Ubuntu-Studio vs DreamStudio
DreamStudio is no longer a complete distro. It is now a package of applications available for Windows, Mac and Ubuntu and KXStudio. It was last updated 10 months ago and is available on Sourceforge. Dick MacInnes has let his domain names Celeum.com and dreamstudio.com expire. I hope Dick is doing ok, with his, and his wife’s health issues.
Ubuntu-Studio is a very cool Linux distribution for folks who want to do audio, video, graphics, animation or other media production using open source software. It uses a very utilitarian XFCE user interface. This has the advantage of simplicity and lightweight overhead on processor chips, leaving muscle for DSP processes. Ubuntu-Studio is a derivative of Ubuntu, a distribution for regular computing based upon Debian, but much more user friendly. Ubuntu-Studio is dependent only upon software with the same open source licenses that are available to regular Ubuntu. As a result there are a bunch of programs, many of which are free, but not sufficiently liberally licensed, that are not natively included in the distribution, such as an .mp3 codec. Many of these can be easily added, but are not available in the distribution itself
Ubuntu-Studio has the advantage of a large user base. Its release schedule is synchronized with its bigger brother Ubuntu.
DreamStudio from Celeum Technologies is a gorgeous media suite also based on Ubuntu, but it uses regular Ubuntu’s Unity user interface, which diehard Ubuntu users complain about, but once you learn the basics is incredibly intuitive, helping to get work done.
Dreamstudio was a complete operating system distribution or “distro”. which you would install on a blank machine or set up as a dual boot. The last version was based upon ubuntu 12.04LTS, which is quite old. The new version is a suite of programs that you overlay on a regular Ubuntu installation. This makes some sense, as the low latency kernel is now standard in Ubuntu 14.04 and later, so there is no need to dicker with replacing the kernel.
I have not tried the new suite yet, and will try this out when I have another machine to set up. There are applications in the suite that can be complicated to set up properly, and I am sure that it will be a lot easier to get them all playing together using DreamStudio than trying to install them one by one. I am not sure what happens when you install DreamStudio on UbuntuStudio instead of Regular Ubuntu.
Celeum Technologies is a tiny company in Saskatchewan, Canada run by musician/technical guru Dick MacInnes. DreamStudio has no open source rules, as does Ubuntu Studio including best of the pack open source, commercial and free or limited license software where it makes for a better workstation.
DreamStudio is not updated as often as Ubuntu and is intended to be installed on Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) releases. Sometimes the releases are delayed a bit from the Ubuntu LTS release. This is because DreamStudio is a labor of love for Dick, and he works on it among other demands on his time (performance, family, running a small business). The craft he does during the long Saskatchewan winter nights may very well be worth it if you need the additional features and pretty interface.
The audio workstations in Ubuntu-Studio includes Audacity, a fine basic audio editor without the fine graphic control of levels in other editors, and ease of time dragging program elements. Ardour, a full featured recording editor is also included. Many people are afraid of Ardour because it won’t work until set up with jack2. Fortunately, both Ubuntu-Studio and DreamStudio have it already set up, so those headaches are gone. It is still complex and powerful in the same class as Pro-Tools.
DreamStudio also comes with a demo version (upgradable to full version for $80) of Harrison MixBus 3 DAW that has full professional analog simulation with everything that a recording studio would want. (You need a high quality multi-channel audio card to use it to full effect) This is a SERIOUS audio editor which does not support compressed audio file formats, so have a big hard disk. DreamStudio also comes with a host of professional video, animation, 2d and 3d graphics, film post edit, web design and other tools. The list is amazing, and most are free, and the rest are affordably priced like MixBus 3 and Lightworks NLE award winning video editor.
If your plan is to do a Rivendell – Jack installation for a radio station and Ardour (or Audacity) is suitable for your needs, Ubuntu Studio is the obvious choice. If you are doing a wide range of multimedia creations, then DreamStudio is your dream.