I would like to do some music composition on my linux mint pc, but I have run into instabilities while trying to install and use a low-latency kernel (system freezes, possibly due to conflicts with the nvidia proprietary graphics drivers). So as I see it, I have three options:

  1. Either use my current system, i.e. the normal, generic kernel
  2. Install a dedicated audio distribution like Ubuntustudio
  3. Install the low-latency kernel on my current system but disable my graphics card.

Option 2 involves repartitioning etc so I'd like to avoid that, and option 3 is pretty ugly and tedious to work with. So I would like to know, if I go with option 1, what am I missing out on by not using a low-latency kernel for music production? (both in general, and w.r.t. the linux toolchain in particular)?

If I choose to use a generic kernel for music production, what side-effects, problems can I expect that a low-latency kernel is supposed to solve? Will I not be able to use JACK effectively? Will I be able to record? Will there be a lag in my recordings? Noise / skips / screetches? Will midi input accuracy via piano keyboard suffer?

PS. This question is crossposted from music.SE as per a comment there suggesting this may be a more appropriate forum. I'd be interested in people's opinion here on whether a linux workflow for music production is a suitable topic for this forum.

  • 1
    I don't have a lot of experience with music production, but I use a PC with a standard Linux kernel as a guitar amplifier. Many people use OS X for sound things, and I don't believe that is a low-latency system – Fox May 1 '17 at 23:13
  • 2
    I guess it entirely depends on how powerful your hardware is, and how much processing power the things you plan to do need. I've done relatively simple music production on a stock kernel with no problems at all. Just give it a try, and see what happens. – dirkt May 2 '17 at 5:46

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