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“Handheld recording studio” mixes with Linux

Jul 24, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

Trinity Audio Group is taking orders for a handheld multi-track recording device that runs Linux. The Indamixx integrates the 64Studio Linux music distribution with an off-the-shelf Samsung handheld, so audio producers can record, edit, equalize, audition, and mix audio at up to 32-bit/96Khz rates on-the-go, the… company says.

(Click for larger view of Ardour running on the Samsung Q1 Ultra)

Founded three years ago by Ronald Stewart, Trinity initially worked through a series of custom hardware designs, before deciding to go with off-the-shelf hardware. Its first design used a low-powered ARM processor, while a follow-up design stepped up to a Geode LX-800. Neither reached market in any quantity, however.

Now, the emergence of the UMPC, MID, and other mobile device form factors appears to be solving the hardware problem for Trinity. While its earlier custom hardware incorporated audio-specific touches like phantom power for high-quality condenser microphone support, those features “are not as important to users as we had thought,” Stewart said in an interview.

The Indamixx is based on an off-the-shelf Samsung Q1, an ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) released in May 2006. The device is powered by an Intel A110 processor clocked at 800MHz. It has 1GB of RAM, expandable to 2GB, a 40GB hard drive, and a 7-inch 1024×600 touchscreen display with external VGA port. I/O includes a pair of USB 2.0 ports, wired and wireless Ethernet, and the Q1's standard audio I/O interfaces. There are also built-in speakers, an 8-way joystick, onboard mouse, and both software and split-Qwerty keyboards.

The preloaded Linux software mix appears to be based largely on 64Studio, a community project that maintains a Linux distribution for creative content professionals, such as A/V producers and recording engineers. Along with a 2.6.21 kernel patched for enhanced real-time performance, the software pre-load includes:

  • A “homebrew” version of jackdmp, a kind of software patchbox for real-time-enabled Linux systems
  • Ardour 2.4.1 — the standard quirky but effective DAW (digital audio workstation) for advanced Linux users
  • Audacity 1.3.5 — a popular ultra-simple open source DAW available for lots of platforms
  • Energy XT 2.1 — a loop-based MIDI sequencer claimed similar to Logic and Fruity Loops, packages popular with rappers
  • Hydrogen-Drums – Virtual Drum Machine — an open source, programmable drum machine supporting custom drumkits (of which a dozen are bundled)
  • Mixxx 1.6 – Virtual DJ Software — a dj software application compared to Serato Scratch Live or Stanton's Final Scratch
  • VST Host — enables the commercial VST audio effects software plugins
  • Various standard Linux audio software packages:
    • ALSA Modular Synth
    • Audio CD Extractor
    • Gnome ALSA Mixer
    • Gnome CD Master
    • Gnome Mplayer
    • IDJC – Personal Internet Radio Station
    • QJackControl
    • Rhythmbox Music Player
    • Seq 24 “old-skool” looper
    • Zynaddsubfx soft-synth

Stewart enthused, “Indamixx is the boot digger in your musical production set-up.”


The Indamixx appears to be available now for $1,200.

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