Home Studio with RecBox

What is RecBox

Previously Openbox config now migrated to XFCE desktop environment for wider audience*, more comfortable work flow** and easer development. RecBox goal is not only to add easier system configuration for audio recording, mixing and mastering but merging both worlds: “Studio” distribution and operating system for daily use unleashing full potential of Linux based operating system for audio engineering.

Wider audience

It’s not about better popularity for the project, it’s for wider popularity of Linux in the musicians world.

Comfortable work flow

While I was playing with the window manager I’ve noticed one thing. Combination of window manager and some parts of desktop environment have own cons, sure it can be trimmed in resources much more than in full desktop environment if you’re motivated enough, but you lose some smoothness of GUI applications, and you need to configure things in more archaic way. It’s not a biggie for CLI software or even at all, but not everyone likes “power user” kind stuff. So there is a compromise of a few megabytes more.

Digression

For big projects, and I mean big projects you’ll need more horsepower anyway, and a bare-boned window manager will not help you in this case. You can only move border a bit further which can be done with RecBox tools.

Where is the trick?

With Work Flow you have the ability to set separate system configurations for Daily and Studio work, and switch between them by one click. Needed services, autostart and audio configuration can be set in Settings via GUI. Just choose which one you’ll need.

Note that your session will be as heavy as you set it. XFCE session is set to give optimal experience, but if you add more fireworks, docks, conky etc RecBox tools will not make CPU and RAM usage magically disappear.

Philosophical aspect

RecBox is made not to be the best ever made “Studio” like OS. One of the main ideas is to give opportunity for users with older hardware to create more advanced projects and help musicians to save money for better hardware for recording and/or be own music producers. Even if you prefer to leave album production for professionals there are many things you need to learn if you want to save stress for your bandmates and yourself and made the whole process faster and comfortable for everyone. There is no other way than take business in own hands and learn how things works. Spoiler: “10 things you need to know” videos on YT doesn’t help you much.

Screenshots




Tutorials EN | PL

English:

Polski:


RecBox project repo on GitLab

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I forgot about this, thanks for posting :+1:

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Hi guys, it’s time for monthly Spam.

From last month things changed a bit, mostly visually but there are some small bug fixes and improvements as well. First what you’ll notice is consistent theming and new right click menu made with jgmenu (screenshots in main post are up to date | If somehow links are reverted to old ones, fresh ones you can find here). Obmenu is still available if you don’t like new one. Description of how to change it back is in How Recbox works which is in updating process. I thought I’ll run away from writing for a good time but I didn’t run far.

Because of swapping obmenu to custom jgmenu, part of options was moved to Side Menu and it works same as in Main and Side Menus. Which is very similar to how menu applets work in GNOME. Description how to replace font icons with regular icons can be found in How RecBox worls.

Meanwhile, I’ve updated a bit Bass, Guitar and AVL Drums tutorials plus uploaded bass one on LBRY (preview is only available from browser version).

LBRY:
Bass Guitar Mixing 2020.08 | Miksowanie Gitary Basowej 2020.08

odysee:
Bass Guitar Mixing 2020.08 | Miksowanie Gitary Basowej 2020.08


It looks like it’s everything for now.
Regards and have a good day :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi guys :slight_smile:

September was pretty good even if I didn’t have much time to work on RecBox. Major improvement is manipulating options in rc.xml file. Before it was pretty easy to break config file when removing or adding new stuff but I figured out how to script it in better way. It’s not perfect yet but I’ll improve it soon (description can be found in How Recbox works > Config Files).

Other stuff it’s rather cosmetic and for the eye, but they change overall experience. At least for me. I guess :smile:

  • queue of lines in xc.xml file now is not important. Scripts which changes options in config file was improved

  • Calendar, RecBox Documentation and RecBox Center now use Flat Remix icons in task bar instead of generic ones

  • volume and brightness widget icon now don’t display in taskbar

  • user now can add name of screenshot (scrot) thanks to Zenity widget

  • Border when undecorated item now is Toggle item instead of ON/OFF like Window Decoration

  • updating How RecBox works almost finished

  • Electric guitar mixing tutorial/guide updated

  • other changes and fixes


If you’re interested only on mixing stuff, here are separate PDFs:

LBRY:

odysee:

Have a good day, regards :slight_smile:

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October was definitely to short for me, but I’ve manage to push RB at least a bit forward. I don’t have much to say, so here is the progress :slight_smile:

  • Session managing was improved:
    • rofi and jgmenu session scripts are replaced with rb-session and rb-session suspend
    • shutdown, reboot, hibernate and logout in Side Menu now have confirmation widget
    • rofi suspend now have confirmation question

  • Main Menu have new Key bindings item in Menu Settings.

  • I’ve added bold pango markups to all Back items.
  • RecBox Colors was improved (in general) and now have support for changing right-click menu color scheme. Spoiler: I’m working on global themes (with dark mode support). Matcha Aliz, Azul and Sea.

  • I’ve added links to the most important playlists from Produce Like A Pro. Channel name is a bit silly imo but it’s a true gold mine, whatever music genre you prefer.
  • How RecBox works is up to date, but still requires some work because RB changed a lot from the last time I updated PDF.
  • Other visual and performance tweaks.

Have a good day/night. Regards :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Hi folks!
This month I have some good news and some bad news and maybe I’ll start from bad one. Openbox version development is now suspended. Good news is I will improve scripts from time to time, so you don’t need to migrate anywhere, I will not add new things only, which is not a big issue because the environment is pretty complete. Another thing is new versions of RecBox will be made on XFCE, you can decide if it is bad or good news. However, first tests tells that CPU and RAM usage will be very similar to Openbox and whole setup will be much simpler and less confusing. The First version based on XFCE will arrive in 2021 but I can’t tell which month exactly. I need to rewrite everything for a new setup, so it will take a while but it will be not that painful all in all because a big part of stuff will be managed differently with DE help.

New stuff from November:

  • global themes
    • Matcha Sea
    • Matcha Aliz
    • Matcha Azul
  • fix Network Menu display when Wi-Fi is disabled and no VPN configuration
  • add restart dunst to Settings Menu
  • Rofi screen-shot menu improved and moved to rb-screenshot.sh
  • add Edit Menu to Tools menu. Sub menu contains items to edit:
    • Carla menu
    • Info menu
    • Instrument FX
    • Jack Connections
    • Mixer
    • Notes
    • Shortcuts
    • Software
    • Tools
    • Window
  • Announcements items (stable, testing unstable) moved to sub menu Announcements in Software menu
  • change menu font improvement and command change
  • lid control script improvement, instead of typing password in terminal, policy authentication window will pop-up
  • fix logout in side menu
    -panel menus, side menu and main menu now will follow button position without manual configuration (position_mode = ipc) and now there is only one config file for all panel menus
  • fix Backup and Update
  • other changes

All in all regular XFCE users will benefited from environment swap, because things like Dark Mode or Global Themes can be easily installed on non RexBox XFCE setups. 2021 looks to be exciting!


Happy holidays and new year!

Hi guys and gals :slight_smile:

After a month of playing with XFCE I need to say that it’s better than I thought will be. First days I was a bit like a child in a haze, but now I feel pretty comfortable using DE tools and scripting. While working on Openbox version I learned a bit, so XFCE will be much “smarter”. For example system configuration will be fully automated and don’t require user intervention. User only need to mark options which want to use.

From visual aspect all stuff will be stored into Side Menu and Whisker Menu which take the role of Rofi menu. Spoiler alert, font icons are changing while enabling night light and dark mode, plus color scheme of side menu is changing automatically without using separate config files and manual configuration. Magic :smile:

At the moment desktop looks like this (Dark Mode On) :slight_smile:

There is more, but I’ll describe them later while updating the main post. Have a good day/night! Regards :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Hi folks!
We reached to February, so it’s time for monthly spam :smiley:

Pretty big chunk of January I spent on working at Work Flow script and its starting to look pretty good. List of items from autostart is generating on the fly (Session and Startup), so it will contain apps installed by user, and it doesn’t matter it is full or minimal installation. Probably (I didn’t test it yet) will be possible to use Work Flow at least on MATE and probably on GNOME. I’ve read somewhere that autostart works same on them, so there is chance that WF will be pretty versatile.


At least for now list of services is fixed and contain those which disabling don’t result with black screen. Listing all will be too confusing for new users I think, even for me. So at least at the moment we’ll go with curated list. If there will be any suggestions later, it will be no problem for me to add new one :slight_smile: I’ve almost forgotten. Except setting up CPU scalling there will be governor choice, so everything will be in one place :slight_smile:

Audio configuration don’t exist, but I have nifty plan for it, and done some tests :smiley:

From the other cool stuff, I’ve finished shortcuts list which is dynamically generated.

Night Light settings can be set by slider widgets. I need to add back buttons, because at the moment cancel button opens Main Menu :smiley:

Dark Mode look and work pretty much the same as in Openbox version. And like Night Light Settings need Back buttons :slight_smile:

Desktop tweaking are on finish, and not much stuff left to do, so I’m near to final shape.
Aw, and I’m working on tutorial for voice recording, mixing and mastering. I’m in half of work and maybe will be finished to the next monthly spam.

Take care of yourself. Regards :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Muito feliz com a iniciativa. Não sou programador, mas há aproximadamente 1 ano tenho trabalhado com o Manjaro como estação de mixagem e apresentações ao vivo. Por isso, gostaria de contribuir com o pouco que venho aprendendo. Testei diversas distros e, não sei por qual motivo, o Manjaro foi o que melhor me atendeu. Meu notebook não é top, mas também não é ruim, é um Asus i5 de 3ª geração com 6gb de RAM, e uso uma Behringher UMC404HD. Com o CARLA, consigo colocar vários instrumentos para tocar ao vivo com banda (guitarra, baixo e violão com Tonelib-gfx / Bateria eletrônica - Shelter STD36 - através de soundfonts pelo próprio CARLA / Teclado - Roland GO PIANO - soundfonts também pelo CARLA) com poucos xruns, nunca houve grandes problemas nas apresentações. No entanto, vejo um potencial grande no seu trabalho. Tenho me baseado nas dicas do UNFA (youtube) em um vídeo que ensina como configurar o Manjaro como estação de audio. Se quiser pode me contactar, se eu puder ajudar ficarei muito grato.

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Hi @silvabaral :slightly_smiling_face:
I didn’t see unfa’s setup, but it should be very similar or the same except pipewire (not sure if he still uses it as an audio server). All hail Arch Wiki :grin: Anyway I’m happy you like my Frankenstein and will to help. I don’t have concrete questions now, but I’ll text you today’s evening or tomorrow :slight_smile:

1 Like

Hello folks!


This month I don’t have much to share due to lack of time, but… there is a small progress, like I’ve discovered that desktop environment configuration didn’t work :rofl: however it has added value, because I’ve changed a bit of behavior of desktop environment and shortcuts. For now, I only fixed the panel (I hope. I didn’t test it yet but this time I make changes in fresh XFCE installation under virtualbox.), but changes arrive soon.

In February, I mostly played with smaller things like automation of config file creation for tools, Side Menu and Panel content. In Openbox version the panel had plenty of menus, but they were pretty useless at least for me, so this time I’ve decided to make everything more compact. For most used programs there will be one menu near Side Menu which probably will be filled with Cadence and other KXStudio Applications and other software will be in Whisker menu under custom categories.

xfce4-panel

At that point workflow tool is under stagnation, I need to re-think few things and implement automatic config file creation for services and system audio tweaks. I’m not sure yet, but probably I separate workflow script to a few smaller ones.

It looks like that’s all this month, have a good day! Regards.

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Hello folks!

March wasn’t bad, but could be better. I had almost two weeks off because of health issues with maxillary sinus, but the rest of the month was pretty good.

Despite all bumps we are closer than farther. Yay!

  • window manager options
    • quick title bar layout switchng
    • toggle compositor
screenshot

  • Backup Session tool
screenshot

  • new items in Network Menu
    • toggle wifi
    • toggle network
screenshot

  • new items in Power Manager menu
    • toggle power manager tray icon
    • toggle presentation mode
screenshot

  • Dark Mode Settings
    • changing mouse cursor items
    • fix menu config file breaking when colors are defined other than html in GTK theme (user need to set them manually then).
screenshot

  • fix home folder duplicate in Places menu
  • new shortcuts
  • new logo
screenshot

  • notifications with icons for Side Menu items and RecBox tools
  • project group on GitLab
  • other small bug fixes and improvements

Happy Easter!

2 Likes

Quick, we don’t have time!

There is not much progress as new lines of code this time, but… I have cool news instead. First, I finally managed workflow tool structure, from config files to scripts and GUI. Second, translation will be available (at the moment everything is in English)! Side Menu will be the tricky one, but GUI (Zenity) and terminal outputs for tools can be translated pretty easily :slight_smile:

( If workflow GUI looks confusing, no worries I’ll write the guide as well :slight_smile: )


Have a good day! Regards :slight_smile:

1 Like