Trinity Linux-Powered Mobile Audio Recorder Workstation

For mobile work, your choices have traditionally come down to one of two choices: either lug your laptop and audio interface, or get dedicated recording hardware with far fewer capabilities. We’ve been following the evolution of the Linux-powered Trinity mobile recorder for over a year now because we’re interested in what could happen between those two extremes.

Prototype Trinity recorders initially failed to impress on the software side: the bundled software focused on Audacity 2.0, a fairly basic waveform editor. That already allows far more than what’s possible with dedicated hardware recorders, but maybe not quite enough to warrant leaving your laptop at home. Since we last saw it, though, the Trinity has gotten two major improvements. First, it’s not naked any more; it’s got a lovely, brushed aluminum case. More importantly, though, it’s got an application worth writing home about: a new, mobile/embedded edition of the powerful, free DAW Ardour called Ardourino.

Ardourino, Ardour DAW for mobile screens

Ardourino isn’t just Ardour running on the Trinity: it’s a special, customized version of the DAW intended for mobile devices. You get the capabilities of Ardour, a full-featured open source DAW that also runs on desktop Mac OS X (natively, no less) and Linux, but adapted to smaller screens. That shows some promise for the open source audio software; I can’t think of any other major pro audio software that’s mobile device ready. And, of course, that also means you can work directly on your desktop DAW on the road, without any import/export of files.

Since the Trinity is running Linux, other applications are possible, too; one prototype photo already shows it running the Hydrogen drum machine.

For many readers, the Trinity rightfully has competition from laptops; you may just not want another device. Nonetheless, though, the Trinity provides an interesting glimpse at what the future of mobile/embedded audio devices might look like, and some of the potential of Linux for music and audio. As far as the Trinity itself, we look forward to learning more about the finished project.

Ronald Stewart’s Blog on the Trinity (and other Linux audio musings)

Linux-Powered Mobile Trinity DAW in the Wild
Portable, Linux-Based Trinity Recorder Development Continues; New Specs

  • That housing is certainly nice. I assume not, but is the screen a touch-screen

  • Hi Steve, good question about the touch-screen.

    Currently we don't have a touch-screen but what would you use the touch-screen for?



  • I'd be potentially interested in a touchscreen, personally, just because I find it a nice way of accessing audio interfaces (at least based on experience with, say, the touchscreen on a Roland V-Synth or Windows tablet PCs).

    But you found it more accurate to use the touchpad, Ronald?

  • Well I have been really happy with the touch pad and left/right click features on the device. I keep asking myself if touch is a good idea for Trinity. The only time I would use touch is to control the gain feature on a mixer. My goal here is to make the device affordable and bring the price down even further, so adding touch would in fact raise the price. Maybe we can make it an a la carte custom request. That might be fun!

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  • tvgarden

    i hope to see oneday a box like this with touchscreen and ableton live inside.

  • Eeek @ all those trackback comments!

    Hehe. I've had my eye on this for a while. I wonder if it'll be possible to run a VST wrapper on this thing so I can say, run my guitar into the unit and process the signal with some of my favourite effects that are VST/AU only.. ?

    Good job though Ronald keep it up.

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