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Ivory II under Linux? #1544512 10/27/10 06:31 AM
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Hi all,

This is purely speculative now, but has anyone managed to run Ivory II on a Linux box? Since it requires windows or Mac, I guess I will either need Wine, or some kind of virtualisation software, like VirtualBox or Xen.

VirtualBox (and Xen) support USB passthough, so I can (theoretically) give the iLok and the USB midi cable to the (virtual) windows.

Has anyone done this successfully? What about the latency?

Thank you for your help:

Csillag

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Re: Ivory II under Linux? [Re: Csillag] #1544526 10/27/10 06:58 AM
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mucci Offline
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Virtual boxes always have the problem to provide quite bad performance, because they're, simply said, on top of an already running operating system, so there is lots of overhead. For performance critical stuff like realtime audio processing I think this is a no-go. So why not installing a dual boot system and then boot the system you need for playing the piano? For a virtual box you need a registered copy of Windows or OSX anyway, so it's no additional costs.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: Ivory II under Linux? [Re: mucci] #1544563 10/27/10 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mucci
Virtual boxes always have the problem to provide quite bad performance, because they're, simply said, on top of an already running operating system, so there is lots of overhead.


This is completely true when we are talking about software-emulated hardware environments, in which other software must be run.

However, Wine is not an emulator, but is instead a compatibility layer, providing alternative implementations of the DLLs that Windows programs call, and a process to substitute for the Windows NT kernel.

So, Wine is running instead of windows; windows is not running on top of wine. This is why it several programs actually run _faster_ in wine that under native windows.

On the other hand, hardware-supported virtualisation (used by VirtualBox and XEN) is an entirely different beast: here you are giving the virtual OS direct access to a bare hardware (with a few restrictions), so again, the performance can be quite good.

Quote
For performance critical stuff like realtime audio processing I think this is a no-go.


As described above, this is not so simple, therefore, I don't think anyone can be sure about this without actually trying. Therefore my question is: has anyone tried this?

One thing is sure: Muse Receptor is an absolutely professional product, and it is running Linux, and it can host VST instruments, including Ivory, since 2006 (see here), so this is not complete nonsense.

Quote
So why not installing a dual boot system and then boot the system you need for playing the piano?


Well, there are several reasons; some practical, some emotional.

1. For both moral and technical reasons, I ******* hate windows (and microsoft, in general), and in the last twelve years, I have successfully avoided running windows on any computer managed by me. (And there are quite a few.) I would like to keep doing so. Therefore, my first choice would be wine. Or if I absolutely _have_ to run windows, then I want to put it in a "cage": in a virtual machine, with no access to the outside world. I do not want to give it control of the entire machine. (And I would never allow it to roam freely on my home network.)

2. I plan to run several other software on the same box, while playing the piano. (Some learning applications, some entertainment, MIDI recording, whatever.)

I am aware that there are (loads of) windows applications for these tasks, but (as you have probably already guessed by now) I am not a windows user, so I am not interested: I want my linux apps.

So, I need my Linux to be running, and would like to add Ivory. (This brings up an other questions: in an ideal case, I would like to split the MIDI stream to two directions, and then channel it both to Ivory, and to the other apps. This is impossible if I give the USB midi cable to the windows domain; so I will need to look into this, but the first step is to just get Ivory running.)

Best wishes:

Csillag

Re: Ivory II under Linux? [Re: Csillag] #1544571 10/27/10 07:55 AM
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Csillag: You can't have your cake and eat it, too.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>
Re: Ivory II under Linux? [Re: Csillag] #1544614 10/27/10 09:11 AM
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here is a a description of something similar, back from 2008. (In Italian.) Guy seems to have run Ivory successfully. (Older version though.)


Re: Ivory II under Linux? [Re: mucci] #1544653 10/27/10 10:19 AM
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Surprizingly sometimes a virtual environment can be faster then running "real Windows". Many times Wine beats Windows in terms of preformance. Wine is actually a re-impleementation of Windows and not virtual PC layer. But Wine is "spotty" and will not run all Windows software. I have doubts about it running a virtual instrument

Virtual Machines will run 100% of Windows software but you gain very little because un-like with Wine you will need a copy of MS Windows to run on your VM.
My experiance is that virtual layers can be reasonablely fast but NOT when it comes to disk I/O. Normal user level code actually runs on the bare harware when using VMware, there is no emulation layer in this case but, then system calls to the OS are made VMware traps out to an emulation layer. Disk reading and access to USB cause these kinds of "traps". I don't think it would work well for a disk based sample library unless you have a very fast computer

If you want to run a software piano under LInux there are native solutions. One is Pianoteqe the other is a native sampler enginethat can lay several formats of samples. I thing "giga" is one of them. Then you buy a set of samples from (say) Sampletekk and you are set.

In general UNIX based systems work well for music, the prime example is Apple's Mac OS X. But you'll need software written for your OS.

At work I have a four-CPU Xeon based computer with tons of RAM and a fast ultra-scsi disk system. I run Linux as the primary OS and then inside VMware I have both MS Windows XP and Sun's Solaris. It runs fine, even Java inside Windows on VMware on Linux is fast enough, until it goes to the disk and then it reduces to old "Pentium IV" speeds.

Re: Ivory II under Linux? [Re: ChrisA] #1544681 10/27/10 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisA
Surprizingly sometimes a virtual environment can be faster then running "real Windows". Many times Wine beats Windows in terms of preformance. Wine is actually a re-impleementation of Windows and not virtual PC layer. But Wine is "spotty" and will not run all Windows software. I have doubts about it running a virtual instrument


As I have mentioned, the Muse Receptor (which is a basically a special-purpose, pre-configured linux box) is doing exactly this, so it is not completely impossible.

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Virtual Machines will run 100% of Windows software but you gain very little because un-like with Wine you will need a copy of MS Windows to run on your VM.


Yeah, this is why I would prefer wine.

Quote

My experiance is that virtual layers can be reasonablely fast but NOT when it comes to disk I/O. Normal user level code actually runs on the bare harware when using VMware, there is no emulation layer in this case but, then system calls to the OS are made VMware traps out to an emulation layer. Disk reading and access to USB cause these kinds of "traps". I don't think it would work well for a disk based sample library unless you have a very fast computer


When using XEN, you can use special drivers inside the guest OS, which can then use the underlying devices natively. I usually give my XEN domains full block devices (actually, on top of lvm), and in this case, the speed penalty is negligable.

Quote
If you want to run a software piano under LInux there are native solutions. One is Pianoteqe the other is a native sampler enginethat can lay several formats of samples. I thing "giga" is one of them. Then you buy a set of samples from (say) Sampletekk and you are set.


Yeah, I already know about Pianoteq (and have the demo), but I as far as I know, the current consensus is that currently Ivory II is (or close to) the best software piano; that's what I am interested in it.

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[...] At work [...] it goes to the disk and then it reduces to old "Pentium IV" speeds.


I am not sure about windows, but then using linux, one can gain a great speed improvement is using the "paravirtualized" xen drivers inside the virtual domain. The "guest additions" in VirtualBox is something similar, and it is available for windows, too. Have you given it a try? You might be surprised...

Best wishes:

Csillag

Re: Ivory II under Linux? [Re: Csillag] #1544692 10/27/10 10:58 AM
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Very offtopic:

What a great sunset I can see right now!! I can watch the full alps panorama (great clear views) here in Munich with the red sunball going down in the west... WOW.


<~ don't test forever - play and enjoy! ~>

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