Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ubuntu Studio Jaunty

A couple weeks ago Ubuntu Studio released their 9.04 version. I'm sure you've all installed and begun to configure/tweak/adjust all kinds of settings (well those of you who didn't encounter the random freezing on the RT kernel that some have). I just wanted to give a quick update on a couple new features.

Calf plugin pack. I was able to get this package accepted for the Jaunty cycle, which won't be the only package I help Ubuntu out with. It's a multi-function set of plugins that will work as LADSPA plugins in any LADSPA host (ardour, audacity, jack-rack, etc...), LV2 plugins (once the LV2 standard catches on a little more), or inside their standalone host (which provides the nicest graphical interface right now). For their full documentations take a look at
However, I should note that there are a couple instruments included in the pack that may seem inaccessible to most. This is because the Calf plugin host takes JACK midi input rather than the older ALSA midi that most apps currently use.

Some of you may have already seen the new midi tab within qjackctl's connections window (or worse, had your soundcard on one tab with your programs on the other). Don't despair! There's a solution to bridge the JACK midi and ALSA midi! Introducing a2jmidid it serves as a bridge between the two worlds. Infact, I've already built a package for Jaunty and it's sitting in my PPA repository at

FFADO drivers are now available from Ubuntu! Yes, that's right the world of firewire soundcards just got a whole lot easier. However Jaunty still ships with the old firewire stack, so configuring firewire permissions can be a touch tricky. For most, Ubuntu Studio Controls should be all you need to get things running (though you may find you need to add a 'video' group if one isn't already created). However, for some people who've upgraded into Jaunty rather than installing fresh, it seems Ubuntu Studio Controls doesn't properly set the firewire permission. If this might be affecting you, edit (with sudo permissions) /lib/udev/rules.d/50-udev-default.rules and add this line
KERNEL=="raw1394", GROUP="video"
save the file, (make sure you're in the video group) and reboot.

I've noticed with my Presonus Firepod that the MIDI from FFADO complies with the new Jack MIDI, so some legacy applications have required me to use the above mentioned a2jmidid program as a converter.

I should also make mention that Ubuntu Studio Karmic Koala is looking for more testers willing to do an install every month or so (on either a test partition or a virtual machine). Just drop me an e-mail at: afterthebeep a t gmail dot c o m and I'll include you in the discussion. It's looking like the new 2.0 firewire stack will be included in this release, so even less configurations will be needed, but more tests WILL be needed to start.


Unknown said...

This random RT kernel freeze is just slowly killing me! I am desperately looking for a fix (since the FFADO crashes disappeared), but without any luck yet...

Eric Hedekar said...

One thing I've noticed was that the install that I had been updating all along the Jaunty testing cycle doesn't experience nearly as many freezes as the new fresh Jaunty install partition (both RT of course). I look forward to Karmic since it will likely benefit from Ingo Molnar's latest kernel patches.

Unknown said...

Yeah... I set the permissions up in Ubuntu Studio Jaunty as described and my computer just freezes ever time I run Jack control. My firepod does turn on 9 (i.e., the LED turns blue), the whole OS just freezes. It also give me an error message that it "cannot allocate memory."