Open-source music and audio is finally delivering the goods: useful and unique tools that make sense even alongside commercial/proprietary software. And as a sign that the mainstream could get a taste of these tools soon, Intel is exhibiting at the massive Las Vegas CES consumer electronics show with Transmission, says Trinity Audio’s Ronald Stewart.

Transmission is Trinity Audio’s open source software bundle and live Linux distribution. It’s built for Trinity’s Linux-powered Trinity mobile studio device, which we’ll be seeing more of soon. At CES, it’s running at the Intel booth on the Samsung Q1 Ultra Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC). (The advantage of the Trinity over the UMPC for audio folks: XLR jacks, among other things.) But you can also run this free software on your PC — try the live CD link below. Haven’t tried it on Intel Mac yet, but that should work, too, theoretically.

Audacity [the open-source waveform editor]

Burn is a cd burn app

DJ is IDJ for live podcasting ( i love this with a mic)

Drum is Hydrogen [the simple but fun software drum machine]

Mixer is the Gnome ALSA mixer [for mixing virtual channels of audio on your system — something not nearly as functional on Mac or Windows]

Mixxx 1.6 beta (rips with the touch screen grabbing the tracks and faders)

Record is Ardourino (Ardour is so awesome) [the open-source DAW]

Sequencer is Qtractor (another great app)

Synth is amsynth

Upload is an ftp app [so you can upload your tracks]

Zynaddsubfx is another great synth

For more description and links to the individual tools — an excellent selection of the creme de la creme on Linux — check the Transmission site. (warning: auto-plays audio!)


But no need to have a UMPC or Trinity device to give this a spin. This live CD will do the trick. For Mac users, it even includes the native (non-Linux) Ardour for Mac, an excellent free and open source DAW for Mac users.

Trinity Live Master CD

Even as someone dedicated to proprietary software I really can’t live without (hello, Ableton!), I think there’s huge potential in using these applications for specific applications (like mobile devices), for collaboration, and file exchange. If we were really lucky, some of those major developers would start to build in support for, say, Ardour’s file format. But that’s the subject of another story.

Below: the Trinity mobile device getting celebrity treatment.

<KENOX S630  / Samsung S630>