When I moved to Cambridge this spring I couldn’t compose too much because the only thing I had was my laptop. Anyway I composed on it a new piece called The Fairy that was released at the end of May. Now I have received my MIDI keyboard and the sound interface. Waiting for the table and I think to get some new tools for the studio. I hope at the end of the month to be able to setup the home studio and start to work on music more intense. Here are two photos I took at the beginning of this summer and now of the same wheat field that inspired me to write the current piece.
These are my last days in my home studio in Chisinau. Establishing myself in Cambridge will take time and probably after several months I’ll receive there only the MIDI keyboard, and the sound card plus the microphone. During this time I don’t think I’ll be able to write much music. In Cambridge probably I’ll change my workflow, and also the software and the platform. I need a high quality strings sample library, good reverb, and other better quality DSP. Due to this, there is a need to change a lot, also the DAW and the platform unfortunately.
Sine I have made an upgrade of my Geontime Studio with a more powerful computer, I started to install all the configuration and software that I need for composing music in GNU/Linux (Debian). I want to reach a stable configuration for my workflow for at least the 6 next months, when to concentrate only on music. I have compiled Ardour from the repository and the rest of the basing plugins I use, and other software. But not everything goes well from the beginning, and something is crashing here and there. The last week I made a crash fix for Yoshimi synth and today for Calf plugin, and they were merged into the master. Now probably I am closer to my stable workflow, and can continue the mix for the piece I am working.
Yoshimi is a software synthesizer, and since it has also a LV2 plugin I started to use it now in Ardour. Ardour warned me once that I need to increase the maximum locked memory, but I ignored this. Working on my new piece, and adding new tracks with Yoshimi as an instrument, the Ardour started to crash. Studying a little the crash with GDB I found that it comes from Yoshimi. Cloned the Yoshimi repository, and fixed the crash and made a commit to the project. At least Yoshimi will not crash Ardour if there is not enough memory to lock.
Now I’ve seen that my contribution was accepted. I am happy twice. 🙂 The work on the piece can continue, and soon I will start the mixing phase.
This is how you are becoming addicted by GNU/Linux and free software. You want a viola in a track, qsample crashes when you want to load SF2 instruments… you download the latest code of qsample, and it doesn’t compile… than you comment some lines of C++ code in qsample that gives errors, but you don’t think this will affect sf2… so you compile, run, load the instrument… and your track is playing the viola… and you are happy! That’s a real composition. #music#freesoftware
Until now my workflow was LMMS->Ardour. Than I updated Debian and LMMS (repo version) started to crash. I thought It was due to some plugins, but not. I have compiled the new version of LMMS, but it doesn’t compile the ZynAddSubFx plugin. Anyway I had plans to move completely to Ardour.
Now I succeeded to compile Yoshimi as a LV2 plugin, so, I have started to work on a new idea purely in Ardour.
Here are my main thoughts about Ardour MIDI editing:
Sometimes the first note of a region is not played.
Transition, for example, from one chord to another often the previous chord is still played and clashes with the current cord (it may be from the synthesizer, but I don know).
Note dynamics (velocity) is visible only by color nuances. That is not so practical. Not event saying that there are a lot of people with dichromacy.
I think piano roll is the right thing, and there are other issues regarding MIDI, but I’ll see if my experience will change after some pieces created.