project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

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project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Louigi Verona
Dear friends,

In 2011 I announced project "droning", a project dedicated to longform ambient music. You folks were the first people to listen to it, since the majority of it was written using Linux Audio tools and shared on this very mailing list.

Today I have reached a milestone of 300 tracks, a nice round number. This is also 10 years later! So seems like the right moment to finish the project.

I will, of course, continue producing ambient music, but simply in the more usual form of albums on my Bandcamp. And project "droning" can be a nice completed collection of longform ambient tunes, almost utilitarian in nature.

The story I tell about project "droning" is that some of the authors of the software I used to make it with were listening to the tunes while working on that same software 😂

While I used most major Linux Audio apps for the project, including Hydrogen and Ardour, the bulk of work was done with Rakarrack, Kluppe, Qtractor, Din and several other soft synths.

Recent tunes were made with FL Studio, which is why I no longer promoted them on this mailing list. The last tune made completely with Linux Audio was droning280, "Twilight Connection".

Huge thanks for being my audience for the past 10 years, your support meant a lot to me, and each time I finished a tune, I would rush to post it here, knowing that some of you might enjoy it.

Cheers!

<3


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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Hank Stanglow
On 1/26/21 4:48 PM, Louigi Verona wrote:
> So seems like the right moment to finish the project.

Nice. I remember when there were only about 60 tracks! I continue to
enjoy your recordings on Bandcamp. Keep up the good work.
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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Brandon Hale
In reply to this post by Louigi Verona

Hey Louigi,

I would be interested in hearing about how you were able to continue working on this project for 10 years. That takes some serious dedication! Do you have any tips or good reads for staying motivated on such a long project?

Brandon Hale

On 1/26/21 7:48 PM, Louigi Verona wrote:
Dear friends,

In 2011 I announced project "droning", a project dedicated to longform ambient music. You folks were the first people to listen to it, since the majority of it was written using Linux Audio tools and shared on this very mailing list.

Today I have reached a milestone of 300 tracks, a nice round number. This is also 10 years later! So seems like the right moment to finish the project.

I will, of course, continue producing ambient music, but simply in the more usual form of albums on my Bandcamp. And project "droning" can be a nice completed collection of longform ambient tunes, almost utilitarian in nature.

The story I tell about project "droning" is that some of the authors of the software I used to make it with were listening to the tunes while working on that same software 😂

While I used most major Linux Audio apps for the project, including Hydrogen and Ardour, the bulk of work was done with Rakarrack, Kluppe, Qtractor, Din and several other soft synths.

Recent tunes were made with FL Studio, which is why I no longer promoted them on this mailing list. The last tune made completely with Linux Audio was droning280, "Twilight Connection".

Huge thanks for being my audience for the past 10 years, your support meant a lot to me, and each time I finished a tune, I would rush to post it here, knowing that some of you might enjoy it.

Cheers!

<3


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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Louigi Verona
Hey folks!

Unfortunately, today I noticed that most LAU and LAD emails were in my spam folder and so I saw these replies just now!

Hank, great stuff, thank you!

Brandon, I would say it was simply a matter of conceptualizing my releases. Instead of arranging them into albums, I came up with a long list. Also, I wanted each track to be creating its own world - and that was the concept.

Recently, I began noticing that the concept limits me more than it helps and that I got tired of writing really long soundscapes that maintain a single mood. And some of the stuff I am exploring these days are either a bit more variable or employ percussion or is something I want to put into a more classic album, a collection of several tracks, united by a theme. Hence, the idea to complete the project at the round number of 300.

And actually the album I completed it with has what could have been droning301 :)


Huge thanks for your comments, guys!




On Thu, Jan 28, 2021 at 3:09 PM Brandon Hale <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hey Louigi,

I would be interested in hearing about how you were able to continue working on this project for 10 years. That takes some serious dedication! Do you have any tips or good reads for staying motivated on such a long project?

Brandon Hale

On 1/26/21 7:48 PM, Louigi Verona wrote:
Dear friends,

In 2011 I announced project "droning", a project dedicated to longform ambient music. You folks were the first people to listen to it, since the majority of it was written using Linux Audio tools and shared on this very mailing list.

Today I have reached a milestone of 300 tracks, a nice round number. This is also 10 years later! So seems like the right moment to finish the project.

I will, of course, continue producing ambient music, but simply in the more usual form of albums on my Bandcamp. And project "droning" can be a nice completed collection of longform ambient tunes, almost utilitarian in nature.

The story I tell about project "droning" is that some of the authors of the software I used to make it with were listening to the tunes while working on that same software 😂

While I used most major Linux Audio apps for the project, including Hydrogen and Ardour, the bulk of work was done with Rakarrack, Kluppe, Qtractor, Din and several other soft synths.

Recent tunes were made with FL Studio, which is why I no longer promoted them on this mailing list. The last tune made completely with Linux Audio was droning280, "Twilight Connection".

Huge thanks for being my audience for the past 10 years, your support meant a lot to me, and each time I finished a tune, I would rush to post it here, knowing that some of you might enjoy it.

Cheers!

<3


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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Roger E
In reply to this post by Louigi Verona
On 27/1/21 11:48 am, Louigi Verona wrote:

> Dear friends,
>
> In 2011 I announced project "droning"
> <https://louigiverona.com/?page=projects&s=music&t=droning>, a project
> dedicated to longform ambient music. You folks were the first people
> to listen to it, since the majority of it was written using Linux
> Audio tools and shared on this very mailing list.
>
> Today I have reached a milestone of 300 tracks, a nice round number.
> This is also 10 years later! So seems like the right moment to finish
> the project.
>
> I will, of course, continue producing ambient music, but simply in the
> more usual form of albums on my Bandcamp
> <https://louigi.bandcamp.com/>. And project "droning" can be a nice
> completed collection of longform ambient tunes, almost utilitarian in
> nature.
>
> The story I tell about project "droning" is that some of the authors
> of the software I used to make it with were listening to the tunes
> while working on that same software 😂
>
> While I used most major Linux Audio apps for the project, including
> Hydrogen and Ardour, the bulk of work was done with Rakarrack, Kluppe,
> Qtractor, Din and several other soft synths.
>
> Recent tunes were made with FL Studio, which is why I no longer
> promoted them on this mailing list. The last tune made completely with
> Linux Audio was droning280, "Twilight Connection".
>
> Huge thanks for being my audience for the past 10 years, your support
> meant a lot to me, and each time I finished a tune, I would rush to
> post it here, knowing that some of you might enjoy it.
>
> Cheers!
>
> <3
>
> Louigi Verona
> https://louigiverona.com/ <https://louigiverona.com/>
>
Congratulations on making such a solid body of work. It is interesting
to hear the progression in production quality and composition over the
years but it does seem timely to call the project complete and move on
to different goals. I will never listen to all 300 of them however.

I was slightly disappointed you have moved away from using Linux but
your latest, Mystic Waters, is probably your best release yet (as I
mentioned in a message when I purchased it from Bandcamp) so FL Studio
seems to be the right tool for the job.

Thanks for your contributions; I'm sure you have inspired others to try
new things!

Cheers, Roger
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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Louigi Verona
Hey Roger!

Yeah, sure thing. Linux Audio has been an important period for me and it allowed me
to take advantage of a workflow I would have not found anywhere else. I am sure I might come
back to Kluppe and Qtractor from time to time. In fact, droning288 and droning289, "Suspended in Time",
while mixed in FL Studio, were phase shifted through Kluppe, as well as droning290, "Clouds Drifting". So,
at least partially, I kept using Linux Audio.

But yeah, getting good sound and high quality mixing required tools that are simply unavailable on Linux today.

Again, thank you for your kind words!




On Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 11:42 PM Roger <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 27/1/21 11:48 am, Louigi Verona wrote:
> Dear friends,
>
> In 2011 I announced project "droning"
> <https://louigiverona.com/?page=projects&s=music&t=droning>, a project
> dedicated to longform ambient music. You folks were the first people
> to listen to it, since the majority of it was written using Linux
> Audio tools and shared on this very mailing list.
>
> Today I have reached a milestone of 300 tracks, a nice round number.
> This is also 10 years later! So seems like the right moment to finish
> the project.
>
> I will, of course, continue producing ambient music, but simply in the
> more usual form of albums on my Bandcamp
> <https://louigi.bandcamp.com/>. And project "droning" can be a nice
> completed collection of longform ambient tunes, almost utilitarian in
> nature.
>
> The story I tell about project "droning" is that some of the authors
> of the software I used to make it with were listening to the tunes
> while working on that same software 😂
>
> While I used most major Linux Audio apps for the project, including
> Hydrogen and Ardour, the bulk of work was done with Rakarrack, Kluppe,
> Qtractor, Din and several other soft synths.
>
> Recent tunes were made with FL Studio, which is why I no longer
> promoted them on this mailing list. The last tune made completely with
> Linux Audio was droning280, "Twilight Connection".
>
> Huge thanks for being my audience for the past 10 years, your support
> meant a lot to me, and each time I finished a tune, I would rush to
> post it here, knowing that some of you might enjoy it.
>
> Cheers!
>
> <3
>
> Louigi Verona
> https://louigiverona.com/ <https://louigiverona.com/>
>
Congratulations on making such a solid body of work. It is interesting
to hear the progression in production quality and composition over the
years but it does seem timely to call the project complete and move on
to different goals. I will never listen to all 300 of them however.

I was slightly disappointed you have moved away from using Linux but
your latest, Mystic Waters, is probably your best release yet (as I
mentioned in a message when I purchased it from Bandcamp) so FL Studio
seems to be the right tool for the job.

Thanks for your contributions; I'm sure you have inspired others to try
new things!

Cheers, Roger
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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

David W. Jones
On 2/1/21 12:56 PM, Louigi Verona wrote:
Hey Roger!

Yeah, sure thing. Linux Audio has been an important period for me and it allowed me
to take advantage of a workflow I would have not found anywhere else. I am sure I might come
back to Kluppe and Qtractor from time to time. In fact, droning288 and droning289, "Suspended in Time",
while mixed in FL Studio, were phase shifted through Kluppe, as well as droning290, "Clouds Drifting". So,
at least partially, I kept using Linux Audio.

Interesting. I have a friend (singer/songwriter) that does pop music songs. He's been using FL Studio since the days when it was just Frooty Loops. ;)

I listened to Droning 300 today and the instruments sounded just like the ones my friend uses in his FL Studio songs.

But yeah, getting good sound and high quality mixing required tools that are simply unavailable on Linux today.

Really?
Again, thank you for your kind words!


And thank you for 10 years of droning project tracks!

On Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 11:42 PM Roger <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 27/1/21 11:48 am, Louigi Verona wrote:
> Dear friends,
>
> In 2011 I announced project "droning"
> <https://louigiverona.com/?page=projects&s=music&t=droning>, a project
> dedicated to longform ambient music. You folks were the first people
> to listen to it, since the majority of it was written using Linux
> Audio tools and shared on this very mailing list.
>
> Today I have reached a milestone of 300 tracks, a nice round number.
> This is also 10 years later! So seems like the right moment to finish
> the project.
>
> I will, of course, continue producing ambient music, but simply in the
> more usual form of albums on my Bandcamp
> <https://louigi.bandcamp.com/>. And project "droning" can be a nice
> completed collection of longform ambient tunes, almost utilitarian in
> nature.
>
> The story I tell about project "droning" is that some of the authors
> of the software I used to make it with were listening to the tunes
> while working on that same software 😂
>
> While I used most major Linux Audio apps for the project, including
> Hydrogen and Ardour, the bulk of work was done with Rakarrack, Kluppe,
> Qtractor, Din and several other soft synths.
>
> Recent tunes were made with FL Studio, which is why I no longer
> promoted them on this mailing list. The last tune made completely with
> Linux Audio was droning280, "Twilight Connection".
>
> Huge thanks for being my audience for the past 10 years, your support
> meant a lot to me, and each time I finished a tune, I would rush to
> post it here, knowing that some of you might enjoy it.
>
> Cheers!
>
> <3
>
> Louigi Verona
> https://louigiverona.com/ <https://louigiverona.com/>
>
Congratulations on making such a solid body of work. It is interesting
to hear the progression in production quality and composition over the
years but it does seem timely to call the project complete and move on
to different goals. I will never listen to all 300 of them however.

I was slightly disappointed you have moved away from using Linux but
your latest, Mystic Waters, is probably your best release yet (as I
mentioned in a message when I purchased it from Bandcamp) so FL Studio
seems to be the right tool for the job.

Thanks for your contributions; I'm sure you have inspired others to try
new things!

Cheers, Roger
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[hidden email]
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http://dancingtreefrog.com
"My password is the last 8 digits of π."

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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Louigi Verona
Hey David!

Thank you for your comments!

"I listened to Droning 300 today and the instruments sounded just like the ones my friend uses in his FL Studio songs."

You mean "Healing Fountain"? Healing Fountain is all DSP and samples that I created myself. There is a glissando that uses some sort of marimba, but even the "laser" sound is the sound that I created myself from scratch using 3xOSC synth.

In general, if you avoid using exactly the same presets, I think it's very difficult to gauge what you use to create music. If you would go back to my droning project, I doubt that in most cases you can tell when I used FL Studio and when I used my Linux Audio setup.

"getting good sound and high quality mixing required tools that are simply unavailable on Linux today.
Really?"

Unfortunately.

I think I won't make a claim that it is totally impossible, but it's definitely not trivial. I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux Audio and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't even find an EQ that would work well for me. There is one EQ product that seems ok, but for me it was unstable and kept crashing my projects.

Additionally, high quality plugins matter, just like high quality equipment matters. I was using ZynReverb while on Linux and it created all sorts of problems for me. The quality of my mixes has changed dramatically when I switched to Valhalla, because it's reverb made by a company that put a decade into perfecting it. They made sure, for example, that it would produce a smoother sound, heal resonating frequencies, etc. They have a description of this on their website and a YouTube channel too.





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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

David W. Jones
On 2/2/21 1:55 AM, Louigi Verona wrote:
> Hey David!
>
Yo, The Louigi!

> Thank you for your comments!
>
> "I listened to Droning 300 today and the instruments sounded just like
> the ones my friend uses in his FL Studio songs."
>
> You mean "Healing Fountain"? Healing Fountain is all DSP and samples
> that I created myself. There is a glissando that uses some sort of
> marimba, but even the "laser" sound is the sound that I created myself
> from scratch using 3xOSC synth.
>
It sounded like the more-or-less standard FL Studio strings to me. Maybe
I'm mixing #300 up with one of the other ones produced with FL Studio.

> In general, if you avoid using exactly the same presets, I think it's
> very difficult to gauge what you use to create music. If you would go
> back to my droning project, I doubt that in most cases you can tell
> when I used FL Studio and when I used my Linux Audio setup.
>
> "getting good sound and high quality mixing required tools that are
> simply unavailable on Linux today.
> Really?"
>
> Unfortunately.
>
Could be my ears, but the only time I ran into a reverb that caused me
problems with sound turned out to be my own fault - I ran it through the
reverb a couple of times, I think that amplified or otherwise brought
out any effects the reverb might have had on the frequency spectrum.

I'm not a pro and only listening on headphones. Listening to your
earlier tracks compared to the newest ones gives me no awareness of a
"quality" difference.

> I think I won't make a claim that it is totally impossible, but it's
> definitely not trivial. I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux
> Audio and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't
> even find an EQ that would work well for me. There is one EQ product
> that seems ok, but for me it was unstable and kept crashing my projects.
>
Which one was that? I haven't used any EQs at all.
> Additionally, high quality plugins matter, just like high quality
> equipment matters. I was using ZynReverb while on Linux and it created
> all sorts of problems for me. The quality of my mixes has changed
> dramatically when I switched to Valhalla, because it's reverb made by
> a company that put a decade into perfecting it. They made sure, for
> example, that it would produce a smoother sound, heal resonating
> frequencies, etc. They have a description of this on their website and
> a YouTube channel too.
>
Cool.

What I'm more curious about is how you make dronings. I've not done any,
just regular music things, and that process alone takes forever -
multiple listen throughs, tweak, listen through. Some of your tracks are
very long, like droning142, a bit over 2 hours long. I think of them
almost as computer programs. Do you repeatedly listen through each and
tweak as you make one?

--
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http://dancingtreefrog.com
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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Tim Goetze
In reply to this post by Louigi Verona
[Louigi Verona]
>I think I won't make a claim that it is totally impossible, but it's
>definitely not trivial. I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux Audio
>and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't even find an
>EQ that would work well for me. There is one EQ product that seems ok, but
>for me it was unstable and kept crashing my projects.

you know that on linux, it used to be customary that when a program or
library did not meet our expectations, we'd either start working on
the code ourselves if possible, or at least offer our valuable insight
to the creators of that application.

surely you have contacted the authors of the software you criticize so
publicly and offered your help?  

tim
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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Hank Stanglow
On 2/3/21 12:34 AM, Tim Goetze wrote:
> [Louigi Verona]
>>   I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux Audio
>> and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't even find an
>> EQ that would work well for me.
> surely you have contacted the authors of the software you criticize so
> publicly and offered your help?
>
> tim
It not like he's not know in the community and among developers. He
talked and written extensively:

https://youtu.be/LwNXn7OKVzY?t=195

http://www.louigiverona.com/?page=projects&s=writings&t=philosophy
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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Tim Goetze
[Hank Stanglow]

> On 2/3/21 12:34 AM, Tim Goetze wrote:
>> [Louigi Verona]
>>>  I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux Audio
>>> and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't even find an
>>> EQ that would work well for me.
>> surely you have contacted the authors of the software you criticize so
>> publicly and offered your help?
>>
>> tim
> It not like he's not know in the community and among developers. He talked and
> written extensively:
>
> https://youtu.be/LwNXn7OKVzY?t=195
>
> http://www.louigiverona.com/?page=projects&s=writings&t=philosophy

thanks Hank,

i have never been contacted by Louigi about my EQ or reverb plugins,
and they have been around for ages (i think they're even included in
standard ubuntu and other distros).

i'm not saying my plugins are perfect (they certainly aren't) or that
Louigi absolutely *has* to use them.  

but i do think Louigi's sweeping criticism of *all* of linux audio is
painting with a bit too broad a brush given that from my point of
view, he talks a lot but not to actual developers.
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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Louigi Verona
In reply to this post by David W. Jones
Hey David!

"It sounded like the more-or-less standard FL Studio strings to me."

But how would you define standard FL Studio strings? A preset from one of the stock synths? Or, a preset from one of the stock effects?

One of the interesting paradoxes of minimal music is that it sounds very simple, but there's usually much more to it than meets the eye. I would dare anyone to re-create Healing Fountain using "standard FL Studio strings". And I really mean it - try it! You can even download the demo version of FL and run it through WINE.

If I were asked to try to reproduce it, I would probably take whatever strings or pads I could find that sound similar and put a phaser on them. But it's the details that matter. The transparency of the texture, the many subtle movements. And this is where, I think, this track shines.

Having said that, I also don't want to oversell the originality or quality of my work 😂

So, here's how I approached this track.

I am using two synths. Each plays a chord: one plays C#-D#-G#, another plays A#-F#-A#. Collectively, they are reproducing a full pentatonic scale, a time-honored method to not worry about chord compatibility. I pan them to different channels and then use EQs for each, but not to clean anything up, but to actually shape the sound - I cut out some frequencies completely. At this point I am not yet creating a track per se, but sculpting what would become source material.

I then apply a bit of reverb to both synths to blur the details slightly.

Now, you would think that I am using a phaser here, but I'm actually not! Instead, I take one of the EQ bands, raise it and then automate it: this gives me total control over the glissando effect, which is, thus, fully derived from just the played chords - I am sort of stroking its vibrating strings by moving through the spectrum and gently picking out note after note. It's not impossible to get that effect with a phaser, but you'll have much less control and you'll have the phaser do other things to the sound. And here, I am just focusing on the notes and getting this really clean "singing".

Okay, the source is ready. I render the result to a flac file.

After this I open it in another project. I then play the render at note C5 and note C4, apply reverb to glue the whole thing together, some broad strokes EQing, to mostly clean up the mid sections, and then apply a subtle filter and automate it throughout the track. And only at this point the track takes shape and actually begins to sound like simple strings with a phaser applied. I then also add a stream recording and create a bunch of sounds that pop up from time to time in the track.

Was it done the hard way? I would argue - no! I think that this process allowed me to create a texture that is deceptively simple, but would be very difficult to reproduce with just some strings and a phaser.

And with electronic music, the sound you end up with matters. It's as much sculpting, as it is composing.

"Do you repeatedly listen through each and tweak as you make one?"

Most dronings were made in a similar way that cooking is done: you put things in boiling water and see what happens. Brian Eno used a metaphor of gardening: you put seeds in the ground and see what comes out.

I would have things run, while I play around with the effects and try to create interesting movement. Usually the process would involve three stages: preparing some sort of source material, then loading it up into Kluppe (or a separate project in FL Studio) and having multiple copies of it play at different speeds, while passing the result through a bunch of effects, and then third stage is finalizing the mix, adding more details or even running another looping session with different sounds.

In case of droning142, the reason why it's so long is that it uses phasing: there are two copies of a sequence that play against each other, but are at different lengths. One can argue that this is actually not phasing, but a form of polymeter, but both terms are usually applied to notes, whereas I am simply going through audio recordings of a sequence, so the difference doesn't really matter.

And so I think I made a rough calculation of how long should the track be to exhaust all the permutations of the sequences. I am actually not sure that it did exhaust them, but I gave it enough time to explore through the permutations. Because the sequence changes frequently - and each time it's a slightly new rhythm.

I don't remember exactly, but I am quite sure that I first recorded the sequences and then separately went through the same process with the strings/pads. I played them manually into Kluppe and then phased against each other, sending them through Rakarrack.


L.V.

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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Louigi Verona
In reply to this post by Tim Goetze
Hey Tim!

I think we have to always take into account that with open source it becomes personal very quickly. Unlike commercial products, an open source program is likely to be coded by someone in our community.
But we also have to be careful to not suppress any and all criticism simply because someone might be unhappy that their work is criticized. I have written a small essay about criticizing FLOSS here. You might disagree with it, of course, but I am just pointing out that I gave it some thought.

And my needs as an ambient composer are pretty special.

In case of project "droning", you tend to work with long sounds where resonating frequencies could be a huge problem. But this is not necessarily a problem for other uses. I don't know which EQs and reverbs you've authored, I don't know if I've ever used your work, but I need long lush reverbs for my work. If your reverb is plate reverb, for instance, I have nothing to say about it.

I also have no idea what to report. If there is a way to constructively criticize, say, Freeverb, I don't know how to do it. I am simply not an expert in creating algorithmic reverbs: I am a consumer of reverbs. All I know is that with Valhalla the result is dramatically different.




On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 9:34 AM Tim Goetze <[hidden email]> wrote:
[Louigi Verona]
>I think I won't make a claim that it is totally impossible, but it's
>definitely not trivial. I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux Audio
>and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't even find an
>EQ that would work well for me. There is one EQ product that seems ok, but
>for me it was unstable and kept crashing my projects.

you know that on linux, it used to be customary that when a program or
library did not meet our expectations, we'd either start working on
the code ourselves if possible, or at least offer our valuable insight
to the creators of that application.

surely you have contacted the authors of the software you criticize so
publicly and offered your help? 

tim

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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Fons Adriaensen-3
In reply to this post by Louigi Verona
On Tue, Feb 02, 2021 at 12:55:08PM +0100, Louigi Verona wrote:

> I think I won't make a claim that it is totally impossible, but it's
> definitely not trivial. I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux Audio
> and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't even find an
> EQ that would work well for me. There is one EQ product that seems ok, but
> for me it was unstable and kept crashing my projects.

There are two different aspects to this.

1. Things that crash are clearly no acceptable. Yet there is a lot of stuff
in the linuxaudio world that do crash or become unstable in some way or
another. It's usually due to a programmer being inexperienced in real-time
programming, or just copying some equation from a textbook or website without
really understanding it.

2. Then there is the question of what it meant by 'EQ'. For classical music
recording, if EQ is used at all it will be minimal, at most a few dB and
in wide and smooth bands. The aim is always to make things sound natural,
not to create an effect. The same is basically true for popular music, even
if EQ settings will be more pronounced and agressive.

What you seem to expect from EQ (reading your last post about Healing
Fountain) is quite different. Most EQs are not designed to completely
remove a frequency band or have very steep cutoff slopes, for the simple
reason that in 'traditional' audio (recording and mixing real physical
instruments) that is quite useless and would sound very bad.

So it could well be that you don't find what you need in Linux audio,
but that has little to do with the quality of what is available.

Ciao,

--
FA  

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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Louigi Verona
EQ is not just the DSP. It's all of it - the DSP and the UI.

Take, for instance, ZynEq 10. And let's say that it's DSP is perfect. The reason why I would consider it to be less usable than the EQ I'm using in FL Studio is because ZynEq is really limited: the bands are fixed, you cannot move them around. The Q setting is global: you cannot make one band wide and the other narrow. It doesn't allow you to change the slope type or band type. There's no way to solo a band. There's no way to store a state and switch between the current state and another one, to hear the difference.

All of this reduces my accuracy and/or makes the process very difficult and slow. Regardless of whether I want to cut something out or just apply a broad fix.

That's what I am talking about when it comes to EQs.





On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 12:36 PM Fons Adriaensen <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Tue, Feb 02, 2021 at 12:55:08PM +0100, Louigi Verona wrote:

> I think I won't make a claim that it is totally impossible, but it's
> definitely not trivial. I have produced hundreds of tunes with Linux Audio
> and explored loads of tools during that time, but I couldn't even find an
> EQ that would work well for me. There is one EQ product that seems ok, but
> for me it was unstable and kept crashing my projects.

There are two different aspects to this.

1. Things that crash are clearly no acceptable. Yet there is a lot of stuff
in the linuxaudio world that do crash or become unstable in some way or
another. It's usually due to a programmer being inexperienced in real-time
programming, or just copying some equation from a textbook or website without
really understanding it.

2. Then there is the question of what it meant by 'EQ'. For classical music
recording, if EQ is used at all it will be minimal, at most a few dB and
in wide and smooth bands. The aim is always to make things sound natural,
not to create an effect. The same is basically true for popular music, even
if EQ settings will be more pronounced and agressive.

What you seem to expect from EQ (reading your last post about Healing
Fountain) is quite different. Most EQs are not designed to completely
remove a frequency band or have very steep cutoff slopes, for the simple
reason that in 'traditional' audio (recording and mixing real physical
instruments) that is quite useless and would sound very bad.

So it could well be that you don't find what you need in Linux audio,
but that has little to do with the quality of what is available.

Ciao,

--
FA   

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Re: project "droning": 10 years, 300 tracks

Tim Goetze
Cheers Louigi,

>EQ is not just the DSP. It's all of it - the DSP and the UI.
>
>Take, for instance, ZynEq 10. And let's say that it's DSP is perfect. The
>reason why I would consider it to be less usable than the EQ
><https://www.image-line.com/fl-studio-learning/fl-studio-online-manual/html/plugins/Fruity%20Parametric%20EQ%202.htm>
>I'm using in FL Studio is because ZynEq is really limited: the bands are
>fixed, you cannot move them around. The Q setting is global: you cannot
>make one band wide and the other narrow. It doesn't allow you to change the
>slope type or band type. There's no way to solo a band. There's no way to
>store a state and switch between the current state and another one, to hear
>the difference.
>
>All of this reduces my accuracy and/or makes the process very difficult and
>slow. Regardless of whether I want to cut something out or just apply a
>broad fix.
>
>That's what I am talking about when it comes to EQs.

Thanks for taking the time to talk about what you expect in detail.
Now I think I can understand your disappointment, though I may not be
able to really help you here.  

With what's available in open source, one can emulate the filter
architecture you want using a stack of multiple parametric equaliser
filters; they do afford full control control over individual f,Q and
band activity.  To solo a band however would most likely take multiple
mouse or keyboard manoevers (or hacking your plugin host application).

As for graphical user interfaces: as a plugin and occasional user
interface developer, I think writing those on my own would be a
colossal waste of everybody's time.  Getting a user interface right is
*hard* and things break constantly in a fascinatingly abundant
multitude of unexpected ways.  I'd rather concentrate the (very!)
little that I can do on the actual audio algorithms.  

Given how little developer power there is in open source, leaving the
user interface to the host applications makes a lot more sense.  Of
course they'll be generic and only occasionally attractive, but that's
already better than a half-hearted effort suffering constant breakage
(such as I would certainly produce, if I had to).

I understand you want quick results (who wouldn't?) and not having to
hack and tinker everything together from smaller units, but I'm afraid
that is what open source audio software will most likely continue to
be like, however lofty our goals.
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Linux EQs was - project "droning": 10 years...

Roger E
In reply to this post by Louigi Verona
On 3/2/21 11:24 pm, Louigi Verona wrote:

> EQ is not just the DSP. It's all of it - the DSP and the UI.
>
> Take, for instance, ZynEq 10. And let's say that it's DSP is perfect.
> The reason why I would consider it to be less usable than the EQ
> <https://www.image-line.com/fl-studio-learning/fl-studio-online-manual/html/plugins/Fruity%20Parametric%20EQ%202.htm>
> I'm using in FL Studio is because ZynEq is really limited: the bands
> are fixed, you cannot move them around. The Q setting is global: you
> cannot make one band wide and the other narrow. It doesn't allow you
> to change the slope type or band type. There's no way to solo a band.
> There's no way to store a state and switch between the current state
> and another one, to hear the difference.
>
> All of this reduces my accuracy and/or makes the process very
> difficult and slow. Regardless of whether I want to cut something out
> or just apply a broad fix.
>
> That's what I am talking about when it comes to EQs.
>
>
>
> Louigi Verona
> https://louigiverona.com/ <https://louigiverona.com/>
>
I just want to throw in my 2c on this. I never used ZynEQ and didn't
even find it with a quick search. From your description it sounds like a
rather limited and basic EQ. I've had good results with several EQs, namely:

LSP Parametric EQ

x-42 Parametric EQ

Harrison XT-EQ and XT-ME as well as their Character plugins

EQ10Q

ZamDynamicEQ

I use these mainly in Mixbus 32C or Qtractor, and don't recall ever
having a crash with any of them. Note the Harrison ones cost money but
are well worth it and they have regular sales which make them great
value. eg. Mixbus 32C retails for $US349 but I got it for $199. I'm
talking software for Linux, not restricting it to FOSS.

Another consideration is the possibility is running Windows VSTs under
LinVST. My current absolute favourite EQ is the free TDR Nova which
works perfectly under LinVST; four fully parametric bands, built-in RTA,
and it's dynamic function is unequalled by any Linux EQ (Zam one is
closest).

Other notable Win plugins I use with great success under LinVST are Dead
Duck Effects bundle, and I just got Valhalla Supermassive happily
sending mixes to outer space (thanks for the tip, Louigi, I never heard
of Valhalla before).

There are some excellent quality FOSS and commercial plugins for Linux
if one looks around and tries them but also some very mediocre ones and
some absolute rubbish. It's the same situation in other platforms.

The main problem is finding them as there is negligible promotion, and
then sorting the wheat from the chaff. There are some good guides online
but often are not kept current and/or they just list everything
available regardless of quality.

Sorry, more than 2c worth but /rant

Cheers, Roger
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