audiophile sound on FreeBSD ?

Chris Hill chris at
Mon Apr 23 23:12:18 UTC 2018

On Tue, 24 Apr 2018, Polytropon wrote:

> On Mon, 23 Apr 2018 22:42:42 +0200, AikiZen wrote:
>> I would like know if FreeBSD can used for audiophile listening and
>> composing ? I am a music player and i would like listen with the best
>> quality are possible and record me with my guitar.
> Even though sophisticated Linux distributions like Ubuntu Studio
> or KXStudio offer great software solutions for audio as well as
> good hardware support, FreeBSD can be utilized as well, because
> it is a multi-purpose OS. You still have to choose your hardware
> wisely to make sure it will fully support the OS. Many applications
> not available natively for FreeBSD can be used with its Linux ABI.
> I've been using FreeBSD for my (more or less simple) music
> applications, without any problems. I've been using a CMI-based
> sound card (PCI) and my own homemade guitar pickup amplifiers, PA,
> and connectors to tape recorder equipment. However, I have not
> tried to get MIDI working - the last time I saw working MIDI was
> at a time where Atari ST was considered a professional platform
> for musicians... ;-)
>> I would like know if FreeBSD give a better audio experience than
>> GNU/Linux.
> It's probably not such a matter of the OS as it is of the hardware
> and the peripherials. Oh, and compression also matters a lot:
> MP3 with maximum PCM-like compression just sounds terrible on
> _any_ OS. :-)

I'll second Polytropon's advice: it's primarily about the hardware and 
the support thereof, not so much the OS. My needs have been pretty 
simple: In the course of digitizing hundreds of LPs, I'm editing album 
sides down to individual tracks and removing gratches.

I got a pair of "good" powered speakers [1] and plugged them into my 
FreeBSD machine's audio out jack from the onboard sound card. They sound 
very good to me, but I'm getting a lot of noise in the bargain. This can 
be mitigated by paying attention to the gain structure. I have attempted 
to record into the audio in of the onboard soundcard, but that did not 
end well. I'm using a perfectly fine workaround instead. For quality, 
low-noise recording and playback, I'm afraid you would need to add 
hardware (card or external). What hardware? Good question; I'd answer it 
if I could.

And I have no idea what's become of the French mailing list. Je suis 
desole (ASCII character set here, sorry).

[1] "Cakewalk by Roland" if anyone cares.

Chris Hill               chris at
**                     [ Busy Expunging </> ]

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