[linux-audio-user] Noob...Latency, Mandrake and Dell questions...

Russell Hanaghan hanaghan at starband.net
Fri Feb 6 11:43:03 EST 2004

Hi folks,

I have been using Linux for about 2 years now. Started with MDK 8.0 and
have mostly stuck with them. Using 9.2 now.I'm not a command line expert
at any measure. In fact, if not for the vast improvements in the GUI I
would not have the time to get anywhere with linux.

I started awhile ago hunting around for audio apps spured by Austin
Acton's "Mandrake 9.1 Audio workstation how to" advertised in the
Mandrake emails. I figured out how to setup URPMI and found apps like
Jack, Ardour (Since, like 8 releases ago) Rosegarden, Fluidsynth and a
vast surprising variety of other cool audio stuff. I thank "Thac" for
his efforts on the "Thac's RPMS" pages as he keeps the Mandrake packages
for the audio stuff up to current release more than any other repository
I've found.(I never seem to have much success at building from source).

Anyway, my biggest headache is getting my laptop fine tuned to work at
it's best with Linux Audio under Mandrake. I have used Win XP and
Cakewalk Sonar since its release and I get fairly solid performance out
of it. I use it live for it's midi playback capabilities. (Save midis to
Sonar format maintaining mix, edit data easily, etc.) I would one day
like to use Linux instead but "Live" is where the rubber meets the road!
Cant afford to have crashes and glitches in the middle of a show. I also
use Sonar for recording. As promising as Ardour is, I just dont have the
time to figure out everything. Sorry if that seems non contributing but
it's just the way it is. I can promise that when it is sorted, I WILL
pay/contribute financially to have it, if it meets my needs. Sure would
like to see the inbuilt midi capabilities in it. But I know the focus is
on the general recording and editing side and thats cool. Must be a lot
of work!
I want to try using a spare laptop for live fx processing (Over vocals
on a PA)at this point. Some of the LADSPA plugs seem very cool (Gverb
for one) and I can get Jack-realtime working but dont know if it's
working as good as it could. I have been messing with Ecamegapedal with

So heres my stuff:

Dell CPxJ 650mhz, 256megs Ram, 20 gigHD (5400RPM I think)
I installed Andrew Mortens(??) Multimedia kernel RPM and it boots
fine...although I dont know where the scheduling is sitting or if it is
even making a difference. 

The Dell Latitude has a Maestro3 PCI audio accelerator chip. (Not real
high end I know but works sufficiently well with Sonar XL)

If I set Jack parameters in Qjackctl any lower than 1024 I get Xrun
mayhem. (at 44100) I have also tried this running from consoles as root
and it does not seem to make much difference. Am I expecting too much?

Anyway, sorry for such a long post but I was told in the Ardour users
list that this was where I should ask all this stuff...

I do luv linux (it's kinda addictive) and would like to completely sever
the umbilical from Bill someday. :)

thanks for any help in advance.

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