Benefits and Problems of Linux Home Recording Studio

Problems when using Linux as your home recording studio

You have learned a lot of benefits in the previous section regarding the use of Linux as your DAW operating system. Now below are the problems you might encounter when using Linux in your music recording studio:

1.) Lack of support for most USB and Firewire audio interface available. If you have checked the specs of reputable USB and Firewire audio interfaces, it only supports Windows and Mac machines. There are no drivers available for Linux for these audio interfaces. There are still some USB and Firewire audio interface that can work with Linux but it experiences a lot of issues and incompatibilities.

Of course with an exception to Focusrite and other leading Firewire audio interfaces thoroughly tested by FFADO. You can find the complete list here.

2.) Most recording software and plugins are written with compatibility to ASIO. However in Linux, its equivalent is JACK which is different from ASIO although it accomplishes the same purpose of lowering the latency. JACK is not supported by most Windows compatible software that you are planning to run on Linux. The only solution is to write compatible plugins that can work with Linux.

3.) Not all DAW are supported in Linux. Popular DAW such as Protools, Cubase, FL Studio are not known to work with Linux. Although Reaper is known to work in Wine, another challenge is finding a compatible audio interface with it as most of this hardware is written for PC and Mac.

ardour mixing

ardour mixing

The only official DAW in Linux is Ardour which can difficult to use and configure especially for beginners. Ardour offers a completely unique music production environment as compared to the common Windows based DAW. Any digital audio workstation in Linux like Ardour depends on JACK for low latency; if you do not in-depth knowledge of configuring JACK then you will find it hard to use them.

Final Recommendations

If you have very limited knowledge or even does not use Linux at all, then stick to Windows based home recording studio. Shifting to Linux can introduce a lot issues and you will be wasting a lot of time in the troubleshooting process because things can be very problematic at first.

Even if you are a Linux guru, you still have issues dealing with drivers for some common audio interface (USB and Firewire) that you would like to use but it cannot run properly in Linux. Things can be fixed in Linux if resources and support are available. However it can take a lot of time in some cases even you are already very good with this operating system.

I recommend sticking to your Windows based home recording studio whenever possible.

Content last updated on July 24, 2012