About decibel Linux

decibel Linux is an actively maintained, source-based, 64-bit desktop real-time Linux audio production system based on Gentoo Linux. It is designed to allow users to have a broad range of audio applications out-of-the-box, and to allow a high level of customization not generally available to other Linux audio distributions – or to Windows or Mac, for that matter. One advantage of having Gentoo as the base for this distro is its package manager, Portage, which has a system of enabling/disabling compile-time options for applications. This means application binaries can be tailored to the user’s computer hardware and the user’s needs. This in turn means more efficient use of the computer’s resources, which is always helpful to running real-time audio applications. Another advantage is that compiled programs can be optimized for the specific systems (specific CPU) they are being run on, making it more efficient than binary-based distributions.

While decibel Linux is not a commercial product – it is free – it is absolutely intended to be a full-fledged, professional audio production system for musicians, composers, audio engineers, computer music programmers, and anyone else needing an audio production system.

There is a sticky in the Multimedia section of forums.gentoo.org. (FGO.) Please post there if you need help or have any questions.

Before beginning an install, please make sure you are using a machine that does not contain any data you wish to keep, and that meets the following criteria:

  • 64-bit architecture. 32-bit installs are not supported by Gentoo Studio.
  • A modern, multi-core processor.
  • High-capacity hard disks with a rotation speed of at least 7200 RPM and/or solid-state drives.
  • As much RAM as you can manage.

decibel Linux comes with the following applications:

app-admin/syslog-ngsyslog replacement with advanced filtering features
app-editors/nanoGNU GPL'd Pico clone with more functionality
app-portage/cpuid2cpuflagsTool to guess CPU_FLAGS_* flags for the host
app-portage/eixSearch and query ebuilds
app-portage/gentoolkitCollection of administration scripts for Gentoo
app-portage/smart-live-rebuildCheck live packages for updates and emerge them as necessary
app-portage/ufedGentoo Linux USE flags editor
dev-util/geanyGTK+ based fast and lightweight IDE
dev-vcs/gitStupid content tracker: distributed VCS designed for speed and efficiency
gnome-extra/nm-appletNetworkManager connection editor and applet
media-plugins/adlplugFM synthesizer plugin based on OPL3 sound chip emulation
media-plugins/airwindowsAirwindows is a collection of high-quality plugins by Chris Johnson.
media-plugins/alsa-pluginsALSA extra plugins
media-plugins/argotlunarArgotlunar is a tool for creating surreal transformations of audio streams. Specifically, it is a real-time delay-line granulator.
media-plugins/artyfxPlugin bundle of artistic real-time audio effects
media-plugins/calfA set of open source instruments and effects for digital audio workstations
media-plugins/cardinalCardinal is a free and open-source virtual modular synthesizer plugin/wrapper for VCV Rack.
media-plugins/distrho-portsLinux ports of Distrho plugins
media-plugins/dragonfly-reverbA set of free reverb effects
media-plugins/drumgizmoOpen source cross-platform drum plugin & stand-alone application.
media-plugins/fablaLV2 drum sampler plugin
media-plugins/lsp-plugins-lv2Open-source plugins that include EQs, dynamics, reverb and more.
media-plugins/odin24 voice polyphonic synthesizer with effects, classic and drawn waveforms, and classic filter emulations. (VST3)
media-plugins/opnplugFM synthesizer plugin based on OPN2 sound chip emulation
media-plugins/sorcerPolyphonic wavetable synth LV2 plugin
media-plugins/x42-avldrumsAVLinux Drumkits
media-plugins/x42-pluginsCollection of LV2 plugins
media-plugins/zam-pluginsCollection of LV2/LADSPA/VST/JACK audio plugins for high quality processing
media-sound/a2jmididDaemon for exposing legacy ALSA sequencer applications in JACK MIDI system
media-sound/aeolusA synthesised pipe organ emulator
media-sound/alikiAn integrated system for Impulse Response measurements
media-sound/alsa-toolsAdvanced Linux Sound Architecture tools
media-sound/alsa-utilsAdvanced Linux Sound Architecture Utils (alsactl, alsamixer, etc.)
media-sound/amsynthVirtual analogue synthesizer
media-sound/ardourDigital Audio Workstation
media-sound/arpageMIDI Arpeggiator w/ JACK Tempo Sync, includes Zonage MIDI splitter/manipulator
media-sound/audaciousLightweight and versatile audio player
media-sound/audacityFree crossplatform audio editor
media-sound/bitmeterDiagnosis tool for JACK audio software
media-sound/bristolSynthesizer keyboard emulation package: Moog, Hammond and others
media-sound/buttBUTT (Broadcast Using This Tool) is an easy to use, multi OS streaming tool.
media-sound/cadenceCollection of tools useful for audio production
media-sound/carlaFully-featured audio plugin host, supports many audio drivers and plugin formats
media-sound/chuckStrongly-timed, concurrent, and on-the-fly audio programming language
media-sound/dinSoftware musical instrument and audio synthesizer
media-sound/fluidsynthSoftware real-time synthesizer based on the Soundfont 2 specifications
media-sound/galangAlan - Graphical Audio Language
media-sound/ghostessgraphical DSSI host, based on jack-dssi-host
media-sound/gmidimonitorGTK+ application that shows MIDI events
media-sound/hydrogenAdvanced drum machine
media-sound/hydrogen-drumkitsFree drumkits for Hydrogen
media-sound/jack-rackJACK Rack is an effects rack for the JACK low latency audio API
media-sound/jack2Jackdmp jack implemention for multi-processor machine
media-sound/jackmidiclockThis program is a JACK client that sends MIDI beat clock pulses based on the current tempo given by the JACK transport.
media-sound/jaminAudio mastering interface for JACK Audio Connection Kit (JACK)
media-sound/japaJAPA is a perceptual analyzer for JACK and ALSA
media-sound/linuxsamplerLinuxSampler is a software audio sampler engine with professional grade features
media-sound/lmmsCross-platform music production software
media-sound/lupppLive performance looping tool
media-sound/mixxxAdvanced Digital DJ tool based on Qt
media-sound/new-session-managerA tool to assist music production by grouping standalone programs into sessions
media-sound/patchageModular patch bay for JACK-based audio and MIDI systems
media-sound/pure-dataVisual programming language for multimedia
media-sound/qjackctlQt GUI to control the JACK Audio Connection Kit and ALSA sequencer connections
media-sound/qmidiarpArpeggiator, sequencer and MIDI LFO for ALSA
media-sound/qsamplerGraphical frontend to the LinuxSampler engine
media-sound/qtractorAudio/MIDI multi-track sequencer written in C++ with the Qt framework
media-sound/rosegardenMIDI and audio sequencer and notation editor
media-sound/sooperlooperLive looping sampler with immediate loop recording
media-sound/terminatorxRealtime audio synthesizer allowing you to 'scratch' on sampled audio data
media-sound/timemachineJACK client record button remembering the last 10 seconds when pressed
media-sound/tk707An 7x7 type midi drum sequencer for Linux
media-sound/vmpkVirtual MIDI Piano Keyboard
media-sound/yoshimiSoftware synthesizer based on ZynAddSubFX
net-misc/dhcpcdA fully featured, yet light weight RFC2131 compliant DHCP client
net-misc/networkmanagerA set of co-operative tools that make networking simple and straightforward
sys-apps/usbutilsUSB enumeration utilities
sys-boot/grubGNU GRUB boot loader
sys-kernel/genkernelGentoo automatic kernel building scripts
sys-kernel/linux-firmwareLinux firmware files
sys-kernel/rt-sourcesFull Linux 6.1 kernel sources with the CONFIG_PREEMPT_RT patch
x11-base/xorg-serverX.Org X servers
x11-misc/lightdmA lightweight display manager
x11-misc/mugshotA lightweight user-configuration application
xfce-base/xfce4-metaThe Xfce Desktop Environment (meta package)
xfce-extra/xfce4-whiskermenu-pluginAlternate application launcher for Xfce
xfce-extra/xfce4-alsa-pluginSimple ALSA volume control for xfce4-panel
xfce-base/xfce4-power-managerPower manager for the Xfce desktop environment

Not supported by Gentoo Studio:

32-bit installs Only 64-bit architectures are supported by Gentoo Studio.
Gnome/KDE Monolithic desktops are resource hogs.
JACK1 Does not support multi-processor machines.
Pulseaudio Gentoo Studio’s audio system centers around ALSA and JACK. Use Pulseaudio at your own risk.
Screensavers Screensavers interrupt sessions and consume resources. If you need to leave your session unattended for a while, manually turn off the video monitor if you are concerned about it.
Streaming servers/radio stations Running a server of any kind is beyond the scope of Gentoo Studio.
Virtual machines Running a digital audio workstation in a VM is not a good idea.

Gentoo Studio was created by Audiodef out of love for Gentoo, music and audio. All of his personal works of music are done using Gentoo Studio. Gentoo Studio has existed in and evolved into various forms since 2007.

Fine Print

Gentoo Studio is not an official project of the Gentoo Foundation. This site is maintained by Audiodef. The Gentoo Foundation bears no responsibility for the content of this site. The Gentoo logo and Gentoo name are used according to the licensing guidelines set forth by the Gentoo Foundation. The name “Gentoo” and the “g” logo are currently trademarks of the Gentoo Foundation, Inc.The “g” logo in the background is a variant of the “Ripples Gentoo” logo found at http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/desktop/artwork/artwork.xml. This logo was modified under the CC-BY-SA license under which the Ripples Gentoo logo was published.