DAW in CloudReady



  • Michael Clarke

    bruce davidson,

    By 'DAW', I'm going to assume you mean Digital Audio Workflow/Workstation.  There is a fair amount of online material that essentially concludes that Chrom*OS is not the best OS to use for any Audio Recording.  The reasons are long and varied, but essentially boil down to two core reasons:

    • Chromebooks traditionally were low spec devices, with minimal RAM and storage.  Audio recording clearly requires low latency RAM and sufficient storage to hold the recorded audio. This argument is really only valid if the device is actually a low spec device.
    • Software Support.  All the major Audio recording software support Apple and Windows (Linux if you're lucky), and it is unlikely to see support for those types of apps ever coming to Chrom*OS.

    As you've said, Linux is posible within Crostini, though never officially supported in CloudReady/ChromeOS Flex (reasons not discussed here), but this is running as a virtual container within Chrom*OS and is therefore not running natively.  I managed to get Audacity working on a Chromebook in Crostini, but the performance was suboptimal.

    Bottom line, if you need high performing audio recording, you are better off looking at operating systems that support it natively.  Chrom*OS just isn't designed to support those workflows.

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  • bruce davidson

    I apologize for the rant. Non-musicians are always recommending audacity - please don't :) I know you're just trying to help. But it's just a recorder, not a daw. It has no drum machine, can't remix, no samples, no loops, no sequencing, no realtime effects such as sound balance and reverb, no MIDI editor, hit or miss VST (plugin) support. And here I am ranting again. I'll stop. I hear it's great for blogs.

    But on re-reading my reply, I see the answer. Since I can now install jack2 in crustini, I can install Waveform11. It's not open source, just free. There is only a *.deb install for linux. So I installed it in crostoni, and it works great. Hardware requirements are low - Core Duo or better. They were discontinued 10 years ago, so it should run on any device that can run Chrome Flex.

    The big question though - Is this reliable? - will this work next week? After rtm? No guarantees. I guess I'll use it for now, and upgrade as soon as I can. As much as I like ChromeOS, it's a craps shoot, and I need something I can depend on.

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  • bruce davidson

    Oops I didn't post my first rant. Just as well. But my point was that Chrome devices are perfectly suited for music production. I have Waveform-11 running on rpi4, and it is merely a 4 core A72, while my chrome book is an 8 core A73/A53 hybrid. Most computers made in the past 10 years can run Waveform. I was using it in linux on the same i3 that now runs Chrome Flex. My point was that the real reason for getting Windows or Apple if you are a musician is that you are treated as a 1st class user. Linux, including ChromiumOS (from gentoo wiki: Chrome OS is a GNU/Linux distribution based on Gentoo that is installed on Chromebooks), treats musicians like 3rd class users. 

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  • Joel R.

    bruce davidson On "treats musicians like 3rd class users," well, probably. Or maybe musicians as a target for Chrom*OS has never even crossed developers' minds. Important things to consider:

    • Chrome OS Flex is still under development. It was announced just three months ago.
    • Chrom* OS is explicitly developed to be and labeled as a cloud-first OS. If the cloud-based music production solutions are inadequate for you, then maybe questions should be posed to their developers, same as you're asking of Neverware / Google.
    • You can always build your own Chromium OS spin from source. Don't ask me how, I know that it's possible but I don't know how to do it. Not many do. But if you're really passionate about using Chrom* OS for music production, you should be able to figure it out. Better than asking Google for something they're not selling.

    Sorry for ranting on your rant. Moving on from that, it's good that you've found ways around and you've got a working setup with Crostini. Is it reliable? If you're using Flex, a good start is moving to the Beta or Stable channel. From experience, Crostini (and other features) tend to break randomly on Dev channel releases. Even then though, in truth, you'll find a lot of complaints about Crostini in general here and on other forums. You can enable shell access on Flex and experiment with your previously used solutions via that route.

    Good luck. Maybe in the future you'll be right and we'll be seeing musicians bringing around Chromebooks instead of MacBooks.

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