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keyboard/computer hybrid

Florin Andrei

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What do you guys think about this thing?




Is this the first keyboard/computer hybrid? Yeah, there's the Neuron, but that one hides the OS, while the Mediastation makes it visible and accessible.

Does the idea makes sense to you?


Personally, i kinda like it; my daily job is in the computer industry and, probably due to past painful experiences :mad: i kinda learned to distrust standalone computers (fragile, unreliable...) but to trust the "embedded" kind of solutions. That's why i own a synthesizer proper instead of a MIDI keyboard hooked up to a computer, and that's why i kinda like the idea behind the Mediastation (it's sort of an appliance).


But what do you guys think anyway?

Florin Andrei



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Originally posted by Phait:

Not so sure about Linux for the OS - I read that music apps are sparse for Linux.

Yes and no.


Yes, it's not like MacOS or Windows, where you have a wealth of commercial applications that are well-known and feature-rich.


No, it's not too bad. See here, this is the most complete list of Linux sound-n-music apps:




The foundation is actually pretty good:

- the OS itself is close to real-time capabilities, so that privileged applications can run without the risk of being interrupted; this is critical for digital recorders or sequencers

- there's a mega-driver called ALSA (Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) which supports almost any sound card that's not completely obscure (it does support the Hammerfall and M-Audio and stuff like that)

- it has a "sound daemon" called JACK (Jack Audio Connection Kit) which is sort of a sound dispatcher - think of it as a patch-panel inside your computer, connecting applications and sound devices; it has real-time capabilities and supports all sorts of sound processing plugins

- there's a plugin API called LADSPA (Linux Audio Developer's Simple Plugin API), under a "free" license, which allows 3rd parties to write sound processing plugins; essentially, any application that supports LADSPA can take advantage of any LADSPA plugin.


In terms of applications...

- there's a sequencer called Rosegarden which is pretty much a clone of older EMagic Logic versions

- there's a digital multitrack recorder called Ardour

- softsynths and drum machines such as Hydrogen

- etc.


My feeling is that the biggest challenge for a musician that wants to use Linux is not a lack of applications, but the fact that Linux is still kind of a geeky thing: it's rather difficult for the non-technical user to install and tweak drivers and stuff like that.

But then again, there are projects underway to fix that, for example PlanetCCRMA which brings all the applications i mentioned above in a form that's easy for non-techies to install and play with.


Oh well, it's still kind of a niche thing...

Florin Andrei



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