So Cal Music Teacher

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So Cal Music Teacher

Postby masochist » Tue Jan 21, 2020 12:46 am

Greetings from Orange County, California. Behind the Orange Curtain. I have been a Linux user for five years, but the roots of my Linux use go back a bit further. In grad school, I was introduced to the basics of navigating the Unix filesystem and LaTeX document creation. I started using Gnu LilyPond music typesetting on a Mac fifteen years ago (still using and loving it). Over time, my Mac usage became more Linux-like, so I finally made the jump to Linux. I bought my first Linux computer with operating system already installed by the vendor. I have since learned how to load it by myself, thanks to the fairly straightforward and user-friendly process involved with ISO disks, etc.

I am a grade school music teacher. Last year I started using a wireless Bluetooth-MIDI keyboard with Fluidsynth for in-class performance. I installed the lowlatency kernel, installed jack and reinstalled Bluez with the experimental Bluetooth-MIDI option. I got it to work with a reasonably small amount of latency. Getting that setup running, however, took a lot of trial and error. In my job, I travel from site to site. I must unplug and reconnect devices. Sometimes, things will mysteriously stop working. Shocking, right? I have successfully used a script to start jack, start fluidsynth, detect port numbers and run aconnect. My next technical hurdle is for the script to be launched when the computer recognizes that a usb midi keyboard has been plugged in. My script-writing is pretty basic, and I have yet to include accommodations for the alignment of the planets.

My experience with DAWs is pretty limited. As a side-gig, I recombine sliced and diced audio for a show choir. I use Audacity for identifying split points. Then, with the help of some scripting, I feed all the start and end points of each piece into a long SoX command to produce the combined audio output file. This method has drastically cleaned-up my work-flow. If you're not familiar with SoX, it's pretty awesome. I started messing around with Qtractor over the summer. Luckily, I was already a tiny bit familiar with the command line methods of audio and MIDI I/O in Linux. Without that knowledge, I would have surely struggled and perhaps failed to get Qtractor up and running using the GUI interface. I learned how to use plugins. The nice thing about plugins is that I can re-launch Qtractor into a working state without having to manually re-patch everything together. I use a cheap laptop and don't expect to do any serious number-crunching audio applications with Qtractor. I am hoping in the future to have Qtractor running while I'm accompanying students, so it is ready to record a quick and dirty canned accompaniments at a moment's notice.

I don't have any specific questions for the members of this forum. Most of my problems have already been solved by someone on the internet. Much about Linux Audio is still a voodoo mystery to me. I tend only to gain computer knowledge after being presented with a problem that needs solving. Maybe in 2020 I can take a more proactive approach to learning about Linux Audio. I am hoping that the combined knowledge of this forum will help me. Thanks for all your contributions!

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Re: So Cal Music Teacher

Postby nilshi » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:43 pm

Hello and welcome, from a fellow music teacher.

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