Thursday, March 21, 2013

move from Garageband to Linux : can it be done ? - Part2

- read part 1 first -

Hi all,

To make it a bit easier to understand what exactly we are trying to accomplish i would like to tell you first what our current setup(s) looks like :

1) the setups
As you probably know we have been using Hydrogen live for a while now and that worked out quite well so far.  The Hydrogen setup consists out of a midi drum controller, an old laptop-in-a-box (LT1 on the drawing) and some extra wiring to be able to use the Left and Right output as 2 individual channels :

At the same time we started using Hydrogen, Stijn (our fabulous guitar player) started experimenting with a the even more fabulous Casio VL-tone :-)

Next he started using his MBP13" (running Garageband) with an M-audio midi keyboard hooked up to it via USB.
His setup currently looks like this :

Finally there is also my setup.  I run standard 64bit Ubuntu 10.04 desktop (yes, I know it's old, but it works !) with an Akai MPK mini connected to my laptop.
I mostly use AmSynth and/or the great Calf Monosynth but i'm also planning to use Qsynth, Phasex and some others as well.
This is my simplified setup :

Being able to use whatever hardware/software you are comfortable with is obviously nice and eliminates the need to learn new (soft)synths.  However, good synths and/or soundfonts can be quite expensive when you're on a Mac and there are other challenges you need to deal with ...
Hence the attempt to move everything to Linux.

2) the song
The song we want to cover is Synrise by Goose (you can listen to this song on Spotify or on Youtube)
As you can hear there is quite a lot of interesting stuff happening in this song : samples, beats, arpeggiators, filter sweeps, swells, vocals ...  More than enough to keep us busy for a while :-)

Remember : we want to be able to play it live with the band ...

In a next post we'll start by breaking up the song into different parts and analyse each part in detail one by one.

- you can read part 3 here -


  1. Great couple of blog posts. I've dabbled with Linux Audio for my home bass setup before but want to get all my (simplistic) gear working with it as well as a midi keyboard which i need to get - so keen to hear how you guys get on!

  2. I would recommend Zynaddsubfx or Yoshimi to add to your synth instruments, they are very powerful tools for Linux.