still misses is a working  network. The camera and special keys do not do anything either. But I think, for the moment, this does not really matter.

things to come

Since the last post it has been a while, but the blog is not dead! That concert drained a lot of energy, therefore the publishing had to wait. Back on track, at the moment I am working on new posts. If working out as planned, there will be

  • a follow-up to the “Introduction to Sooperlooper”,
  • some insights into sound generation with python
  • and hopefully good news about using ATOM powered platforms for making live music.

I know that most people think, only the fastest and the best computer is good for music generation. But music has been made on computers for many years by now. Actually, this ATOM cpu seems to be close to the performance of the 1.4GHz Centrino, with which I have made some very good experiences. So, what is more important in the end is the creativity of the musician rather then the capacity of the equipment.

I haven’t been able to find a working real-time kernel for an ATOM cpu and my efforts on compiling my own haven’t been very fruitful. But I’ll keep looking for it. Maybe one should launch something like a netbookRT.sourceforge project? Any comments/ideas?