Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cheaper Music Making - Part 5 - interlude with Sunvox

So far I've gone through setting up a Linux chroot on a Chromebook, setting up KxStudio and downloading hundreds of audio plugins and programs all in one go. Since then, I've been working on Linux with various DAWs, figuring out various ways to configure Jack audio and MIDI and a huge amount of trial an error. Music on Linux is still far from easy!

So while I wrestle with all of the applications, ask questions on linuxmusicians and learn, here is a quick tip on making music on Linux with no fuss whatsoever! If you've used Sunvox on any platform (and indeed it runs on most of them), you know what you're in for - a tracker interface, a self-contained studio with sampled instruments, modular synthesis and some very good effects.

It has a steep learning curve of its own, but it runs on almost anything. If you have a refrigerator with a Linux based controller, it might just run Sunvox! Without installing KxStudio, Jack or anything else, you can install the Linux 64 bit binary onto your Linux chroot and immediately get sound with Sunvox.

The downside is that I did not see a current Sunvox installable via the typical Ubuntu repositories, so you have to download the multi-platform binary file here. You should copy the file to your home directory with your favorite file manager.

Double-clicking the zip file will decompress it and if you do that in your home directory, you should end up with a set of folders under sunvox. The one that matters for the Chromebooks is the linux_x86_64 folder.

If you navigate into the path sunvox/sunvox/linux_x86_64, you will see the executable for Sunvox. Double-click and that's really it. You are in sunvox, the keyboard will make noise and everything is more or less ready to go. Now the learning curve for trackers kicks in! Lots of good documentation at the Sunvox site and on YouTube.

Extra credit - if you want to create an icon and put it in your applications menu, you'll have to create a desktop file and go through some more steps. If you're interested, drop me a line and I can document that process as well.

Now, back to wrestling with Ardour and other DAWs!

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