My submission for the Linux Sound Night at LAC2014 with The Infinite Repeat has been accepted. The Call for Papers page mentions the term “danceable” so I’m going to focus on that. Making danceable music is quite a challenge for me but it should definitely be doable to produce a solid set, especially now that I’m the proud owner of a Korg Volca Keys. I’m definitely going to integrate it in my current setup as the Volca reacts great on MIDI sent from my workstation. It has some fat sounds that just scream dance floor.
Korga Volca Keys
I’m really looking forward to this year’s LAC. It seems falkTX and avlinux are going too, it’d be great to meet these guys in real life!
Somehow I managed to arrive just in time to set everything up for my workshop, like always. I’m very good at stumbling in at the very last moment. The Nvidia binary blob didn’t like a beamer attached to it so I couldn’t properly display my slides. The well-filled room didn’t seem to care, they were more interested in what I had to say and the equipment I brought with me. I talked and talked and only briefly demonstrated the Raspberry Pi I brought with me. Guess I could’ve done a whole workshop about the RPi because apparently that little device caught most of the attention.
Right after my workshop I rushed to Rui’s intercalated workshop about the software he develops. I missed his first workshop which took place on Thursday. But since Rui had so much more to show after that initial workshop the LAC2013 organization decided to allot him more time for an extra workshop. But I also didn’t want to miss Jörn’s workshop so I decided I also wanted to see part of that workshop too. Even though I’ve been using Rui’s software for years (I’m a QA, Qtractor Afficionado) he showed things I had never seen before. And I probably attended one of the best parts of Jörn’s workshop where he showed and made us listen to what he did with a live recording. An ear opener, really, amazing what you can do with a good pair of ears, years of experience and the right tools.
Then it was lunchtime already. Missed out on the warm lunch but when that was all cleared the alternative food stand was set up again which had probably even better food. They had great salads, fruit juice, bread and other tasty things, all for free. Many, many thanks to the organization for setting this up, it really added up to the overall positive vibe of the conference.
Now I had a bit of a problem. I needed to go to the Forum Stadtpark to do a sound check for the Linux Sound Night. But walking was not an option with all my stuff and public transport would take too long as there was no direct connection. Luckily I could tag along with the guys from SuperDirt² so I hopped into their car and off we went. SuperDirt² had to play last so they did their sound check first. I watched their sound check in awe, these guys were good! I was up next. Everything went smooth, monitors were good, the sound guy was a really cool guy and so was the stage manager for the event. All omens were very positive!
We got back right on time for Albert Graef’s talk on creating LV2 plugins with Faust. We witnessed a glimpse of the future. If I got it right it will be extremely easy to create your own LV2 plugins in the near future. Just throw some Faust code against it and upload it with your browser and within moments you can download your own LV2 plugin! Time to learn some Faust I guess. One lightning talk later we witnessed another glimpse of the future. No, not my acrylic guitar in the hands of Bruno Gola but the world premiere of the MOD Quadra digital pedal board. The excitement was tangible. But the MOD guys quite easily redeemed the high expectations. The MOD Quadra is simply an amazing device, the web GUI looks stunning and it’s all so easy. And it runs on Linux people, using the LV2 framework. If this doesn’t propel LV2 into mass adoption then what?
For dinner we ended up in a nice Italian restaurant. The Gösser tasted good, same for the dish I ordered (Calamari alla griglia). After dinner we walked to the Forum Stadtpark where we were welcomed by the pleasant chaos of Android drummers. I installed the app and joined the concert. It was fun. Then the beamer got switched on showing us two terminal windows with vim on the right side and something compile-ish on the left. On stage a person in front of a notebook, coding live. The result? Really cool stuff if you ask me, just watch for yourself.
Algorave to the max all y’all!
Then it was time for something remotely dance related, namely me. Really enjoyed the gig even though my voice let me down after the third song. The guy that came after me unfortunately was a bit the odd one out so the contrast with the last act, SuperDirt², couldn’t have been bigger. As soon as Käpt’n Dirt hit the strings of his cello we knew this was going to be a blast. And when Ras Tilo kicked in the party was complete. What a great show!
After the encore of SuperDirt² it was time for the Open Jack Session. Not Jack as in JACK but Jack as in 3.5″ mini-jack. It was lying there on the table on stage and after ClaudiusMaximus Marije Baalman plugged in. Live coding in SuperCollider with every once in a while Marije stretching her arms because of the anti-RSI alarms that kept popping up. Great stuff, very enjoyable to listen to and the added humorous note of the anti-RSI alarms perfectly summed up what this conference was all about: having a great time. Despite the submerging inebriation I was enthralled.
We stayed until we got kicked out. That’s how it should be. Sole minor blemish: the beer. That Murauer stuff was close to undrinkable.
“Hello, I’d like to know if I can take my electric guitar with me as hand luggage, would that be possible?” “Well that depends on the whims of the cabin crew.” “So if I can’t take it with me in the cabin would that cost me extra?” “Yes, that will be €200.”
So I decided to take my guitar apart, wrap it in a big towel and put in my suitcase so that I could take it with me as standard baggage. I didn’t want to run the risk of having to pay €200 extra. When I arrived at the airport I was sitting next to a young lady with, yes you guessed it right, a guitar as hand luggage. She didn’t have to pay anything extra. Grmbl. You’ll see that when I unpack my stuff in Graz the neck of the guitar will be broken or something. Let’s hope not.
I had a transfer in Munich which went smoothly. The whole journey went smoothly actually. Thanks to 3G internet, QR codes of my tickets sent to my mobile phone and Google maps. Especially those QR codes are very practical, they save time and paper. Every counter and gate has QR scanners and the personnel just puts your mobile phone in the scanner and you’re done. Maximum efficiency. Google maps helped me out on quite some occasions too although the Grazians were very helpful too.
So on Friday around 2 PM I walked into the main conference building. I couldn’t be there on Thursday because of my son‘s birthday. So I already missed quite some interesting workshops, presentations and lightning talks. I was kind of bummed about that at first but as soon as I entered the building I forgot about all that. It was still lunch time and everyone got together in the main building to eat something. It was a warm welcome and great to see all those people again. I immediately spotted the MOD guys (my goal for this LAC was to get a MOD endorsement) and got acquainted with the one and only Kirill Alferov which was quite a nice surpise. After having something to eat I decided to check on the status of my guitar and to put it back together again. Luckily the guitar had survived the journey unharmed.
As soon as I started screwing the neck back on the MOD guys approached me to ask if they could borrow my guitar for their lightning talk on Saturday. Sure, but only if I could play around a bit with the MOD Quadra they brought with them. This was no problem so a few minutes later I found myself happily noodling and tapping footswitches on this amazing device. Even though it still had some rough edges it all felt, looked and sounded very professional to me. Yes, the MOD is a fine example of my view on Linux audio development: world domination. And I mean it. Within 10 years Windows and Mac OS will only exist for tablets or other small portable devices with touchscreens and Linux will be the only viable alternative on both other ends of the scale: embedded devices and fully fledged audio workstations in professional studios.
Right after that I headed off with Marc Groenewegen to the Linux/Ardour in a Recording Studio workshop where I soon found myself going through the mixing console manual together with Frank Neumann to find any references to GPL clauses as the console was running on Linux (see how quickly world domination is approaching already?). Of course we found nothing. The workshop was a bit too specialized for me so I decided to check in at the hotel and get rid of my baggage. The plan was to eat Schnitzels for dinner but when it was time to go to the restaurant it was pouring so we (me, Funs & girlfriend) arrived at the restaurant completely soaked. But I couldn’t care less when I got served my Schnitzel XL with a big pint of Puntigamer.
After dinner we went to the Mumuth. Amazing building. But me and electroacoustic music don’t go together that well. It’s not that I don’t like it. I’ve seen Sachiko M once and she blew me away with just a sine wave out of a sampler. Not just with the sine wave but more with her performance, her being there and getting totally absorbed by the sounds she was making. They had to carry her off the stage after she was done. Well, that didn’t happen at the Mumuth. Or I should’ve stayed until the end because now I’m basing my judgement on a mere three perfomances because I left earlier as I didn’t really dig the vibe.
Twee mailtjes in mijn inbox vanochtend. Allebei mijn submissions voor LAC2013 zijn geaccepteerd! Dus op LAC2013 ga ik een workshop doen over je electrische gitaar gebruiken met Linux audio tools en ik ga een optreden doen op de Linux Sound Night.
Ben blij dat m’n submissions zijn geaccepteerd, heb alles al geboekt en zou zonde zijn als ik niks had kunnen doen. Die kans was er want kennelijk waren er best veel aanmeldingen.
Submission #34: Using your electric guitar with Linux
Almost 20 years of experience with playing guitar and over 10 years of Linux experience, one day that just had to come together. With the advent of guitarix, a virtual guitar amplifier for Linux, this became reality and coupled with the modularity of the Linux audio ecosystem a whole plethora of possibilities became accessible. In this workshop I will show the current possibilities for a guitarist with Linux audio in a hands-on, live setting.
Submission #35: The Infinite Repeat
A musician with over 20 years of experience and a computer with Linux. That’s what it boils down to. The result: conventional, decent song-writing, different sounding because of the choice to not walk the threaded paths and because of an autodidactic background, an outspoken personal taste and a open-minded worldview.
LAC2011 zit er weer op. Zondagochtend vroeg ben ik met de taxi naar Dublin Airport gereden en een paar uur later was ik weer thuis, moe maar voldaan. Helaas heb ik wel de 3e dag van de conferentie moeten missen maar afgelopen maandag was Loutje z’n eerste verjaardag dus wilde vóór maandag terug zijn.
De workshop van zaterdag over mijn workflow ging ook prima. Anderhalf uur is dan best wel kort, heb heel veel niet uit kunnen leggen en achteraf had ik nog wel wat meer willen laten zien. M’n notebook had wel wat moeite met het snel openen en sluiten van applicaties en grote projecten. Liep tegen wat xruns aan, JACK scheidde er een keer mee uit en op een gegeven moment had ik zelfs een complete freeze. Het is dan ook een consumentennotebook en geen uitgebalanceerd apparaat. Vind dat ie het goed gehouden heeft en als je weet hoe het spul allemaal werkt ben je zo weer in de lucht. Die freezes (heb er twee gehad gedurende het weekend) baren me wel zorgen, heb namelijk het vermoeden dat het aan de real-time kernel ligt. Maar ik vind de oorzaak nog wel uit, even goed door de logs spitten als het weer gebeurt.
Uitleg over JACK instellingen. Mijn volledige set-up voor de conferentie staat er ook op: HP DV7-1070ED notebook, Focusrite Saffire Pro 10 IO geluidskaart, Akai MPK Mini MIDI controller, een Korg nanoKONTROL MIDI controller en een Shure SM58 microfoon.
De respons was wederom zeer positief. Een aantal mensen vond het verhelderend om nou eens een keer te zien en te horen hoe een eindgebruiker gebruik maakt van alle beschikbare tools en wat zijn perspectief is op het gebruik van Linux audio applicaties. Het merendeel van de conferentiegangers waren ontwikkelaars en die kijken toch anders aan tegen hun eigen projecten of tegen Linux audio in het algemeen. En ook de organisatoren waren erg blij met mijn workshops, niet alleen zijn ze beide integraal opgenomen op video, ook ben ik gevraagd of ik voor LAC2012 wederom een workshop zou willen doen. Hoogstwaarschijnlijk zal LAC2012 in Stanford, Californië plaatsvinden. De afstand zou een beperking kunnen zijn, maar zou heel graag naar Stanford willen om te zien wat Fernando Lopez-Lezcano daar opgezet heeft (de Listening Room draait volledig onder Linux). En het wordt de eerste LAC op het Amerikaanse continent dus de uitgesproken mogelijkheid om contact te maken met de grote hoeveelheid ontwikkelaars en eindgebruikers aldaar.
De aanwezigheid van Rui Nuno Capela tijdens beide workshops vond ik erg bijzonder en ook zeer constructief. Daar waar nodig sprong hij in, hij kent zijn eigen software als geen ander, en zelf kon ik het niet laten om zijn inspanningen te lauweren wat tijdens beide workshops resulteerde in een flink applaus voor de man. Zijn eigen ervaringen heeft hij ook in een blogpost gegoten, ook voor hem waren de workshops bijzonder omdat mijn workflow één van zijn applicaties, Qtractor, als basis heeft en ik het nodige heb verteld over andere belangrijke tools van zijn hand zoals QjackCtl en het rtirq init script.
Binnenkort zet ik beide workshops online, heb de DV tapejes meegekregen, ga ik vandaag capturen en hopelijk lukt het me om ze deze week te editten, te renderen en te uploaden. Verwacht dus binnenkort nog een blogpost over LAC2011.