ARM computers

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vinceCROP
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Hello

For anybody interested i have found low price Linux computers that offer a free version of Ubuntu Linux with Ardour built in....among many other audio tools built into the realtime kerner of Linux

THe computers themselves are just 59 dollars and are fast. You can buy an extra emCC flash card for them at maybe 20 dollars which makes them a lot faster.

They sport a quad core CPU which, with a simple terminal command will run at 1.92 ghz per core. The graphics is a quad core GPU and 2 gigs of RAM.

Hardkernel is the company and you can see the computers demo on the web page or youtube.

To get the Ardour inside the free Linux ...simply register at the Hardkernel forum and type
"Ardour" into the search box and you will see "SmoothGroove" Ubuntu Linux at the bottom. Simply download Smooth and put it on SD or flash and boot up the computer.
Jack and much other stuff is all ready to go.

i hope this helps out people wanting to mess with Pro audio on a low price computer.

Ben

veda_sticks
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wow this looks asewsome! I might just buy myself one of these. With a small LCD display,, keyboard and mouse along iwth a USB hard drive. i could easily take this to gigs to record.

vinceCROP
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They are deceptively powerful computers in the palm of your hand.

Soon the price of the 8 core model will also drop. PRO audio Linux will probably be built for that model also.

The graphics performance of these devices is amazing.

You are best to use the emCC flash card and also if you are lucky your cell phone charger will be right for the ODROID. (there is a chance it will)

Really, it's the cheapest computer going that can actually handle PRO audio and actually do something
useful with it. This is infact why the man has built the "Smooth Groove" Ubuntu for these computers.

There is also another operating system which is extremely good called "Dream Studio" for these boards.
It has many more audio tools in it set up ready to go. Plus hundreds of other tools. There is a video of it
on youtube.

Yes you could buy a second hand laptop and run Ardour. But you won't get this kind of performance
for your money ....i don't think...... and also this device fits in the palm of your hand.

You can also CHAIN these odroid computers together using cat 5 cables and CELT inside Ardour and thus produce an audio processing farm of Real power. (this is, infact,a very good idea with them)

i think the cheapest commercial way into audio right now is Android. But its not really at
a professional level. The DAW called "Audio evolution" on Android is excellent but it won't run VST's and such
like on Android. It's not in the same level as Ardour.

You can , ofcourse, RENT computers inside the cloud internet and run Ardour in them.These are surprisingly CHEAP to rent per hour and offer great performance for money....once you find a virtual computer provider in the cloud that supports AUDIO over the internet. There are several that do This cloud idea is infact the cheapest idea to get into Pro audio but you still need a laptop to actually do that....really..

There are many single board computers out there....quite a lot actually, but the ODROID U3 has a nice chip
and the free Ubuntu they provide is hardware video accelerated by default in the MAIL 400 (quad core gpu)
which is quite important. (many other board sellers provide LInux but don't enable the hardware accelerated graphics)

It deceptive that such a tiny board could be a pro audio music studio .....but it can. You are only limiited to the amount of audio tracks in realtime and i am not sure what the board could achieve but i imagine you could do at least 4 realtime audio tracks.

Ofcourse, you can use a pro audio USB soundcard or the boards onboard sound over HDMI (or ANALOGUE OUT). THe onboard HDMI sound is very high quality. You simply plug a USB keyboard and mouse into the board. Internert is simple too using a 2 dollar USB wi fi dongle off ebay.

Really you are supposed to plug this board into a large HDMI tv......but a small LCD could work

Vi

veda_sticks
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4 channels of audio is more than enough for simple live recordings. Left and right out of the desk then 2 ambient mics.

if you have a tablet,, you could even use that as your mouse and keyboard by setting up vncserver and just connecting via tightvnc on an andoid tablet over wifi

allank
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only shame about the 8 core one is it has a fan... I like my audio computers to be silent..

calimerox
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looks very promising !! did you use it with dream studio already? I m looking for something exactly like this. I m working on a audio stream project and the raspberry pi is a great little machine but just too slow for realtime audio I m afraid

vinceCROP
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yes. The 8 core version can be cooled just using heat blocks. No trouble. However, its important to clarify with hardkernel that the Ubuntu they supply for this board has been wired to use all 8 cores at the same time. This ability was only introduced to the samsung chip in a later update to the chips software stack. I am not sure how easy it is to get it working right.

Since the samsung chip other 8 core chips have been released by other companies which truly DO use all 8 cores at the same time. "Tru octa core" it's called.

The octa core boards are nice but just too expensive. THey need to be at about 59 dollars NOW to be really competative and i will tell you why

You can now get 13.3 inch MACBOOK AIR clones from china for 90 dollars plus shipping. These are beautiful computers that are IDENTICAL to a macbook air in every single way. They have android 4.2 and wi fi and blue toothe and all the bells and whistles including microphone inputs tp the android.
THey sport a dual core 1.5 ghz cortex q9 chip with dual core Mali GPU. A good chip really.

To install Linux on these laptops takes one click and about 10 minutes using free tools like "Complete Linux installer" from the android market. You can choose ARCH or UBUNTU or any distro that you like out of about 9. THis Linux will run LIVE right alongside the Android so it's very handy to have BOTH running at the same time. The LINUX performance is the same as a native boot of linux on a machine other than the fact it does NOT have GPU acceleration for graphics work. But for music it would be fine. You can then install and use any of the 25 thousand free tool sfrom the Ubntunu store.

People don;t realie what your money can get you these days. These 13.3 inch laptops are all over Ali express and Ali baba at about 90 dollars or so. Very nice computers really. Here it is.
(as long as the KERNEL of the Andorid supports "looped devices" then putting Linux onto them is a doddle.....most 4.2 kernels do)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlDW5Eu7SuU

"Crouton" is another example of putting Linux onto CHROMEBOOKS. it works flawlesssly and again allows LINUX and CHROME OS to run at the same time. Performance is the same as if it were a native a linux boot.

another exampe of this is SPEEDLINUX and PORTABLE UBUNTU for windows. They allow you to just double click a windows desktop icon and LINUX will load up and run alongside windows. Again, both windows and linux run at the same time and at native speed.

Vince

anahata
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Thanks for the heads-up on this. I have a Raspberry Pi running as a home email/file server and despite USB/ethernet bandwidth compromises it's performing surprisingly well, but I am interested in a backup or alternative. Prompted by this thread I now have an Odroid U3 community edition with Hardkernel's standard Ubuntu. Haven't done much with it yet but I will try the Smooth Groove Ubuntu on it and see how it goes.

I'll report back of course, though I don't know how soon...

seablade
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You know I hate it when I have to defend Apple on something these days...

You can now get 13.3 inch MACBOOK AIR clones from china for 90 dollars plus shipping. These are beautiful computers that are IDENTICAL to a macbook air in every single way.

I think you vastly underestimate several things, to start with the Macbook airs are x86, not ARM, and for many people that is a very important distinction. Along with this it means you can't do a simple clock to clock comparison.

I will be the first to say that Apple tends to overprice their stuff and looking for cheaper alternatives is great, but don't expect an exact clone for 90 bucks, sorry this just isn't going to happen.

I will also say that graphics acceleration actually does get used in audio, though not as heavily or in the same way. Basic 2D acceleration is the norm, and many graphic toolkits do run noticeably smoother with at least this, if not some form of basic 3D acceleration as well these days based on my experience as a user.

Now assuming you are talking about these...
http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/1248393631/13_3_inch_size_comet_laptops.html?s=p

There are a couple of things that stand out to me. Not the least of which being a VIA chipset/processor that have been problematic in the past and thus make me hesitant to get one. Obviously the case is a very different construction, less memory, a less powerful graphics chip, and a less powerful CPU and not an SD card slot. This doesn't even begin to look at things like the webcam etc. It does however have a touchscreen according to their specs, which could be considered a step up from the macbook air, however it also has a lower screen resolution. This doesn't even begin to touch on things like webcam, screen quality, much weaker quoted battery life, etc.

So my point being, the machines aren't really identical. One is decidedly a budget machine, one is arguably overpriced(Though honestly the MBA is probably the most competitively priced machine Apple has had in some time).

Not saying you can't use that ARM laptop for audio, far from it, just trying to explain it will be far from identical as well. I like the concept of using the machines you have mentioned for audio, though I am hesitant on a couple of aspects of it, but overall it is a good concept I think and have considered buying one, but don't have time to tinker much these days sadly.

Seablade

vinceCROP
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hi sea

ye nobody should defend apples rip off prices (i now about arm and x86.....its no issue for the topic here)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlDW5Eu7SuU

that is the laptop......the link was above already

These are nice......and can also run windows embeded 7 and chromium os

You can get the stand alone palm sized dual core rk3066 machines that can run at
near 2 ghz per core for 35 dollars. Mk908........... and quad version. rk3188....49$
There is already an uvuntu for them with accelerated video for rk3066....all free.....called
Picuntu..(they are working on accelating the video on the rk3188 version.

Ye.....there is a custom android for them with full USB audio support. So you can then use
DAWs like "audio evolution" in a pro sense on android.........and do ardour on Linux

apple stuff is just a joke...to me A mac book air costs 16 times more money than that laptop above in the UK....so

thanks

ask if you need any links..be happy to help

Vince.

vinceCROP
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hi sea

ye nobody should defend apples rip off prices (i know about arm and x86.....its no issue for the topic here)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlDW5Eu7SuU

http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/1444212711/Mental_cover_strong_13_3_strong.html

that is the laptop......the link was above already

These are nice......and can also run "windows embeded 7" and "chromium os" and "Linux" and "Android Jelly 4.2"

You can get the stand alone palm sized dual core rk3066 machines that can run at
near 2 ghz per core for 35 dollars. Mk908........... and a quad version. rk3188....49$
There is already an ubuntu for them with accelerated video for rk3066....all free.....called
Picuntu.......(they are working on accelating the video on the rk3188 quad version.)

Ye.....there is a custom android for them with full USB audio support. So you can then use
DAWs like "audio evolution" in a pro sense on android.........and do ardour on Linux

apple stuff is just a joke to me....... A mac book air costs 17 times more money than that laptop above in the UK....so

thanks

ask if you need any links..be happy to help

that laptop has a dual core 1.5 ghz cortex a9 cpu(faster than an ipad chip) and it runs at 1.5 ghz per core. It contains a dual core mali 400 gpu. Twice the graphics power of an apple ipad. a 5000 battery which lasts 6 hours on wi fi. WI FI built in...blue toothe built in...microphone IN for any android apps that require it like skype. 1 gig of RAM ...a HD screen. Power brick....years warranty

Vince.

wclewis
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Ardour is needed for OSX

Even though Ardour runs great on Linux, many of the cool audio/midi interfaces are only available under OSX or Windows, e.g. motu, avid, ... Glad to see progress is being made on the OSX issues. Ardour 3 looks pretty good.