Conversation

Jarkko Sakkinen

Edited 3 months ago

As I’ve said in the past, I have a M2 Mac Mini at home. It is useful for ARM64 kernel testing and (non-cross) compilation of kernel in home environment but it is also interesting to compare same tests with my Linux machines and macOS.

How the operating system and CPU cores play together makes me honestly feel that Apple is lost what they should do with macOS. If it is used for anything but real-time multimedia, e.g. raw CPU workloads, it does not really deliver. Apple is shipping general purpose computer of which software internals are optimised as it was a tablet.

i have beefiest M2 with full 32 GB of memory and trying to do a largish build with all CPU cores completely freezes the system or like make the interaction laggy to the unusable level. It is quite ridiculous tbhl. Operating system kernel is expected to do time sharing properly and evenly as possible in 2023.

This is not open source vs closed source issue. It is just bad engineering plain and simple. I mean Windows and NT kernel do deliver well in scalability (and Azure provides strong evidence of this).

1
0
3
@jarkko I use my macbook for music stuff and it does well at that but obviously that tends not to push things perf-wise.

Historically os x has been a bit slap dash on many things so I can't say it's totally shocks me this (they didn't have aslr for ages for instance). You also have to keep in mind there's some microkernel elements underneath which probably doesn't help :)

Anyway at least there's asahi to be able to switch over to linux for such things
1
0
0

Jarkko Sakkinen

Edited 3 months ago
@ljs Yeah, it is also my leisure time computer. Switching between Linux and macOS is my daily work trip in my home office :-) For making music it is really nicely packaged system. I use Bitwig and FL on it and they run perfectly.

I wonder if they've already fixed the security issue with signed kernel extension loader, which could be bypassed in the past because it was not fully implemented in kernel space (i.e. unlike how we handle things in Linux).
1
0
1
@jarkko security is way better now compared to past.

Yeah indeed, os x is pretty great for music and most importantly, the plugins just work. For me ableton live + plugging in to my various overpriced synths/audio interface :)

I know some people try to make things work in linux and there are DAWs that will work there, but trying to get the plugins to work and dealing with the horror show of linux audio, ugh no thanks
1
0
0
@ljs Yeah, I get this. In the end of the day it is best to use what delivers best and least effort, obvious fact easily forgotten :-) I honestly do not want to spend after work any time fixing any issues in any possible operating system... Pipewire is awesome (and in some areas surpasses CoreAudio) though but fixing the audio stack unfortunately does not fix the multi-layered and scattered proprietary hell that audio world is.

Also with stock PC hardware, regardless of OS, I've been constantly fighting with all sort of side-noises RCA connectors are no good for really anything tbh, e.g. try to connect to a proper monitoring system for a mesmerising experience. Even when using USB sound cards these issues arise constantly. Mac hardware has super good protection against this type of unwanted interference. Even using the RCA plug I've never heard a single glitch...
1
0
1
@jarkko indeed, everyone who works on decent audio kit will be assuming windows or (preferably) mac so you're just going to have less problems using those.

pipewire has done a lot but I've had endless issues trying to get even higher sample rate audio to work on my linux desktop and that was after a ton of googling and still never quite worked right.

So I think same as you, I'd rather not spend my leisure time doing 'diagnose and fix the linux box' stuff (and doing music stuff is partly for me a means of NOT burning out on other computery stuff).

I already to be honest had enough pain in the ass getting the synths set up with an audio interface with not too much noise and moving them from one room to another, hours, days even spent on this stuff.

Now 2024 will involve me just using this stuff and yes happy about that :)
1
0
1
@ljs The problem with audio is really neither Linux fault, nor something you can fix by fixing Linux. It is the ecosystem in overall...

I have Bitwig Studio also in my Linux desktop and I draft tracks sometimes with it. It works fine and I have U-he plugins (my favourite plugin company by far). It is nice in a way that options are not countless, and it renders previews fast with i9-13990k. Bitwig's EQ is pretty usable and I have Presswerk, which is pretty decent and versatile bus compressor. Regardless that there are ways to use Windows native plugins I don't mix because smooth user experience is pretty crucial to maintain when making music, to the level that you rather discard all the possible plugins.

In software synths, U-he is by far the best in detail and performance so it is not that huge loss *for drafting*. I would not fully finish a track in Linux but I can get a productivity boost from a limited environment with a equivalent user experience as in macOS (because I use only stuff that "officially" is meant to work in Linux).

To add something more in favour of Linux, Pipewire is an amazing project and Wim Taymans is truly one of a kind programmer :-) Even in macOS you need 3rd party solutions to stream audio/video between the network of apps. In Pipewire this all is built into the stack by architecture.

If I e.g. want to sample Youtube to Bitwig I just route PulseAudio (== pipewire-pulse) to Bitwig with qpwgraph. I'm not expert on Pipewire but I believe that once applications support pipewire directly instead of PA, the granularity will increase fully to per application level but this is already very useful for sampling different sources. Pipewire needs to mature but it is definitely right things done right, as far as I'm considered.

I think also that clap (royalty free plugin format) and dawproject file format are signs of new winds in the audio industry that will also move Linux audio forward (slowly) :-) Clap has been already by quite many DAW's and more recent dawproject format is already in Bitwig and Studio One. It allows to export project from one daw and load it to another daw in the language that they can both interpret.

Like here is a draft of track that i drafted in Linux last week. It is definitely not finished but I can get by far with limited set of tools :-) At this point I would switch to macOS.
1
0
1
@jarkko yeah pipewire is interesting and I'm sure there's super talented people working on all this, but every time I've tried to do audio things in linux other than the basics it's been a hideous pain, and it feels like I'd have to learn e.g. pipewire deep to get stuff working ok.

My experience is based on having a device (mojo 2) that can handle higher sample rate, and wanting to be able to set things up to use that and I had one _hell_ of a time getting that working.

It's not so much that things aren't possible in linux, it's that I'll be fighting and fiddling to get things working and using that linux part of my brain that I intentionally want to switch off when doing music stuff.

Am happy to have moved to live, I used it in the past and recently came back to it and there is something about it that I like.

track sounds good! Being able to use whatever plugin/tool I like is also great mac-wise.

But yeah TL;DR it's about having a separate hobby + low friction on it
1
0
1
@Ljsphotography
thanks it is still just a theme but yeah for this linux bitwig and uhe plugins are definitely sufficient :-)

the reason i believe that dawproject file format has odds to succeed because it make commerrcially sense.It is not uncommon that a song is made with one daw, mixdown with another and mastering yet another. Right now only way to transfer project is to render all stems to audio, which often works but is not very versatile. Even if you render all stems it would be nicer that the same *project* would translate between DAW\s.

also i would not be surprised if there would be some day cloud services to render tracks, i mean it is just another payload/ there is enough business opportunities and money to be made like in tooling, services. it is a selling point for any audio engineer. also, right now only reaper has DAW-wide scripting. with dawproject you can do many e.g. mixing and mastering tasks by editing the project file directly with a script. through this route AI could really make it in the audio industry. consider e.g. cloud service where you could send a dawproject file and it would gain-stage it and send an update project back you.

also that would open a door a whole category of hardware projects. e.g. mpc's of today are almost like daw\s. it would be way more translatable if these advanced sampler workstations would produce and consume the same project format.
2
0
0
@ljs @Ljsphotography lol, remembered that there is one thing i'm a tiny bit bitter to intel related sgx :-) while i was doing sgx in 2017 i got job offer from ableton, and i said to them that hold on for a while i need to finish this sgx first. and that while lasted almost 4 years...
1
0
1
@jarkko I think you at'd the wrong guy there :>) I have a camera but don't have time to do photography...

Yeah it's interesting, honestly I hate the MPC interface but that's another discussion.

My workflow involves using the hapax to sequence which is intentionally hardware with purely functional screen and grid for notes.

It might be handy to be able to export/import that though!

For me render time isn't such of a thing but I've only been playing around so far.

In the NY I'm going to be focusing on getting through a couple structured courses to up my game.

Anyway for me it's all a bit much of a muchness as going to be hardware/ableton on mac all the way
0
0
0
@jarkko @Ljsphotography I'm not sure how fun it'd be to _work_ on this stuff rather than play with it though :) SGX sounds like it was interesting anyway!
1
0
1
@ljs @Ljsphotography i just stick to the principle you have to finish what you started iin professional life and not play opportunity strategy game :-)

however, now that i'm in fixed-term at the university which ends in the end of next September. and i need to get a job by then, i put applications to BItwig and Ableton for fun. nice discussion :-) thanks! i got inspired from this discussioni! good luck with the synth setup :-)
1
0
2
@jarkko nice man wishing you best of luck with all that :>)

Will see how things progress over the year!

https://soundcloud.com/distal_music is where I've put small experiments so far, should get more done in this yr!
1
0
1
@ljs i'll check it out! remember the comforting thought that even bad music better than BORING :-) and i believe that it is important to release a lot of stuff in the beginning so that you over it and can move forward. even if a track turns out to be something you are "ashamed" of it is cure for removing self-deception :-) As we know from kernel development already self-evaluating changes is not often such a great idea :-)

My SoundClouds's are:

* https://soundcloud.com/triplaespresso
* https://soundcloud.com/dopeda

I also a few "real" releases in some compilations and I'm working on "long EP" Dopeda (40 mint total length of tracks) album for hippie killer productions: https://hippiekillerproductions.bandcamp.com/ probably will be out somet time this year. the latest more official track release was opening track for japanese label nullzone productions: https://nullzone2007.bandcamp.com/track/lumo-ava-2

but i do tons and tons of totally crap tracks where everything is wrong too :-) with soundcloud i put stuff that i don't consider finished sometimes or not that great. keeps pressure away from making music for me :-) i've performed in psytrance parties, also abroad, some travel away Tal Aviv, IL and Brho, Czech republic .

I played as a young kid cello for over a decade including performing in orchestra etc. and I got fed up to that shit Then about 2016 i just thought that ok cool I'm a kernel hacker, what else. So I that's why i'm making music to have something else :-) I would never consider to e.g. play chess or go in my free time, as that kind of analytics is already over-consumed by the work...

just do a track after another and do not stop doing that :-) the sound will improve eventually and despite how good or bad it is at the given time, it still unique :-)
2
0
2
@ljs right and: learn an "unplugged"" instrument. e.g. acoustic guitar is great. you don't have to be good at it but it helps the feel the music better and what works in melodies and harmonies and what. also if you've ever wonder why we have all these different scale the answer is the most simple and stupid: they feel good there is no underlying logic. Also 12 semitone scale is an arbitrary decision of which most keys are out-of-tune (but close enough to mathematical harmonics, it is essentially linear interpolation).
1
0
1
@jarkko yeah I have a mate who's professional producer who says the same.

But I do feel a structured thing will help in 2 areas

Sound design + developing an ear and
Basic building blocks of electronic music to have tools to get over stumbling blocks.

I've carefully chosen both and think they'll work well.

I can always make tracks just from ear and forcing sequencer into scale and have done so but feel that the above will make a force multiplier difference
0
0
0
@jarkko I played guitar since I was 15 :) but n the end got tired of certain aspects of the instrument.

I also played with music production in the past, so I have some kind of basis for this of some years of doing it in the past.

Picking it up again now (a bit like you!) is more like coming back to it than starting totally fresh.

And yeah I agree with this thing about scales and intervals etc., it is just what emotionally works well, part of the course on this side of things is to have total basics on this front down as tools to speed other aspects up.

I've thought about picking up a tele just to have a raw instrument but guitar limitations are an annoying thing for me still.

But keep in mind the hapax (and oxi one actually) I have as sequencers, which can control everythhing, have nice live modes that emulate somewhat the 'just playing' thing.

I tried using a keyboard and just not at this stage anyway good for me
1
0
1
@ljs ok then definitely have all the right ingredients and i can feel your situation for sure :-)
0
0
1