The Personal Blog of Stephen Sekula

Ubuntu Studio — just in time

I recently purchased an M-audio Fast Track USB box, which converts XLR input to USB. This lets me plug an SM57 microphone, good for average sound applications and generic instrumental recording, into my desktop linux box and record drums. This has given me the freedom to finally pursue my drumming again with some meaning, allowing me to work with a musician friend of mine back east to work out songs without having to be in the same room (or even the same city). It’s no substitute for a real studio, or face-time, but at least we can weed out the bad stuff before getting some precious studio time.

I’ve been doing the recording with audacity, a free audio editing program. It’s great for what I need, though at first I was concerned that the linux kernel on my desktop had inadequate realtime support. Realtime support is needed to make sure that, while recording, there are no lags in the process caused by the sound card’s priority being dropped to, say, let skype pop up a window. That proved to not be the case, and I’ve been recording drum parts happily for several weeks.

Now, just in time for my renewed joy with drums and music recording, “Ubuntu linux is announcing a release meant for audio and graphics processing”: “Ubuntu Studio” is due out in April. Awesome.