Debian Lenny Creative XFi Drivers Installation

Creative Labs release his official Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Linux driver. You can find it through creative support site http://support.creative.com/ under X-Fi and drivers area.

You need this drivers to get audio from X-Fi, ALSA doesn’t have drivers, but Creative have supplied a data sheet to developers so development work has started.

Status: Front Panel doesn’t work with Creative official drivers (at least as today March 30, 2009)
There is a compatibility issue with Ubuntu 8.04

Installation process: (thanks to NullHead on ubuntuforums)

1) Check if you have the minimal compiling tools to build your driver:
(you can check it first with aptitude show build-essential or … linux-headers-… if you don’t have that install it)
aptitude install build-essential
aptitude install linux-headers-'uname -r'
(if you have trouble with the ”, just check your version with uname -r)

2) Download the official driver with the link provided before or with:
wget http://ccftp.creative.com/manualdn/Drivers/AVP/10792/0x0343D29A/XFiDrv_Linux_Public_US_1.00.tar.gz

3) On a clean folder unpack the contents of the gzipped tar:
tar -xf XFiDrv_Linux_Public_US_1.00.tar.gz

4) Get into the directory
cd XFi...

5) Compile and install
make
make install

Then check if the drivers are in your settings (for gnome go to System->Preferences->Sound

6) Finally you have to restart

References:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=870001 (the original article that works, than you very much NullHead)

Additional:
http://www.alsa-project.org/main/index.php/Matrix:Vendor-Creative_Labs
http://support.creative.com/downloads/welcome.aspx?nDriverType=1#type_1
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=843012
http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=soundblaster&thread.id=132288&view=by_date_ascending&page=4
http://connect.creativelabs.com/opensource/Wiki/SoundCard%20Support.aspx
http://www.soundblaster.com/
http://wiki.debian.org/ALSA

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Piano Samplers

After my close encounter with ubuntu studio I had to return to Windows/Sonar to do some composition work that i’m finishing (well i’m very away from ending that, but it’s better to think that I almost have it). Then after a long hard work (about 30 minutes of nothing hehe) I was looking for Piano sounds and I found these:

1. EastWest/Quantum Leap*
2. PianoTeq (not for sound, but when you don’t have RAM or want some really good modeled piano)
3. Ivory

This post was also interesting.

Just for the record, those piano samplers/models doesn’t work in Ubuntu because most software there doesn’t support VST plug-ins right now.

* Certified with the excellent sound taste of my unfinished work co-author amulio

Music Composition on Linux

Yesterday I was looking for options for Music Composition on Linux. Today I’m using just Windows software with my M-Audio Keystation Pro and a Creative ASIO compatible sound card, but it’s better to know all options available specially if you can get at very low cost and you can modify them without legal issues.

This is what I find:

Rosegarden MIDI Sequencer and score editor

Ardour (Sonar like)

Ubuntu Studio

Then I find this excellent article by Chris Scheidies from last year but very good for the beginners in music production on linux (like me).